​’​Lutina​’​ or 9 days novena of Bocaue’s Pagoda festival begins

BOCAUE, Bulacan – The nine-day novena or “Lutina” for the feast of the “Mahal na Poon ng Krus na Wawa” began its maiden voyage this year at the Bocaue river on a colorful Pagoda adorned with images of trumpeting angels Friday night.

This is the third year that the river voyage of the Pagoda of the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus Wawa” was revived, 24 years after the so called “Pagoda Tragedy”.

Before its voyage, Monsignor Albert Suatengco, parish priest of the Saint Martin of Tours in this town, officiated a holy mass and the blessing of the Pagoda of the venerated wooden cross of Wawa last Thursday.

A simultaneous flying of white balloons was also held at the different chapels covered by the parish of Saint Martin of Tours in Bocaue as a symbolic send-off for the 9 day voyage of the Pagoda ng Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa at the Bocaue river, also last Thursday.

BOCAUE FLUVIAL FESTIVAL 2017. The Pagoda of the venerated ​’​Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa​’​ is adorned by​ ​a yellow colored dome encircled by trumpeting ​a​ngels​.​

Monsignor Suatengco also announced that from July 30 to June 8, holy mass will be held every 5:00 pm 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 with the “Lutina” or 9 day novena.

Organizers have lined-up day and night activities to celebrate the annual “fluvial parade” of the Pagoda, the centerpiece of the famous Bocaue River Fiesta”.

A boat race will be held at the Bocaue river on July 1.

On July 2, a Ronda ride will commence at the Pagoda where a Holy mass will be held at the very site where the ill-fated Pagoda sank on the night of July2, 1993 at the Bocaue river for the “Martyrs of Pagoda 1993”. Bells will also peal on that night for the “Martyrs of Pagoda 1993”.

On July 3, a healing mass to be led by Fr. Ramon Garcia at 5:00 in the afternoon. A community outreach program dubbed as “Lingaop kapwa Part II’ will be held on July 4 at the quadrangle of the parish church.
On the evening of July 5, a “Gabi ng Pagtatanghal” will be staged by different private schools in Bocaue at the church patio.

A “Battle of the Bands” and a ”car raffle” will grace the night of July 6 at the patio of St. Martin of Tours church.

On the night of July 7, the municipal government headed by Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna will host the “Gabi ng Pagtatanghal”

On the morning of July 8, the penultimate day of the Bocaue River Festival, a motorcade will circle the town’s different villages while a “musical “Serenata” will be held at 7:00 in the evening of the same day at the parish church quadrangle.

On July 9, the feast day of the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa”, three holy masses which will start at 5:00 o’clock in the morning and a concelebrated mass will be offered in honor of the town’s Patron Saint.

By 9:30 am of the feast day, a procession and street dancing will commenced on the streets of Bocaue leading to the part of the river where the Pagoda is docked.

The annual “Ligiran” or circling of boats around the Pagoda will begin at around 10:00 am up to 2:30 in the afternoon where a procession of the venerated cross will be held leading back to the parish church where holy masses will again be offered from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has instructed the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office headed by Liz Mungcal to deploy emergency and rescue teams during the “Lutina” or the 9-day novena at the Bocaue river and during the feast day of the venerated “mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa”.

Alvarado also instructed Bulacan acting police director to deploy additional police troops from the Provincial Public Safety Company of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to augment the Bocaue police and ensure the safety of the thousands of devotees and tourists that will flock to Bocaue to watch the famous fluvial festival, one of the crowd-drawing attraction in Bulacan. –Emil G. Gamos