MegaBalikbayan and International Travel Expo 2013

SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia- Pasay City-Philippines

ceremonial ribbon cutting

The Philippines gaining global recognition, but all roads at this early seem to lead to the SMX Convention Center , Pasay City for an International Travel Festival scheduled from December 10-11, 2013 .

mascots served as a goodwill ambassador to the guests

The two day exposition got a full swing when some of the top industry players , resort owners, travel and tour companies, remittance centers, banking and financial institution are house into one big exposition.


        COOP and BAC -Pasay City

This exhibit promotes urban gardening in Pasay City. The cooperative also promotes organic and herbal plants .  It is good to know that the Pasay City government had an environmental program which helps their residents  . Since vacant spaces is scare in Pasay, They are also promoting vertical gardening .

  herbal plants such as mint, pandan, mayana, variegated oregano , spring onions are planted in a vertical garden setting

And International Travel   Festival is certain to emerge, with worldwide service provider Amadeus and the British, Turkish and European chambers of commerce setting the pace for the influx of other Manila and foreign-based global exhibitors in the event.

Ms. Mitch Ballesteros , Ms. Marissa Del Mar ( Buhay OFW program host) and Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares

One of the event highlights is the OPRA awards . An award which gives recognition to outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers in several fields from community projects, entrepreneurship , ethics.

Ms. Vina Morales

Ms. Vina Morales is the business owner of  Ystilo  Salon

Website: http://www.ystilosalon.com/

L-R Ms. Mitch Ballesteros, Ms. Vina Morales , Senator Grace Poe Llamazares, Ms. Marissa Del Mar and Ms. Lolly Acosta

Dr. Rodante R. Parutan ( Municipal Health Officer of Pandi, Bulacan ) Ms. Angelica Ligas  – OBRA award for Work Ethics

Mr. Norberto Cajada and Ms. Josephine Cajada

She arrived in Hong Kong in 1982 and she joined the Wednesday Catholic group in 1984 .  She is this year’s recipient of ” Outstanding Community Builder “

winners of the award

OBRA award stand for Outsanding OFW and Balikbayan Reputation Award. The award started in 2009 on on its fifth year.

Binasuan

after the awarding ceremonies , a cultural presentation was performed

Alicafe Booth–  Mr. Christopher Emmanuel P. Bamba  ( marketing manager) , Ms. Shiela Marie Caspe, Ms. Marivic Decena and Ms. Mary Ann Lira

Alicafe is one of the new players in the local coffee market. Their booth gave interesting coffee samples and  in- house promo for the 2-day period. With every Php 200 single purchase , comes with 1 FREE coffee mug .  Their products is available in all leading supermarket chains nationwide.

Website: http://www.ultrabgl.com

Jumping clay

Unlike other clay in the market, This clay had no toxic effects and had no odor. It can be easily molded into various forms from animals, people and cartoon characters.

Address: Unit 517 Sofia Towers Condominium , 85 Don Alejandro Roces Avenue . Brgy Laging Handa , Quezon City

Note: My heartfelt ” Thanks” to Mr. Orly Ballesteros and Ex- LINK Event Management

EXLINK Event Management : http://www.exlinkevents.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/exlinkevents

Opening Highlights at the International Beauty, Health and Wellness Exposition 2013

Function Rooms 3 and 4 , Second Floor SMX Convention Center, Pasay City-Philippines

vips, invited guests and organizers

The ribbon cutting ceremony was graced by some of the country’s leading personalities in the field of beauty, cosmetic,  lifestyles, health and wellness such as Mr.  Joven Alcala, Healthway Marketing Manager, Ms. Carmie de Leon ( VP Sales and Marketing – Healthway Medical ) Ms. Cynthia Lagdameo ( President and CEO of Asian Holistic Medical Alliance , Dr. Hernando Delizo ( President – Chair and CEO – Healthcare Business Development Partners Holdings, Inc.  Francine Prieto- Ever Bilena Cosmetics endorser; Mr. Rodolfo Biescas, President of Filipino Inventors Society.   Ms. Susan Barlin (VP Forever, Mr. Sonny Villariba , Jr. – Director -Philippine Coconut Authority ) Mr. Justin Seow- ( College Director) Raffles Design Institute – Manila and Ms. Carol del Rosario ( Sales and Marketing Manager, Raffles Design Institute – Manila) and Biz1 Global Solutions COO Michael Lu.

