Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day in Santo Domingo

Merry Christmas to all !!!
--from your La Naval blogger, Chris aka Lord Zagato

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advent in Santo Domingo 2009

(December 15 - 24, 2009)

December 15 - 23, 2009:
8:00pm - The Solemn Anticipating 9 day of Simbang Gabi

Dec. 15 - Rev. Fr. George Moreno, O.P.
Rector and Parish Priest of Sto. Domingo Church
Dec. 16 - Rev. Fr. Edwin Lao, O.P.
Dec. 17 - Rev. Fr. Nilo Lardizabal, O.P.
Dec. 18 - Rev. Fr. Marcelino Saria, O.P.
Dec. 19 - Rev. Fr. Wilfredo de Leon, O.P.
Dec. 20 - Rev. Fr. Alfred Fernandez, O.P.
Parochial Vicar
Dec. 21 - Rev. Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P.
Dec. 22 - Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arciwals, O.P.
Rector and Prior of Sto. Domingo Church and Convent
Dec. 23 - Rev. Fr. Larry de Dios, O.P.
Parochial Vicar

9:00pm - Rev. Fr. George Moreno, O.P.
Rector and Parish Priest of Sto. Domingo Church
10:00pm - Rev. Fr. Quirico Pedregosa Jr. ,O.P.
Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines

December 16 - 24, 2009:
4:30am - The Official Solemn 9 day of Simbang Gabi

Dec. 16 - Rev. Fr. George Moreno, O.P.
Rector and Parish Priest of Sto. Domingo Church
Dec. 17 - Rev. Fr. Marcelino Saria, O.P.
Dec. 18 - Rev. Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, O.P.
Dec. 19 - Rev. Fr. Dennis Maquiraya, O.P.
Dec. 20 - Rev. Fr. Wilfredo de Leon, O.P.
Dec. 21 - Rev. Fr. Clarence Marquez, O.P.
Dec. 22 - Rev. Fr. Hermel Pama, O.P.
Dec. 23 - Rev. Fr. Jerry Malangit, O.P.
Dec. 24 - Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arciwals, O.P.
Rector and Prior of Sto. Domingo Church and Convent

(DECEMBER 15 - 24, 2009)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - Wednesday of the Third week of Advent
First Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 7:18-23

Thursday, December 17, 2009 - Thursday of the Third week of Advent
First Reading: Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17

Friday, December 18, 2009 - Friday of the Third week of Advent
First Reading: Jeremiah 23:5-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 72:1, 12-13, 18-19
Gospel: Matthew 1:18-24

Saturday, December 19, 2009 - Saturday of the Third week of Advent
First Reading: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
Gospel: Luke 1:5-25

Sunday, December 20, 2009 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
First Reading: Micah 5:1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Monday, December 21, 2009 - Saint Peter Canisius, priest and doctor - Optional Memorial
First Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-14, or Zephaniah 3:14-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - Tuesday of the Fourth week of Advent
First Reading: First Samuel 1:24-28
Responsorial Psalm: First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
Gospel: Luke 1:46-56

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - Saint John of Kanty, priest - Optional Memorial
First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66

Thursday, December 24, 2009 - Thursday of the Fourth week of Advent
First Reading: Second Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
Gospel: Luke 1:67-79

"Readings for Midnight Mass for Christmas"
First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14

Friday, December 25, 2009 - Christmas - Solemnity - * Holy Day of Obligation *
"Readings for Mass at Dawn"
First Reading: Isaiah 62:11-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 97:1, 6, 11-12
Second Reading: Titus 3:4-7
Gospel: Luke 2:15-20

"Readings for Mass during the day"
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6
Gospel: John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14

Credits :
Thanks to Daisy Siete
From the La Naval Flickr Group

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The La Naval Altar on the Feast Day of the
Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 08, 2009

GMP 2009

Privately owned replica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila participating in the annual Cofradia de La Immaculada Concepcion Grand Marian Procession in Intramuros. I have yet to know who owns it. It is very beautiful and the Galleon-Carozza is enormous!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Majestic Portrait

An Amazing Profile of the La Naval

Photo Credit
: Roger Salva. All Rights Reserved. Published with permission. Please ask the permission of the original owner if you intend to publish this photo in print or visual media. Please respect intellectual property rights.

| R.Salva's Flickr Photostream |

Back in Her Altar

The Image of the Santo Rosario
back in Her Altar-Vault wearing Her day-dress

The Baldachin being disassembled
This year's La Naval Fiesta is now officially over.

