Incredibly 15 years in the making, being constructed from 1816 to 1831, the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral is the biggest church in Bicol, and was seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres for many years. Under the archdiocese are the six Bicol provinces.
The miraculous image of "Ina" is transfered to the Cathedral for the customary nine-day novena.
Who is Our Lady of Peñafrancia? Why is she so lovingly venerated and revered by the Catholic faithful?
My aunt, a resident of Naga and devotee of "Ina" related to me the story of Father Miguel de Cobarrubias, a Spanish missionary originally from San Martin de Castañar in Spain who, with the intention of propagating the devotion and faith to the people, had a religious icon made in the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. When the sculpture was finished using the blood of a dog as preservative and color agent (as was customary that time), Father Cobarrubias saw that the dog’s body was just thrown into a nearby river. Old folks reportedly heard the priest remark that Our Lady would work her first miracle in Nueva Caceres, and instantly, the dog allegedly started swimming until it reached the river banks and ran fast to its owner's house. Like wildfire, news of the miracle spread and in no time, the faithful believed the miracle, making the patroness famous beyond the boundaries of the town.
The miraculous image had been the target of evil robbers. Deemed very precious for its antiquity and high value due to its legendary stories, it was stolen from the Peñafrancia Church on August 15, 1981. After a massive search, the icon was found a little over a year later and returned to its original place. The image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is now enthroned at the Basilica Minore, but is transfered to the different churches of the province for novenas before its feast day in September.
If you want adrenaline rush, you can go to CAMSUR's CWC (Camsur Watersports Center). It's a man-made lake wherein you can try wakeboarding. They also have villas that offers massage if you have relaxation in mind.
There's so much to discover here...the nearby school (Sta. Isabel)...the neighboring seminary...the Archbishop's palace (Good Shepherd)...a park where you can have a picnic...a wide jogging ground....a romantic nook...etcetera, etcetera.
The museum is where religious artifacts collected through the years in commemoration of the yearly Feast of the Our Lady of Penafrancia. The museum is located by the river since it serves also as the garage of the massive boat that carries the Our Lady of Penafrancia for the fluvial parade along the Naga River.
Pia and I had a wonderful experience at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia. We just walked from the Sisters of the Little Mission for the Deaf Naga Chapter Convent to the Basilica (but when we were near there, Daddy Boyet gave us a ride). Upon arrival, we visited and venerated Our Lady (take note, venerated, not adored or worshipped), then we went down to offer some masses, bought some candles (actually, Pia bought everything...I was supposed to pay her, but after an incredible experience, she just gave the candles as gifts), then looked for the place we were to light them. We started to look around (FYI, there was a wedding (the church is very beautiful) so I wasn't able to take pictures inside). Finally we were able to find the place, but we didn't have any matches (both of us don't smoke) or a lighter. We went to the souvenir shop and was able to do so. We tried lighting the candles, but to no avail (it was verrrrrrrry windy). Then a man came out of nowhere, assisted us, then disappeared after his mission was accomplished...was he an angel? Only God knows. =)
What can you do there?
Pray, get married, be baptized, have yourself confirmed, buy souvenir items, plan a pictorial, attend catechism class, have a picnic (but I guess you have to ask permission first), etcetera, etcetera
Naga City is very abundant in Churches. You can take pictures inside the Churches but please be discrete about it.
Magsaysay Drive, Naga, 4400, Philippines
Good for: Business
Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City 4400, Philippines
Good for: Solo