April 1, 2010
Antipolo City, Rizal
“TAYO NA SA ANTIPOLO” is one of the line in a folksong now almost forgotten. Equally extinct is the "Hinulugang Taktak" where pilgrims used to swim and cool down from the summer heat in the city. All that remains of the historical Antipolo is the place, the place name, and the sanctuary of Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion (Antipolo) whose kilometric Spanish title happens to be Nuestra Señora de la Paz y de Buen Viaje (also known as Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage). One would think her image should be found in all public transport rather than St. Christopher, but then she is said to have provided good voyage to seafarers rather than motorists or people who now travel by air.
I am not a devout or religious person, but I have already tried this few years back together with my friends, but last Holy Week I decided to hike together with my wife and kidz, from Tikling only to Antipolo to test if I would be able to endure the Camino de Santiago like in Spain. But sad to say we wasn't able to go to Tikling because it is very hard to go down from Antipolo, the only available route was only for Sumulong Highway, the mainroad going down to Tikling was already closed because for this event, so what I did is we just walk from our place where nearby Unciano Hospital Antipolo up to Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion (Antipolo).
But as we all know this devout correspond for one reason, retained the religious nature of the “Alay Lakad” by walking barefoot. Some prayed the rosary. Some spoke uncharitably about local politicians who campaigned by setting up stations distributing free water. In two places, a senakulo was going on and the monotony of walking was broken by a sense that the pilgrimage was one big political rally. Chants you would normally hear in Mendiola or Plaza Rotonda, like “Ibagsak!” made their way to Antipolo. One that energized the crowd was, “Pa-tal-sik-in-si-Glo-ri-a!”
On the whole it was a very pleasant walk. The moon was bright and round. Before midnight we back at our home, cool air and dew started to descend on weary pilgrims. People slept on the roadsides. There was a lot of rubbish everywhere.
Although I had previously paid my respects to the Virgin of Antipolo and touched the train of her veil, I wanted to see how she was garbed during Holy Week. I knew that the wooden image, venerated for centuries and believed to be miraculous, arrived in 1626 from Mexico with Spanish Governor-General Juan Nino de Tabora who conferred on her the title “Reina y Gobernadora” and entrusted her to the Jesuits in 1632. Legend says that the Virgin chose the place where she would be enshrined since the image would often disappear and be found atop a tipolo tree, hence “Ang tipolo.” Thus, the base on which the virgin stands is wood carved from a tipolo tree.
The image has survived the ravages of time and even the 1639 Chinese revolt when lances were driven into her face and body before it was consigned to a bonfire. The image did not burn, but the cuts and gashes remain to remind us of the troubled times she has seen and endured.
Our Lady of Antipolo made many trips from 1640 to 1653 on the Manila Galleons that traveled the Manila-Acapulco route providing the “peace and good voyage” that has become her official title.
yours truly with my two angels.....hehehehe!!!!
To end the night of tiring walk, I just want to have a souvenir shot that i could show to my two angels, 1st ever Alay Lakad to Antipolo Church.