Photos were taken 07 November 2009 after Saturday anticipated mass.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Centennial Vestment

Wearing Her Centennial Vestment

The Queen’s coronation gown

By Gino U. Marasigan
Last updated 11:35pm (Mla time) 09/09/2007

MANILA, Philippines – On Oct. 4, the Philippine Church and the entire Dominican family will celebrate the centennial of the canonical coronation of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila.

For this once-in-a-lifetime occasion, a very special dress is being made since February and is now on its final stages of embroidery. It will be ready for the commemoration of 100 years of the Filipinos’ love and devotion for the Queen of the Holy Rosary.

On Oct. 5, 1907, His Holiness Pope Pius X declared the venerated image was a beacon of faith and hope for the Filipino people, and recognized the miraculous cures and favors granted to her devotees.

On that day, a huge crowd gathered in various places at Plaza de Isabel II, Paseo de Magallanes, Plaza de Santo Tomas, Plaza de Santo Domingo, and Intendencia in Intramuros—to witness the canonical coronation. It was the first papally approved coronation of a Marian icon in the history of the Philippine Church.

For that occasion, the image wore a magnificent gold-embroidered cape with the signature papaya-leaf design and a gilt-silver plancha (frontal) which is still in use today.

The robes, offerings from el pueblo filipino, were locally crafted using flat metallic and bullion threads from Europe.

In an atelier in the metropolis is an elaborately designed and resplendently crafted dress being given the final touches by a team of 10 sewers and needlepoint workers.

After almost seven months of intense and intricate needlework under the supervision of the bordadera, Nena Bernales, interweaving vines, palm fronds, and garlands of roses have come to life.

The original design by Arthur Munar left virtually no empty space on the basic lamé. To distinguish one floral figure from the other elements of the design, Bernales used a mix of metallic and genuine Indian gold inuod threads (because of its worm-like appearance).

Millimeter by millimeter, thread by thread, the dress is being fashioned to perfection.

The exquisite apparel is a gift to Our Lady of La Naval by the family of Eddie Chua. Through the years, many benefactors and Marian devotees have offered gifts to Our Lady in the form of heirloom jewelry or gala dresses, as tokens of gratitude.

Some gifts easily come to mind, such as the Carrascoso dress, also known as the numero dos, which was worn in the 1950s and fabricated in Spain using gold threads.

In the 1960s, a quite unique dress was made in Vietnam, using an Oriental motif, and was worn by the image as a pambahay after the October festivities.

A pink-and-blue dress, given by the family of Dr. Rolando and Nancy Mendoza, is usually worn by the Virgin in May.

A complete ensemble using gold thread for the blouse and skirt was given by Dr. Joey and Chary Sollano in 1993.

For Bernales and her family, the opportunity to sew the Virgin’s dress for such an important occasion as the centennial of the canonical coronation is not just an honor and a privilege, but truly the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. As a teenage girl, she chose to stay indoors doing her delicate gantsilyo edgings for her mother’s pillowcases, half-hoping that one day she, too, would have the chance to offer something beautiful to the Virgen de La Naval.

Numero I - Woman Clothed with The Sun

2006 Official Portrait of the Santo Rosario
wearing Her signature Numero Uno

NB : Article from conversations of La Naval traditions experts Flickr members.

The Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario is the finest example of a traditional Filipino Marian iconography. The celebrated Virgen is famous not only for her jewels but for her vestments as well.

La Gran Señora's sayas and mantos may not be able to compete in terms of quantity, as can be seen in the collection of quite a few famous Vírgenes in the Philippines, nonetheless, her few gala ensembles are the best example of religious embroidery at its finest in their respective eras.

The Santo Rosario's gold-studded Manto de la Coronación is perhaps the most precious of its kind in existence of Philippine religious embroidery. It sheer size and the amount of gold that went into the making of this priceless treasure remains unmatched from the time it was made to our present day.

