File photo shows students participate in the Sasmuan Kuraldal Festival 2023 Streetdancing Competition held last December at the municipal hall.
File photo shows students participate in the Sasmuan Kuraldal Festival 2023 Streetdancing Competition held last December at the municipal hall.Photo by Bong San Pedro

Kuraldal draws in pilgrims, devotees

SASMUAN — This coastal town is set to host a multitude of devotees and pilgrims on the zenith of Kuraldal festival.

The event will be held on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, which according to Catholic tradition is also the Feast of the Three Kings.

But before this, local vendors and craft peddlers have started to line up in the roads and streets of the barangays leading to the old Parish Church of Santa Lucia.

The festival atmosphere will also attract local buyers and tourists a few days before January 6.

Resty Sanches, 67, said he will do his yearly pilgrimage on the eve of January 6.

Sanches said that he remembers her grandparents would walk from their Barangay San Pedro, Guagua home to participate in the Kuraldal.

Now in his later years and living with his children in Santa Rita town, Sanches said he never fails to visit the image of Santa Lucia for the last 40 years.

“There are still devotees now. But the way people would show their devotion has changed. But it is the same faithful belief that our prayers and petitions could be answered,” Sanchez said.

Like Sanchez, many local devotees trooped to the town for petitions, prayers for relief or merely to give thanks for answered prayers.

Like in previous years, the celebration revolves around Santa Lucia.

Spanish chronicler Fray Gaspar de San Agustin, OSA wrote in Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas (1698) that St. Lucy had been venerated in Sasmuan "since long ago."

Researcher Nina Tomen described the celebration in her book published by Holy Angel University as an occasion “for merrymaking and revelry, where rich and savory food abound and goodwill flows as Sasmuaneños open their homes to family, friends, pilgrims, and strangers.”

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