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Zamboangueños mark Fiesta Pilar 2017


The iconic Fort Pilar Shrine in Rio Hondo will be the center of activities today, October 12 as Zamboangueños living here and around the world will pay homage to the Nuestra Senora de la Virgen del Pilar, the city’s patron saint.

Marked as the feast day of the La Virgen del Pilar, today is a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga by virtue of Republic Act 7350.

Activities at the shrine will kick off at 4am with the Diana/holy rosary followed by the manianita mass at 4:30am and holy mass at 6am, 8am, 10am and 6:30pm. The grand procession will be held at 3pm from the Cathedral in La Purisima St. to the Shrine to be concluded by the Pontifical Mass at 5pm with Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz as main celebrant.

A nine-day novena mass that began October 3 preceded the feast day today, Oct. 12 with thousands of devotees from all walks of life attending daily religious activity.

Meanwhile, the socio-cultural activities that kicked off Oct. 1st culminated Thursday, Oct. 11 with the highly charged Streetdance competition and fiesta main program graced by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo.

A total of 16 groups competed for the title in the 3 categories for the streetdance competition. Participants in the elementary category were Central Schools of Tetuan, Putik and Ayala and the elementary schools of San Roque, Talon-talon, Boalan and Tumaga; High School Category- Pasonanca NHS, ZCHS-Main, Talon-talon NHS, San Roque NHS and Maria Clara L. Lobregat NHS and for the Open category – barangay Sinunuc, Bayog in Zambo del Sur, Tampilisan in Zambo del Norte and Salug in Zambo del Norte.

Prizes for the open category are: first- P300k, second – P200k and 3rd – P150k; for the high school and elementary categories- first- P150k, 2nd – 100k; 3rd – P70k. Special prizes for individual categories are best in musicality - P15K and best in costume – P15K.

Sec. Teo warmly greeted Zamboanguenos on the occasion of Fiesta Pilar and recognized the city’s versatility and resiliency stressing that the annual Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is an important part of the national tourism package.

The Fort Pilar or Real Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spanish colonial government. It is now an outdoor Roman Catholic Marian shrine and a museum and a symbol of the city’s cultural heritage.

The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is the grandest festival in the region and is observed with great zeal, fervour and devotion to the Nuestra Senora de la Virgen del Pilar. (Sheila Covarrubias/PR)

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