Continuous reverence to La Virgen del Pilar: Hordes of people join procession, mass Print
Friday, 13 October 2017 17:51

Demonstrating love, faith and devotion to the Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar, hordes of people braved the intermittent rain Thursday afternoon and joined the grand procession from the Metropolitan Cathedral in La Purisima Street to the Fort Pilar Shrine in Rio Hondo in celebration of the feast of the most revered patron saint.

Mayor Beng Climaco together with other city officials led drenched devotees in marching the streets in prayers, bringing rosaries, images of the La Virgen del Pilar and other icons in the Fiesta grand highlight that culminated with the concelebrated mass at the shrine with Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz as main celebrant.

The religious activities kicked off with the Diana/holy rosary at 4am followed by masses at the Fort Pilar Shrine the whole morning yesterday. The traditional procession started 3pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral in La Purisima St. and ended up at the Shrine.

The feast day Thursday was preceded by a 9-day novena masses religiously attended by throngs of devotees coming from different parts of the city and even visitors from other parts of the country and abroad.

Mayor Climaco applauded the residents- both Christians, Muslims and Lumads- for their fighting spirit and for continued reverence to the Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar. She urged the residents to continue to stay united and strong, as the city continues to face challenges.

The fiesta was ushered in by the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2017 which kicked off October 1st with the grand opening salvo back to back with the Inter-Barangay Bandoreal competition and Pink October Parade in Tetuan. The myriad of activities was a combination of many aspects, most notable of which were the original chavacano video music competition, La Gran Procesion de las Santas Imagenes, Parade of Lights, Concierto na Ayuntamiento, Regatta de Zamboanga, Wow Sardinas Boodle fight, Zamboanga Art Exhibit, Mascota de Zamboanga, Balikbayan Night, Street dance competition, Arco competition and numerous others.

Two other major activities are expected to be held after the fiesta – the Danza la Vida at the Paseo del Mar on Oct. 14 and the National Youth Day celebration from Nov. 6-10 that will draw some 3,000 youths from all over the country and some parts of the world to the city.

The Fort Pilar Shrine or Real Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government. (Sheila Covarrubias)