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Forums => Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion => Topic started by: Neopelagianus on November 11, 2014, 05:17:38 AM

Title: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 11, 2014, 05:17:38 AM
This feast is dedicated to our Patroness, the Virgin of Solitude.

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 11, 2014, 05:22:11 AM
Hmmm, I cannot do anything right...


Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 11, 2014, 05:24:51 AM
I cannot add pictures... I cannot link them either....


Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Shin on November 11, 2014, 05:47:20 AM
Ah that is because there is a no links policy on the forum, and pictures have to be added through the gallery and reviewed before they can be posted. :D

It keeps things modest and pure.  :D

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 12, 2014, 05:19:07 AM
Ah that is because there is a no links policy on the forum, and pictures have to be added through the gallery and reviewed before they can be posted. :D

It keeps things modest and pure.  :D

That is fine, I guess.

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Shin on November 12, 2014, 05:51:17 AM
Sorry the error message is so uninformative. It is however all in the announcements.

God keep you I pray!  :D

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 14, 2014, 06:23:43 AM
Here is the story behind the Feast, the icon and its miracles:


In 1602, the Spaniards built the historical fortress of PORTA VAGA, a 20-foot high fort that guarded the entrance to the Spanish city. The name could have been suggested by the Tagalog puertang bago (“new door”). The massive walls of San Felipe were erected in 1614 to protect the navy yard against incursions by Moro pirates, Dutch invaders and other groups opposing their rule. During the American era, it was used as a station of the US Marines. It was eventually destroyed during the Second World War. The city was officially baptized Cavite that year when it was established as a politico-military district and capital of Cavite province. The Isthmus del Rosario linked Cavite with the mainland.

A plausible legend narrates that many years ago, in a date which remained unremembered, a small detachment of Spanish carabinero was stationed at a sentry post called garitalocated at the end of the isthmus of Rosario. One stormy night, while a Spanish sentinel was on watch at his post despite the dangers brought about by thunderstorm and furious lashes of rain, he perceived a halo of a bright shifting and refulgent light. A dazzling apparition rose from the torrid current of Cañacao Bay startling the sentry with suspicion that it could be Moslem pirates from the south who were planning to ransack the puerto. At that time, Cavite was at the peak of economic prosperity because of the galleon trade. As the light flowed toward the guard, he stood ready and alarmed. Although filled with fear, he shouted “Alto! Alto!” However, instead of executing a halt, the light proceeded toward him. Still in a loud voice, he asked “Quien Vive?” (Who is there?) Then he heard a sweet and melodious voice saying: “Soldadito, porque el alto me das en noche tan fria? Dame paso. No conoces a Maria?” (Soldier boy, why challenge me on a night so cold? Let me pass. Don’t you recognize Maria?) The sentinel, struck with awe and confusion, humbly and repentantly replied: “Perdonad me Virgen Maria, Reina de mi devocion; pues solo soy un soldado fue cumplo mi obligacion!” (Forgive me, my Virgin, Queen of my heart; I am a poor sentinel abiding by his duty.”)

A serene and sunny morning followed the stormy night. The early risers, mostly fishermen and workers at the Cavite Royal Arsenal usually passed through the Porta Vaga gate in entering the puerto. Along the beach of Cañacao Bay, they found a framed image of the Virgen de la Soledad lying on the sandy shore. It was close to the spot where the Virgin appeared the previous night. Others claimed it came with the debris of a Spanish galleon that sank during the fierce typhoon. They brought the image to the parish priest, who temporarily installed it in the parish church. Later, a small chapel was built near the Porta Vaga walls and for three centuries it became the shrine of the Virgen de la Soledad.

An inscription was found at the back of the painting, “A doze de Abril 1692 años Juan de Oliba puso esta Stsma. Ymagen Haqui.” This inscription says that “this sacred image was placed here on April 12, 1692 by Juan Oliva” but it does not clearly tells us the exact date of the Virgin’s arrival. It is possible that it is the date when the Virgin was enthroned at the altar of the Ermita de Porta Vaga in the 17th century. Devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad were not satisfied in placing her in one of the seven churches of Cavite Puerto. They decided to build for her the Ermita de Porta Vaga, a small chapel near the gate of the Porta Vaga, the fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite. For three centuries, it became the shrine of the Virgin.

