our-lady-of-the-barangay

Acquisition of Our Lady of the Barangay

It was early October when someone at an FB group selling site posted an online ad indicating that he was selling  a statue of a lady with an infant jesus holding in her arms .  it was posted several weeks before I saw the advertisement , taking just a quick glance of the statue , thinking it was made from resin , fiber glass or even paper mache material  ( We think not suitable for an almost outdoor chapel  )   The statue was posted by Mr. Edgardo Gamo Jr. from Laguna province , He is also a well-known artist and collector of many items. We need some durable religious statues for our newly renovated family chapel . The first statues installed were eaten by termites or got destroyed by typhoon .

I took notice of the statue and tried to send  a private message indicating my intention of purchasing the statue . It took  few days around October 19, 2016 before he answered my queries, Since we are not FB friend so it took a while , A few more inquiries had almost sealed our orders, we had to wait until after first week of November before finally deciding on the last piece of item to purchase . It took a few more days again (  out of town trip  ) and a letting someone deposit the agreed amount on November 11 Friday . It was more of a bulk sale ,  He was quite a good sales person and i felt ease with our transaction . Offering a couple of freebie stuffs, which we gladly liked and treasured.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary statue with pedestal  ( peana is separate )

Peana is a pedestal for religious images , normally carved from wood . The most common depiction is cloud- like formation . It is believed that religious statues hold special place in one’s home and thus peana is created to avoid the statues from touching the altar . It is also blessed by the priest before any religious  statues is placed on it   .

 For more precious religious statues like those made of hardwoods and precious materials like kamagong , molave  narra  , ivory , glass statues or semi-precious stones,  a special holder or container called  “Urna ” sometime made of , glass blown bottles , imported glass casing or house is needed to further protect the image. It used to be widely sold item until the mid-1990’s when fewer and fewer urnas were created . Some people do not want to spend money to house the religious statues .

One of my cousin told me that they have a previous transaction , several years ago – they bought a vintage Santo Nino ring ( circa 1960’s) made from silver which my cousin gave to their mother as a surprise gift . The seller shipped the items on November 15 Tuesday .

On November 16,2016 Wednesday around past 3:30 pm , JRS the courier service delivered the items right in our doorstep ! It was one of the fastest deliveries that we got , Normally when we purchase items online , it take at least 1 to 2 weeks before any courier company would deliver the items in our door step. It was some sort of coincidence that i was home a little bit early .

package 1

Almost everyone were thrilled to see the packages arrived , After signing the form from the courier service , we carefully unpack the items ( 2 separate boxes) and got the biggest disappointment in our lives , Two of the statues got broken arms . The first one ” Our Lady of the Barangay  holding a baby jesus , with two broken arms and Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary holding infant jesus also got a broken arm.  We had to inform the seller about our predicament and he quickly re-assured us of the immediate action .

package 2

I also consulted some religious saint enthusiasts and collectors on how to restore the broken arms . The cheapest and quickest solution was to buy a clear glue which is compatible to wood . It took a few more days before we were able to buy that glue and finally , we were able to stick the broken arms of the statue. ( not all hardware stores had those ).

Our Lady of the Barangay 

Story:

Our Lady of the Barangay was part of the extensive collection of religious items by the original seller made from Batikuling / Baticulin wood or Litsea perottetii, of the laurel family, the wood  which is soft, fragrant when fresh.  This is one of the preferred wood  for carving religious images , statues and chairs in the country .

According to the seller , The statue was made around late  1970’s or early  1980’s  by an unknown artist. He probably acquired the statue late 1990’s and recently got  ” hilamos ng pintura ” – to wash , with fresh coat of paint . The color is quite different from the usual Our Lady of the Barangay that i have encountered . The tapis ( wrapped around dress)  around the saya ( skirt ) had a caramel brownish colored stripes instead of the usual reddish paint.

The image had a white simple veil which extend in front of the image and at the back . This maybe the artist rendition of the Our Lady of the Barangay . The only clue that we got is that this could have been made somewhere in Laguna province within unknown wood carver.

Maybe someone who knows about the origin or maker of this statue can further send some comment or email .

Our Lady of the Barangay 

Our Lady of the Barangay statue is made from fiber glass – The statue is being retailed at Php 1,800 at Saint Paul Religious Store -another rendition of the statue with halo and one of the hands of child jesus is pointing up instead of wide open.  Not all branches of Saint Paul have ready stock of the image , I went to 3 stores SM MOA , SM Manila and SM Megamall with no stock available.

History and Origin of Our Lady of the Barangay

The image of Our Blessed Mother carrying her Son was painted by Mr. Crisogono A. Domingo, an inmate of Santa Barbara Leprosarium. The idea on the image was inspired in Cadiz City in 1954 and the artist , a mere house painter, undertook the work as an offering to Our Blessed Mother for the BIRHEN SANG BARANGAY ORGANIZATION, a Catholic mandated organization in the Philippines.

Birhen Sa Barangay was the title given to the image by Datu Antonio C. Gaston, the founder and leader of the Barangay Sang Birhen Organization. On Oct. 16, 1954 Msgr. Emmanuel Yap, D.D. gave the image his Canonical Blessing and acclaimed it to be an inspired work of art. Hence Oct. 16 has been marked as a Loyalty Day to Our Lady, the Birhen Sa Barangay, and has been chosen as the date for Her Fiesta celebration in Cogon.

On June 12, 1975, the original painting arrived in the Diocese of Tagbilaran for Our Lady’s visitation to the whole province of Bohol – from parish to parish, from central barangays to the remotest ones. This visit lasted for 6 years and 15 days. On Jan.14, 1981 the image was brought back to Bacolod City for the historical visit of the Holy Father, His Holiness Pope John Paul II. On Feb. 20, 1981, at the Bishop’s Palace in Bacolod City, the image was personally blessed by the Holy Father.

Since then, the devotion quickly spread from different towns and cities across the Visayas and reach Luzon as early as the late 1960’s , especially among the Aglipayan and sunday television mass which have the image of the Our Lady of the Barangay being venerated.

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