Chinese lions resting

Aside from trade bazaars where buyers can buy beauty, health and lifestyle products at a discounted price. There are FREE seminars , lectures about health and wellness.

Chinese Lion dancers courtesy of Pagoda Philippines

The festive atmosphere was capped with ribbon untying ceremonies led by the organizers of the event ( Ex-Link) invited guests from the beauty industry, international lifestyle and wellness gurus , celebrities and media partners.

Ms. Mitch Ballesteros

Ms. Mitch Ballesteros  is CEO of EXLink Event  Management said ” The expo is also a perfect venue for international companies to gain a foothold in the Philippine market , by partnering with local companies to further their expansion efforts and business growth in the country. This can be very timing endeavor since the Association of South East Asian Nations ( ASEAN) is preparing for full integration by 2015 under a single ASEAN Economic Community ( AEC).” 

Ms. Francine Prieto

Ms. Francine Prieto represented Ever Bilena company in which she was the endorser of their products.

289 Reparo St., Sta Quiteria, Caloocan City, Philippines

Contact Nos:

Landline: (632) 330-0088

Fax: (632) 361-3964

Email: customercare@everbilena.com.ph

Ever Bilena: http://everbilena.com.ph/

Ms. Carol T. Tongco in Kythe Booth

Ms. Tongco is a volunteer ( mad artist) , thru the volunteers help how art helped the children in hospitals cope with emotional and physical challenges in battling against cancer and chronic illnesses.

Artist Madhouse : http://artistmadhouse.com/

contact:  info@artistmadhouse.com

volunteers

Kythe advocates for the adoption of the Kythe Child Life Program in Philippine hospitals. Through the help of partners and donors, Kythe has institutionalized the Kythe Child Life Program in 13 government and private hospitals benefiting over 8,000 pediatric patients with chronic illness.

The volunteers are very happy that they were sponsored a booth during the exposition, they aim to help more children with chronic illness.

Try to visit the website and know more about the group advocacy and how you can help save lives!

Office : Rm 201 FSS1 Building, 20 Sct. Tuason cor Sct. castor streets, Barangay  Laging Handa, Quezon City. Tel. (+632) 376-3454, email: kytheinc@yahoo.com

Kythe Foundation : http://www.kythe.org/

Bio Normalizer

Bio Normalizer was first established in the city of Gifu, Japan . The company for more than 40 years had expanded  to various countries. They have a papaya plantation in Santo Tomas , Batangas . Papaya is already in the formulary of traditional healers in South East Asia and other tropical countries in the Americas.

Bio-Normalizer (Food Supplement with Papaya Enzyme) is derived from fermented green papaya. Based on several clinical studies and scientific researches, it has
1. immumeregulatory function
2. bacteriostasis
3. Free radical regulation properties
4. Metal chelate
5. Excretory actions
6. Anti-aging as well to mention a few.
Briefly, this is a product that promotes and restores the total wellness of the human body system.

The company practices its corporate social responsibility by helping the community which plant papayas and practices sustainable agricultural practices.

Website: http://www.bio-normalizer.com/english/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bio-Normalizer-Nutraceutical-Corp/235741496489109

 Farcent Enterprises Company

The company was first established in 1983  and won several intentional accolades like  Golden Pin Design Awards and Asia Pacific Brands Award.  The mission has always been “to create quality of life and provide a comfortable life “. Based on this mission, Farcent has been dedicated in developing new items as well as improving existing products. In order to meet customers’ needs and wants, Farcent strongly emphasizes on applying user-friendly design, high quality materials and sophisticated packaging.

Mr. Hank Cheng is an overseas department supervisor and he visited a lot of trade shows around Asia and the World.  The company had been looking for local distributor of their various products . Like charcoal base deodorizers, de-humidifiers, air fresheners and cleaners.

