Church to City Hall: Don’t compete with Fiesta Pilar religious activities PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 October 2015 13:43

by Bhong Simbajon

The Archdiocese of Zamboanga City has reminded the City government of Zamboanga and other organizers of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015 to ensure their activities do not compete with the religious activities prepared by the church.

The church reminds all followers of the Catholic faith and devotees of  Nuestra Señora La Virgen de Pilar of the significance and the true meaning of the coming Fiesta Pilar.

Rev. Fr. Marciano Villagracia, spokesman of the archdiocese, said that they have high respect on the local government and its endeavors, but in return, the local government should not go in conflict with the religious activities at the Fort Pilar Shrine.

“Respect begets respect. We are reminding the city government that they should not jeopardize the solemnity and spirituality of the said occasion. This occasion should be focused in honoring the Lady of the Pillar and not to divide the people’s attention,” Villagracia said.

He said the church respects the festivities of the city government but it is appealing to latter to make sure that their festivities would not get more attention and get people drained to the extent that they won’t have anymore interest and time to attend the religious activities, because their energy is already exhausted.

“We hope the local government wouldn’t divide the attentionof the people. If it’s Dia de Zamboanga, it’s up for the city government to take the lead of all the activities, but we have yet to remind ourselves that it’s fiesta of our Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, and I keep on saying, we have a lot of favors received from our patron saint which we should be reminded of,” Fr. Villagracias added.

As the patron saint of  Zamboanga City, Fr. Villagracia said the locals have so many experiences with the La Virgen, “protecting us and guiding us in difficulties. “

“As a city we suffered during the siege and other calamities we experienced, each and every person also has their respective experiences with La Virgen,” he said.

He further said: “As a tradition, we Zamboangeños traditionally are looking forward to the occasion with full of excitement as we are honoring her as she is doing us a lot of favor.”

He continued: “Our activity of novena masses is one of our primary spiritual activities, our focus and concentration should be on the Feast of the Lady of the Pillar, it should be in the hearts of Zamboangeños, that when we start with the novena masses October 3, the people should spare their time for it, not to other non-religious activities,” Villagracia said.

The church also describes as “unfortunate” the “Wet and Wild Party”,  an activity put up by the organizers of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2015, because it was calendared at par with the opening or the first day of the Novena Mass today (October 3).

“It is unfortunate because the attention of the people will be divided. In Fiesta Pilar we honor the Virgin Mary by our novena masses, and I don’t think so that “Wet and Wild” is honoring our Blessed Mother. It’s an unfortunate thing,” Villagracia lamented.

He said the city government should review their activities and should not compete at par with the religious activities because we Zamboanga owes much our Lady of the Pillar.

The Archdiocese of Zamboanga led by Most Reverend Romulo Dela Cruz, has lined-up numerous religious activities from October 3 to 12 in honor of the Our Lady of the Pillar with the theme: Our Lady of the Pillar: Merciful and Compassionate Mother of the Poor and the Consecrated. – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News