Death at Christmas: A Guinarona Story

It’s now 44 years since Papa died on December 24, 1970 at 1 p.m. to be exact. And it was a traumatic and horrible Christmas for us. Guinarona then had just become a newly minted parish, and we organized a youth choir to assist in the series of dawn masses, culminating in the Midnight Christmas…

Who is Osayin?

One of our favorite orishas is Osayin, the King of Herbs. Having met him once in the forests of Guinarona, Philippines, our destinies have become intertwined in a manner of speaking. Meeting him means his footprints–utterly fresh and alive in the wet sod–leading us towards home–footprints of only the left foot! We recall that he…

In Praise of Lanzones

September is when we have a surfeit of lanzones in Leyte, Philippines. The fruit reminds us of our dear mother, who passed away this month back in 1997–people would offer bunches of the fruit at her interment, and our grief was a bit assuaged knowing that it was the fruit of the gods. Lansium parasiticum…

The 1987 Guinarona Fiesta

Mano Panyong Balidio was that year’s Hermano Mayor–and his celebration was one of the most memorable for us.  It was one year after the so called EDSA Revolution, and the Philippines was in a political funk, which was carried out to our work place.  We were in a funk as well, because our boss, who was…

History Repeating Itself

In 1903, in the midst of a cholera epidemic, THE FOUNDERS OF GUINARONA sent Timoteo Daclizon to Manila to procure the image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON, known far and wide to possess miraculous powers. Residents of Guinarona offered contributions in the form of cash, abaca, palay and coconut for the purchase. Contributions totaled two pesetas,…

Going Full Throttle

With the arrival and installation of the 15th century relic of San Pascual Baylon, Guinarona in Leyte, Philippines, has entered the pilgrimage tourism zone.  It is expected that San Pascual devotees will flock to Guinarona in large numbers to offer candles and have their prayers said.  So that in the meantime that the original San…

Image Dynamics

Virulent at times have been the reactions of some people, especially the born-again types re our attachment, specifically, to the century old image of San Pascual Baylon of Guinarona, lost or missing since June 2010.  Of course, we raised our hackles because for one thing, the image was a memento from our ancestors–really a distillate…

Synchronicity of San Pascual Baylon

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.[1]–WIKIPEDIA If you want to know how the gods or the powers of fate regard…

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…

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…