The company had ventures in Brazil ( Largest country and Population is south America ) , Hongkong , Singapore , Malaysia, Japan , Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam , China PROC, Taiwan ROC and now in the Philippines!

Website: http://www.farcent.com.tw/en/

Contact: TEL : +886-2-2592-2860 extension ( 1191)  FAX : +886-2-2594-4800

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarcentEnterprise

World of Wellness booth

Ms. Cory Quirino World of Wellness Retail Stores in 2008 with entrepreneur Ms. Sheila Mae Velilla

World of Wellness : http://www.wowdirectsales.com/index.html

Power Plus Shower with Vitamin C

The new technology from South Korea, used in the Vitamin-C Shower Head astonishingly uses a natural vitamin to instantly remove the harmful chlorine in water we use to shower. As water passes through it, the Vitamin-C Shower Filter releases the exact amount of pharmaceutical-grade vitamin C .

The product is locally distributed by FILHIGH Trading – General Services Corporation

Address: 6th Floor Metro View Real Estate , 915 San Antonio Street corner Quirino Avenue , Ermita- Manila

(02) 664-28-67, (02)354-8683

used in the Vitamin-C Shower Head astonishingly uses a natural vitamin to instantly remove the harmful chlorine in water we use to shower. As water passes through it, the Vitamin-C Shower Filter releases the exact amount of pharmaceutical-grade vitamin C to neutralise all chlorine and chloramine. When the water is turned off, the Vitamin-C Shower Filter stops releasing the vitamin, prolonging its life.T – See more at: http://www.allergybestbuys.com/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/dechlorinatingshowerheadwithvitamincfilter-901139m.shtml#sthash.Yh5ksFHe.dpuf
used in the Vitamin-C Shower Head astonishingly uses a natural vitamin to instantly remove the harmful chlorine in water we use to shower. As water passes through it, the Vitamin-C Shower Filter releases the exact amount of pharmaceutical-grade vitamin C to neutralise all chlorine and chloramine. When the water is turned off, the Vitamin-C Shower Filter stops releasing the vitamin, prolonging its life.T – See more at: http://www.allergybestbuys.com/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/dechlorinatingshowerheadwithvitamincfilter-901139m.shtml#sthash.Yh5ksFHe.dpuf
This is a totally natural and environmentally safe way to remove chlorine from your shower water.Highly recommended for sensitive skin and eczema, asthma and chemical sensitivity – See more at: http://www.allergybestbuys.com/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/dechlorinatingshowerheadwithvitamincfilter-901139m.shtml#sthash.Yh5ksFHe.dpuf
This is a totally natural and environmentally safe way to remove chlorine from your shower water.Highly recommended for sensitive skin and eczema, asthma and chemical sensitivity – See more at: http://www.allergybestbuys.com/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/dechlorinatingshowerheadwithvitamincfilter-901139m.shtml#sthash.Yh5ksFHe.dpuf

DLA Natural Booth

The company is exporting in more than 40 countries . The production reaches 700 metric tons per month.  In 2006, The company diversifies in Biotechnology in the Philippines becoming the pioneer producer of Spirulina in the country.

DLA Natural : http://www.dlanaturals.com/

John Robert Powers

John Robert Powers speakers gave interesting lessons to the audience ( posture ) and modeling skills

Interaksyon – the online news portal of TV 5  – one of the media partners of the event

The expo had about 120 booths showcasing different kinds of products, services , health and wellness products. There are a lot of international distributors from the ASEAN member countries and International known brands. The International beauty , health and wellness exposition runs until September 28, 2013. Do visit the site, a lot of the products are discounted during the 3 day event !

Entrance FEE is Php 50.00

Note: I would like to ” Thank” Mr. Orly Ballesteros for the accommodation during the event.

