BACNOTAN, La Union – Devotees from different provinces and cities in Region I gathered here this weekend and staged a fluvial procession in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia on the Baroro River.
The river procession that included a bamboo raft, several fishing boats and patrol boats owned by the municipal government was graced by Mayor Francis Fontanilla and other town and barangay officials.
The image of the “Lady” was aboard the sheltered bamboo raft designed and constructed by River Farm restaurant-owner Cesar Ocampo, with about 8 persons also on board.
Mayor Fontanilla disclosed that the event started last year and they are planning to make it an annual affair and we consider Bacnotan as a lucky town because last year it was a like miracle when Our Lady of Peñafrancia was here.”
Ocampo said that the procession started from the western portion of the river, eastward until Caculangan, San Juan town and back to Sitio Paratong, Barangay Poblacion in Bacnotan.
Some devotees waited for the image and touched or stroke it in the hope they would be healed from their illnesses or be blessed with some luck.
“We hope that Our Lady will continue giving miracles to this town,” Mayor Fontanilla said.
Baroro River, a “defensive” site of Filipino guerrillas during World War II, is a haven for the town fisher folk because it is the waterway to the China Sea and into the fishponds of adjacent towns. Various varieties of fish are caught here some of which are served as exquisite cuisine at the River Farm Restaurant, which is located at the riverbank.
The “Lady of Peñafracia” arrived here after the Eucharistic celebration at the Carmel of Holy Family, Carmelite Pindangan Ruins in San Fernando City, with the purpose of spreading God’s mercy and compassion in the Year of the Poor. Christine Junio – northboundasia.com