Do you know that there’s extra to the Black Nazarene than the one in Quiapo? Within the distant municipality of Capalonga, Camarines Norte, there exists one other revered Black Nazarene that pulls hordes of devotees each Might. Nestled inside the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus, this centuries-old spiritual icon attracts pilgrims from each close to and much, regardless of being located roughly 285 kilometers away from Manila. As soon as guests pay their respects to this miraculous picture, they will delve into the exhilarating ecotourism adventures that await on this picturesque coastal city.
Capalonga: A Hidden Gem
Capalonga, an enthralling third class municipality situated within the northwest area of Camarines Norte, boasts a wealthy historical past. It’s believed that the unique inhabitants of the realm have been the Agtas and Dumagats, who resided in a settlement referred to as “Apalong.” The city derived its identify from the Palong Manok or cockscomb flower (Celosia cristata), which nonetheless thrives abundantly in Capalonga to at the present time.
Lately, the native authorities has made important enhancements to the highway community, linking the city to its neighboring Labo through a well-paved 39-kilometer nationwide highway by Silang. This growth has facilitated the direct transportation of locals and guests through air-conditioned buses. Whereas ongoing efforts to reinforce tourism infrastructure are nonetheless underway, Capalonga is now extra accessible than ever earlier than.
The Mysterious Capalonga Black Nazarene
With the improved highway system, Capalonga has been in a position to accommodate roughly 250 busloads of devotees throughout its spiritual fiesta held yearly on Might 12–13 in honor of the revered Black Nazarene, domestically often called the “poong Nazareno.” Regardless of being centuries previous, the precise origins of the Capalonga Black Nazarene stay shrouded in thriller. Nevertheless, three theories have emerged (supply):
One intriguing account tells of a floating pink sap found within the ocean, which was finally carved into the picture of the kneeling Christ. As time handed, the sap dried up, turning the picture black.
In keeping with one other concept, a loyal Dumagat tribe member carved the picture of the Black Nazarene, impressed by their tribal colours.
The third model means that the picture was merely discovered washed ashore on an islet and delivered to the church.
No matter its true origin, devotees firmly consider within the miraculous powers of the Capalonga Black Nazarene, attributing it to the flexibility to bestow “good well being, fortune, and lengthy life,” significantly upon the Chinese language-Filipino group.
Shrine of Jesus and a Mix of Religions
Apparently, the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus, which was initially devoted to St. Lucy, the Virgin, and Martyr, gained prominence because it grew to become the official shrine of Jesus, the Black Nazarene, in 1984 (supply). This distinctive place of worship showcases the harmonious coexistence of various spiritual practices. Simply behind the parish, one can discover a Chinese language temple—a latest addition to the location, having been established round two years in the past. This fusion of religions mirrors the Chinoys’ apply of displaying each the picture of Buddha and Christ of their properties and companies.
Sibol Capalonga: A Blossoming Paradise
Whereas the Black Nazarene has undoubtedly put Capalonga on the map as a pilgrimage vacation spot, the municipality’s breathtaking landscapes are equally deserving of consideration. Even upon getting into the city, the Sibol Capalonga Marker greets guests with a park that overlooks the scenic mouth of the Balaong River, together with gorgeous sandbars and seashores. The Capalonga Tourism Info workplace is conveniently located right here, together with cozy gazebos good for leisurely picnics.
Throughout our temporary go to, we had the chance to discover the city’s baywalk, the place an iconic tower stands, and an enthralling small-town carnival close by. Throughout the river, close to the church, lies an enormous mangrove forest—the biggest in Camarines Norte by way of space.
The native tourism officer tantalized us with tales of the 26 documented waterfalls in Capalonga, 9 of that are already accessible to guests. Journey seekers can conquer the peaks of Mount Samat, whereas seashore lovers can delight in the great thing about Pulong Guijanlo sandbar island and different scenic seashores and rock formations.
Actually dwelling as much as its tagline of “Sibol Capalonga” (which suggests “to develop”), this municipality is flourishing not solely as a pilgrimage vacation spot but in addition as an rising ecotourism haven. The hidden gems of Capalonga are slowly receiving the popularity they deserve, beckoning vacationers to discover their fascinating wonders.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning journey photographer, author and blogger. His works has discovered print in publications resembling Singapore Airways’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airways’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has additionally lent his experience to numerous organizations just like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Basis, Save the Youngsters and World Imaginative and prescient, contributing high quality photos for his or her advertising supplies.