Website Link:

EX Link Event Management: http://www.exlinkevents.com/

The Best of Anime ( BOA) 2013 Highlights

2nd Floor , Function Hall F- SMX Convention Center, Pasay City -Philippines

entrance to the Best of Anime 2013 convention

Prime Trade Asia president Ms. Irene Lloren , together with Mr. Joe Inoue and Japan Foundation representatives

Sewashi Nobi and Doraemon

 Doraemon was awarded the  Japan Cartoonists Association award  for excellence in 1973. Doraemon was awarded the first  Shogakukan Manga Award for children’s manga in 1982  and the first Osamu Tezuka Culture award in 1997 . In March 2008 Japan’s Foreign Ministry , appointed Doraemon as the nation’s first “anime ambassador.”The Foreign Ministry action confirms that Doraemon has come to be considered a Japanese cultural icon.

Doraemon postage stamps issued by Japan Post

Doraemon is a popular character that , the Japan Post ( Anime Heroes) issued several postage stamps.  The latest set was released on June 4th, 2013. A sheet of ten 80 yen stamps is  Y800 yen ($8 USD).

Doremon notebooks

In 2002, the anime character was acclaimed as an “Asian Hero” in a special feature survey conducted by Time Asia Magazine.

Mr. Ace Irenea -first in line

Anime lovers, collectors, cosplayers, pop culture lovers among others troop to the convention center .

crowd

Throngs of crowd began their arrival at the convention center hours before its opening.

group picture

The Best of Anime(BOA) 2013  feature popular Japanese acts  the pop group STARMARIE and singer-songwriter Mr. Joe Inoue  to delight cosplay fans. Performing on Sept. 14 is STARMARIE, composed of Takamori Shino, Kishita Nozo- mi and Aoki Shior. The group is famous for intense dance tune lyrics with fairy tale and fantasy themes. Fans of the Lolita pop group are lovingly called Marists. STARMARIE recently released its second album, Fantasy World 2. Joe, who rose to fame with the song Closer, performs on Sept. 15. Growing up in a musi- cal environment has helped Joe establish his basics in music and with that, he started to create his own materials on a multi-track recorder. He is also a member of J-MELO, a television program by NHK that is being aired in 180 countries. Joe started his new project called TENGUBOY.

Fuji film cameras on display

Fuji Film and YKL group of company is a proud sponsor of the event.

camera mascots

There were two camera mascots walking around the convention center providing photo opportunities to the visitors and guests .

Fuji Film / YKL Photo Company

Eiwa Manga Booth

Eiwa Manga is  online store based in Manila with two people at the helm:  Ms. Jo, in Manila, takes care of having orders delivered and doing meet-ups (in Manila, of course); and Rizza, based in Zamboanga, handles most of responding to inquiries and maintaining the site .

The store focuses more in online selling rather than having a physical store .  Most of the items are sourced from Japan, USA and Taiwan.

Contact information: 0927-366-4349 (GLOBE) 0932-878-0991 (SUN)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eiwa-Manga-Store/171528632412

hodge podge booth

Ms. Gel Rodriguez ( 0917-525-2435)

The Hodge Podge booth  had a discount sale Everything’s 20%  at the Best of Anime convention.  Bottle cap accessories and it gives you the freedom to choose how you want your accessories to be. All supplies are imported from the US to assure our customers good quality in each Hodge Podge item . Bottle cap collectors is now enjoying a re-birth .

different kinds of bottle caps, they are used for bracelets, necklaces,mobile phone accessories , book marks, key chain holders, ID holders, pins

Established on March 2012, Hodge Podge is founded by two individuals who share the same passion for unique and kawaii goodies. They also accepts customized finish and bulk orders.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heyhodgepodge

Japan Foundation booth

Japan Foundation gave interesting advertisement postcards, FREE calligraphy inscriptions and brochure. The booth also serves as a mini-library of books for those who want to read anime and Japanese magazines.

Makati Office: 12/F Pacific Star Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City 1226

Japan Foundation: http://www.jfmo.org.ph/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jfmanila

Visit Japan Booth

Pocky

This booth is selling their Pocky at BUY 1 Take 1 promo with different kinds of flavors from chocolate, strawberry, banana -chocolate , milk chocolate

Pocky is a kind of biscuit .  It’s a stick-shaped biscuit, traditionally covered in chocolate. But these days there are many different kinds of Pocky. It is quite popular in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong , Korea and many Asian countries.

