Traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday of September, the entire festivities of the Penafracia Festival in Naga City last for nine days and starts with the traditional TRANSLACION. Barefooted men devotees carry the images of INA, as the Bicolanos dearly call the Virgin, and DIVINO ROSTRO, the Holy Face, from her home that is Penafrancia Basilica Minore to the Metropolitan Cathedral where the novenas and most of the festivities will take place.
There are many stories of how the Lady of Penafrancia becomes synonymous with the faithful ardor of Bicolanos. One is of a father who prayed to the Lady everyday for his sick daughter’s healing. From stories, the father’s prayers were answered and initiated the formation of what is now the home of Our Lady, the Penafrancia Basilica Minore. Another story is that of the Dominican priest Miguel Robles de Covarrubias who was personally blessed by the Virgin and is witness to some of her miracles. From his account, a dog was sacrificed and its blood to be used as tint to darken the image of the Lady. It was then thrown in the river with its feet bound and tied together. Covarrubias then said that the Virgin will save the dog, and to everyone’s surprise the dog miraculously swam and ran to his master. To this day, countless devotees give testimonies of their answered prayers and the Virgin’s miracles.
After 9 days of events, novenas and many forms of devotions to the Lady, it will be time for her to come home. A fluvial procession along the Naga River carrying the Lady of Penafrancia in an elaborately designed pagoda, and the devotees chanting VIVA LA VIRGEN (Long live the Virgin!) along the riverbanks, will take her back to the Penafrancia Basilica. Only male devotees are allowed to participate in the procession. Legend has it that having a woman in the procession will bring bad luck.
Considered one, if not, the biggest religious festivals in the country, The Penafrancia Festival is a mix of religion, culture and tradition. Despite the added festivities and color to the event, the Bicolanos stay true to their devotion to the Lady of Penafrancia.
Schedule of the 2013 Penafrancia Festival:
Source: Penafrancia Basilica Minore Facebook Page
Theme: Growing in Catholic Faith in Jesus Christ with Mary at the Service of Social Transformation
- SEPT. 11 -MS.BICOLANDIA ’13
- SEPT. 13 -TRASLACION
- SEPT. 14 -REG’L.BAND & MAJORETTE & FANCY DRILL COMPETITION
- SEPT. 17 -REGIONAL INTER-COLLEGIATE AND HIGH SCHOOL CHEER AND DANCE COMPETITION
- SEPT. 18 -REG’L. BSP/GSP AND DRUM LYRE COMPETITION
- SEPT. 19 –CIVIC AND FLOAT COMPETITION
- SEPT. 20- MILITARY PARADE
- SEPT. 21 -FLUVIAL PROCESSION / Live streaming via www.choosephils.com
- SEPT.12-19 BISHOP FRANCISCO GAINZA TRADE FAIR AND AQUA FAIR
- SEPT.22- MAGTV NA ORAGON PRESENTS PEÑAFRANCIA 2013: PAGTALUBO SA PAGTUBOD
- SEPT.22-KAPAMILYA CARAVAN, JMR COLISEUM
To get there:
By bus: From Manila, take the bus to Naga
Philtranco and Superlines run buses to Naga
By plane: From Manila, there are regular flights to Naga