118th Calbayog fiesta mag ‘offered to Mary’

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The Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul was constructed in the 1840s under the supervision of Fr. Jose Gomez de Huerce, OFM. Designed in a Baroque-Romanesque style, it is one of four jubilee churches in Samar. (Photo: Joel Mancol)

MANILA, Sept. 19, 2016 – Occasions like town fiestas unite people into one community. And regardless of distance or being away from home, Calbayognons always find a way to come together annually to celebrate the feast day of Calbayog city’s patroness, which this year enjoyed the “bonus” of a fiesta magazine in honor of Our Lady.

Published by Jose and Minerva Cano Majandog, this year’s hermana and hermano, the commemorative magazine was published on Sept. 11 with the Calbayog Cathedral on its cover.

“At the very center of our life is a great and wonderful gift of faith. The blessings we received brought us to places we never imagined. Our two children Tonton and Joey have been privileged to graduate from a Catholic University, DLSU. The business we started as a result of our experiences as employees of a freight company where we met continue to flourish. By January 2017, it will be celebrating its 15th year,” said the Majandogs in an interview featured in the publication.

Way of thanking Mary

Edited by Harry Francisco and managed by Jheralyn I. Vidal and Joey S. Benito, according to the couple, the magazine “was a way to thank God and for the intercessions of Mama Mary for all the blessings received” by their family.

The Calbayognon Kodakeros, a non profit organization of photographers based in Calbayog headed by Joel Mancol, supplied photos for the magazine, including a wide shot of the postcard perfect Calbayog Cathedral, which was the magazine’s spread.

Aside from the magazine, a photo exhibit ”Bahandi san Calbayog” (Treasures of Calbayog) was also featured at the 2016 Calbayog Fiesta Celebration at the Manila Hotel. T

On Sept. 8 and 11, Calbayognons commemorated the 118th fiesta with a Eucharistic Mass at Quezon City Sports Club and a dinner-dance celebration at the historic Manila Hotel. Novena Masses were also held at the Mother Of the Divine Grace church in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

On the cover

When Samar and Leyte separated from the Diocese of Cebu in 1910, Calbayog was chosen as seat of the new diocese. The presence of a “colegio catolico” could be one of the reasons for this. This “colegio catolico” is the present Christ the King College, home of the youth orchestra that provided liturgical music during Pope Francis’ closing Mass in Luneta in January 2015 and during the Opening Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu this year. CKC is ran by the Franciscans of Southern Philippines.

One of the largest and most beautiful churches in Eastern Visayas, the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul was constructed in the 1840s under the supervision of Fr. Jose Gomez de Huerce, OFM. Designed in a Baroque-Romanesque style, the ground plan of the church was in the form of a Latin Cross. Above the center of the transept is a circular dome. Its façade and campanario were built in 1871, while the iron roofing and retablo were put up in the 1890s. The walls were decorated with mosaic and geometrical designs, and the ceiling and dome were painted in the style of the Roman basilicas. In 1913, Bishop Pablo Singzon consecrated the church as Cathedral of the diocese.

On Dec. 13, 2015, Bishop Isabel C. Abarquez blessed and opened the Holy Door of Calbayog Cathedral, one of the 4 pilgrim churches in the whole island of Samar. The other 3 are:

  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Catarman, Northern Samar;
  • St. Rock the Healer Mission Center Church in Brgy. Cawayan, Catarman, Northern Samar; and
  • Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Borongan, Eastern Samar

Home to some prominent Filipinos

Calbayog City, a densely populated city in Samar province, is one of the scenic places in Samar-Leyte region. Calbayog is blessed with so many beautiful spots, including 10 waterfalls that have given the city the title “Samar Island’s City of Falls.” It also prides itself on caves, falls, and natural tourist attractions.

It is home to some prominent Filipinos such as a martyr hero and is also the birthplace of Julio Cardinal Rosales, the second Filipino cardinal. The place has produced a Senate President, senators, actors, a film director, visual artists, a deputy prime minister, a press secretary, diplomats, composers and singers, educators and many more.

There was a time Calbayog hosted St. Teresa of Kolkata in 1986 and 1987, which the magazine described in more detail in an article titled “A Mother’s visit to Calbayog City, Samar”. (Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos / CBCP News)

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