September is finally here and for us Bicolanos it means that Peñafrancia Festival is just around the corner.
Every second Friday of September, we celebrate the start of fiesta with the traditional procession commonly referred to as the "Traslacion". From the Penafrancia Shrine, the images of Divino Rostro and Our Lady of Penafrancia are transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral. During the traslacion, thousands if not millions of devotees crowd the streets of Naga City to participate in the procession.
As far as I can remember, I started participating in Traslacion since my highschool years but it was only last year that I decided to experience it a little different from what I'm used to... In the past years that I've attended this event with my friends, I am usually in front of the crowd or in high places to document what's happening; snapping photos of voyadores. I was always in comfortable places and from where I stood before, I can only see what's happening and not really feel it.
Last year, it was a different experience for me. I decided to stay close and be in the grounds. It was my first time to participate in the procession as one of the Voyadores ni Ina. It's very unusual for ladies to be present in the crowd of Voyadores so the gentlemen around me were surprised and they kept on shouting "Oh may babae. May babae!" (There's a lady. There's a lady!) I guess it was also their way of protecting me because the crowd can be very passionate and forceful just to get close to andas(carriage) ni Ina.
Watch this video and see for yourself what I mean.
Did you know?!
Naga City is one of the biggest Marian Pilgrimage sites in Asia.