Indeed the Santo Rosario must have been utterly breathtaking to behold in her intricate gold and silver plancha with her gold-studded manto otherwise known as Numero Uno (I).

The last time the Santo Rosario wore here signature manto was in 2006 for Her official photographs for the Centennial of her Canonical Coronation.

According to those who have examined the Numero I, the base cloth used for this precious masterpiece, was tisú de oro, this was later on covered with entirely with laidwork or "binanig" [in local parlance] in expensive gold thread is a time-consuming process.

It was only after this, was the actual embroidery laid out, with the flowers and leaves raised so high that they no longer look like just embroidery but almost like they were sculpted.

The rose and the leaves look so real even after the passing of the centuries and the antique patina it now shows..

Detail from the Manto de La Coronacion - Santo Rosario's Numero I

According to the practitioners of this type of embroidery, the flat thread is the most expensive of all the hilos de oro and is said to be the most difficult to work on..

Embroidery detail from the Santo Rosario's Numero I

Some even speculate that certain tools or contraptions were used to be able to achieve the high relief and tight embroidery that was employed in the Santo Rosario's Numero I.

The Numero I was made to match the metal plancha de oro y plata and at its original state shimmered like the sun making the Santo Rosario an exact vision of Mary clothed with sun...

Credits : Article from conversations of La Naval traditions experts Flickr members. Photos from Mr. Aldwin Ong, MD. Please ask permission of original owner if you wish to publish in print or visual media. Please Respect Intellectual Property Rights.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Viva La Virgen!

The Rescue of Our Lady of La Naval
by F.P.
Ink on Paper

Our amazingly talented friend has again delighted us with this interpretation of one of the greatest miracles of the Santo Rosario. Her survival of the bombs of the Japanese during WWII. Read about the story in The Fugitive Image.

--- --- ---

Image Credit : Scanned and Published with Permission from the Artist. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without the permission of the Original Owner. Please Respect Intellectual Property Rights

Wed in Her Most Blessed Altar

Lucky couple Mar Roxas and Corina Sanchez got a special chance to have their wedding in front of the Sto. Domingo La Naval Altar. The Vicaria of the Santo Rosario occupies the baldachin after the La Naval festivities but the altar is still something to behold with the Goldleaf Altar Frontals and the baldachin still in place. Congratulations and May Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila pray for you both. Thank you to Mr. Kevin Tatco for allowing us to post his exquisite photos of the altar.

The Lady's altar looks magnificent!

Mr. & Mrs. Mar Roxas

--- --- ---

Photo Credits :
Mr. Kevin Tatco
You can see more of Mr. Tatco's Awesome Photographs at :
| | | Flickr |

Published with Permission. All Rights Reserved. Please ask permission from the original owner if you wish to publish in any form of media. Please Respect Intellectual Property Rights.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

La Dia Fiesta 2009

Photo Credits :
Amazing Shots from Martm's Flickr Photostream
With permission. All Rights Reserved. Please ask the original owner's permission if you intend to publish in print or visual media.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Little Big Queen

Seeing you made my heart jump just like little Johnny inside Elizabeth F.P. May the Holy Mother under her name of The Santo Rosario La Naval continue to bless you and pray for you...

you can visit my flickr photostream for more photos

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Iconic Image

La Gran Señora de Felipinas
Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de La Naval de Manila
Venerada en la Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Photo Credit : Nate from Flickr

Friday, October 2, 2009

La Naval 2009 - Day 1 of Novena

2009 Live Radio Coverage Schedule

The Celebration of the Solemn Festivities of LA NAVAL DE MANILA 2009 will be broadcasted Live over DZME 1530khz from October 2-11, 2009.

