TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Thousands of devotees are expected to flock to Cagayan Valley’s northernmost mainland province expecting cure for their afflictions while visiting the so-called miracle water in Piat town this Holy Week.
Police and the officials said devotees have begun arriving as early as Sunday where “Ubbog Ti Biag” or the Spring of Life, believed to have healing powers, is located.
Piat, about three hours by land from Cagayan’s capital Tuguegarao City, is one of the province’s remote towns.
It has become one of the region’s major pilgrim sites attracting believers from far and wide.
The now famous spring in Barangay Santo Domingo is said to be discovered by overseas worker Lorelle Dorio of Camalaniugan town in 1999.
Dorio recounted that sometime in 1988, while working as a domestic helper in Cyprus, she heard voices telling her to return home for a mission to heal the sick.
As soon as she arrived home, she had a vision of the Virgin Mary she believed led her to the miraculous spring water.
The story of a child with meningitis who was miraculously cured upon immersion in the spring had thousands of devotees flocking to the place during Holy Week.
People have since visited the site hoping for a miracle and for healing of all types of illnesses including cancer and heart problems.
Devotees also heard testimonies of many people healed after they drank the spring’s “miracle water.”
Located near the Spring of Life is the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat, one of the 12 Roman Catholic Minor Basilicas in the Philippines.
The image of Our Lady of Piat is also believed to be miraculous and the shrine is one of the most visited places in this northern province, drawing its fair share of pious devotees.
The shrine, however, is not officially connected to the Spring of Life that become a popular side trip for Catholic devotees on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Piat.
Our Lady of Piat (formally Nuestra Señora de Piat) is a 16th century icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of her most revered images and referred to as the Mother of Cagayan.
On June 22, 1992, the Lady, enthroned at the Basilica Minore Nuestra Señora de Piat, was recognized as a shrine by the Vatican with feast every July 2.
Aside from the two, other pilgrim sites are frequented in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) during Holy Week.
In Bayombong town, south of Cagayan Valley, is Bangan Hill, also dubbed as the province’s Mount Calvary or Golgotha of Nueva Vizcaya overlooking the expanse of the town.
Organized by the Bayombong diocese led byBishop Ramon Villena, the reenactment of Christ’s passion and resurrection is witnessed by the pilgrims.
In Barangay Balintocatoc, Santiago City is Dariok Hill which the residents favored as meditation site during Lent since the once barren hill was transformed in 2001 into one of the region’s religious sites by then Mayor Amelita Navarro.
Dariok Hill has more than 80 religious statues.
The reenactment site is a 50-meter uphill trek from the first images of the Last Supper up to Christ’s resurrection and ascension to Heaven.
Last in the pilgrim’s itinerary is Iguig Hill in Cagayan, also called the province’s Calvary Hills where oversized statues of the Stations of the Cross are one of its attractions for the Catholic faithful during the Lenten season.