Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sa Birhen! Turumba Fiesta 2011

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The Turumba Fiesta is an annual celebration of the locals in Pakil, Laguna in honor of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba. The feast is celebrated to commemorate the seven sorrows of Mary and is celebrated eight times every year. The 8th celebration is called the Domingo de Dolores - this celebration commemorates the foundation of the image of Turumba and is scheduled on a Sunday nearest the feast of Our Lady of Sorrow. These 7 celebrations that commemorates the seven sorrows of Mary are refer to as Lupi. The first Lupi always falls on the Friday before Palm Sunday. 

If you would try to read the lyrics of the Turumba song, you will come across this, "Biyernes nang makita ka, Linggo ng iahon ka." That's the story behind the devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows of Turumba. 

For more photos of the Turumba Fiesta, pls. visit my Facebook album by clicking this link Turumba Fiesta 2011.

Biyernes nang makita ka...
It was traced back a long time ago when an oil painting of the latter, 9x11 in size, was brought along by a missionary by barge through Laguna de Bay. Encountering a severe thunderstorm, the painting fell overboard and it was later seen by fishermen floating over water. It was a Friday when they found it (Biyernes nang makita ka...).

Realizing that it was the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, they decided to bring it to a nearby church. They were surprised because they had a hard time paddling. It seemed that their boat was carrying a heavy load. They thought that maybe the image didn't want to be brought to that area. They decided to head towards a different church, but experienced the same thing. They found themselves paddling towards Pakil shore. In addition, the wind blew towards the same direction and they didn't have a hard time paddling. It was sunset already and they decided to just leave the image on top of a huge stone.

Heavy rain poured overnight.

Linggo nang iahon ka...
The following day, a Sunday before dawn. A group of women arrived at the place where the image was left. They noticed the painting on the huge stone. They were shocked to see the image dry as if sheltered from the rain. They tried to get the image but it was heavy to be moved. The women decided to report the incident to the parish priest. The priest with the choir and musicians were preparing for the Sunday service when the women arrived. Upon the hearing the strange happenings from the women, the priest with other people present that time hurriedly went to the location of the image.

When the priest started lifting the image, the people began to sing and dance, yelling to high heavens, "Sa Birhen! Sa Birhen!" The image became light and the priest was able to lift image all by himself. After all, it is just a 9x11 image. They returned back to the church with the miraculous image while singing and dancing happily. That was the first Turumba to Our Lady.

Another coincidence, on that same day, September 15, 1788, marked the celebration of Our Lady of Sorrow throughout the Roman Catholic Church worldwide!


Getting to Pakil:
- Getting to Pakil, Laguna is easy.
- You can either ride a bus at Cubao EDSA - HM Transport or at Buendia - Greenstar bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
- Alight at Sta. Cruz, Laguna and ride a jeep bound to Siniloan. Tell the jeep driver to drop you off at Pakil.
- Bus fare is around P150 one-way and the jeep fare is around P50.
- Going back to Manila, you can ride a jeep at Pakil back to Sta. Cruz. Don't forget to tell the driver to drop you off at Jac Liner (the terminal).

Coverage Tips:
- You can always shoot inside the church, but be sure not to disrupt the mass solemnity.
- The marshals of the image is not strict but the image's carrozza is too high for you to take good angles.
- However, after the procession, the image will be brought down from her carrozza for the beso manto. Grab the opportunity to take pictures.
- The very old image is the original image that came from Spain. It's really old and fragile already so pls. be careful in taking pictures.
- The original oil painting is located inside a chapel on the 2nd floor of the church. It is enclosed inside a ratablo. The chapel is open for the public.
- The church is one the most beautifully crafted structures I have encountered. Try to shoot the details of the church, both interior and exterior.
- You can also find a small museum upstairs.
-  The procession route is very short and it is only the during the 1st Lupi that the image of Turumba be brought at the 'pool side' for the blessing.
- During the 3rd Lupi or the Pistang Biyatiko, the crowd is really thick, thus it is more festive.
- The image will be processioned in all her Lupis.

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