October 2, 5-9:
from 5:30pm - 7:00pm

October 3,4,10:
from 5:00pm - 7:00pm

October 11, 2009:
from 4:00pm - 7:00pm

La Naval de Manila Mini Series

Photo by: ALDWIN ONG
Poster Design by John Ryan M. Debil


A video presentation by
John Ryan M. Debil

to be presented in the
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City



October 2, 2009 (Friday) - Day 1 of the Novena
(Pilot Episode)
'El Sendero de Conversion'
Landas ng Pagbabagong Loob

October 3, 2009 (Saturday) - Day 2 of the Novena
'Ningua Gloria Mas Grande'
Walang Hihigit na Kaluwalhatian

October 4, 2009 (Sunday) - Day 3 of the Novena
'Ruega Por Nosotros Pecadores'
Ipanalangin Mo kaming Makasalanan

October 5, 2009 (Monday) - Day 4 of the Novena
'A ti Clamamos'
Sayo Kami'y Nananangis

October 6, 2009 (Tuesday) - Day 5 of the Novena
'La Ultima Esperanza
Ang Huling Pag-asa

October 7, 2009 (Wednesday) - Day 6 of the Novena
'La Furia de Ondas'
Bagsik ng mga Alon

October 8, 2009 (Thursday) - Day 7 of the Novena
'El Triunfo de Fe'
Tagumpay ng Pananampalataya

October 9, 2009 (Friday) - Day 8 of the Novena
Gratitud Interminable'
Walang Hanggang Pasasalamat

October 10, 2009 (Saturday) - Last Day of the Novena
(Finale Episode)
'Cuando el Viaja es Concludio
Sa Hantungan ng Paglalakbay

Friday, September 25, 2009

Details in the Number

  • 2 - Number of Ships the Filipino/Spanish forces used to defeat the Dutch Armada in the Battles of the La Naval
  • 3 - Number of canonized saints that have prayed in front of the Santo Rosario (San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente Liem dela Paz, San Francisco de Capillas)
  • 6 - Number of Santo Domingo Churches that have been built. The five previous ones have been built inside the walled city of Manila (Intramuros) while the 6th one now built in Quezon City
  • 7 - Number of bombas that give the Santo Rosario its "volcanic" shape
  • 12 - Years the Santo Rosario resided in UST during WWII (12 years 10 months exactly) from December 1941 to October 1954
  • 12 - Number of Beatos that have seen the Santo Rosario. She is thus called Madre de los Misioneros.
  • 15 - Number of ships in the Dutch Armada defeated in the Battles of La Naval.
  • 15 - Number of mysteries of the Rosary before the institution of the Mysteries of the Light by Pope John Paul II in October 16, 2002.
  • 18 - Number of Gold Karats that was used for the Cannonical Regalia
  • 20 - Number of Gold Karats that was used for the 1811 Corona Imperial
  • 20 - Current number of mysteries of the Rosary
  • 344 - Number of Diamonds set unto the Cannonical Crown of the Niño
  • 508 - Number of Diamonds set unto the Cannonical Crown of the Santo Rosario; 365 of which are big to medium sizes, 134 are brilliants and chips and 9 are rose-cut
  • 638 - Total number of gemstones in the Cannonical Crown of the Niño
  • 1083 - Total number of gemstones in the Cannonical Crown of the Santo Rosario
  • 1593 - Year the La Naval was reputed to be carved
  • 1811 - Year inscribed in the Corona Imperial of the Santo Rosario and its Niñ0
  • 1907 - Year of the Solemn Cannonical Canonization of the image of the Santo Rosario, held October 5
  • 1952 - Year the cornerstone of the 6th Santo Domingo in Quezon City was laid
  • 1954 - Year of the Solemn Transfer of the image to the New Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City
  • 1946 - Tricentennial celebration of the La Naval held at the Santissimo Rosario Parish
Sources : Discussions in the Official La Naval Flickr Page and The Saga of La Naval: Triumph of a People's Faith

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Mama Mary !!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

La Naval 2009


"OCTOBER 1, 2009"
5:00pm - The Solemn Enthronement Rites Ceremony
6:00pm - The Celebration of the Holy Eucharist

"October 2-10, 2009"
5:00pm - The Solemn Novena-Mass
Holy Masses:
Monday - Saturday (Every Hour)
5:00am, 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00nn and 6:00pm.
Sundays (Every Hour)
Morning Masses:
5:00am, 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am.
Afternoon Masses:
12:00nn, 4:00pm, 5:00pm.
Evening Masses:
6:00pm, 7:00pm.

