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Naga welcomes over a million pilgrims to see Ina, Divino Rostro; unveils tourism opportunities

NAGA CITY (PIA) — A crowd estimate of 950,000 devotees and pilgrims went to this city on Friday, September 8 to participate in the traslacion procession of Inang Peñafrancia and beloved Divina Rostro, according to assessment conducted by the Joint Operations Center for the Peñafrancia Festival 2023.

The said report which was also released by the city government surpassed last year’s 650,000 estimated multitude.

The said procession started at 1PM from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Metropolitan Cathedral. This marked the beginning of the nine-day novena in honor of the Patroness of Bicolandia, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, in preparation for her feast on Sunday, September 17.

On Saturday, September 16, the Penafrancia Fluvial Procession will take place where the images of Our Lady of Penafrancia and Divino Rostro are to be transferred back to the Basilica Minore via the Naga River.

The annual procession was attended by different voyadores, clergymen, uniformed personnel, and churchgoers all over the country in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Biggest devotees over years. An approximate 950,000 devotees and pilgrims flocked Naga City on September 8 for the Traslacion Procession of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and beloved Divino Rostro. Photo by Jam Madrid

The 313th edition of this religious activity bears the theme, “Journeying with Ina in deepening our relationship with God in this challenging time,” while the theme for the El Divino Rostro is, “A renewed church journeying with Christ through Christ and in Christ.”

Archbishop of Caceres Most. Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, in a previous press conference said the theme of this year’s celebration revolves around the true journeying with Ina. He said, “The quality of our journey depends immensely with our personal relationship with Almighty God.”

To be able to advocate the festival as both a civic and religious event, the archbishop said that there must be communion with God, and with the church, collaboration with different stakeholders and investments of resources, talents and desires; and celebrate with due integrity.

Compared with last year's 650,000 contigents, the local tourists who came for this years Peñafrancia Festival 2023 may also avail of difference discounts and benefits in the city. Photo taken by Jam Madrid

Beyond this religious aspect, the city government through the City Investment and Tourism Promotion Office offers an experience of Naga culture through the rays of various festivities. These include the said pilgrim activities and museum and art scene which will showcase the talents of some Bicolano artists in visual arts, music, theater and poetry.

The so-called Kinalas Circuit provides a trade fair of different booths selling various kinds of kinalas, a unique Bicolano dish made of slow-cooked beef’s head and meat.

There are also banchettos, exhibitions, concerts and events organized by local private groups and organizations, and other civic events including the Miss Bicolandia, Military and Civic Parades, Voyadores Festival. 

Pilgrims and devotees may also spend their extra time in the city limits and nearby municipalities beckons, and delight in nature’s embrace and other memorable escapades. (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)

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Keren Anne Bernadas


Region 5

In the service of Him who governs the whole world

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