Friday, 08 May 2020 10:06

"Let 'Pagkakawang-gawa' be our celebration of Fiesta this year"

The town of Malibay is known for its deep devotion to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno. Before the parish was even established, the devotion was already present as it paved the way for the faith that flourished in Malibay.

When the month of May begins, the Malibayeños prepare for the nine-day Novena Masses and Grand Fiesta celebration. The streets are lined up with colorful bantings, families ordering Lechon and other special foods to be prepared for the Fiesta.

A Comite de Festejos de Malibay and the Parish Community become very busy and are on top for the preparations of the activities for the fiesta. Every May 16, hundreds, or even thousands, of people come in and out of Malibay and make their way to the Church for the Fiesta Mass. They also join the processions and watch the marching band parade.

This year, the festivities are different as the Parish Community embraces the new normal since the declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine. Due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, churches in the country are advised to suspend all public worship services. In San Juan Nepomuceno Parish, the celebration this year will be the Novena Masses live-streamed via the official Facebook Page, Parokya ni San Juan Nepomuceno and their affiliate accounts.

The Comite de Festejos de Malibay has announced on their Facebook page that there won't be any processions and parades this year as part of the safety measures to be observed during this quarantine period. They also encouraged the faithful to extend help to the needy aside from their daily prayers.

"Hinihikayat ng Comite de Festejos de Malibay ang pagdulog ng tulong at panalangin sa ating mga Patron at higitan ng pagkakawanggawa sa mga panahong ito sa diwa ng malasakitan sa ating kapwa. Patuloy po tayong sumunod sa alintuntunin ng pamahalaan para sa kaligtasan ng lahat," they said.

Rev. Fr. Edgardo C. Coroza, Parish Priest of San Juan Nepomuceno Parish led the first day of the Novena Mass. In his homily, he stated that the faithful must learn to love God by being a humble servant just as how the Lord washed the feet of his disciples, which is done by servants in order to be an example of love and humility.

"Dapat laging manatiling matatag ang pagmamahal sa Diyos," he said.

He added that like the example of San Juan Nepomuceno who died because of his great love for God and the Sacrament of Confession, the faithful are encouraged to love the Lord just as he did by being his humble servant.

Novena Masses will proceed as usual with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, praying the novena for the said day that will conclude to a Eucharistic Celebration. Even with limitations, the parishioners of Malibay will continue their devotion to give thanks to their patron, San Juan Nepomuceno in their own homes as a fulfillment of a vow to celebrate yearly the feast of their beloved "Tata Juan."

The parishioners are advised to stay home and participate in prayer through the live-streamed novena masses from May 7 to May 15, and the Fiesta Mass on May 16.  (Mio Hermoso and Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish)


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