Fiesta Pilar highlights Hermosa festival 2012-A A +A
Friday, October 12, 2012
ZAMBOANGUEÑOS, ever devoted to the Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, came in full force on Friday to participate in the grand procession from the Metropolitan Cathedral in La Purisima to the Fort Pilar Shrine in Barangay Rio Hondo and the succeeding mass in celebration of Fiesta Pilar.
Mayor Celso Lobregat, House Deputy Speaker and first district Representative Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and members of the City Council, together with Msgr. Crisologo Manongas, led the devotees in marching the streets in prayers.
The grand procession was culminated with the concelebrated mass with Basilan prelature Bishop Martin Jumoad as main celebrant.
The religious activities kicked off with the Diana/Holy Rosary at 4 a.m. followed by masses at the Fort Pilar Shrine the whole morning of Friday.
The traditional procession started at 3 p.m. at the Metropolitan Cathedral in La Purisima Street and ended up at the Shrine in the village of Rio Hondo.
Most of the devotees attended other religious activities set earlier in the day at the Shrine.
Bearing rosaries, images of the La Virgen del Pilar and other religious icons, the devotees marched the streets in prayer, illustrating their unceasing devotion and affection to the patron saint.
The feast day Friday was preceded by the novena masses religiously attended by thousands of devotees coming from all corners of Zamboanga City amid unstable weather condition and other challenges.
Fiesta Pilar was ushered in by the 2012 Fiesta Hermosa Festival, which kicked off October 1 and culminated Thursday, October 11, with the colorful floral float parade and vibrant street dance competitions and the grand fireworks display.
Lobregat has urged people not to forget the center of the celebration, which is Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.
"Let us thank and pray to the miraculous Lady of the Pillar to always protect our city and people from any harm. Let us pray that She will continue to bless us every day of our lives and deliver us from danger," he said.
The Fiesta Hermosa Festival is Zamboanga City’s grandest celebration annually. It is observed with great zeal, fervor and devotion to the La Virgen del Pilar.
Devotion to the La Virgen keeps Zamboangueños, living here and elsewhere, united and strong.
The Fort Pilar or Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government.
It is now an outdoor Roman Catholic Marian shrine and a museum and a symbol of Zamboanga City's cultural heritage. (Bong Garcia)