St. Calungsod to arrive in ‘galleon’ for thanksgiving

Posted on November 9, 2012

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Work is underway in a Mandaue city dockyard to transform a private boat into a Spanish galleon for the Nov. 30 fluvial procession for the thanksgiving celebration of St. Pedro Calungsod.

Plywood boards, cococonut lumber, mouldings and rope are being used to refurbish what would be called the Galleon San Diego for the event.

Calungsod was 12 or 13 years old when he boarded a vessel in 1668 to join a Spanish Jesuit mission to the Marianas islands or present-day Guam.

The motorized boat owned by the family of the late Ernesto Ouano Sr. of Mandaue City is the same one used each January for the fluvial procession of the Sto. Niño de Cebu’s feast day.

Anyone can join the sea procession, said Msgr. Marnell Mejia, chairman, person of the committee on procession.

Participating boats should not exceed 100 gross tons and be registered with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

“This fluvial procession will have an eye on history when San Pedro Calungsod journeyed with Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores. This is like his homecoming,” said Mejia in a press conference yesterday.

The fluvial procession will begin at the Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Boats will sail down the Mactan Channel to the coast of the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City where the national thanksgiving Mass will be held.

Mejia said representatives from the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam, Archdiocese of Cebu, the Society of Jesus, the youth sector, and catechists will board the ‘galleon’.

The ship will stop 100 meters from the shoreline and Calungsod’s official image will be lowered to a msall boat like the proa used by Chamorro natives.

Other boats may dock near the Sugbo building at the Kawit Island.

“We will reverse what happened. The proa was used in throwing the bodies of San Pedro Calungsod and Blessed Diego into the sea. Now, we will use the proa to bring Calungsod back to his homeland,” Mejia said.

Calungsod’s image will be brought by its official custodian, Fr. Charles Jayme, to the shoreline.

It will be welcomed by around 6,000 catechists from the Archdiocese of Cebu.

San Pedro Calungsod Choir members will carry the statue on a platform or andas on their shoulders to the templete in the SRP site.

The Mass will start at 5 pm.

Mejia urged the public to pray fora good weather on Nov. 30.

Mactan Channel will be closed to navigational traffic from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. that day for the event which expects to draw 200 sea vessels, said Coast Guard Cebu Commander Rolando Punzalan.

No firecrackers or liquor are allowed during the activity, he said.

“We will work to ensure safety and orderliness to keep the event solemn,” he said.

Olga Ouano, whose family owns the ‘galleon’, said she was happy to be part of the historic event.

“We’re glad our family has been selected to provide the vessel. We can’t express our thanks. We’re very happy,” she said.

The private boat will temporarily change its name from MV Senor Sto. Nino de Cebu to the Galleon San Diego for the event.

Architect Dorie Narandan of Duros Development Corp. said they are using light materials to dress up the vessel.

Work started last Oct. 29 and is expected to be finished on Nov. 25.

“This is history. We are doing the best we can for this,” saidArchitect Soller Hisoler, who supervises work on the ‘galleon’.

Asosimo Espana, a 64-year-old worker from Toledo City, said he feels blessed to be among the workers of the galleon.

“Ako ni nga halad ngadto kang San Pedro. Tagaan unta ko og taas nga kinabuhi. (This is my offering to St. Pedro Calungsod. May he pray that the Lord would grant me long life).” /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter

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