Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pilgrimage to Manaoag

My friend, Ate Kat; my brother, Paul; and I joined our parish's Pilgrimage to Manaoag.  Manaoag is considered to be the Pilgrims Center of the North since it's in the province of Pangasinan.

I feel really blessed because when I attended the first Friday mass for May the announcement about the pilgrimage was announced by the commentator.  I would not have learned about the pilgrimage had it been announced on a Sunday because I attend mass regularly at the Feast in Quezon City.

It was not hard to convince Paul to join me because it has been ages since we went to Pangasinan, actually, we just passed by Pangasinan on our way to Baguio City years ago.  We of course have never been to Manaoag and we all know that May is the month for Flores de Mayo which honors our Blessed Virgin.  Plus the fee for the whole trip was only P700.00 and there's a side trip to San Fabian PTA Beach also in Pangasinan.

We were at the St. Joseph's Shrine as early as 3:40 a.m. on May 19, 2012, to join the other excited parishioners in waiting for the seven chartered buses that will take us to Manaoag.

Our bus arrived at 4:30 a.m. and we left Quezon City a few minutes after. We prayed the rosary and read some bible scriptures inside the bus.  It was a long and tiring 5 hour trip to Manaoag.  We could have come much earlier had we not stopped two times for comfort room breaks  :)

my brother on board the chartered bus to Manaoag

We were instructed to explore the church grounds, buy pasalubongs and souvenirs and be inside the church for the 11:00 a.m. mass to be celebrated by Fr. Mon Eloriaga, our parish priest.  The place was full of devotees.

The facade of the church

The Shrine of Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag  (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag) was established by the Dominican Order in 1605.  The present church structure was built in 1901.  The ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary came from Spain.  Documents dating back to the 1610 attest that a farmer saw the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding a rosary on her right and the baby Jesus on her left hand on a tree top instructing him to build a church in the spot where she appeared.  The site of the apparition is where the church now stands.

The feast days of Our Lady of Manaoag is every third Sunday after Easter and First Sunday of October.

The place was known before as "Sapa" and became known as "Manaoag" in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The word Manaoag comes from the word "tawag" or "calls."  Because the farmer heard the call of Our Lady before the apparition.  And every pilgrim who comes to the site is called out by the Our Lady of Manaoag.

I really feel that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary telling me clearly in my heart that it is the time for me to visit her.  I hope I can go on a pilgrimage to Manaoag yearly.

The church is full of devotees 
Our Lady of  Manaoag is the patroness of the poor, the sick and the helpless.  

Aside from the beautiful church, you can also visit the wishing well building and the candle lighting area outside the church, as well as the rosary garden, the museum and the religious shop.

This image can be found at the wishing well building

At the rosary garden, life-size statues depicting the mysteries of the rosary.

Inside the museum, various church artifacts were on display.  There's an area inside the museum where you can write down your petitions to Our Lady.

There was still so much to see at the Shrine of the Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag but we were pressed by time that we were not able to explore everything thoroughly.  We had to be back at the bus after the mass because it was still an hour drive to San Fabian Beach where will be having our lunch.We were just grateful that we were able to hear mass at this sacred place.

I'll be back soon for my San Fabian Beach post.:)


unikorna said...

Such beautiful, fascinating place...and so far far away from me :(.

Petro Neagu said...

This was a wonderful, informative post.
You have a lovely place over here :)

Dave Pascht said...

I miss going in manaoag!!


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