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Taguig parish entrusts itself to Ina Poon Bato’s protection vs earthquake

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Ina Poon Bato at the Sto. Niño Parish in Central Signal Village (Photo: Sto. Niño Media Ministr)

CENTRAL SIGNAL VILLAGE, Taguig City, July 13, 2015—Residents of this community turn to Mary’s maternal protection from what is believed to be an impending earthquake which will affect several cities along the active West Valley Fault.

Proof of the residents’ reliance on Divine Protection is the permanent enthronement of the image of Ina Poon Bato at the Sto. Niño Parish in Central Signal Village, one of the several subdivisions and villages traversed by the said fault line.

According to Sto. Niño Parish Priest Fr. Daniel Estacio, the enthronement of Ina Poon Bato is a way of “entrusting our parish and the whole community to the maternal and loving care and protection of our Mother, Mama Mary.”

Prepared and calm

But aside from praying for the and trusting Divine Protection, Filipinos should also prepare for the looming calamity. State authorities have earlier warned the public about the “ripeness” of the West Valley Fault, which is an active 100-kilometer fault that crosses 42 barangays in Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, and 30 barangays in Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite.

Local government officials have already marked the points where the fault line runs across their respective cities. A metro-wide earthquake drill is also set on July 30 to simulate the scenario of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

“Be prepared, be safe, and calm. Pray and trust in the Lord,” Estacio advised the anxious residents in Filipino.

The Sto. Niño Parish’ Evangelization and Lay Formation Ministry has also produced a video to educate residents what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

“At the end of the video, we emphasized the message to not be afraid but rather to put our trust in the Lord,” the priest added.

Origins of Ina Poon Bato

According to Estacio, the first appearance of the Ina Poon Bato is traced to the aboriginal Negrito tribes in Zambales.

History has it that “the chief of this particular tribe was widely respected because of his great hunting and running skills. One day, while he and his three sons were resting at the bank of the Pastac River during a hunt, they heard the lovely voice of a lady coming from the top of a high rock. She was saying, ‘Get up. Look for me. Come and take me home with you.’

“The lady shone with the light of the sun and her gown was made of gold. As the chief drew nearer, the vision disappeared but he found in its place the image of the lady carved in wood. He forgot all about his hunt and quickly returned home with the image. His wife, however, did not share in his enthusiasm when she found he had not brought home any food, and in anger threw it in their fire pit. Immediately, flames leaped up and burned down their hut before help could arrive.

“When his sons began looking through the ashes, they discovered the image was preserved and untouched by the flames. Everyone in the tribe became convinced of its special powers and reverently housed it in the same rock where it was first found.

“In 1607, shortly after the Augustinian Recoleto Missionaries arrived in Zambales, they heard stories of the Miraculous Lady of the Aetas. Thinking this to be part of their ‘anito worship,’ the priest wanted to see the Miraculous Lady. Upon seeing the image, the Recoletos missionaries were amazed. ‘This is unbelievable,’ cried the young friar, according to a Facebook post by Estacio. ‘It’s our Blessed Mother! How can she be here ahead of us!’ The older priest was said to have exclaimed, ‘She must have paved the way for our coming.”

“They held deep respect for her because she had cared for them, worked miracles to help them, and gave them good crops. The friars transferred the image to the Church. There she stayed until after the Philippine Revolution. More recently, the eruption of the Mt. Pinatubo volcano completely destroyed the barrio of Poon Bato, but the image of the Virgin Mary was saved and is now venerated in Danac Bunga, Botolan, Zambales,” added the post. (CBCP News)


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