CARRANGLAN, N. Ecija, Aug. 27, 2015 – Carranglan, a municipality in Nueva Ecija, is expected to draw thousands of Filipino Catholics nationwide for the forthcoming celebration of the first ever “Tinapay Festival” in honor of its patron saint, Nicholas of Tolentine, on Sept. 10.
“Giving away bread on the Feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine has a long tradition,” shared Fr. Richard P. Lagos, a priest assigned in the area.
“It is said that when St. Nicholas of Tolentine was about to die of an illness, the Blessed Virgin and St. Augustine appeared to him in a vision, asking him to get a piece of bread, sign it with a cross, dip it in water, and pray for Mary’s intercession. Thereafter, he was healed, and since then, bread became associated with St. Nicholas,” he added.
Lagos, the author of the festival and one of the organizers, told CBCP News that while it is only now that the town has decided to come out with such a major religious event, devotion to the saint known locally as San Nicolás de Tolentino has already been thriving since Spanish times.
Besides the saint’s feast day, Carranglan natives are also set to mark the 5th Golden Jubilee of their parish with the theme “Celebrating 250 Years of Joyful Faith, Hope, and Love.”
Franciscan Fray Miguel de Soriano founded Carranglan’s San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in 1765.
Over the centuries, its church underwent repeated destruction and reconstruction.
More recently, it was levelled by the killer quake that affected much of Luzon in the 1990s, and was rebuilt most recently from 1995 to 2000 with donations from the faithful.
Expression of gratitude
Looking back to the past, Lagos explained the activities prepared for the “Tinapay Festival” are an expression of gratitude for the many blessings God has given Carranglan and its people.
Novena Masses are scheduled every 5:00 p.m. starting on Aug. 31, and ending on Sept. 9, the Vespers of St. Nicholas.
Meanwhile, the activities during the fiesta proper on Sept. 10 are as follows:
- 7:00 a.m. – First “Tinapay Festival” Procession (Festival Stations)
- 10:30 a.m. – Opening Rite for the Jubilee Door by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
- 11:00 a.m. – Mass celebrated by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
- 12:30 p.m. – Barrio Fiesta (Pag-asa Gymnasium)
- 1:30 p.m. – Laro ng Lahi (Pag-asa Gymnasium)
– Daily Trade Fair
- 7:00 p.m. – Variety Show ( Pag-asa Gymnasium)
(Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)