Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pampanga: Culture is alive in San Fernando!

It was the first time I attended the festivities of the Virgen de los Remedios last Friday. Malcañang had declared it a non-working holiday in Pampanga since this year is the 50th anniversary of the canonical coronation of the said image. What I saw touched me and just proved that culture is very much alive in San Fernando and the province of Pampanga!

Although not as widely-known around the country as the Peñafrancia festivities in Naga City or the La Naval de Manila of the Sto. Domingo Church, the feast of Pampanga's patroness has a large following locally. Literally thousands lined the streets of San Fernando along the procession route from the Metropolitan Cathedral to the Mass site at Villa del Sol a little over two kilometers away. Amidst the loud applause of adoring devotees, the pealing of San Fernando's Cathedral bells and the music of several brass bands, the image was brought out together with the Santo Cristo del Perdon on a charming anda borne on the shoulders of devotees.

Here is a video I took. Pardon the quality since I had my camera on the wrong settings...

Despite the scorching heat of the early afternoon sun (PAG-ASA had said that it would feel like summer during that day) Kapampangans walked the entire two kilometers to the Mass site. I heard that Cardinals Rosales and Vidal were supposed to attend. But rumor has it that they begged off after hearing GMA was going to crown the image. Ironically, GMA was a no show too! Oh well!

After one day resting at home, I woke up quite early today for another cultural activity, the unveiling of the marker of the National Historical Institute (NHI) in honor of revolutionary heroine Nicolasa Dayrit-Panlilio. This marker is the tenth located in San Fernando, Pampanga and I'm crossing my fingers we will have more within the year.

In attendance were none other than NHI chairman Prof. Ambeth R. Ocampo and board member Dr. Serafin D. Quiason, both fellow Kapampangans; San Fernando Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez and the city council, members of the San Fernando, Pampanga cultural community, as well as the family of Doña Nicolasa, particularly her surviving children who are all in their 90s.

One thing I always tell the city is that we should do these ceremonies properly, strictly following all the necessary protocol accompanied with dignified pomp and pageantry befitting these kinds of ocassions. Way back in 2004, we brought back the remains of Nicolasa Dayrit to San Fernando from the Loyola Memorial Park in Sucat. And as a revolutionary hero, her remains had to be accorded certain ceremonies and military honors as part of the transfer.

I'm sharing with you the videos of those ceremonies two years ago...


  1. Hi Ivan,

    I am always on the look out for events to cover for my photo blog.
    Any tip from you would be appreciated. You are very well informed (and I on the contrary tend to hear about such events when they are over :-(

  2. Watch out for the San Fernando Frog Festival in October. Tentative dates are October 5 and 6. I'll keep you posted.

  3. YES! Please, please keep me posted!
    This seems like something very unique!
    I guess even the French don't have it !

  4. Hi Sidney, I just confirmed that the Frog Festival will be on October 11 and 12.

  5. Do you have some info about what will happen and when? I am not sure I can stay 2 days. Where could I get a program/shedule of the activities?

  6. Don't miss day 2. Frog catching starts early in the morning. You could ask for a schedule from the tourism office at (045) 9615684

  7. OK, thanks for the info. I will contact the tourism office to get the shedule!

  8. Naku tokayo, I announced that in our group since ako may pakana niyan way back in 2003. Hehe! Hope you could join us.

  9. hi ivan,
    wow... hindi ko tlga kila2 c Nicolasa Pamintuan Dayrit-Panlilio, nagsearch lang ako here sa web. Coz were having a research...and wala akong maisip na topic, since sv ng prof. ko pde daw ung mga events or people na hnd pa nasu2lat sa kasaysayan. And i think pde sya?ryt? a ABHistory student...hehehe aun! nice blog! It helps me a lot! (^.^)


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