September 8 is the feast day of Our Virgin Mother. Mama Mary’s feast day was yesterday here in the Philippines. My son RJ attends a Chinese-Catholic school run by Jesuits and they’ll be celebrating the birthday of Mama Mary tomorrow. They are required to bring flowers.
The whole of Bicol Region also celebrates the feast day of the Ina (mother) of the Bicolanos, Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia), every third Saturday and Sunday of September. Bicolanos from all walks of life pay honor to the miraculous Virgin Mother for a nine-day festivities at the Virgin of Peñafrancia’s shrine in Naga Cathedral.
I remember going to Naga and attending the feast day mass a few times with my grandmother when I was still a little girl. Because of heavy traffic, from vehicles and throngs of people alike, we always have to walk for a few minutes, it felt like hours to me when I was a little girl, to eat Pansit at her favorite restaurant. Pansit is a noodle dish introduced by the Chinese to Filipinos. I’m glad I have that memory with my Inay (mother), that’s what we call our grandma, to cherish. Although I know it will be a tiring day, I always look forward to attending the mass and eating Inay’s favorite pansit during the Naga fiesta.
Happy Birthday, Mama Mary!
And Happy Fiesta to all Nagaeños!