Legends do not satisfy the curiosity of a seeker. The heavy files of history prove to be an accomodating ally in the earnest search for the truth about the Virgin. In the past, numerous Caviteño writers attempted to give a definite date of Her arrival. Some said that it must be during the second half of the seventeenth century. Others would give a more definite year –1667.

In spite all available data, the Virgin’s origins and arrival to Cavite is still shrouded with mystery. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why many devotees have been drawn to Her aura all these years. One thing remains unchallenged even with the advent of changing lifestyles and revolutionary breakthroughs in almost all aspects of human life. Cavite will never be the same again without its Patroness. That, history will find improbable, if not impossible to write.


Pious devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad deemed it but proper to accord Her an abode of Her own where she could reign supreme. They were not satisfied to enthrone Her in one of the seven churches of Cavite puerto. A shrine befitting the unassuming majesty of the spiritual Mother is where the image of the Virgin should belong. So they built for Her the Ermita de Porta Vaga.

Ermita came from the Spanish word which means hermitage. It was called Ermita for it was such a solemn place where people could commune with God in prayer and silence. De Porta Vaga was added because it was built near the Porta Vaga gate. The fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite was originally known as Puerta Vaga. According to Fray Joaquin Martinez de Zuniga, O.S.A., Vaga came from the tagalog word bago which means new. This gate was comparatively new as compared to the ancient walls of Fuerte Real de San Felipe. Thus, Puerta Vaga evolved into Porta Vaga.

A section in the Almanaque de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, mentioned that the Recollect Fathers, with Father Cenon Naya as its first curate, built the Ermita in 1612. However, the Recollect Fathers arrived in Cavite in 1616 and the Virgin was found in ca.1667. Thus, this date – 1612 is untenable. Others claimed that the Jesuits were the ones who built the Ermita. Up to this day, no one really knows the truth.


Faith is strengthened and then solidified by the most trying events in life. These may be crucial tests of endurance, of survival, trying moments that hover between life and death. To most of us, these are crossroads that mark our passage from one stage to another, or doors that open new opportunities for us. We are tested as human beings and the dawn of realization delivers us as changed individuals. We are baptized in the spirit, so to speak, by occurrences which our mortal grasps are unable to explain, by “miracles”which generations before us were unable to fathom, and probably generations after us shall unceasingly ponder on and on.

Countless miracles have been attributed to the Virgen de la Soledad. Her mysterious apparition and the unexplained arrival of Her image were initial revelations of her miraculous reign.

She is also known as the "Virgin of a Thousand Miracles" because of many miracles granted to the faithful devotees from the day of its discovery to the present. Among the notable miracles attributed to her intercession are the following famous stories:

During the terrible typhoon in 1830, a fire caused by lightning bolt hit the wooden altar of the Ermita and razed the chapel to the ground, but the image of the Virgin remained intact among the ashes.

In 1856, another terrible typhoon flooded the houses, churches and public buildings within the Puerto but the Ermita, as well as its patio were found dry so the people took refuge in the Church.

On June 30, 1857, a Spanish frigate based in Cavite and named “Lucero” was caught by a violent typhoon off the coast of Albay. It ran aground on the rocky place known as Rawis, legaspi. For twenty two days, the ship was unable to move not only because of the low tide, but also because of the absence of even a slight breeze. The crewmen were worried because their provision was running low. It happened that one of the crew members was a devotee of the Virgen de la Soledad. He took out Her picture and asked his fellow sailors to pray before Her. One night, the Virgin appeared before the crewmen in the light of the pale moon. As they fell to their knees, the tide rose higher and higher and the wind began to blow. The frigate floated free from its rocky trap and was able to return safely to Cavite. There was so much jubilation. As the crewmen set foot on the ground, they proceeded right away to the Ermita. There, to the tune of the Te Deum, they expressed their gratitude to the Virgin.

