Pandacan Church marks 300 years

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MANILA, Nov. 7, 2012—The Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish in Manila will celebrate its 300 years or tercentennial anniversary as a parish church on November 23-24.

The celebration kicks off Nov. 23 with a “PandaCandle” lighting ceremony at around 9:25 p.m. with sirens blaring from the oil depots to signal the faithful of Pandacan to gather with their lighted Tercentennial candles at the Church grounds.

While holding a lighted Tercentennial candle, the youth will make a human formation of “Pandacan 300” and the hermanos and hermanas of each barangay will place a torch in a specially constructed stand.

Main highlights of the celebration are the opening of the Jubilee Door of the Church for the faithful to enter to gain plenary indulgence and the Holy Eucharist which will be presided by Manila Auxiliary Broderick Pabillo.

On the 2nd day, a contingent from 29 barangays of Pandacan will perform the Grand Buling-Buling street dance at the Church patio.

The Buling-Buling, which means ‘well-polished or well-made’ is the official cultural dance of the City of Manila.

But organizers emphasized that the street dance is more than a dance, it is a prayer within the dance with steps and gestures denoting worship, praise, contrition, gratitude and supplication.

Various dignitaries, guests, clergy, and around a thousand youth will be attending the opening celebration.

Fr. Lari Abaco, the parish priest of Sto. Niño de Pandacan has also invited representatives from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Department of Tourism and the academe to award prizes on best performers.


To underline the religious bases of the Buling-Buling, the awards are named after three theological virtues, the core of the parish tercentennial celebration: Gawad Pag-ibig, Gawad Pananampalataya, and Gawad Pag-asa.

A blessing of and lighting of the tercentennial tree, a narra at the patio of the Church will be done in the evening.

The two-day celebration, themed “Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish: 300 Years of Faith, Hope, and Love”, the can be viewed via live streaming at the parish website, www.stoninodepandacan.com.

In the early 1600, the miraculous black image of Sto. Niño was found by little children playing in the field near a carabao wallow surrounded by Pandan plants. The place was then called Pandanan which means pandan plantation. The Spaniards mispronounced the name thus changing it to Pandacan.

Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish became a parish on November 23, 1712 with Fr. Diego de Villalba, a Franciscan friar, as the 1st parish priest. (Jandel Posion)

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