 Glico: http://www.glico.co.jp/en/corp/confectioneries.html

Mogu-mogu drink

Packed with beautifying nutrients, it’s a refreshing way to stay young and fit, even when you’re on the go!

Mogu Mogu Juice Drink with Nata De Coco Bits  ( coconut jelly) is manufactured by Sapanan a company based in Bangkok, Thailand. It is perhaps their most exported product since it also sold in the rest of Asia, Middle East, Europe and US. Mogu Mogu was first produced in 2003 but in the Philippines, it was launched in 2010.

The company had a sample of their latest product during the event. It seems that almost everybody likes the Mogu-Mogu drinks. My first encounter with this drink was way back in 2011 . When we bought them in a grocery store .

Website: http://mogumogumanila.com/

Mount Fuji Rice

The event is partnered by Primetime AsiaJapan Information and Culture Center, Japan Foundation, Anime Alliance and Game Developers Association of the Philippines, sponsored by De La Salle — College of St. Benilde

Doujin No Mise booth

Friendster.ph, Wheatgrass C.A.N International, Cherry Credits, Bankee Trading, Inc., Ti- mezone, Sugarfree & Blue, YKL Fujifilm, Animation International (Doraemon), Mogu Mogu Manila, Mt. Fuji Rice, Voiceiyuu and The Brain Audio-Visual.

Prime Trade Asia: http://www.primetradeasia.com/

7 Reasons to visit the 34th Manila International Book Fair

SMX Convention Center , Mall of Asia , Pasay City-Philippines

SMX Convention Center

The 34th Manila International Book Fair is organized by Primetrade Asia , Incorporated in partnership with  Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas  Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines.

Among the media partners include Wazzup Pilipinas , Rappler, Manila Bulletin among others. Wazzup Pilipinas : http://www.wazzuppilipinas.com/

Book Development Board,  the organizers ,  Hon. Maria Leonor Robredo ,Mrs. Marita Teresa Cancio-Suplico and Mr. Tommy Suplico of Goodwill Bookstore

The event started with a mass attended by the main players of the Philippine book industry players, organizers , students , media partners. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the guests of honor toured the fair site .

ribbon cutting ceremony

There are the 7 Reasons to visit the ongoing Book Fair

Bargain Books

7.) Bargain Books and other Reading Materials–  Book lovers , Book collectors, Librarians,  Professionals, Young Adults , Children books, Text books, Inspirational books- you name it they got it! In case you missed a book title or two, You can get the business cards and  their contact information . Book publishers are there and their friendly sales representatives  are there to help you.

Goethe Institut- Philippinen

6.) On the Spot Contest & FREEBIES– Almost all the commercial booths within the expo site had some sort of promotion and contest.  This sharpens ones’ mind and makes your stay enjoyable !!!!  Goethe Institute -Philippinen  volunteers gave a questionnaire those who registers at their booth . The one who get all the right answer will have a chance to win a FREE German language course !!!!!

 Cafe Puro

Cafe Puro promodizers gave away FREE coffee to the visitors

Inspirational speaker Mr. Francis Kong together with Mr. Ross Del Rosario ( Wazzup Pilipinas)

5.) Meet and Greet Celebrities  – Our group noticed that  there is a long queue of line at the  CSM Publishing booth.  Then there is Mr. Francis Kong – You can hear him in his daily Radio Program “Business Matters” which was given a Year 2007 special citation by the Catholic Mass Media Awards. He is an author of 10 books !

CSM Publishing House is having a promo during the 5 day – book fair, The books are discounted at dazzlingly low prices ! We bought several books at the CSM booth.  ” Being the BEST you Can Ever Be” is one of the books being sold at a rock bottom price ! From the original price of Php 500  , the book is sold at Php 100 plus a chance to have it signed with the author himself !