In 1882, a terrible cholera epidemic spread in Cavite Puerto.It was said that Caviteños died by the hundreds and the streets had been a scene of daily funeral processions. The Spanish politico-military governor of Cavite, Don Juan Salcedo Y Mantilla de los Rios, ordered the spraying and burning of gunpowders on the streets so that the fire and the smoke they produce might drive away the virus of the disease.By mid-October, the epidemic was placed under control.

During this epidemic, the Governor himself fell ill.One afternoon, as he was about to take his siesta, he ordered his soldiers not to admit any visitor.After some time, he heard a persistent knock at the door. To his surprise, he found an old woman dressed in black. After the customary greetings, she asked him to give orders that the fiesta of Cavite be celebrated with the greatest pomp possible.

The Governor, eager to send the intruder away, agreed to the request. Then, the unwanted visitor left.The Governor, filled with fury at his soldiers, reprimanded them for admitting the old lady. The guards replied that they had not allowed anyone to enter the house. Then the Governor remembered the request. He realized that it must be the Virgin Herself who appeared to him.He also realized that after talking to the woman, the fever had left him.

All these miracles were depicted on large canvasses painted by Don Roman Faustino, Cavite’s most celebrated painter and pupil of Juan Luna,.These paintings were complete with the details and the respective dates of the miracles. Once, they were hanged on the walls of the Ermita. Everything perished during the last world war as if to signify that these miracles do not belong to the physical realm of life. More important perhaps than these human attempts to share with the future is the message of Cavite’s Patroness to Her fold: “I am thy Mother. Honor me. I shall always be with you all.”

There have been other miracles attributed to the Virgin with the passing of the years including present day accounts of healings, families reunited and family problems solved.

(Got this from their website - N.)

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Shin on November 15, 2014, 12:38:15 AM
A fascinating history!

The "Virgin of a Thousand Miracles" !


Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 15, 2014, 03:11:14 AM
A fascinating history!

The "Virgin of a Thousand Miracles" !


The history and Our Lady's reputation for working her miracles through the icon has contributed to lavish celebrations in her honor  :):


Madre, Reina y Patrona de la Ciudad y Provincia de Cavite
The image of the Virgen de la Soledad was painted on a canvass.  As the number of Her devotees increased, trimmings were added through the years. Some documents found in the Manila Archdiocesan archives mentioned them.  On April 20, 1750, Archbishop Trinidad of Manila authorized Fr. Lucas de Sousa, the chaplain of the Ermita de Porta Vaga, to put an alm box on the board of the patache Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa for its officers and passengers to drop alms for the image of the Virgen de la Soledad.  On January 16 the following year, the Archbishop once again authorized him to solicit funds from passengers aboard the ship Sto. Rosario for the adornement of the Virgin. On July 7, the next year, he was again permitted to solicit alms from the passengers of the ships Sto. Rosario and San Juan Bautista both bound for Acapulco. The Achbishop frequently used the Virgen de la Soledad to bless galleons before sending them off on their voyage.  This is one of the reasons that she has also been called the "Patroness of the Galleons."  Pious Caviteños gave up their own  jewels and gold to be placed in the image of the Virgin.  Hence, the “inventario” of 1806 gives a vivid description of the Virgen de la Soledad with all Her “alajas”.
“El nicho de la Señora esta en forma
ochovada con sus tres espejos de
Christal y su Marco de plata. que
tambien lleve otro espejo de lo mismo y

lo que esta dentro de su cuadro una
senefa nueva clada de oro, y embutida
con quice piedras de rubie, de belde

esmeralda y noventa y nueve piedras
brillantes. Y su rostrillo nuevo. y
embutido con nueve piedras de diamante y

viente nueve chispas de lo mismo, y con
una salta de perlas. Tiene el cuadro en
su pecho un medio Rosario nuevo de
perlas con cruz de chispas de diamante.”

