Longest feast of the BVM begins today

Published March 22, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Danny J. Estacio

Pakil, Laguna — The biggest and longest religious festivity and gathering in the Philippines begins today in this town – the “Turumba sa Birhen Festival” honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM).

A irony of it is that the extended feasting which runs from March 23 up to September 16 is a tribute to the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba or the Our Lady of Sorrows. The feast has seven “Lupis” that symbolize the seven sorrows of Mary.

A mass is celebrated in each Lupi and follows the procession of the image of Our Lady of Turumba placed in andas/carriage carried by the devotees or townsmen in their shoulders and paraded around the town.

During the procession of the image, the devotees dance, jump with clapping of the hands while praising and singing the Turumba hymn. This is their way of showing their gratitude, happiness and being thankful for all the blessings the Lady of Turumba bestowed to them.

The festivity is held on specific dates across the seven months beginning with the Unang Lupi, or Biyernes de Dolores which is today; followed by the Piyestang Martes (Apr. 3); Piyestang Biyatiko (Apr. 11); Piyestang Biyernes (Apr. 20); Piyestang Linggo (Apr. 29); Piyestang Pag-Akyat (May 11); and Piyestang Pagpanaog (May 20).

There’s also the Ante-Bisperas/Biatiko (Apr. 9); Bisperas/Biatiko (Apr.  10); Natatanging Lupi or Fiesta Pakilena (May 12); Ahunan sa Ping-As (May 26); Piyesta ng Inang Matulungin (June 23); and Piyestang Laguwenyos (July 14); Piyestang Pag-akyat sa Langit Kay Maria (Aug. 5).

Finally, on September 16 will be the Piyestang Domingo de Dolores (Araw ng Pagkatagpo sa Larawan ng Birhen ng Hapis).

The festival through the initiative of Pakil Mayor Vincent Soriano and its Tourism department lined up a lot of activities in honor of Our Lady of Turumba.

Soriano wants to promote to the visitors the festival not only here in the country but around the world as well to promote the tourism of the town. It’s a six-day event from April 6 to 11.