Thursday, December 15, 2011

Grand Marian Procession 2011 Part 1

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December 4th 2011. Woke up even before the alarm I set. Today is a highly anticipated time of the year. Ate breakfast and was saddened to see that it was raining hard outside. It was completely dark, worse my mom told me that it's going to rain hard the whole day per the weather report. "That's not right, worst time for it to rain cats and dogs, today is Intramuros' Grand Marian Procession," I thought...but somehow no matter how dark and cloudy it is, I still believe that it will soon get always does. By 11 am, the rain showed no signs of abating, I called a friend who's also going to Intramuros to check if the procession will push through, the organizer's must have known the weather report and may have already decided to reschedule the event...but the procession will go on. I was also informed that a lot of images are already soaking wet by now given that most carroza owners/caretakers start preparing the floats Saturday night...

To go or not to go?

Shall I brave the rains to go to Intramuros? It was raining hard outside, it showed no signs of stopping, roads may get flooded which will make the journey even more troublesome and perilous...but it is GMP, I have to take my chances. I just have to be in Intramuros...although of course I wish the weather is different.

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Arriving at Intramuros, it was still raining hard and my wipers are getting crazier swinging to and fro in order for me to see...up to this point I am still worried how this day will unfold but as I saw the arch (of Intramuros' many entrances) with a poster announcing this year's GMP, my worry was immediately replaced with anticipation and excitement. No point worrying now, I made it to Intramuros!

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First stop inside the "Walled City" is San Agustin. I was initially just to use the bathroom but upon entering the museum, I saw 5 Marian images seemingly awaiting their turn in the procession...I'm not yet ready to get wet in the rain so I decided to look around a bit...

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Although these images will not be joining GMP this year, in my mind there is no doubt they have a place in the procession line-up

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A beautiful Dolorosa...although her dress I think is too bright for her

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On their carroza's...

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Next stop, San Agustin Church

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Upon entering the church I immediately noticed how bright it is, it's not the San Agustin I remembered. I never heard that there were renovation works ongoing for this church, I saw in one of the posters inside the church that San Agustin is celebrating a momentous event this year, it may be due to this but whatever the reason is the church looks Magnificent. Truly it's no wonder why this church has been a top wedding venue throughout the years.

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Church interiors...caution wedding on-going

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San Agustin's painted walls...I may not have been to the Sistine Chapel yet, but I am pretty sure it is going to be as beautiful as this, with all its painted false architecture details

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Interior and images...

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San Agustin's Baptistry...

I will definitely go back to San Agustin and write a full feature about it.

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Old churches have these, tomb markers on the floor and on side altars. When I was young I used to avoid these, same practice as if I am in a cemetery...

San Agustin

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St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"

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Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.

He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th. Taken from St. Augustine of Hippo

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San Agustin and the "Augustinian" devotion to Mary, Our Lady of Consolation and Cincture

The Queen of San Agustin

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It was a nice surprise to see the image dressed beautifully this year, a much deserved make-over. All the years I've been watching GMP, I can't help but feel bad whenever this image is called out, seeing her dressed in simple robes in between Our Lady of La Naval and the Festejada image, worse her carroza's lights flickering as if no one checked it before the start of the procession, as if no one cared. They just need to have an image to represent San Agustin and the Augustinians...boom there you go...there was even a year wherein she passed Manila Cathedral with no lights at all! So far so good, can't wait to see the procession...

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I thought she is wearing her coronation dress but after a few comparisons, it appears to be different, the silver metal dress may be original...although if I am not mistaken this is the replica of the one enthroned in one of San Agustin's side altar.

Our Lady of Consolation and Cincture is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary that sprung from three different sources. First, the founding of the Order of St. Augustine in the 16th century, the building of the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila and the establishment of Filipino confraternities under the advocacy of St. Augustine.

The devotion to to Our Lady of Consolation happened when St. Monica in a vision received a black leather belt from the Blessed Virgin, who assured the holy widow that she would take under her special protection all those who wore it in her honor. In return, Monica gave it to her son, Augustine who later changed his ways and eventually became one of the saints in the Roman Catholic Church.

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Mary and her Augustinian boys...