This was the very image of the Virgen de la Soledad which has been handed to us.  However, the angels and the two candeleros which were all made of gold were not mentioned.  Perhaps they were of later additions.  This priceless image survived fire, earthquakes, revolution and wars.  Until 1984, She was venerated together with these very antiquated “alajas”.  The last world war razed Her former Ermita to the ground.  Thus She was enthroned in one of the side altars of San Roque church. The Virgin enclosed with glass and brass metal was placed in a wooden frame made of dark camagong donated by Doña Maria Rojas.

Since then, this priceless icon has been a witness to countless miracles attributed to the effective maternal mediation of La Virgen de Soledad to all devotees in and out of the City and Province of Cavite.  Even before, she has been called, La Luz de Filipinas- La Celestial Guardiana y Protectora de la Provincia de Cavite y su Puerto (Light of the Philippines - The celestial Guardian and Protectress  of the Province of Cavite and her Ports).  The mysterious apparition  and the unexplainable arrival of the miraculous icon are only among the first manifestations gracious patronage over the whole province.

Cavite Fiesta “Ultra Non Plus”

The memories of the numerous fiestas that have metamorphosed from lavish splendor almost with the abandon of royalty in the good old days to the simple and more practical, at times austere yet still meaningful celebrations in the modern period are long and vivid in the hearts and minds of the Chavacanos.

Greatly influenced by the lifestyle of ranking Spaniards who established their official residence in the old puerto, the traditional fiesta of Cavite was characterized with pomp and extravagance.

During the early part of the nineteenth century, the Chinese would build an improvised theater for their stage shows while gambling was rampant.  Cock fighting, games of cards, chance and dice were very popular at that time. Before the fiesta of 1855, the superior government of Manila called the attention of the Politico-Military Governor of Cavite, Don Gabriel Llamas, on the scandalous gambling at the Puerto de Cavite.  Thus, the Governor sent out the guardia civiles to arrest anyone who was seen playing the tresillos, pangguinge, and other card games.
The miracles of the Virgen Soledad were known throughout the archipelago.  Hence, during the annual fiesta, thousands of pilgrims flocked to the Puerto either by land or by water.  In 1848, travel to Cavite by water was greatly eased by the establishment of the “Compania de Vapores de Sr. Alcantara”.  The boats “Progresso”and “Porta Vaga” ferried the pilgrims to Cavite.  In 1868, the “Compania Naviera Ynchausti” established a line between Cavite and Manila.  It was a successor of the first shipping line. There were four boats that travelled during the day of the fiesta.  In 1879, the “Fuente Pacheco” was constructed along the southern part of the Porta Vaga walls for the benefit of the carromatas and carjuajes.  At that time, Don Angel Pacheco was the politico-military governor of Cavite.

According to many old Caviteños, the celebration of the Cavite fiesta reached its height of grandeur and magnificence during the administration of Don Juan Salcedo y Mantilla de los Rios about 1880 to 1886.  The suffering brought by the cholera epidemic in 1882 was so great. Hence, the Governor postponed the celebration of the fiesta until the puerto had recovered.  On January 20-21, 1883, complying with the request of the old Lady.  Governor Salcedo ordered that the fiesta be celebrated with the greatest pomp.  The Governor sent a circular to all the principalias of the province to  participate in the said fiesta.  The jubilant tolling of the bells of the different churches of the Puerto and the booming salvos of cannons from the Royal Fort of San Felipe ushered the day of the fiesta.  Then came the gobernadorcillos of all the towns of Cavite together with their respective town officials  composed of “teniente mayores, jefes de policias, ganados, sementeras, tenientes,  tenientes, cabezas de barangay, and aguacilles” all properly garbed in their colorful uniforms as prescribed by their ranks. With these officials were their town brass bands.

