Tag Archives: Philippine religious festivals

#319 Mt. Banahaw

Mount Banahaw is a dormant volcano located along the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces, central Luzon island,  Philippines.

The mountain and its environs are considered sacred by the local residents because of its “holy water,” which allegedly have beneficial qualities, issuing forth from local springs and its “puwestos” or the “holy sites.”  These are composed of unique, natural features such as rocks, caves and springs with shrines erected in, on or around them. The location of these ‘holy sites’ were supposedly revealed to a man during the Spanish colonial era by the “Santo Boses” or the “Holy Voice.”

Mt. Banahaw regularly attracts locals who are into folkloric religious or spiritual belief systems, and those who claim to have found healing in Banahaw’s slopes. Filipino mystics and their followers consider Banahaw as one of the world ‘spiritual energy’ centers and believe that the mountain has a unique role in developing human spiritual life.

Religious devotees usually flock to Mt. Banahaw during the Lenten season. A climb to Mt. Banahaw takes around two to three days trek, passing waterfalls and caves en route to the summit. There are at least four different trails from Dolores, Sariaya, and nearby towns in Quezon. Pilgrims and hikers usually take the trail of Cristalino and of Tatlong Tangke from Kinabuhayan, Dolores reaching the Durungawan I, II, and III viewpoints atop the summit. (Source: Wikipedia and other sources).

Long live Mt. Banahaw!

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts and Culture, Nature, Places, Traditions

#232 Turumba Festival

The people of Pakil in Laguna province celebrates the Turumba Festival every year during the months of April and May. The festival marks the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is held seven times each year between the months of April and May. The first is held on the Friday before Palm Sunday and the last falls on Pentecost Sunday.

The Turumba dates back to 1640 when a fisherman found a statuette of Our Lady of Sorrows floating in Laguna Lake. According to local legend the fisherman brought the statute to Pakil and left it in his boat while he sold his catch in town. Meanwhile, a housewife saw the image and informed the parish priest. Soon a crowd started to gather around the outrigger boat. A farmer carried the statuette to the church and on his way the people following him started to sing and dance. This was the first Turumba procession. The word “Turumba” has no real Filipino or Spanish meaning Pakil residents said the word originated from the sound of the drumbeats during the procession.

Today, Pakil is known for the Turumba Festival. The image of the Virgin is borne on the shoulders of the devotees and brought to the seashore and back to the church in a festive grand procession. The Turumba is the longest celebrated festival in the Philippines covering seven months.

Long live Philippine festivals!

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts and Culture, Places, Traditions