Mr. Francis Kong : http://franciskong.com/

PSICOM booth with book enthusiasts waiting  for the book author

The company is one of the exhibitors of the on going book fair . One of the recently published books ” Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo? ” is a 2013 Filipino film adaptation of Ramon Bautista’s novel of the same title.  The book was released in 2012 .

a student waiting in line

Website : http://www.psicompublishing.com/zen/

The PSI Publication has an active online forum and is popular among Filipino anime and pop culture readers.

Professor Agusto De Viana

Mr. Allen Lau and Ms. Kristel Tan

Our group also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Allen Lau and Ms. Kristel Tan of Waatpad : http://www.wattpad.com/

An unlimited, ever-growing library of free books and stories all in the palm of your hand! On Wattpad, millions of people are discovering great fiction, sharing stories with friends and following their favorite authors chapter-by-chapter.

Rex Bookstore – With their eye catching exhibit!

4.) Interesting Booths – There are a lot of interesting booths at the show, You have a feeling that  you are in a fairly land or somewhere else !

Philippine Science Centrum

The Philippine Science Centrum exhibit is located within Goodwill Bookstore area. It is their second year of participation at the expo.

Goodwill Bookstore booth

Goodwill Bookstore with their eye catching blue colored signage thrills any visitor to the event.  A lot of their books are discounted up to 75% OFF for 75 days on selected titles -the promo duration started last July 18 , 2013 and up to December 30, 2013 (per DTI permit no. 7930 series of 2013). The bookstore had a lot of interesting collectible Froebel-Kan  picture book series printed by a  Japanese book printer The Toppan Printing Co., Ltd .  It is named after German educator Friedrich Wilhelm A. Froebel (1782-1852). He established the first kindergarten in the world and also opened centers for training childcare providers.  Most kindergarten children here in the Philippines still remember that it was Goodwill bookstore which introduced to the market the wipe-FREE books !

Diwa Publishing

3.) Interactive Booths- While there are friendly sales staff in many booths, some exhibitors had made more efforts for them to have interactive displays for the techie generations .

Groiler Books

2.) Seminars , Lectures and Workshops – academe, researchers , students and the public meet and discuss their papers , topics or issues  that affect the industry .

3D Hologram postcards

cash purse

National Historical Commission of the Philippines booth

1.) Unique Products and Filipianiana books- Uniquely Philippine made products such as pencil holder and Philippine printed books such as hard to find Filipinana , historical books, inspirational books that were printed in the country. The quantity of the books is not that many.  Although the Philippine book industry is not that big compared to its Asian counterparts , the ongoing 34th Manila International Book Fair  shed new hope for the book industry  – The book fair will run until September 15, 2013.

Note: I would like to ” Thank” the organizers for the invitation and accommodation ” extended during the event.

Prime Trade Asia: http://www.primetradeasia.com/

Marian Exhibit at SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

A unique exhibit of 50 life-size canonically crowned and miraculous images of the Blessed Virgin Mary   from November 7, 2011 to November  29, 2011 at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Entrance to the marian exhibit

For the past 5 years Radio Veritas has continuously been informing on and propagating the devotion to our Mother through their Grand Exhibit held in different malls and schools throughout the country.

MARIA BAMBINA ( Baby Mary)

The event was organized by the  Radio Veritas 846 Radyo Totoo is the official  Catholic -run tri-media company with its AM station and is the official radio station of   of the Archdiocese of Manila.Its mission is to further spread the central role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.

Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

Camarero: Joseph Anthony Sy- Quimsiam 

The cult of the Virgin of Candelaria or Our Lady of Candelaria (Virgen de Candelaria, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria), popularly called La Morenita, celebrates an apparition of the Virgin Mary on the island of Tenerife ,  one of the  Canary islands in (Spain). The center of worship is located in the city of  Candelaria .  This statute standing on a pedestal  is over 6 feet tall with artificial tree with pink colored flowers at its background.

Our Lady of Veritas and picture portrait of Blessed Pope John Paul II

The relics of Blessed Pope John Paul II, known as the Marian Pope, are also on display.

Our Lady of Porta Vaga

According to one of the organizer of the event, some of the life-sized images of the Blessed Virgin Mary are already several decades or even centuries -old.

NUESTRA SEÑORA  DE CAYSASAY

Camarera : His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, DD.