All the streets of the puerto were decorated with colorful arches.  Banderitas or multi-colorful buntings hung on the streets.  There were also effigies of celebrated historical and war personalities.  The Calle Real glowed with crystal and other lanterns of different colors called “globos”, “virinas” and “bombas”.  Streets leading to the Ermita were lined up with temporary stores where one could buy various souvenir items like toys and all sorts of bric-a-bracs.  There were also vendors of edibles such as small singcamas boiled in brown syrup, candies, rice cakes, corn puddings and other native delicacies: fruits consisting of naranjitas from Calamba, peanuts, manzanitas, lansones, lomboy, and apulit.  Ice cream vendors from Manila were stationed along the Porta Vaga wall, near the Potable Water Deposit.  There, they made their ice cream in their antiquated ways in “garrapiñera de lata”.  Every visitor would never miss the famous “mamones” of the Panaderia de Nora Chorang Gonzales and the sumptuous “tamales” of Nol Domingo Matias.  There were also “fondas” (restaurants) and roving “refrescos”.

Every household set a lavish table often outshining the Christmas spread.  The Caviteños’ well-known fondness for good food and fancy for delectable, highly-seasoned Spanish cuisine would almost be an envy of a king’s feast.  Typically on their fiesta tables until today, in the house of well-off Caviteños are gastronomical delights like paella, arroz a la Valenciana, cocido Madrileño, callos, sopa de ajo a la Castellana, morcon, embutido, estofado de lengua, pochero, pastel de tortillas and many more.

In the civic parade held in the afternoon, there were “gigantes” made of bamboo dressed in carnival attire.  Usually, there were men inside them that made them move.  There was also the “juego de toro” held in the improvised bullfight arena at the Plaza de Armas.  There were various native games like juego de anillo, carrera de saco, and regatas. There were also military exhibitions.

On the night of the fiesta, the highlight was the magnificent procession of the Virgen de la Soledad. All the streets covered by the route of the procession were carpeted with expensive rugs and were covered overhead by canvasses and sails of boats to protect the participants from getting wet just in case it would rain.  The streets were brightly lighted.  At the joyous pealing of the bells of the Ermita, the Virgen de la Soledad, borne on a silver carroza would be ushered out of the chapel.  On top of the silver carroza was a frame made of silver encrusted with precious stones.  On top of the frame was a golden dove representing the Holy Spirit.  There were six silver angels with their faces and hands made of ivory.  They served as the Virgin’s guards of honor.  There were still eight smaller angels in the lower part of the carroza. Each one had a silver laurel on his hand.  Twenty four silver “ramitas” (bigger ramilletes) and forty eight “ramilletes” serve as flower decorations for the carroza. There were chords tied on each side of the carroza.  Each chord was held by six “sacristanes” which served as another guard of honor.  There were six campanillas tied up on each cord. Fine sounds of the campanillas were heard as they dangled during the procession. These campanillas announced the approaching carroza of the Virgin. Before the Virgin was brought inside the church, a re-enactment of Her conversation with the soldier at the Porta Vaga was held.  The day of the fiesta ended with the display of fireworks.

Genoveva Edroza, a writer in Filipino stated that the grandiose celebration of the fiesta of San Diego in Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” was actually based on the fiesta celebration of Cavite.
According to Mr. Eric Giron, the fiesta of Cavite in 1892 was featured in full spread at the Spanish newspaper Manililla.  There were illustrations of wharf with triangular shaped roof decorated with buntings, masted ship moored closed to it, and bamboo arch on Calle Real.  At the time, Don Francisco Rodriguez y Rodriguez was the Governor of Cavite. There were also grand military and civic parades.  In the morning, the Governor opened the Provincial Agro-Industrial Exposition. Prizes were given after the exposition. During this fiesta, the church choir rendered a song entitled “Reina de Cavite”.  The music was composed by Don Juan Felipe.  In the evening after the religious procession, the people proceeded to the Teatro Caviteño to see the performance of the zarzuela troupe of Yeyeng Fernandez.  Others preferred to listen to Chananay, the finest zarzuela singer at Teatro del Prado which was established in 1873.

