Monday, January 14, 2019

Devotees make annual pilgrimage to Black Nazarene in Bohol Calvary


Members of the Bohol Provincial Police Office
Press Corp welcomed acting provincial police
director Senior Supt. Julius Cesar Gornez
during the change of command on Friday, Jan. 11.
 They also gave their snappy salute
to outgoing provincial director Senior
 Supt Angeles Geñorga, Jr. and Tagbilaran
City police chief Supt. Patricio Degay, Jr.  Photo by Allen Doydora
Scene: Provincial police director Senior Supt Angeles Geñorga, Jr., who served the province for 11 months and five days, was replaced by Senior Supt. Julius Cesar Gornez on Friday.  Senior Supt. Angelito Dumangeng, deputy regional director for operation, presided over Gornez’ installation, on behalf of Police Regional Office-7 Director Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas. Geñorga’s sudden relief came as a major surprise. “I assumed my post on Jan. 16, 2018 short of one week for duty, but I am not short of what ought to be delivered in the span of time. I am confident that I have accomplished our mission. I would not speak in detail of what we have delivered but the statistics shown would speak of how we performed as a team,” said Geñorga. Gornez, who was also a former Tagbilaran City police chief, vowed to continue the war against illegal drugs, fight against criminality and corruption. “I will commit to supporting relevant ideas in improving our service,” said Gornez. He also enjoined the provincial police force here to make Bohol a safer place to live with as a drug-free province. Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto didn’t attend the turnover of command. He was represented by provincial administrator Ae Damalerio. Out of 48 mayors in Bohol, only Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap attended the event. Sources said Geñorga was one of the provincial police directors and station commanders reshuffled by Camp Crame to avoid connivance between law enforcers and politicians in preparation for the May 13 midterm elections.

Scene: Yamyam Gucong , the Iskulit Bai ng Bohol, was introduced as an official housemate. A native of Inabanga town,  Yamyam hopes to infect everyone with his positive personality. Yamyam, 25, said he wants to enter the PBB house to experience the life of the rich. He is driven to become a successful housemate so that he can fulfil his dream and be able to help give better life to his family.

Scene: Mr. Football Philippines Elmer “Lacknet” Bedia personally mentored the 100 participants in the free football clinic conducted last week in Panglao town. The event was hosted by Panglao Dolphins Football Club.  Bedia also wished that through the clinic, Bohol Football Association (BOHFA), through its president Edmar Thaddeus Simpao, hoped to produce great players. With this beautiful game in football, we can help them refresh their attitude and teach them how to behave and focus on their beautiful life. Hopefully, we can find some of these kids one day that represent Bohol to play for the country,” said Bedia.


Monique Bag-o lives north of this town, but she made a vow to travel to Barangay Malinao in Garcia Hernandez town to climb Bohol Calvary during the annual feast of the Black Nazarene.

A healing session was conducted by visionary
 Marina Reblinca during the feast of the
 Black Nazarene in Garcia Hernandez town,
 Bohol province on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
Pilgrims walked more than three kilometers
 to reach the summit of “Bohol Calvary”
as part of their annual spiritual journey.
 Photo by Leo Udtohan
That pledge, made to the Black Nazarene, was in honor that she begot a son whom she brought along with her on Wednesday’s fiesta.

She attributes many of her life’s miracles to the iconic Nazarene image, which she said were all granted because of her deep faith and devotion.

Bag-o, 50, said she asked for a son since she had already three daughters now aged 27, 25 and 22. At 43, she gave birth to Kurt Daniel in 2011.

Another devotee Leonola Baguhin, 68, hiked with her son, Leonard, who had a stroke last year. He wanted to be healed for his ailment.

Bag-o and Baguhin joined hundreds of pilgrims in the yearly feast. Many people started the trek about 7 a.m. at Barangay Malinao — which is about 3 kilometers from the village proper.

A Holy Mass was held at 10 a.m. inside a small chapel officiated by Rev. Fr. Mario Renca, assistant parish priest of the Saint John the Baptist Parish Church. Others had to stay outside the chapel to hear the Mass.

At least 1,000 people attended the fiesta, said Barangay Malinao chieftain Honorio Jaminal.

“There are more people coming here if we compared to last year’s 600,” he said.

For many of the pilgrims, the climb up the mountain is about carrying the faith on the Lord Jesus. Wednesday’s celebration was a huge gathering of people whose faith in the Black Nazarene is similar.

Radio personality Edward Guyano and 
your VRS with Marina Reblinca during
 the feast of the Black Nazarene in 
Garcia Herandez town, Bohol, Jan. 9. 
Photo by Jessa Ylanan
It was on May 29, 2011 when Marina Reblinca, a visionary and healer, brought the image of the Black Nazarene from Palawan to Bohol Calvary (originally named Mount Kalagan) in Barangay Malinao, Garcia Hernandez town.
She established a small chapel funded by devotees.

Reblinca, 65, said while she was in Palawan, the Nazarene told her he wanted to be in Bohol Calvary.

“I just followed the Senior’s order,” said Reblinca.

“Then, people from all over Bohol came here,” she added.

She said people were healed because of their strong faith in the Black Nazarene. They believed that touching or rubbing the statue with a towel would heal them physically and spiritually.

“Yung iba hahawak lang sa pisi o sa lubid, gumagaling na sila kung talagang ang paniniwala ay galing sa puso. Pero hahawak ka lang wala sa puso hindi ka talaga gagaling kahit anong gagawin mo,” she said.

She also said that the Black Nazarene protected the place during the strong earthquake in 2013 and some strong typhoons.

Since then, devotees consider the mountain, with its serene silence, holy.

During the feast, devotees were treated to a free lunch.
Retired Filipino-Australian football
 legend Elmer Lacknet Bedia
with officers and members
of the Panglao Dolphins Football Club.
  Photo by Leo Udtohan

Jaminal said six pigs were butchered for the fiesta, while two lechons were donated by some devotees.

“Everybody in the community has been helping a lot,” Jaminal said. “Many gave donations for the foods and drinks and flowers.”

After the lunch, devotees waited for the “patunob,” wherein the image of the Black Nazarene was placed on the parts of the body for healing.

When Reblinca placed the little statue of the Black Nazarene at the devotees’ heads, shoulders and hands, the devotees prayed and kissed the image asking for healing and miracles.

Others would wait for the flowers she blessed for healing and success in business.

Rosalinda Huertas and her sister Calpia said their family has ties to the holy mountain, and they’ve both hiked up the mountain for the Black Nazarene.

“It’s very spiritual,” Huertas said. “I’m Catholic and I believe in the Black Nazarene, so it’s very meaningful to have the strength to make it up the mountain.”

Mae Janice Galon, 34, left her job as an internet cafe attendant at B&J Computers in Jagna town to attend the fiesta. She considered her journey to the mountain packed with spiritual significance.

Yamyam Gucong Photo courtesy: ABS-CBN
“For me, the significance of the Holy Mountain in my life is very helpful. Once I stepped there I felt the peace, the light of life even though I have so much struggles knowing the fact about a life of a single mother,” she said.

“The every single step I did is worth sacrificing that is to lessen my sins and the obligation I have in my shoulder. Every time I am there I forgot every worry I have and focus the possibilities in life for me and for the future of my kids. I am empty if I cannot go there. I am not complete if I cannot go there,” Galon added.

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