DOT-Bicol cites Peñafrancia Festival turnout

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur – The Department of Tourism-Bicol is satisfied with the turnout of the Peñafrancia Festival as thousands of devotees, pilgrims, and tourists flocked to Naga City to witness the fluvial procession on Saturday, September 16.

DOT-Bicol Director Herbie Aguas said the fluvial procession of the Bicol patroness, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, also known as "Ina," is a major contributor to tourism in the region.

Aguas said almost a million people attended the Traslacion (transfer of image) which coincided with the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary on September 8.

“The Department of Tourism-Region 5 shares this joyous moment with the celebration of this year's Peñafrancia Festival, a year after its comeback after the pandemic. Devotees from all over the Philippines have gathered through this religious celebration. Indeed, Camarines Sur has been a top destination, raising the bars of tourism, culture, and heritage in Bicol. The province is flocked by devotees not only during the festival in September but all year-round, not to mention the attendance for Traslacion 2023 that peaked for almost a million," Aguas said.

Devotees, pilgrims, and tourists from all over the country visit the province of Camarines Sur to attend the biggest religious activity in Bicol in the month of September.

Not only establishments and businesses in Naga City but also the entire province and the Bicol region have benefited from the festivity.

"The establishments within Naga City are 100  percent prepared for this celebration. From the airports, our Bicol International Airport (BIA) and Naga Airport wholeheartedly welcomes incoming devotees and visitors, our travel buses from Manila, roll-on/roll-offs (ROROs) that carries devotees from Visayas and Mindanao entering all our seaports," Aguas said.

Compared to the past three years when the pandemic ravaged the world, Aguas described this year’s edition as “vengeance” for Bicol in terms of tourism.

"Ina has already guided the Bicol region throughout the years, now it's our time to pay back our devotion, love, and passion, my beloved Bicolanos," he said.

Several prominent personalities were in Naga City to attend the annual fluvial procession. Among them were Sen. Bong Revilla and Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D.

The Naga City government is expecting more than one million in the fluvial procession.