At the turn of the century, the Americans took over from the Spanish rule in the Philippines.  Still, Caviteños continued the annual traditional fiesta.  The Americans themselves contributed generously for this celebration.  Just the same, streets were decorated with banderitas.  “Tio Vivo” became popular among the young people.
Parents dressed their children in holiday finery and herded them to the Ermita de Porta Vaga to pay homage to the Virgen de la Soledad.  The sung masses at the Ermita were accompanied by the Manila Opera House Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Professor Hilarion Rubio.  Familiar scenes of vendors lined up along the Plazoleta de la Soledad and the Paseo del Reparo.  On the streets, to quench thirst were zarzaparilla and cream soda.  A Japanese store along Trece Martires was famous for its agua helada (crushed ice with a dash of lemonade).

By 1920, the carretelas and carromatas were still the major means of transportation by land.  There were other visitors who preferred to take the train from Tutuban stations in Manila to San Roque, Cavite.  (The station in San Roque is now occupied by the Police Station.) The railroad line between Cavite and Manila was abandoned in the 1930’s because of constant sea invasion.  Pilgrims and visitors who travelled by water were ferried by the boats of “Casa Yangco y Cia”.  On February 1, 1928, the first bus line between Cavite and Manila was established.  Buses of Pasay Bus Co. brought the pilgrims by land.
The day was filled with activities like the military exhibition of the students of Ateneo de Manila. Baseball and other ball games became popular.  At night after the procession, young ladies and gentlemen garbed in formal attire, would attend a dance party at the well-known Dreamland Cabaret of Eddie Hart.  This took over the zarzuela of the Spanish Era.
From 1942 to 1944, the extravagant celebration of Cavite fiesta was interrupted.  The Japanese forbade big gatherings of people.  Since the image of the Virgin was in Manila, the Caviteños, out of their great devotion to Her, celebrated simple fiestas in Her honor at Quiapo church and at the Manila Cathedral.  In 1943, a small group of Caviteños went to Manila to join their compablanos in the fiesta.  The mass started at 10:00 in the morning followed by a short procession inside the Cathedral.  To make the celebration livelier, a brass band was hired to assist in the procession. The reception was held in a private house of one of the Caviteños in Manila.

After the war, the Caviteños, ever faithful to the Virgin, once again held the annual traditional fiesta. However, the old walled city was completely destroyed.  Thus, the celebration of the fiesta was transferred to San Roque.
Today’s celebrations are marked with simplicity and austerity as called for by the times.  But one still feels the burning filial love and unbroken faith of the Caviteños for the beloved Virgin.  Neither effort nor time is spared to obtain even, what one might say, “multum in parvo”. The celebrations are now centered on church activities.  Religious procession and novena to the Virgin are indispensable features of the program. Expectedly, one will not find the famous carroza de plata today.  It has been replaced by a wooden miniature galleon.  A pious devotee of the Virgin donated a silver frame which was similar to the frame of the former carroza de plata.  The silver was from old silver coins which were part of the family heirloom of Antonio Jose.  The traditional fluvial procession is still observed, with Bishop Cirilo Almario as the official chaplain.  The same fishing boat of the Familia Rosal-Navarro carries the Virgin on the waters of Manila Bay.

Moreover, streets are still decorated with colors and arches that are still built but only when funds are available.  The yearly throng of carnival treats spreads out in the reclaimed area of Samonte Park. A band wakes up the city in the early morning of the fiesta.  Vendors and peddlers line up the main street from the public market to the San Roque church a week or two before the fiesta until the Christmas season.  There are still sumptuous foods on the fiesta tables but not anymore as lavish as in the old days.  Most important of all, devotees and visitors from nearby towns and from Metro Manila are still very much around as if on their annual pilgrimage as before.

Undeniably, the Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga is and shall always be the Queen, Mother and Patroness of the City and Province of Cavite.  For a span of more that three centuries now, She has and will always be the refuge of all Caviteños  wherever they may be.

Title: Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014)
Post by: Neopelagianus on November 15, 2014, 03:14:35 AM
For those curious in seeing the image, search this in your browser: LATEST PHOTO OF THE RESTORED ICON OF THE