There were two separate confraternities founded in the 15th century, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation and the Confraternity of the Cincture of St. Augustine which later united into one by the power of the papal bull and formed an archconfraternity which has affiliations all over the world.

In March, 1575, it was ordained that all confraternities of the black leathern belt should be aggregated to the archconfraternity at Bologna, Italy. Manila became the seat of this devotion in Asia. The devotion later spread to the provinces. Many chapters were formed in order to share its privileges and indulgences. The confraternity gives spiritual monetary assistance to people especially the poor who wishes to pursue a religious vocations. The asylum of Our Lady of Consolation was built to aid the victims of the cholera outbreak of 1882. It was situated at the site where Don Bosco University in Mandaluyong now lies. The confraternity was consecrated at the San Agustin Church where its members are obliged to wear a correa. Taken from WikiPilipinas

The Carroza of Our Lady

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Top part...beautiful flowers although I wish it was decorated more traditionally to complement the garlands of sampaguita hanged around the sides of the carroza. Plus the carroza smelled too sweet, sickly sweet, not sure if this is the original scent of the flowers or artificially sprayed on the flowers but it's too strong for me.

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Side view and full front view...compared to years before, this is definitely her best appearance in GMP

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View from the back...

On to Fort Santiago...

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GMP 2011 schedule...tears on the Festejada's my head I keep playing Glee's "Don't Rain on My Parade"

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Finishing touches on the Festejada's carroza...

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Cleaning up...

I truly admire the people behind each carroza, all their efforts amidst the uncooperative weather so I decided not to really focus on the decorations this year, although there are misses the mere fact that they still pushed through, deserves all out recognition, thank you for making GMP 2011, even if its really really wet, still very memorable. Watching people at work, and throngs of devotees still making their way to Fort Santiago is truly a testament of how Filipinos dearly love Mary, the Immaculate Conception and the Mother of God

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Rain or Shine, a band sets the festive mood for the many devotees taking one last glimpse before the procession starts

Wrapped in Plastic

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The low point of the day is seeing images or rather seeing the outline of the images since these are wrapped in plastic to protect it. Normally this is the best time to snap pictures of the participating images, not this time...

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Rain rain go away come again another day..."

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It's like playing a GMP quiz, guess what image is under the covers...

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Esperanza de Macarena

More Binalot beauties...

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TGMP...Thank God may Pallio

Pallio'd and comfortably covered beauties...

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The Immaculate Conception of Pasig City and the replica of Spain's Esperanza de Macarena

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Stella Matutina, Mary Star of the Morning...

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Turumba and Dela Merced

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Death of St. Joseph, Our Lady of Good (Peaceful) Death

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Mayor Dolor on her new carroza...

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An owner making her last checks before procession starts...

Top trend: garlands with more flowers less foliage

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Garlands of roses, chrysanthemums, daisy's etc etc

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Details of Montserrat's carroza

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Mary, Queen of Martyrs

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The United Colors of GMP...color palette of GMP 2011

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I'll do my crying in the rain...

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Our Lady of Penafrancia

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Our Lady of Mercy

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Our Lady of Guibang

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Nazarena...candid moment

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Our Lady of Fatima

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Soledad de Porta Vaga

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The roses of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Marikina's Queen, Our Lady of the Abandoned

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Dressed for the Occassion...

I was thinking, what if the GMP organizer's require all procession participants to wear Filipiniana costumes circa 1900 and all carroza's are lighted with candles...

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Lady in white

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Our Lady of Angels

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Details of the carroza of Our Lady of Angels

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Lourdes and Loreto

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Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani, Bataan

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Sunshine through the rain...

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Divina Pastora

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Divina Pastora...close-up

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Our Lady of Piat

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Details of Piat's carroza1

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Details of Piat's carroza...the fifth glorious mystery, coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth

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Sleeping Beauty...

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De Guia

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The young Mary with her parents Joaquim and Anna

San Jose's Grand carroza

Best appreciated from all sides...even the rain can't dampen the carroza's majesty, one of the reasons why you should never miss a GMP, ever...this carroza now belongs to my list of memorable carroza's which participated in the procession since 2000...

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End of Part 1
Proceed to Part 2

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