Restoring humanity through faith

By Angel De Mesa

NAGA CITY – Restoration of humanity is hard, but still many people believe that through faith and prayers all can be healed and revived.

We Filipinos are well known for our religious traits. By doing such ecumenical activities, we believe that any difficulties in our lives will be surpassed. Just how the devotees of Our Lady of Peñafrancia expressed their devotion. It showed the real inclination of piety with a refined purpose.

The celebration of the feast of Virgin Peñafrancia in here has been the grandest catholic celebration in Bicol region. And as for my first time joining the feast and the procession in the city, I can say that it made me feel excited and delighted.

Before the fluvial procession, the city has been already crowded. They have been very patient waiting for the arrival of ‘Ina’ at their desired location. For security purposes the whole city has shut its networks signal leaving no means of communication during the event.

After the mass at the cathedral as the procession was set to start, devotees started to be assertive and emotional with the intent of getting near to the pagoda. Majority of the devotees who join the procession are ‘voyadores’ or male devotees. Surprisingly those voyadores were drunk during the procession. They usually wear a uniform shirt with a ribbon tied in their head stating ‘Viva La Virgen’ and barefooted.

Usually on an occasion like this there is always restriction and prohibition. But what was unique in this celebration was that most of the voyadores are drunk during the procession based on their tradition.

As I asked the voyadores why they keep on doing this, their simple reply were “It is what keep us strong and attentive at the most crucial time especially when the crowd becomes thicker and unmanageable.”

Most of the first timers would feel uncomfortable and questionable with this, but to those who are already avid devotees this scenario is already typical and usual.

Although there was a liquor ban, voyadores still did not mind about being drunk. Due to the tradition, drunken voyadores are already allowed to join the procession but it is necessary for them to observe the wellness and solemnity of the event.

In some cases that cannot be avoided, some drunken voyadores were already reproaching other devotees that led to misunderstanding and caused harm. It is just necessary for them to be apprehended and take some disciplinary actions for them not to cause harm and learn from their mistakes.

Any event or procession involving the church and people must be respected amid our tradition. As we uphold our devotion through our faith, we must also uphold humanity for our salvation. (

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