Monday, September 23, 2013

Penafrancia Translacion 2013 @ Caby’s Cabana, Naga City

Penafrancia Translacion 2013
@ Caby’s Cabana, Naga City

It was a Friday afternoon when we arrived
at the Caby’s Cabana where my family awaits
for the translacion procession every year.

It had become a family tradition to reserve
one of the verandas facing the street in the
restaurant that the procession would pass,

…where we could wait
 in air- conditioned comfort.

Caby’s Cabana is located right at the heart of Naga Centro,
and the restaurant arm of the beautiful Starview Hotel,

…fronting the historic  
Plaza de Quince Martirez

…about a block away from the
ancient San Francisco Church,

…and surrounded  by convenience stores,

…malls and supermarkets,

...restaurants, and fast food outlets
most of them open 24/7.

The procession passes right on the restaurant
making it a very ideal site for viewing the translacion
as it is in a safe viewing distance from the crowd
but not too far from the procession route. 

We arrived at Caby’s Cabana and we prepared
our side of balcony by decorating it with yellow balloons
 which we would release later  during the procession.


…we also positioned the confetti launchers within reach
so it could be activated easily when needed.

It took a while for the procession to arrive
so we decided to stroll on the procession route.

The whole Naga Centro was closed to traffic
and every one are in a festive mood…

…the procession route had Marian images
on display on the altar stations,

…manned by priests praying the rosary and
singing hymns accompanied by brass bands.

The security was tight, there were a lot of people lining the side streets
patiently waiting for the procession to arrive,

…all the way to the Naga Cathedral grounds.

 The church was also in a very festive mood
with thousands of devotees hanging around... 

...and being serenaded by an orchestra 
with religious songs and hymns,


…punctuated by clatter of several helicopters
reverberating on the horizon.

It was also teeming with people
inside the beautiful church.

The Naga Metropolitan Cathedral never fails
to amaze me as it is so far the grandest church
in the region and if not in the Philippines
as it is beautiful in the inside... it was on the outside.


We returned to Caby’s Cabana when we
learned that the procession was nearing
the Plaza Quince Martirez

…and we positioned ourselves on the balcony.

As the procession came closer the crowd of devotees
became more enormously massive,

…then, we caught the sight of the Divino Rostro,

…amidst thousands of devotees screaming
and chanting “Viva el Divino Rostro!”.

When the image passed right in front of us-
we could feel the intense heat steaming
from the colossal crowd-

It was overwhelming and made me wonder how all these
passionate voyadores could stand the intense heat, the stench,

…and the risk  of being jammed and squashed in
by the mammoth and rowdy and fanatic crowd.


We released some of the balloons on air,
and activated the confetti launchers…

There was a temporary calmness
 after the Divino Rostro passed,

...and we went people watching while waiting
for the Lady of Penafrancia image to arrive.

Some of  the Caby's Cabana guests opted 
to return to the the restaurant to eat snacks.


Caby's Cabana serves yummy snacks that goes
together with the pre- reserved entrance fees
for the translacion procession tickets.


After about thirty minutes there was a commotion...


...we all returned to the balcony,

...the image of the Lady of the Penafrancia
appeared near San Francisco Church.


The commotion and excitement  among the crowd
thundered like an earthquake and the people started
screaming Viva La Virgen with all the fervor,


…passion and enthusiasm.

The image smoothly glided through  the
enthusiastic crowd waving white hankies-

as she was showered with confetti.

The heat and the humidity generated by the
 humogous crowd was even more intense,

…but nobody seemed
to mind the chaos, 

…the uncomfortable heat, 

…and the disorder created by what they
call as the biggest Marian devotion in Asia.

Interestingly, a commotion made by
two drunk voyadores having a fist fight
right below the balcony caught our attention.

It is ironic to think that these two guys were supposed
to be Virgin Mary’s devotees and should be passionately
chanting and praying  with the rest of the people but
here they are- having a brawl, swearing and screaming
enraged expletive curses against each other.

We again activated our confetti launchers
and released the remaining yellow balloons
to honor the miraculous image in the procession.

Hundreds and thousands
of devotees trailed the image,

…and the people at the tail end
of the procession were less rowdy, 

…more disciplined,

…and appeared more serious of
their devotion but just as passionate.

…the trail of people never seem to end
as it just went on and on an on and on…



…until dusk.


We left  Caby’s Cabana when
the crowd had weaned out.

Another transalcion had ended-
and we had a week to  prepare
for the fluvial procession-

…but that’s another story.

Read here for related posts: 

'Pagsungko ki Ina', 2013  
Jardin Real de Naga Clubhouse


  1. Beautiful post, moving narrative. It feels like I was in Naga experiencing the translacion first hand.

    The photos of the Lady of the Penafrancia would have great but no effort by the photographer was done to position himself away from the nasty looking electric wires blocking the view.

    Anyway, thank you for this beautiful well written blog.

    1. I apologize for the photos. Indeed, the spaghetti like wires was blocking my view and I’ too lazy to look for a better spot.

      It took the photos and I'm not a good and dedicated photographer.

      Thank you for reading my blog.