ZAMBOANGUEÑOS will be gathering at the Fort Pilar Shrine of Rio Hondo on Wednesday, October 12, in time for the celebration of the feast day of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar).
The feast is locally known as the Fiesta Pilar.
Known as the Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, the Shrine is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government.
Its establishment in 1635 is said to be the founding day of the chavacano language.
The whole day of October 12 will be devoted to religious activities, which will kick off with a Diana or holy rosary at 4 a.m. then the Mañanita at 4:30 a.m. at the Shrine followed by masses from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The traditional procession will start at 3 p.m. at Metropolitan Cathedral along La Purisima Street in the village of Zone III and will end at the Shrine.
The Pontifical Mass (concelebrated mass) will be held at 5 p.m. with Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz leading the ceremony. Another mass will be held at 6:30 p.m.
October 12 is declared as a non-working day in Zamboanga City by virtue of Republic Act 7350.
Amid the drizzle, students from nine schools, all in their colorful and ethnic-inspired costumes, participated in the street dance competition Tuesday, October 11, afternoon, culminating the main events of this year’s Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.
The festival’s highlight is the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar.