Annual procession marks feast day of La NavalBy Maricar B. Brizuela
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Unmindful of the intense heat of the sun, a woman holds close her three “apo (grandchildren)” as they wait outside Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City for a glimpse of the image of the Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval.
Rodora Vilar, a resident of Barangay Payatas who cuts fabric for a living, joined thousands of devotees in Sunday’s grand procession in honor of the patroness of the city on her feast day.
“I always bring my grandchildren with me every year to see the image of the Blessed Mother because she brings countless blessings to my family,” Vilar said.
Despite the long trek from their home to the church, Vilar said her faith in La Naval has remained strong as she added that her prayers to the Virgin Mary have always been answered.
“I don’t ask for miracles. I just pray for peace of mind and good health for my family,” she said. Vilar also shared that her devotion had helped her cope with her painful separation from her husband.
Just like in previous years, thousands of believers gathered around Sto. Domingo Church and joined the procession which went around the main streets of the parish.
Brother BJ Namuag, who is in charge of the procession, said that the church expects tens of thousands of believers to join the event every year.
“Devotees, parishioners and students of Quezon City schools always join the procession of the Our Lady of La Naval,” Namuag said.
Around 80 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines signal battalion and officers of the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety were tapped and deployed at the church to help maintain peace and order and monitor the progress of the procession.
Major roads were closed as people carrying candles and rosaries walked with the patroness’ image while students and residents of nearby barangays lined up both sides of the road to watch.
Camuag said that La Naval devotees would continue to believe in her miracles because of their need to express their longing for God. “Their faith in the La Naval image is their artistic way of connecting to the Divine,” he said.