Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My first Hometown Fiesta Experience: Spending May 1st at Poblacion, San Jose Del Monte Bulacan

My Family is rooted in Poblacion, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan however since after World War II the family has decided to call Quezon City home. What remains in San Jose is a plot of land where the carroza of the "Mater Dolorosa" is parked. Aside from our annual Holy Week homecoming I (or the family) did not have any reason to go back to Poblacion. Good thing I was able to get to know someone who grew up in the area because for most parts we have become strangers in our hometown. Neighbors who only come home once a year during holy week nothing more, nothing less...

The Feast of St. Joseph normally falls during the season of lent and since the town patron is St. Joseph I have always wondered how the parishioners celebrate the town fiesta, being in Bulacan I have high hopes of course. The actual fiesta of the Parish church is celebrated every April 27th, the reason behind is still something I need to know, while the procession in honor of St. Joseph is held every May 1st, the universal feast for labor day...after all the church is named after St. Joseph the Worker.

St. Joseph of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan





Lingering thought...what's the history of my Parish church? I wish such information is easy to get...I read in another blog that San Jose Del Monte was named after a miraculous image found where Poblacion is now situated (I assume specifically where the church is)...where is it now?

May 1st- we arrived quite early so I had time to sample the food at a local restaurant and to do some sight seeing in Muzon and in nearby Sta. Maria, Bulacan (see separate article). At around 6:00 pm, we promptly arrived back in Poblacion to attend the Fiesta excitement was immediately extinguished upon entering the chuch...I felt like I was soaked in cold water and it's not even raining hard outside...the attendance was dismal...I mean this is the "Town Fiesta" right? Am I on the right place, right date, right time...Is this how people from Poblacion honor their patron saint? Seems like I did not miss anything. Everything seems ordinary, and I don't see carroza's anywhere...As the mass is starting I tried to set my worries aside and concentrate on the Eucharist...


After communion, I noticed lights glowing from the entrance which unmistakably is coming from a carroza, my hopes were somehow lifted. It's just sad that the fiesta of a parish named after St. Joseph, one of my beloved saints, and a town named after him will end up looking like this...ordinary...After mass, I hurriedly went outside, which is no feat at all since there were only a handful of us inside the church. Lo and behold, the most spectacular carroza in Poblacion came into view. But my moment of rejoicing was cut short when I saw again the number of people participating. What will you do with a beautiful, no magnificent carroza and image when only 1% of the town population came? What's wrong? Is it the time of the procession? At 7:00 pm I noticed that Poblacion is already dark...very if everyone has called it a night. I heard rumors about the new parish priest as well but please the parish is owned by the people and not the other way around. Yes, priests have a lot to do for a community to thrive but the community still needs to do its part. I can't help comparing it from Marikina wherein there's a sizeable crowd joining the procession and the streets are lined-up with people who emerges from their houses to genuflect as the procession passes, with candles lighted. Anyway, enough of the negative, there's no point in wallowing and questioning why people have not chosen to attend, after all this is a time to celebrate St. Joseph...


MEMORARE to St. Joseph

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

The Magnificent Carroza

The carroza is privately owned. I met the owner, Gilbert and was really impressed in his dedication to his vision for his images. Like in this case, he envisions St. Joseph walking in a garden with the child Jesus...cost is of no concern.

Another thing I learned is that there are two images used for the town fiesta, each taking turns. This year, the parish owned image is being used. Next year, Gilbert will bring out his ivory St. Joseph. And the year after that, the parish owned image again.








The Procession









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