The maiden voyage of the Mahal na Poon ng Krus na Wawa on Bocaue river for the celebration of the Pagoda Festival this year started on Friday night with the fluvial parade of the colorful pagoda adorned with images of trumpeting angels.
The nine-day novena or “Lutina” for the annual six-kilometer river-fluvial parade was on its 3rd year of voyage at the Bocaue River, 24 years after the so-called pagoda tragedy on July 2, 1993 where scores of devotees died after the overloaded boat carrying the image sank.
Before its voyage, Monsignor Albert Suatengco, parish priest of Saint Martin of Tours Church in this town, officiated at the Mass and blessing of the pagoda of the venerated wooden cross the Mahal Na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa last Thursday.
On the same day, a simultaneous flying of white balloons was done in the different chapels under the Saint Martin of Tours parish as symbolic send-off for the nine-day voyage of the wooden cross.
From June 30 to July 8, a Mass will be held every 5 p.m. at the Saint Martin of Tours church after which devotees will carry the venerated cross to the Pagoda where it will be paraded at the Bocaue river.
Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna encourages the Boacauenyos (Bocaue residents) to join the Lutina and prayer for the town’s prosperity.
A line up of activities include boat race at the Bocaue river on July 1; a Ronda ride will commence for a Mass to be held at the site where the ill-fated Pagoda sank for the “Martyrs of Pagoda 1993” on July 2; a healing mass by Fr. Ramon Garcia at 5 p.m. on July 3; “Lingap Kapwa Part II’ outreach program at the church quadrangle on July 4; a Gabi ng Pagtatanghal by private schools in Bocaue at the church patio on July 5; Battle of the Bands and a car on July 6; another Gabi ng Pagtatanghal by local officials on July 7 and in the morning of July 8, a motorcade will be held in the morning with a “Serenata” at 7 p.m. at the parish church quadrangle.
On the feast day on July 9, a procession of the venerated cross will be held leading back to the parish church where Masses will be offered starting at 4 p.m.