Friday, February 28, 2014

Sta. Maria Bulacan Grand Marian Procession 2014 Part 5

Part 5: The Procession

The procession started around 7 pm. It was a rather cold evening, with the winds consistently blowing and playing with the silver "banderitas" hanging all over the town. The sound of the wind and the "banderitas" were relaxing, healing and rejuvenating... at one point I was afraid that it might rain but it didn't. Thank God! It was a beautiful night reserved for the most beautiful Lady.

This is it, the moment I have been wanting to see but only had a chance now...the Sta. Maria Grand Marian Procession...

Start of the Procession 

Our Lady of the Eucharist

O Heavenly Mother, Our Lady of the Holy Eucharist, through thy most powerful intervention and since thou art the Mother of Our Saviour, we lay our petitions and necessities in thy hands, for through thee, all these favours will be granted.

I humbly beseech thee, O Heavenly Queen, to cast out all doubt, anxieties and all other mishaps which have brought me to this state, and plead with thee, on bended knees, to hear and answer my prayers.

I further fervently promise to spread this devotion of thine throughout the world and pray that all our requests and needs will be made through thee. Amen.

Up and Down and Around Town...

...literally, the procession route is not for the weak and faint hearted, the roads would shift from uphill to downhill to uphill again. Coming from Antipolo, I know how difficult it is to process an image in this kind of terrain. 

Our Lady of La Naval

Queen of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady of La Naval,

We gather as one people in celebration of a battle fought and won; a vow made and fulfilled; a time remembered and held dear; a miracle experienced and kept alive; love received and returned; your patronage sought and thanked for; God praised, God adored.

Mahal Naming Ina,

As our lips move in whispered prayers, our hands over beads, our knees bend, our eyes look up to you, we plead for your mercy, your grace, your love.

O Mother of Peace,

Give birth to God in our hearts. Give birth to Peace in our world. Give birth to the Word who heals all strife, conquers sin with love, overcomes death, brings us life.

As once you interceded for the victory of faith in these islands, pray for us, now in our struggle for truth and justice, for peace and love in Christ.

O Queen of the Philippines,

In your loving hands, you hold Jesus, our God, our King, our Savior. You hold Him for us to adore and serve, to love and find salvation in.

O Mother and Queen, our hearts may be small, but our love is enormous. And we ask you to come and take your place in us, in the company of your beloved Son; to bless us with your abiding presence; to fill us and keep us in your love and protection... lead us in the eternal Fiat and Magnificat to God, in whose name we gather. AMEN.

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.

O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.

The "Patrona", the Immaculate Conception of Sta. Maria, Bulacan

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Go to Part 6.

Sta. Maria Bulacan Grand Marian Procession 2014 Part 4

Part 4: My Favorite Carroza's

1. "Dormicion" or the Sleeping Mary [the Death of Mary]


2. Our Lady of the Eucharist

3. Mary, Queen of Flowers

4. Mary, the Divine Shepherdess

5. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

6. Our Lady of La Naval

7. The "Patrona"

Go to Part 5.

Waiting for the procession to start...

Sta. Maria Bulacan Grand Marian Procession 2014 Part 3

Part 3: The various Marian Images joining the Procession

Go to Part 4.

Sta. Maria Bulacan Grand Marian Procession 2014 Part 2

Part 2: Sta. Maria 

From Jodee's Place, we went around town a bit for a little sight seeing. Near the church are these two houses with gates decorated with religious images. I've been visiting old houses with the SSF core group for years now and this is my first time to see this. I guess these houses best describes how religious the people of Sta. Maria are (both past and present)...

Angels and Twin Hearts...

St. Joseph

"Banderitas" and "Fiestas"

Wow...the town is covered with "banderitas"...

According to Wikipedia, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, with its income nearly approaching to PHP 400 million (US$ 8.85 million), is the 2nd richest municipality in Bulacan, after Norzagaray and it is also considered as one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country after experiencing tremendous growth over the past few years...

No wonder their Fiesta celebration is not your typical Fiesta...It's more fun in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, Philippines! I was looking at the official Fiesta Schedule and it seems that their Fiesta celebration is 3 months long, from December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) to February 23rd, (the Grand Marian Procession)...

At the Church

Inside the Church: Space and Vibrant Paintings 

Devotion to Our Lady of La Naval

The People of Sta. Maria, I observe, have a strong devotion to Our Lady of La Naval. The church has its own image; outside the church, there are two carroza's bearing La Naval replicas joining the procession.

