Yearly fiesta in honor of San Roque. Unlike other parts of the country San Roque is celebrated here on May 12. San Roque is the patron saint of the sick and the invalids.
San Roque was born around 1295 in a rich family in Montpellier, France. Tradition says that San Roque had a birthmark with a red cross on his chest.
His father died when he was 12 and his mother died when he was 20. He joined the Franciscan order soon after that and distributed his fortune among the poor.
San Roque then set out for Italy as a mendicant pilgrim and stopped along the way to care for the victims of the plague that was ravaging Italy at that time. He was reputed to have performed many miracles of healing everywhere he went.
According to some accounts the history of the feast of San Roque in the Philippines started in 1637. Residents of the town of San Roque came down from the mountains where they had contracted malaria. But they were miraculously cured after holding a procession in honour of San Roque. It is said that the procession was held in a fiesta atmosphere, with a lot of dancing and singing.
In Valenzuela San Roque is also known as the Patron Saint of the unmarried. It’s the day for single women to ask for help in finding their true love. There are countless tales of single girls who danced and prayed in the procession and who claim to have found their husband during the fiesta.
Where: Barangay Mabolo, Valenzuela City, Metro Manila
When: Every year on May 12.
My rating: unrated.
My visit was spoiled by heavy rains. The procession and the street dancing started on time and the participants kept their cool and enthusiasm under the rain. I was invited to dance in the procession several times. Too bad, but I am already married…
In the afternoon, after the street dancing and the parade, at around 2 pm was the start of the palarong Pinoy (Filipino games) with among others juego de anillo (shadow play), palo sebo, pabitin, galapong wrestling and swine-catching. At 7 pm there was the Prusisyon at Sagalahan (Maytime procession). A firework capped the festivities.
For sure I will go back next year and hope for better weather.
Info from: http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com/
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