Pilgrimage tourism in Ilocos Norte to flourish with fluvial procession, pontifical coronation of La MilagrosaMay 23, 2018
Ilocos Norte's provincial patroness, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, is set for her pontifical coronation this May 31, 2018, highlighting the annual La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta and further marking the ongoing bicentennial celebration of the province.
Preluding the coronation will be the second fluvial procession featuring several bancas along the coast of the La Milagrosa Chapel and Cove in Brgy. La Virgen Milagrosa, Badoc Town, at 4:00p.m. on May 26.
"This is not just a celebration and parade, but also an act of thanksgiving to the Almighty accompanied with devout prayer," shared Mr. Jade Ceasar Raquel, tourism officer of Badoc.
The procession will end with a reenactment of how La Milagrosa came to be the provincial patroness: she is said to have arrived floating in a box together with the image of Sto. Cristo Milagroso between the shores of Brgy. Paguetpet in Badoc and Brgy. Dadalaquiten, Sinait, a bordering town of Ilocos Sur.
Only people from Badoc were able to carry the image of La Milagrosa, while only those from Sinait could carry Cristo Milagroso. Thus, they understood that the images had chosen their respective towns and provinces.
Nearly 3,000 devotees had watched the procession last year, which featured 70 decorated fishing boats sailing the border between Badoc and Sinait.
Meanwhile, a mass will be held at the St. John the Baptist Parish at 9:00a.m. on May 31, after which the image of La Milagrosa will be displayed through a procession for her coronation.
According to Tourism Operations Officer Mr. Xavier Ruiz, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia is expected to grace the pontifical coronation, together with the bishop of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and other Ilocos Norte church officials to be led by Bishop Renato Mayugba of the Diocese of Laoag City.
Ruiz shared, "This is very important in terms of faith tourism, which is a priority of the national government and tourism department," citing the Manaoag Church in Pangasinan, Ilocos Region, as an example of millions flocking to a destination out of faith or pilgrimage.
"It is a momentous event not only for the church, but also for the culture, heritage, and history of our province," he added, expressing his hope that akin to other places in the Philippines bearing Marian images, the town of Badoc would also follow in terms of economic progress, more jobs, and stronger tourism following the coronation.
"[The La Milagrosa Chapel and St. John the Baptist Parish] are not the only places to visit in Badoc, so we hope to see a more developed town because of this event."