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Colors of faith

Raye Sanchez

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mostly centered on religion. As a Catholic country, the common practice among communities is to give thanks and honor to patron saints.

Fiestas are done in various ways, bringing the people living in the community closer for the sanctity of the celebration.

Eucharistic Mass, novenas or processions are usually held but in special celebrations, the festivity is taken to the extremes, through fluvial parades and boat races like how Taguig City does it.

Taguig City is at the edge of Pasig River and near the mouth of Laguna de Bay. The primary livelihood of the historic Laguna inhabitants consists of fishing, rice cultivation, bamboo weaving and duck raising.

In 1587 Taguig was then known as pook ng mga taga-giik (place for rice threshers) but during a crisis period in the days of yore, it was believed that St. Anne, along with her little girl, Mary, appeared and gathered the taga-giik to the riverbank that teems with banak (mullet).

Located in Taguig City is the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anne which is situated near the Taguig River across Plaza Quezon.

To celebrate the fish harvest, the residents marked St. Anne’s day every year.

Vibrant feast

Every July, fishermen riding vibrantly-designed barges fill the river in honor of the patron saint. Part of the celebration is the holding of a regatta boat race and what is called as the pagodahan.

According to Ronaldo Coralde from the events team of the Mayor’s Office “The regatta is part of the Taguig River Festival 2019 where 25 compete in a boat race. There are five sets. Whoever wins in each set, fight it out for the final round.”

“In the pagodahan festivity, a barge is alloted to bishops, sacristan and members of the religious leaders as passengers, followed by another barge boarded by city officials. While the boats travel through the river, fruits, candies, rice cakes, fresh eggs and other delicacies are flung from boat to the shore,” he added.

At the end of the fluvial parade, a Pandangguhan is also held where folk dancers in colorful costumes flock the streets.

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