One of the most important Marian images are from Manila Archbishop  Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales. 

Origin of the word :

The image on top of a tall bush among kingfishers called casay-casay (pronounced by the Spanish as Caysasay). The priest and the townsfolk took it as a sign that this is the place where the image would want to stay so a chapel was built on the spot.

Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia

The exhibit carries the theme “Miracles and Healing Grace.” according to Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco encourages the faithful “to strengthen their Marian devotion by visiting the exhibit.

NUESTRA SEÑORA DE ARANZAZU (Our Lady of Aranzazu)

Origin:  The image of Our Lady of Aranzazu dates back the fifteenth century, this was on June 11, 1459 in an obscure place in the mountains of Aloña, Province of Guipuzcoa located in the northern-most part of Spain.

A young shepherd, named Rodrigo de Baltzategui, son of a carpenter of the nearby town of Oñate, climbed up the mountain one Saturday noon in search of his flock of goats. Unexpectedly, he thought he saw a vision of a beautiful Lady with an infant in her arms. He approached the heavenly visitor trembling. The apparition spoke to him: “My son, go tell your father to build me in this site a tiny shrine of five thin boards and seven tiles. You will call this a shrine, I assure you that it will be famous in time, that a great number of my children will come here to honor me with songs of praise and attend holy Masses here.”

Afterwards, Rodrigo heard the sound of bell ringing although nobody was around and to utter amazement he discovered a small stone image of a seated Virgin holding an orb on her right hand with Her Son atop a curved thorn-tree trunk. He knelt before it, recited the Hail Mary and other prayers he knew, and later with great reverence, he covered the holy image with branches and other things he could lay his hands on. And because it was getting dark, he brought his flock home.

                                                                          Our Lady of Aranzazu with herd of sheep

The young boy relayed the message to his father and to the other residents of Oñate. It was summertime and there was a severe drought in the land. The people were preparing to make a penitential procession to ask for rain. Rodrigo approached the one in charge and told them the request of the Virgin, with eloquent faith in the miracle. He warned them that unless they construct the shelter for the image in the mountains, their prayers will not be answered. He insisted on this with so much faith that the people began to be curious and the excited residents of Oñate decided to climb up the mountain, guided by Rodrigo. The clergy and the civil authorities of the place did not put any objection to the popular will of the curious populace.

Upon reaching the place, they found the image resting on the entangled prickly branches of the thorn-tree and the cowbell hanging at the foot of the small image. The image had a serenely sweet face and of majestic mien. The cowbell was an antique quadrilateral bronze bell. The people were all astounded and believed what they saw. Everyone prostrated and did homage to the image and afterwards they went back to spread the news of the miracle.

Because of the unusual circumstances connected with its discovery, the image came to be known under many names, namely: Our Lady of the Thorn-tree, Our Lady of Askartza (local name of the place of apparition) and Our Lady of the Bell. But because of the lady’s request it has been called and crowned to this day as Our Lady of Aranzazu.

In the Philippines, This image is venerated in  San Mateo and Montalban  in  Rizal  province , Carcar in Cebu province .

Relics from different saints and holy person on public display

Relics may fall into several categories:

First class relic : parts or body  of the saint ( hair, bone flesh) normally considered as precious and rarely entrusted to any individual but are placed in faith communities .

Second class relic :  A second class relic is any object that a saint touched or used during his lifetime. An example would be an item of clothing he wore or any of his personal belongings. This is different from a first class relic, which is a part of a saint’s body (his blood, bones, hair, etc.) second class relic maybe sub-divided into 2 category .

Third class relic:  maybe a piece of cloth touched to an actual 1st or 2nd class relic. This is the mot common type of relic.

OUR Lady Of China 

Pope Benedict XVI has declared the year 2012 as the Year of Faith to strengthen devotion to Mary and faith in God.

The exhibit open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

For inquiries, please call  Ms.Charice Renee Jose at telephone number 925-7931 or cell phone numbers 0915-5156417, 0919-6139983 and 0922-8598325. 

Note:  Edited version of this may be found in some newsletters

 
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