Binay joins Banahaw pilgrimsBy Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay joined the trek of Lenten pilgrims to the mystical Mount Banahaw, a Quezon police official said Friday.
Senior Superintendent Valeriano de Leon, Quezon police chief, said Binay arrived in Dolores town on Maundy Thursday morning and went straight to the Our Lady of Sorrows parish where he prayed.
Shortly before noon, the Vice President accompanied by Dolores Mayor Renato Alillio Jr. motored to the compound of the religious cult “Suprema Dela Iglesia Del Ciudad Mystica De Dios” in the village of
Sta. Lucia and paid homage to its founder Suprema Isabel Suarez, said De Leon who also accompanied Binay.
Binay, who on Tuesday began preparing for his presidential run in 2016, also ate lunch at the religious compound.
After lunch, Binay proceeded to the nearby village of Kinabuhayan and offered prayers in different sacred place at the base of the mountain, De Leon said.
“The Vice President is very religious person,” De Leon told the Inquirer.
After his prayers, Binay went back in Sta Lucia and conferred with De Leon on the security measures for the protection and safety of mountain pilgrims, said De Leon.
The Vice President also visited Banahaw during Holy Week last year.
Many religious believers would climb Banahaw, particularly during the Lenten season, believing it is inhabited by heavenly spirits.
Mount Banahaw, a traditional pilgrimage site for religious devotees and mountaineers, straddles the municipalities of Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya, Candelaria and Dolores in Quezon and parts of the towns of
Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw and Majayjay and San Pablo City in Laguna.
Most of the 2,177-meter mountain, which spans an area of 11,133.30 hectares, remains restricted to the public until 2015.
Banahaw, which used to be visited by about half a million people during the Holy Week, was closed to the public since 2004 to allow areas damaged by slash-and-burn farming and littering to recover.