Tens of thousands of pilgrims, devotees, tourists come to Naga City, Philippines every September for a nine-day festivities in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Patroness of Bicol, endearingly addressed by Bicolanos as INA (mother). The festivities begin with the famous Traslacion procession during which the images of the Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face) are brought by barefooted male voyadores from the Basilica through the main streets of the city to the Cathedral. This procession, which usually lasts for 4 hours, is participated in by thousands of devotees from all over Bicol and other parts of the country.
The Traslacion Procession of the Image of Our Lady of Penafrancia from her shrine to the
Cathedral marking the start of the Novenario in her honor
Fluvial Procession during Penafrancia Festival on the eve of the feast of Nstra Sra. De Penafrancia
The devotion started three hundred years ago, in 1710, when Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias had an image carved, an chapel built and processions held in honor of the miraculous image of the Virgin of Peñafrancia on account the many favors he received through the help of the Virgin, especially pertaining to his health. Since then the devotion has grew and has even reached abroad. Devotees’ accounts of healing and favors received through her intercession are a reason for the spread of the devotion. Many have come to Naga as curious visitors and left as devotees of the Virgin. In 2010, the devotion shall mark its 300th year.
The Archdiocese of Caceres has outlined a three-year preparation for the tercentenary with each year centered on a particular theme and objective.
Year 1 (September 2007 to September 2008 ) whose theme is, Remembering the Gift of the Devotion to Ina, will be dedicated to revisiting the history of the devotion in view of a deeper understanding of the same devotion.
Year 2 (September 2008 to September 2009) whose theme is Renewing the Faith through Ina, will be dedicated to appreciating the devotees’ giftedness towards a more vibrant and relevant faith life.
In Year 3 (September 2009 to September 2010) whose theme is Sharing the Future in Hope, will be dedicated to envisioning the future with the intent of sharing the fruits of the devotion to the next generations.
Year 2010 (September 2010), the church in Bicol will celebrate in thanksgiving the grace of 300 Years of Devotion. The over-all theme of the celebration is “A Gift received, a Gift to share”.