Monday, March 17, 2008

Carrascoso's Ensemble - Numero II

From : The La Naval de Manila Flickr Group
By : Francis Jason Diaz Perez III

When the Old Santo Domingo in Intramuros was bombed several vestments were burned saved for the Numero I, the plancha de plata y oro and a number of vestments for daily use. During her stay at the University of Santo Tomás' Santísimo Rosario Parish and later on at the National Shine of Our Lady of the Rosary, the New Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, the Virgin's only gala dress left was the Numero I which she used annually.

A concerned devotee Don Antonio Carrascoso, in gratitude and thanksgiving, thought that the Santo Rosario deserves a new gala dress. And since it was destined to be worn by the Queen of the Philippines, and as a perpetual testament of his family's love and devotion to the Santo Rosario and enough money to spare, the vestment had to be made entirely of hilos de oro, ordered and embroidered in Spain.

This ensemble is the most priceless ensemble of the Santo Rosario after the Numero I and the plancha. The Spanish Dominicans, in gratitude to Don Antonio, named this ensemble as the Carrascoso or the Numero Dos (II). Thereafter it was alternately worn with the Numero I by the Santo Rosario and the tradition of naming sumptuous donations to the Virgen de la Naval after their respective donors began.

According to the late Fr. Augusto Antonio, OP, the Numero I was shipped to Spain for the purpose of copying it for the Numero II [Carrascoso]...

One of the rare occasions when the Santo Rosario is brought out of Santo Domingo outside the La Naval de Manila Procession — the Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II in the Philippines [1981].The Santo Rosario is magnificently arrayed with the Numero II.

While the distinguishing features of the Numero I are its high relief embroidery the majority of which were embroidered with the very expensive flat hilo de oro, that of the Numero II was done in the difficult and time consuming laidwork or "binanig" in the Spanish tradition and which can be seen in the embroidery of the sayas and mantos of the Vírgenes in the Peninsula such as that of La Macarena in Sevilla...
Tunic & Bib of the Niño Jesus of the Santo Rosario
Part of the Carrascoso Ensemble

The La Naval Vicaria wearing the Carrascoso Ensemble
1993 Intramuros Marian Procession

The Carrascoso's only problem is it shrank, due to the number of rains that drenched it but i believe it can still be worn if desired.

The last time the Santo Rosario publicly wore this was during the La Naval de Manila festivities in the late 80's where a typhoon marred the traditional procession and the Virgin's carroza had to be turned at Banawe St. and back to Santo Domingo because the Virgin was already soaking wet, water streaming down her face.

Meanwhile the picture from the book Prusisyon was taken in the late 90's, this time the Vicaria was made to wear it and it seems it still "fits" her, which is incidentally, of the same size as the original Santo Rosario.

In the late 1990's it was planned to restore the Carrascoso into a new fabric so that it can be used once more by the Santo Rosario for the La Naval de Manila festivities.

Off we went to Seville, Spain with a cut sample of the tisú de oro from the Numero II. Luckily an exact match of the fabric was found, however our joy was short lived because we were shocked when the cost involved was computed.

The precious fabric had a narrow width and was said to have been woven manually. When the yardage of the fabric needed was computed that would be enough to cover the Virgin's entire ensemble, the calculator showed around Seven Hundred Thousand Pesos [P700,000.00]!!! The conversion then was around P27 to a US$1.

We had to reconsider. Another fabric had to be substituted, and another cloth-of-gold was bought, apparently woven by machine which was much cheaper and had a wider width. It was the one that was bought for the restoration of the Numero II.

However, to this day, the Carrascoso remains unrestored and the fabric still remains in storage in Santo Domingo.

Photo Credits :

Dino Carlo
Prusisyon: Religious Pageantry in the Philippines by Jaime C. Laya and Lulu Tesoro Castañeda
La Gran Señora de Filipinas

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Numero III

N.B. The following text is taken from the La Naval de Manila Flickr Group where the blogger is a member.
Text from Posts By: Orven & Francis Jason Diaz Perez III

Santo Rosario La Naval de Manila wearing the Numero III

In this day and age when miracles seem to be just a part of a forgotten past, the times of our parents and grandparents, the third vestment of the Santo Rosario, a product of a genius, a masterpiece in our present day, stands as a mute but an everlasting witness that miracles still and do happen in the present.

The third of the Santo Rosario's famous vestments is also called the Sollano Ensemble - the result of a freak accident and answered prayer, a miracle from heaven for a distraught parents.

Dr. José Sollano, Jr. and Dr. Rosario Zaide-Sollano (the daughter of Don Luís Zaide, the Camarero of Santa Catalina de Ricci) have three beautiful children. One day while happily playing with a toy whistle, one of their daughters, accidentally swallowed the whistle which got stuck somewhere in her throat so much so when she spoke the whistle made a sound. Funny as the incident may seem, the little girl had a difficulty with breathing and a few more delays will prove to be fatal. Informed of the incident, the worried parents prayed for a miracle to the Santo Rosario, the miracle of time so that the girl could be brought to the UST Hospital and the whistle could be removed with a delicate operation before the situation turns for the worst.

Heaven smiled at them and their daughter is now a beautiful young lady.

In gratitude for the singular miracle from the Santo Rosario they vowed to donate a new ensemble for the Virgin to wear on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of her making (1593-1993).

Since it was destined to be worn by La Gran Señora de Filipinas it had to be the best.

The gold threads used were ordered in Spain though Dr. Chari's sister who lives there. The design had to be executed by the one and only Rafael del Casal who also supervised the actual embroidery which was entrusted to Glória Manundo, from the famous Talleres de Máximo Vicente.

Rafael del Casal, very much aware that the Numero I is part of the Santo Rosario's signature look, he relied heavily on this concept and thus served as the basis for his interpretation of what would be called thereafter as the Sollano Ensemble.

After the Numero I and the Numero II and in our present day no other vestment of the Santo Rosario has surpassed the beauty of this masterpiece in terms of design, execution and materials that were used.

It is a product of a genius who has devoted his artistic prowess in the service of the Queen of the Philippines and the triumph of modern Philippine Embroidery for the Divine.

The brilliance and definition of the design of the Sollano is its ability to stand out even from a great distance - as the Santo Rosario is seen by devotees and the curious alike. The leaves and flowers are so pronounced and raised at various levels that even from afar you can still make out the flow of the embroidery.

Even in inadequate lighting conditions, the flowers and the form of the design can still be appreciated from afar and up close.

As Rafael del Casal understands very much the La Naval tradition, he retains the signature look of the Santo Rosario. His design, though a modern interpretation of the Numero I maintains the concept and the flow of the Numero I and even in some way that of the plancha de oro y plata.

If it was not enough, the genuine materials used — hilo de oro from Spain that is also used for the famous Madonnas there and the careful execution, the various levels of relief that was employed made this ensemble truly a masterpiece of the embroider's art and priceless in everyway.

But the greatness of this ensemble, after its artistic and monetary value, is the fact that it was given in thanksgiving and as an eternal testament and proof that miracles, we only seem to read now in dusty old books and in the stories of our parents and grandparents, still happen, and that to this very day, the Filipino family still pays homage and devotion, unceasingly and undampened, to the Queen and Mother of the Nation, La Gran Señora de Filipinas - Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario, La Virgen de la Naval de Manila.

Photo Credits : FJDPIII, Erick Photomurals