Curves and Lines 

After the Mass

A really old old door...see...

Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

The Arrival of Our Lady of La Naval (replica 2)

Go to Part 3.

Sta. Maria Bulacan Grand Marian Procession 2014 Part 1: At Sta. Maria Catholic Trade

From Pampanga, we rushed to Sta. Maria, Bulacan for the Grand Marian Procession. Since we are in Sta. Maria, I decided to drop by Jodee's Shop (owner of Sta. Maria Catholic Trade).

At Sta. Maria Catholic Trade

The Showroom, "santo" all you want...

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Jodee's own image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel joining the Grand Marian Procession. Image + carroza, impeccable...a vision of beauty for the "Flos Carmeli"

Go to Part 2.

New Wigs for My Images

Need new wig for Sta. Maria Cleofe

Can't wait to try them on

Featuring Road Less Traveled: A Priest and A Santo Enthusiast

Willie Layug in an Indie Film

Must see!

My Lola's Pamana: the Nazareno

From Wedding Reception to Chapel Alter

At home...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines at Home

February 14th Valentines Day is the day when Love reigns has many forms of course, the greatest of which is love for God.

A Valentine's Day Prayer

God of power and might,
Thank You for the gift
of love this
Valentine's Day,
and for all the people whose
Love shines in my life.
Continue to fill
My heart with Your love
and let me share that love
with the world...
This Valentine's Day and always.

The Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel in Trinoma

The Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel in Trinoma is situated in between restaurants...sometimes its actually hard to spot it when the entrance is covered by people, you will assume that it is one of those "trendy spots" in the mall...but no...heavenly food is served here...the bread of life...

Similar to the Chapel inside SM Megamall a lot go to mass here, in the many times I have been in this mall, whenever there is a mass schedule it is always full. I think it's only in the Philippines wherein we have conceptualized one stop shops, a catholic church more reason why it's more fun in the Philippines. Putting chapels or churches or even parishes inside malls is a good decision for the Church because 1) it remains true to Jesus' mission of reaching out to everyone most especially people who tend to forget their Sunday obligations 2) the church is made accessible. Sunday is also "family day" so with a church, plus all the shops/stores in the mall and other leisure activities made available, Sunday's at the mall can be truly fulfilling-- no guilt feelings and no excuses as well...

The "santo" or the religious images at the altar of the chapel are the "must see" when inside the chapel, sculpted by none other than Willie Layug. The interior is relatively simple, no baroque altars, no fancy lighting and fixtures etc; further emphasizing how beautiful these images are:

St. Michael the Archangel, the Patron Image

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

O glorious prince St. Michael,
 chief and commander of the heavenly hosts,
 guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits,
servant in the house of the Divine King
and our admirable conductor...

you who shine with excellence
and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil
, who turn to you with confidence
and enable us by your gracious protection
 to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

The Crucifix

Lord Jesus Christ, you let yourself be nailed to the Cross, accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering, the destruction of your body and your dignity. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast; you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. May we never flee from what we are called to do. Help us to remain faithful to you. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. Help us to accept your "binding" freedom, and, "bound" fast to you, to discover true freedom.

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that we all might know your saving embrace. Help us to bring those who do not yet know you, to Your love.

Beautiful in every detail...

New Mass Schedules as of January 6th 2014

The Art of Jun Impas

Still in SM Megamall...I saw this art exhibit about the calendar year illustrated based on images of popular religious and cultural events celebrated annually in the Philippines...

Of course I am highlighting those paintings relating to my "pagsasanto" hobby...

The Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in Megamall

One Sunday in Megamall...

Megamall is truly a one-stop shop. We went there to watch the new Lego Movie but of course before anything else we have to attend mass. The Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord is located at the 5th Floor of SM Megamall.

Our Lady of Manaoag

A few stores away is an antique shop selling a beautiful ivory image of Our Lady of Manaoag.

Pagsasanto Inspirations

Lighting and baroque effects

Our Lady of Manaoag in Trinoma and other Pagsasanto Inspirations

While window shopping in Trinoma, my "Pagsasanto" senses kept tingling...

Virgin Mother of God, Queen of the most Holy Rosary,
Thou who hast chosen to raise thy throne of mercy in
Manaoag, to be the beloved protectress and patron
of the Province of Pangasinan,
and therefrom to bestow thy graces on us thy children,
banished in this alley of tears,
look down with Thine eyes of mercy upon me,
who am beset with so many dangers of body and soul.
Despise not my petition O dearest Mother,
but intercede for me before
thy divine Son now and at the hour of my death.

