Hundreds of devotees of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, otherwise known as the Nuestra Senora Dela Paz Y Buenviaje or the Virgin of Antipolo, from all over the province and nearby cities in Metro Manila joined the culminating activities in Antipolo City on Tuesday, July 5.
The procession of the 17th century original statue of the country’s most popular Marian image which was brought to the country in 1626 by then Governor General Juan Niño De Tabora, along with the 29 replicas of the Virgin of Antipolo owned by private individuals from various parts of the province and outside Rizal were attended by devotees coming from different towns as part of the end of the pilgrimage season which started in May.
The streets in the vicinity of the Antipolo Cathedral were filled with the procession participants and the residents who lined-up on the sidewalk to witness the return of the procession which was put on hold for two years starting on 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mar Bacani, head of the Antipolo City Culture, Tourism and Promotions Office, told Manila Bulletin that the overwhelming attendance of the devotees and pilgrims who joined the procession that started at 5 p.m. and ended around 8 p.m. was an indication of their strong devotion to the brown-skinned Virgin of Antipolo.
Procession participants prayed the Holy Rosary as they followed the carroza or the float bearing the replica of the Virgin of Antipolo while holding a lighted candle.
Before the images of the Virgin of Antipolo left the compound of the cathedral, Fr. Reynante Tolentino sprinkled holy water on the participating statue and the devotees joining the procession.
On Monday, July 4, a concert of the cathedral’s home grown chorale inside the church serenaded the devotees.
A grand fireworks display signaled the end of the procession and the pilgrimage season, which reportedly gathered hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from May to July this year.