Tuesday, October 15, 2013

LA NAVAL 2013: Tuloy lang ang Paglalayag!
(The Story)

Lahat tayo naglalayag sa buhay na ito. Maraming pagsubok na dumarating na akala natin ay magpapabagsak sa atin sa kadiliman.

Gayun pa man, hindi dapat tayo makaramdam ng pangungulila, sapagkat nariyan, gumagabay at tumatanglaw sa atin, si Maria na ating Ina, at si Hesus na kanyang Anak at ating Panginoon. 

The yearly La Naval Festivities. This serves as one of my main highlights for the year, next to my birthday, due to its importance in my life. Because of the development I underwent from being a simple devotee, to being her Guardia de Honor since last year, I can really say, with all humility, that Our Lady calls even the most unworthy of people, to serve Her and Her Son, Jesus. 

This is my Fourth La Naval on the record, and yet every part of it is different from the past LN celebrations I had, despite the same royal and sacred look-and-feel it provides the devotee. I can still recall every memoir, and though words cannot really describe everything, I will try to put these memoirs into writing.


For the first time, I witnessed the Enthronement of Our Lady at the Baldachino, the Grand kickstart of the La Naval Festivities. This day began with a challenge: I accidentally hit an old man with my bike on my way to school. I was almost pressed with charges, but with Mary's help, and with the help of a few good friends, I was able to get out of the problem and proceed with my day at work.

Still gasping for air because of the rushed travel from school, I marveled at the sight of Our Lady coming out of the Camarin and being ushered by her sons, the Dominican family, towards her royal Altar in the middle of Santo Domingo, while singing the Salve Regina. As she rises up the Baldachino, people were clapping, cheering and crying.

I don't know what to say at the sight. It was like seeing Our Lady for the first time. A wonderful sight to behold after a terrible challenge I encountered, it strengthened my view of who Mary is for me: a Queen, ready to help those who ask for her guidance and intercession.


Thanks to my schedule, I was also able to complete the Nine-day Novena in honor of Our Lady. Despite the staggering after-work travel from Malabon to Quezon City for nine straight days, you can still be certain that Our Lady makes you feel at home upon reaching her Shrine. Even if you know that this is your third or fourth time to make the Novena to Our Lady of La Naval, hindi pa rin maiaalis yung pakiramdam na nakakapanibago ang lahat ng iyong nakikita.

With Mico coming from USTHS at an earlier time, I was always assured of a pew to sit on, and a company to stay by my side for the days of prayer before Our Mother. Being a buddy, not only online, but also in serving in the Latin Masses every Second Sunday, our friendship had gone a very long way, tested and yet furthered by our love for Mama Mary.

Likewise, I was able to bring with me co-teachers and students who, like Erwin in 2011, was also mesmerized at the sight of Our Lady, and had a total renewing experience. There's Edward, who even if it pains him to come with me on a Saturday, was still able to join me and see Our Lady first-hand. There was also Nathaniel, my student, who, aside from seeing Nanay, was also starstruck at seeing Archbishop Soc Villegas personally. I was very happy to bring more people closer to Nanay, in fulfillment of my promise to her that I will being her closer to my family and friends.


Kneeling before her during the Besamanto nights, there was never a moment when tears fell from my eyes. It was simply an intimate moment between me and Nanay. Hindi man ito yung first time na nakita ko si Nanay, still I can't help but marvel at the beauty she has, her royalty, her Queenship, and then entrust to her, just as a simple mom, all that is inside your heart.

My LN this year was somewhat expecting for me, as I entrusted to Our Lady my fate after taking the Licensure Exams for Teachers. This served atop my list of intentions for this year. I can still remember the tears I shed inside the testing room, I was totally despairing because of the situation, and my words back then were, Mi Madre! Mi Reina! Mi Gran Señora! 

Those same tears I shed before her during the Besamanto. In the past, I always tell myself, Nanay answered all the desires of my heart; I know, despite the many failures I had committed, that she listens to my cry and that she will answer my needs this time.


To top the Festivities, I was once again given the grace to be among Our Lady's Guardias de Honor during the Procession. This year, I asked Mao to join me. He is another close friend, my confidante at the Latin Mass community of Quezon City. Of the many people I considered to join me as a Guardia, I chose him knowing his strong devotion to Our Lady; this chance would be something really different for him. 

At the strike of Four, we went on with the traditional procession with Our Lady around the vicinity of the Parish. As I look around, I saw thousands upon thousands of people walking with candles and rosaries, as they entrust to Mary all their needs and desires.

In the middle of the procession, rain poured over, soaking all of us wet. Though it did not last long, its impact was enough for all of us to be wet all over. The image was then covered with plastic, then we continued the procession. However, we noticed that even our Lady was covered, she was still amazingly beautiful. 

Returning to Santo Domingo after two hours of holy procession, I saw once again the throngs of people, among them were my mommy and Erwin, waving their handkerchiefs and shouting Viva! Virgen de La Naval! I saw the deep love the Filipino has for his Queen. That love which led me to knowing her more, to serving her better, and to sharing her to others who do not know her yet.

After the procession, I was asked by one of the Friars for a radio interview. The host asked me, 'Kamusta ang iyong pagdedebosyon sa La Naval?' I had this in response:

"Nagsimula ang lahat sa simple devotion kung tutuusin... ngunit sa pagdaan ng panahon, sa pamamagitan ni Maria, natupad ko ang pangarap ko sa buhay.... kung hindi sa Mahal na Birhen hindi ko maabutan ito.

Malakas ang tiwala ko sa kanya, wala pa akong hiniling sa Mahal na Ina na hindi niya tinupad."



  1. Anonymous3:04 PM

    sa wakas nakita ko rin itong site na ito!

    1. Anonymous3:07 PM

      kasi po nakita ko sa mga kaibigan ko

    2. nakita ang ano? :3

    3. Anonymous3:08 PM

      para makapagbagong buhay

    4. Anonymous3:09 PM

      ang tuwid na daan