Pagsasanto Inspirations

Sayal or palio perhaps...?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes Fiesta 2014 Part 4

Part 4: The Procession

O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the miraculous  spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we come before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek...

6:00 pm

Around 7:00 pm

Back at the Shrine, Past 8:00 pm...

Entrance of the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Lourdes (Fiesta Closing Ceremony)

An image of St. Pio appears to bless you as you exit the Shrine...til next year...

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us!

Our Lady of Lourdes Fiesta 2014 Part 3

Part 3: The Images participating in the Procession in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes

Around 5:30 pm the images sponsored by the Baranggay's under the parish exits one by one...below are the images parked inside/nearby the Shrine's spacious grounds (in no particular order):

1. St. Peter and St. Paul

O holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, I choose you this day and forever to be my special patrons and advocates; thee, Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the Rock, upon which Almighty God hath built His Church; thee, Saint Paul, because thou wast fore-chosen by God as the Vessel of election and the Preacher of truth in the whole world. Obtain for me, I pray you, lively faith, firm hope, and burning love; complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, a right intention in all my works, diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the will of God and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death; that so, by means of your intercession and your glorious merits, I may be able to overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and may be made worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls, Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for endless ages, to enjoy His presence and love Him forever. Amen.

2. St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He lived and preached a life of poverty and love of God to all men. He founded the religious Order of the Franciscans; with St. Clare, he founded the Order of the Poor Clares; and the Third Order for lay people. He died in 1226.

O God, who, through the merits of blessed Francis,
didst give increase to Thy Church,
by enriching her with new offspring:
grant us, that following his example
we may despise earthly goods
and ever rejoice in partaking of Thy heavenly gifts.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Francis' Serenity Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

3. St. Joseph

The Loving Spouse and escort of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Remember, O most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, my beloved patron, that never hath it been heard that anyone invoked thy patronage and sought thine aid without being comforted. Inspired by this confidence, I come to thee and fervently commend myself to thee. Ah, despise not my petition, dear foster-father of our Redeemer, but accept it graciously.

O my beloved Saint Joseph! Adopt me as thy child; take charge of my salvation; watch over me day and night; preserve me from occasions of sin; obtain for me purity of body and soul, and the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus. Grant me a spirit of sacrifice of humility, and self-denial; obtain for me a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet tender love for Mary, my mother.

Saint Joseph, be with me in life, be with me in death, and obtain for me a favorable judgment from Jesus, my Merciful Savior. Amen

4. St. Bernadette of Lourdes, the Nun

Dear Saint Bernadette, Chosen by Almighty God as a channel of His Graces and Blessings, and through your humble obedience to the requests of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, you gained for us the Miraculous waters of Spiritual and physical healing.

We implore you to listen to our pleading prayers that we may be healed of our Spiritual and physical imperfections. Place our petitions in the Hands of our Holy Mother, Mary, so that She may place them at the feet of Her beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that He may look on us with mercy and compassion: (Make Petition)

Help, O Dear Saint Bernadette to follow your example, so that irrespective of our own pain and suffering we may always be mindful of the needs of others, especially those whose sufferings are greater than ours. As we await the Mercy of God, remind us to offer up our pain and suffering for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins and blasphemies of mankind.

Pray for Saint Bernadette, that like you, we may always be obedient to the will of Our Heavenly Father, and that through our prayers and humility we may bring consolation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that have been so grievously wounded by our sins.
Holy Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Pray for us. AMEN.

5. The Child Jesus or the Sto. Nino

The Sto. Nino joining this year's procession looks different from the one used last year...

O Child Jesus, I turn to You through Your holy Mother,
I confidently ask You to assist me in my necessity
by Your Divine Power and Mercy.
I love You, O Jesus, with my whole heart and soul.
I offer You my love through a contrite heart,
asking You to forgive all my sins
and begging You to give me grace to amend my life.
I resolve not to offend You again and to bear my aches and pains
as signs of my changed heart.
From now on, may I live for You,
may I love my neighbor as myself
so as to honor You and serve You
more lovingly.
O Jesus, most Tender Child of Mary,
protected by St. Joseph,
listen to my plea and grant my necessity
according to the Father's will
and the Glory of Your name.

