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Mar 28th
Home Sections Hispano-Filipino Affairs The Lady of Guadalupe Was the Original Marian Patroness of the Philippines
The Lady of Guadalupe Was the Original Marian Patroness of the Philippines PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Friday, 11 December 2009 09:45

It all began on December 12, 1531, when Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, a native Indian in the then Spanish colony of Mexico, had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tradition says that the Virgin Mary ordered the young man to gather roses from the top of a hill and present the flowers to the local bishop as proof of the apparition. Juan Diego placed the winter-time roses in his cloak and presented them to the bishop. When Juan opened his cloak, the bishop saw the icon of the Blessed Virgin impressed on the cloak. Then the apparition was called of the "Lady of Guadalupe." The veneration to the Virgin of Guadalupe quickly spread in Mexico, who was made the patroness of the Americas.


Thirty-three years later, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led an expedition to the Island of Cebu, where the Spanish crown wanted to continue the unfinished task of Fernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan), who reached in March 1521 several islands of an archipelago that would later be named Islas de Filipinas. The Legazpi-led expedition reached Cebu (where Magellan died in combat with native warriors) on Feb. 13, 1565. The Legazpi-commanded expedition, which started from the Port of Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico, included several Spanish friars. The Spanish men of the cloth carried with them several icons of the Lady of Guadalupe to protect them from the elements and other dangers of the sea.


To use a cliché and make the long story short, the Legazpi-led expedition succeeded in conquering the archipelago. From Cebu, the Spaniards and their Mexican crew, as aided by native (Indio) allies, proceeded to defeat local tribes and their warlords. They Spaniards first landed on the Island of Luzon on its southern tip (in what is now Sorsogon Province) where they named the first settlement after Fernando de Magallanes). Then they proceeded north and founded the City of Manila on June 24, 1571. The rest, to use another oft-quoted cliché, is history.


There are some places in the Philippines that are named after the Virgin of Guadalupe. Two of the more-famous places named after the Mexican Marian icon are the Guadalupe districts of Cebu and Makati City. The span across the Pasig River between the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong on E. de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) is called the Guadalupe Bridge. Many Filipino women have also been baptized as Guadalupe or Maria Guadalupe.

Here is a related article, by way of an update: 


The Ina Poon Bato


As the Spaniards colonized the islands of what became Filipinas, the friars came also with the Cross and introduced Christianity. In what became the province of Zambales in Central Luzon, an image of the Virgin Mary was presented by the Spanish colonizers sometime in the 1570s to the Negrito people, the aborigines of the place. According to oral history, the Negritos (actually called the Aetas) were delighted to see that it was a replica of their own icon, "Ina Poon Bato". “Ina” means mother and “bato” means rock or stone.

When the shining image, as supposedly discovered by a Negrito, Djadig, was revealed to the Spanish missionaries, they were stunned to know that the Blessed Virgin could have preceded them to the Philippine archipelago. The Negritos explained that "Ina Poon Bato" was the source of many miracles to them. She was their patroness, who gave them the rains, filled the mountains with deer and an abundance of food.

To read the complete narrative about the “Ina Poon Bato,” please click on this link:

Oliver Oliveros: Holy Wednesday at Ina Poon Bato shrine in ...

The image of Ina Poon Bato enshrined at Danac Bunga, Botolan, Zambales, said to be the oldest known image of the Virgin Mother in Asia . . .


Aside from the “Ina Poon Bato” of Zambales, Filipino Catholics venerate also the Virgin Mary in Marian citadels in the provinces of Batangas, Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Pangasinan and Rizal.


Our Lady of Caysasay


T he history of the Lady of Caysasay of Taal, Batangas, began in 1603, in a small barrio of Caysasay, in the town of Taal. According to oral history, a fisherman found a Marian image.


To read the complete story, please click on this link:

Our Lady of Caysasay - WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free ...

Our Lady of Caysasay was the title given to Our Blessed Virgin Mary taken from the name of the Casaysay bird that flew around the image when ...


Our Lady of Manaoag


T here is the Lady of Manaoag in the province of Pangasinan. Here is the link to it:

Our Lady of Manaoag - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many people from across the Philippine archipelago come and visit the town of Manaoag, where the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is enshrined in a church ...


The Lady of Peace and Good Voyage of Antipolo


In Antipolo City in the province of Rizal, there is the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. It is more-popularly known as the Virgin of Antipolo. Please click on this link to read its history:

Antipolo City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or the Virgin of Antipolo, which was brought in from Mexico in 1626, and enshrined in the Antipolo ...


Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Piat, Cagayan


A ccording to published sources, the “itinerary of the Blessed Image of Our Lady of Piat started in Macao (China) from where it was brought to Manila (Philippines). From Manila she was taken to Lallo (north of Luzon) and from there to Piat. From Piat she was taken to Tuguegarao till, finally, she was brought once again, and nor now good, to Piat. Oral history and writings of Spanish friars tell that the Image of Our Lady of Piat had been ‘made in Macao, colony and city of the Portuguese in the kingdom of the great China, and from there it was brought to the Philippines.’ (per the writings of a Fray Aduarte). Father Malumbres adds that ‘the image of Our Lady of the Visitation was made by the Chinese in Macao.’ It should be noticed that the original title of the Image was "Our Lady of the Holy Rosary," while later on the name was changed to that of Our Lady of Visitation." Though it is affirmed by all the historians that the Image was made in Macao or ‘by the Chinese in Macao,’ we are not told when it was made. It is important to recall that the Portuguese established themselves in Macao in 1556, and it is impossible to think that the Image would have been made before that time.”


