From Our Twin City

  • Hola Sr. Benito,,, es emocionante ver como que amor y reverencia habeis hecho llegar el cuerpo de San Pascual hasta nuestra hermanada ciudad de Guinarona y disfrutar este dia 17 de Mayo de su alegria y de todos sus fieles.  — Basilica San Pascual Baylon

The idea of a twin city arrangement between Vila-real, Spain and Guinarona came from Vila-real itself,  and buttressed by Basilica San Pascual Baylon.  Which is just as well, since the two places are joined at the hip with San Pascual Baylon as the glue.  More so now that Guinarona has the relics of the indomitable San Pascual. Felicitations from Vila-real, Spain

Here is the latest issue of the Basilica San Pascual Baylon Journal

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The Basilica San Pascual Baylon Journal

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<A activate the foundation to promote Sant Pasqual in autumn ( The Mediterranean Newspaper – 21/07/2013)

Fiestas Past

In the Philippine setting, fiesta is culture and culture is fiesta.  Whereas the United States has Thanksgiving Day, the Philippines, namely each village , has the barrio fiesta:  a time for celebration, a time to give thanks, a time to reconnect with one’s roots.  And yes, the focus of the fiesta is the patron saint–its benevolence , its liaison between the people and their God.

Here are videos of fiestas past in Guinarona, Philippines:

  • 2010

Cultural Night, Guinarona Fiesta 2010 from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

  • 2011

A Revisit, Guinarona Fiesta for San Pascual Baylon 2011.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

  • 2012

D-Day, San Pascual Baylon Centennial Fiesta, May 16-17, 2012, Guinarona, Philippines.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

  • 2013

Welcome Home, San Pascual Baylon, Guinarona, Philippines.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

Class A and Class B Relics

As in Guinarona cannot be more fortunate:  We do have  the Class A and the Class B relics of San Pascual Baylon!

  • The Class A relic has San Pascual Baylon’s bone in the center, surrounded by “petals” of lamb hide.  San Pascual used to be a shepherd, hence the symbolism.
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The Class A relic: San Pascual Baylon’s bone in the center. The “petals” are lamb hide.

  • The Class B relic has the fabric that touched the remains of San Pascual Baylon.
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The Class B relic. The memento to the far left has the fabric that touched San Pascual Baylon’s remains.

    • Details of the Class B relic.

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Or is Guinarona the chosen?

Of Contemporary Miracles

To a Buddhist, a thing, whether simple or beyond reason, is nothing but the outcome of the right mix, i.e. right temperature, right pressure, right time, etc. To a free spirit, that extraordinary thing is synchronicity, namely synchronized factors or causes of which the event is the result. To everybody else, an extraordinary event or happening is a miracle, pure and simple.

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The original San Pascual Baylon icon, missing since June 2010.

Speaking of which we have San Pascual Baylon–a prodigy at creating miracles. Pascual was a born mystic, and even as a young shepherd, he was a master of contemplation. He was thus able to achieve unbelievable feats, the most famous of which was his causing water to gush out of of a barren rock formation–he was able to concentrate to create the miracle out of his love for his fellow shepherd, who was very thirsty then.

Flash forward to 1903, when the San Pascual image arrived in Guinarona, Philippines. To quote:

After a month-long voyage by sea, the image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON arrived in Tacloban City. The barrio founders met the image at Dagami after which a procession followed, bringing it to Guinarona.

As oral history would have it, SAN PASCUAL BAYLON’s first miracle was when the cancerous lesions on Pedro Tibe’s foot healed after a handkerchief patted on the image was placed on it. News about the miracle spread like wild fire and pilgrims flocked to Guinarona by the hundreds. Because of their sheer numbers, some pilgrims had to stay overnight in Guinarona. San Pascual’s image was then in the care of Raymundo Casarilla.–Souvenir Program, Guinarona Fiesta

(In June 2010, that image was lost or stolen. Which was the reason we endeavored to get the 15th Century San Pascual relic–now in Guinarona–from the Basilica San Pascual Baylon in Vila-real, Spain.)

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The sun on the left, mimicking San Pascual Baylon’s reliquary (right) on May 13, 2013.

Flash forward to May 13, 2013. The San Pascual relic was still in Manila and was being prepared for its travel to Guinarona. On this date, the sun appeared to mimic San Pascual’s reliquary as the above picture shows.

May 15, 2013 at 2:20 p.m. Ten minutes before we were going to install the relic, Romeo Magcuro, relic project coordinator, got a text message from Lani Remalante, requesting the former to buy three candles and offer them to the relic for his intention, namely securing a job. Lani had been out of work for over a year now–he was fired from his job and was under investigation–and was hungry and desperate. Nolan Magcuro, Romeo’s sibling, bought the candles, lit them and uttered jestingly, “Apoy Paca, tikang ini kan Lani para diri na hiya magin gotok.” (“Grandpa Paca, these candles are from Lani, so that he will cease being crazy.”)

Right after the installation, another text message from Lani came, expressing his thanks and that he was just summoned by his boss (his superior when he was fired by the Department of Justice) to report for work–in his boss’s office, NO LESS, and that all the charges against him have been dropped. Just like that–VERY FAST. Now, now, is this a miracle by San Pascual’s relic?

San Pascual Feast Day 2013

May 17, 2013. Although lacking in frills, the 109th Guinarona Fiesta for San Pascual Baylon was a landmark, with the arrival and installation of the 15th Century relic of San Pascual Baylon. As attested to by its certificate of authenticity, the relic is Class A, being a portion of San Pascual’s bone, hence its power and magnificence.

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The 15th Century relic of San Pascual Baylon in Guinarona, Philipines. Encased in silver and gold.

The fiesta mass was Concelebrated Pontifical, with Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du of Palo, officiating, along with 18 other priests. This year’s hermano mayor was Carlos Go of Tacloban City.

Welcome Home, San Pascual Baylon, Guinarona, Philippines.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

After the high mass, there was public acclamation of the San Pascual relic, beginning with the Archbishop and the priests. Then the faithful followed, each one lining up to pay their respects–some were touching the relic with their hands, others were using kerchiefs with which to wipe their afflictions afterwards–reminiscent of the fervor of the Nazereno fiesta in Quiapo.

At the San Pascual Baylon Shrine I

May 15, 2013, 2:30 P.M., Guinarona. Synchronicity is a potent tool to achieve ends, so when the 15th Century relic of San Pascual Baylon arrived and was received in Manila May 2, 2013 at 2:30 p.m., the time became our template for its installation. While everyone else was busy with the other fiesta activities, we did ours as scheduled, never mind that it was not perfect. Raw video, San Pascual relic installation, May 15, 2013 in Guinarona, Philippines.

Note: We call it San Pascual Baylon Shrine I because a shrine number two is going to be built–again a nice synchronicity of the arrival and installation of the saint’s relic. In effect, shrine number one is for the relic and the new one being built is for the San Pascual icons. The forthcoming shrine is a donation by a foreign family and will be situated along the plaza perimeter, close to the national road.