6. The young St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Saint Bernadette

“Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart.O Jesus! Release all my affections and draw them upwards. Let my crucified heart sink forever into Thine and bury itself in the mysterious wound made by the entry of the lance.”

Prayer to St. Bernadette

O Saint Bernadette, who, as a meek and pure child, did eighteen times at Lourdes contemplate the beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God and received her messages, and who afterwards wished to hide yourself from the world in the convent of Nevers, and to offer thyself there as a victim for the conversion of sinners, obtain for us the grace of purity, simplicity and mortification that we also may attain to the vision of God and of Mary in Heaven. Amen.

7. Our Lady of Lourdes, the Festejada Image

O glorious Mother of God, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death.

We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your  assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

A Prayer Rally...

I call this Prayer-Surround-Sound...this is one feature of the procession in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes which I really like, you follow one leader in praying the rosary and in singing various church hymns in between mysteries...all are one in prayer to Our Lady...this is something I wish the organizers of the Fiesta of Our Lady of La Naval, in the nearby Sto. Domingo Church, adapt in the succeeding fiesta's in honor of Mary as Queen of the Most Holy Rosary...

Numbers 8 and 9 respectively, St. Clare and St. Anthony of Padua

"Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints"

O glorious Saint Clare!

God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress; we beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.

O Holy St. Anthony!

Gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

Saint Clare Pray For Us!

Saint Anthony of Padua, Pray for Us!


10. St. Pio of Pietrelcina

O God, You gave Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin priest, the great privilege of participating in a unique way in the passion of Your Son, grant me through his intercession the grace of.... which I ardently desire; and above all grant me the grace of living in conformity with the death of Jesus, to arrive at the glory of the resurrection. Amen.

11. St. Therese of the Child Jesus

O wondrous Saint Thérèsa of the Child Jesus, who, in thy brief earthly life, didst become a mirror of angelic purity, of courageous love and of whole-hearted surrender to Almighty God, now that thou art enjoying the reward of thy virtues, turn thine eyes of mercy upon us who trust in thee. Obtain for us the grace to keep our hearts and minds pure and clean like unto thine, and to detest in all sincerity whatever might tarnish ever so slightly the luster of a virtue so sublime, a virtue that endears us to they heavenly Bridegroom. Ah, dear Saint, grant us to feel in every need the power of thy intercession; give us comfort in all the bitterness of this life and especially at its latter end, that we may be worthy to share eternal happiness with thee in paradise. Amen.

12. St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena

Heavenly Father,
your glory is in your saints.
We praise your glory
in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena,
virgin and doctor of the Church.
Her whole life was a noble sacrifice
inspired by an ardent love of Jesus,
your unblemished Lamb.
In troubled times
she strenuously upheld the rights
of His beloved spouse, the Church.
Father, honour her merits
and hear her prayers for each of us,
and for our whole parish family dedicated to her.
Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world,
and to remain unshakably faithful
to the church in word, deed, and example.
Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ
an anchor in the storms of life,
and a beacon of light to the harbour of your Love,
in this dark night of your times and men's souls.
We ask this through Jesus, your Son,
in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena,
Pray for us.

13. St. Dominic de Guzman

Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers
and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi,
you were a fiery defender of the Faith
and a fighter against the darkness of heresy.
You resembled a great star that shone close to the world
and pointed to the Light which was Christ.
Help astronomers to study the stars
and admire their wonderful Maker,
proclaiming: "Give glory to God in the highest."


14. Our Lady of Salvation of La Loma

O Mother of God, Immaculate Mary, to thee do I dedicate my body and soul, all my prayers and deeds, my joys and sufferings, all that I am an all that I have. With a joyful heart I surrender myself to thy love. To thee will I devote my services of my own free will for the salvation of mankind, and for the help of the Holy Church whose Mother thou art. From now on my only desire is to do all things with thee, through thee, and for thee. I know I can accomplish nothing by my own strength, whereas thou can do everything that is the will of thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou are always victorious. Grant, therefore, O Helper of the Faithful, that my family, my parish, and my country might become in truth the Kingdom where thou reignest in the glorious presence God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

15. St. Isidore

Dear St. Isidore, you know how normal it is to cultivate the land for you were employed as a farm laborer most of your life.  Although you received God’s help materially through Angels in the field, all farmers are aided spiritually to see the wonders God has strewn on this earth.  Encourage all farmers in their labors and help them to feed many people. Amen.

Go to Part 4.