Bravo, Guinarona! And Viva San Pascual Baylon!

It was sublime. It was perfection. Perfect weather. Smooth flow of activities. This against a backdrop of political and physical upheavals throughout the world. We thank San Pascual Baylon. We thank our ancestors.

And we are talking here of the recently concluded San Pascual Baylon Centennial Plus 2012 celebrations in Guinarona, Philippines, May 8-17, 2012.

The sky lanterns of May 16, 2012 in Guinarona, Philippines.

A Flashback

Middle of June 2010, when we were left astir as we received the news of the theft of our precious century old icon of San Pascual Baylon de Guinarona. It was too much to digest, because the icon was a distillate of our ancestors’ blood, sweat and tears. Might it be that because a lot of Guinaronanhons have left and worked abroad that thieves are running rampant? Or might it be that San Pascual is telegraphing a message for the world? Was this an omen of world changes henceforth?

It’s a good thing we now have the Internet, so we commiserated and consulted each other on what steps to take. We proposed that we hold a delayed Centennial of our dear patron saint, hoping that the thieves will relent and return our icon. So that in July 2010, we established a framework for the Centennial. Ditto for the San Pascual website,

The Centennial Proposal

Back in 2002, we reminded Guinarona of the need for a San Pascual Centennial for 2004. The feedback we got was that there was no one to lead. So as sleeping giants go, the proposal just hibernated. So when San Pascual’s image was stolen for the third time, we told ourselves: What the heck, let’s go for a delayed Centennial!

And so it came to pass. The Guinaronanhons pulled it off. Amazingly, we might add.

And it was a paperless Centennial. True to the Internet Age. Thus saving trees in the process.

We have documented the San Pascual Baylon Centennial Plus 2012 thus:

Guinarona San Pascual Centennial Album

We can proudly say that our Centennial for San Pascual was a FIRST for the Internet age. Coordination was through the world wide web. Aside from the San Pascual website, we made use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goggle+. And stupendous was the result, despite the dearth of resources, it being an economic crisis throughout the world.

Some 40 days prior to the Centennial, we did a Countdown of Days. Whatever activity we had in Guinarona, we made sure that there was a virtual activity on the Internet. Like the Online Pilgrimage and the Online Novena. We endeavored a LIVE fiesta coverage, complete with weather reports, world time, live chat and video streaming. Except that the Internet connection in Guinarona was sluggish to non-existent, haha. Nevertheless, we had a slew of selfless citizen journalists, who made sure to click away. So that we now have the documentation for posterity. Thank you, citizen journalists!

Based on our interviews, what stands out during the celebrations was the Sky Lanterns and Fireworks Show on the evening of May 16, 2012. The consensus is that it was what defined the Centennial. Second was the Concelebrated Pontifical High Mass of May 17, 2012, led by The Most Reverend John Forrosuelo Du, D.D., Archbishop of Palo, Philippines. Of course, the other activities during the kick off were important too.

We congratulate the people of Guinarona for a superb job. Viva San Pascual Baylon!

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