To read the history of our lady of piat, please click the link or use this URL:


The Lady of Peñafrancia


T he Marian icon known as the Lady of Peñafrancia will mark its 400th year in Naga City (then called “Nueva Caceres” and which is still the official name of the archdiocese headquartered in the city) in the province of Camarines Sur, Bicol Region. The Bicolano tradition of venerating the Marian icon of the Peñafrancia started actually from a mountain between Salamanca and Caceres, Spain, where it was found.


To read the complete story of the Marian icon from Salamanca and how it was brought to Naga City, please click on this link:

Our Lady of Peñafrancia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peña de Francia, literally, is Rocky hill of France, where the Image of Our lady of Peñafrancia is believed to have been discovered by a hermit ...


The Bicolano devotees call the Virgin of Peñafrancia their “Ina” and immigrants to the United States took with them their Marian devotion to their new domiciles.


In Naga City, the original Philippine home of the Bicolano “Ina,” the feast day draws crowds that often exceed tens of thousands of devotees. To read more about it, please click on this link:

Peñafrancia viva la virgen Naga City Bicol Philippines


The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City. It has become one of the biggest festivals and fiestas in the entire country.


In the Sorsogon City, some 110 kilometers south of Naga City, a seminary has been named after the Marian image. To read about the minor seminary, please click on this link,

Our Lady of Penafrancia Seminary | Facebook


The United Bicolandia-Los Angeles (UBLA) is a 35-year-old community association of Bicolano settlers in the County of Los Angeles, California. The UBLA was principally formed to celebrate the feast of the Lady of Peñafrancia every second Saturday of September at the Echo Park of Los Angeles. (It used to be held at the St. Columban Filipino Parish and then the Loreto Church, both located in the Historic Filipinotown, but it needed more space.) Next year, the UBLA will hold the 36th edition of the Peñafrancia Fiesta—Los Angeles again at the Echo Park, where the City authorities allow only three major events per year: The Peñafrancia Fiesta, the Cuban Community Day and the Asian-American “Lotus Festival.”


The Peñafrancia Fiesta—Los Angeles is the biggest Filipino-American religious festival in the entire United States – to the limited knowledge of this writer. It draws thousands of devotees, who partake of complimentary meals served by the members of the UBLA. It is also a virtual Filipino (and Bicolano) Food Festival.


Other immigrants and contract workers from the Bicol Region have organized Peñafrancia Fiestas in San Diego (California), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Jersey City (New Jersey). The Bicol Association of Austria has also started a Peñafrancia Fiesta in Vienna.


Our Lady of Namacpacan


The seventh site of the Marian apparitions in the Philippines is in Luna town of the province of La Union. Readers may check on the historical background of the Lady of Namacpacan in this hyperlink:

Our Lady Of Namacpacan Church (Luna, La Union)


The church houses one of the most important pilgrimage sites during the colonial era--the shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan. The sprawling convento is now a ... –


Marian Contributions to the Making of Filipino Heritage


M ost of the devotees of the Blessed Virgin in the Philippines and in several Overseas-Filipino communities trace many miraculous cures to their respective Marian icons. As the adage goes, “no proof is needed by those who believe, while no amount of explanation will suffice to those who don’t believe.”


The tradition of venerating the Blessed Virgin connotes to many Filipinos as more-than religious in nature. The Marian devotion is actually part of Philippine history, as it is just as relevant as the Spanish-built churches in depicting the Spanish-and-Mexican contributions to the making of the Filipino heritage.


As the Marian devotion in the Philippines inches its way to five centuries of venerable tradition, the future looks brighter. When the world celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Spanish expedition commanded by Fernando de Magallanes from 2019-2021, the Christianization of the Philippines will also be highlighted. And so will the devotion to the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) icon that Magellan brought with him and gave as a gift to a chieftain in Cebu. And of course, the 2021 celebrations will have to involve the history of the devotion to the mother of Jesus, her first icon of which the Spaniards brought from Guadalupe (Mexico) in 1565.


Editor’s Note: The publishers of the registered also the domain name,, which remains a section temporarily of this website.


A nd as this writer told former Mexican President Vicente Fox on Maundy Thursday, April 16, 2009, at a reception at the Milken Institute, the Philippines and Mexico should celebrate the 450th anniversary of the historical ties between the two former Spanish colonies on Feb. 13, 2015. It is also the 450th anniversary of the coming of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Philippine archipelago.


The continued veneration of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Philippines will cement further the Filipino-Mexican ties and relations, especially in 2050 when Mexico becomes the fifth-biggest economy of the world. Perhaps by then, a new ultra-modern Manila-Acapulco trade route will be re-established as it had been for 250 years (in the 16th to the 19th centuries) when both countries were ruled by the Spanish viceroy in Mexico City. Mexico will need its sister country, the Philippines, in becoming its conduit to the emerging market known as the Association of Southeast-Asian Nations (ASEAN). Besides, this writer has coined a suggested Filipino tourism slogan, “The Philippines – the Only Latino Archipelago in Asia.” # # #


E ditor’s Notes:
Please read this writer’s articles on Filipino-Latino ties:


Rediscovering the “Missing Latinos in America”: The HispanoAsians and the ñ-Filipinos


The Sinulog Festival Can Become Los Angeles' Biggest Event in January by 2021


How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas


Filipinos Are Indeed the Italians of Asia (Part 8 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series)



Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2016 22:57

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