BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan — The 50.23-meter-tall Saint Vincent Ferrer statue, a Guinness World Record holder, in Barangay Bani here is drawing pilgrims and devotees since it was unveiled on April 5 this year.
In a recent interview, Fr. Carmelo Carreon, director of St. Vincent Ferrer Prayer Park, said the visitors to the statue average 750 people on weekdays and 1,200 on weekends.
Carreon said the number of visitors reached 4,500 daily on November 1 and 2.
“Sixty percent of the visitors are residents of Bayambang, while 40 percent are from other towns and cities of Pangasinan as well as outside the province and 15 percent of this number are foreigners,” he said.
The statue was awarded by Guinness as the world’s tallest supported bamboo structure during its unveiling and celebration of the town’s 405th founding anniversary and the 400th year of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish here last April.
Meanwhile, the St. Vincent Ferrer prayer park, which will feature the bamboo chapel, Jesus Way to Resurrection statues, meditation gardens, among others, will be opened to the public on Nov. 23.
“Though it is now yet totally finished, we will hold a soft opening in order to accommodate visitors to the Christ the King celebration here,” Carreon said.
The commercial area, he said, where people may buy food, drinks and souvenirs, was placed a hundred meters away from the main prayer park to maintain the sacredness of the park.
“There is a manual for do’s and don’ts for visitors who come here as it is a sacred place,” he added.
The construction of the statue and the park was funded by the Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation Inc., conceptualized by Mayor Cezar Quiambao and his wife Niña Jose. Hilda Austria / PNA – northboundasia.com