"Novena Services":
6:50am and 11:45am (Filipino)
5:30pm (English)

"October 3,7 and 10":
7:30pm - Beso Manto

"October 11, 2009 - Solemn Fiesta of LA NAVAL DE MANILA"
Solemn Fiesta Masses:
5:00am, 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00nn.
Misa ng Bayang Pilipino:
3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
4:00pm - Solemn Procession Rites
6:30pm - The Re- Enthronement and Solemn Closing Rites

Details from Flickr Member Ramon Carlo

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweeter than Any Flower


I first came to Sto. Domingo Church when I was just a child. My parents when they were still together as a couple were very much devoted to Our Lady of Manaoag. I grew up looking at the beautiful face of the Virgin Mary holding Her the Infant Jesus. In a way, it was my parent's devotion that started my love for Our Lady. One day when I was around twelve or thirteen years old, I saw a news paper article saying that the Lady of Manaoag will visit the Shrine in Quezon City. I was thrilled and immediately asked my father if we could drive from our home in Taytay, Rizal and visit Our Lady. My father was equally excited and willingly drove his excited child to Sto. Domingo Church. I remember how excited I was as I walked down the side corridor of the church towards the church's right wing. There I saw Our Lady of Manaoag... I don’t remember what I prayed for, but it was a special moment for me. It was easily the highlight of the year for a child to meet the Queen of Heaven.

Many years after, when I was twenty-five, I was planning to get married but things where not that easy unfortunately. I moved to Caloocan with my boyfriend's family, it was a very hard decision for me to move in with them but I had no choice at that time. I was very happy because I was with the man that I love, but our life seemed hard and complicated. My only strength that time: The Rosary.

There were no nearby churches so we usually don’t go to church at Sundays... One day, I was alone in the house (my then boyfriend doesn't want me to work and preferred that I stay at home,) I was looking at a map of Metro Manila and saw that Sto. Domingo is just a ride away. I was thrilled and felt like crying recalling my first memory of the church. It was perfect timing, I felt vulnerable and weak and strangely in very complicated situation to say the least. I spoke to my then boyfriend and asked if we could go that coming Sunday, he agreed.

Saturday night, I had a weird dream: I saw what looked like a painting of a forest... In the middle, a clearing, like a road of some sort... I could have easily walked through but a muddy and dirty, swamp like thing was on the way.. So obviously I could not pass, although I did not see myself in the dream... I was then surprised to see flowers growing in that muddy-swamp-like thing blocking my way... I can still remember those flowers and what it looked like. Like it was last night's dream! Pardon me, but what it looked like shall remain a secret because it might lose its sweetness again.

I woke up and told my then boyfriend... I did not know what it meant, but I honestly thought it was something positive. Like a sign of hope... It was in my mind the whole day. Then it was time to go to church... I remember that scene when I was a child, and I honestly felt that same excitement just thinking I will be meeting Our Lady of La Naval. I remember watching Her Coronation on television. I stepped inside that same side altar, but there I saw not Our Lady of Manaoag but La Naval. My heart was beating so fast, like I was approaching Elizabeth Windsor's throne.

We sat on the front pews so we could look at Our Lady up close. Then it happened: Like a lightning, it came suddenly, I saw the flowers in my dream again, only this time it was in Our Lady's foot. I was shocked and could not concentrate the whole time. I immediately told my boyfriend and he of course believed me. I was in total amazement! I looked at Our Lady and thanked Her for that dream, for that sign. Perhaps a sign or a personal message telling me that She could still remember that excited child who visited Her many years before. A message that probably said that She was expecting my return. A sign that She was aware of my then present condition.

I felt loved. Loved by Our Lady. I knew it, the dream was a sign of hope that no matter what, She will be there for me. The forest clearing was there waiting for me, I just had to hold on to Her and trust Her during the times of trouble and pain. It was a promise from Her.

We visited Her a few more times, then in one significant visit, when the mass was over and after kissing Her mantle, I looked back and bid Her farewell. I studied Her delicate face and the "DREAM" flowers and suddenly felt sad. Like She was telling me that it would be the last time that I would see her for a long time. I knew it in my heart that it will come true. AND IT DID!

A few days later, we moved to Mandaluyong and there She fulfilled Her promise to deliver me from my burden. The muddy swamp was dark and dirty and sad, a reflection of my past situation. But Our Lady chose to show mercy and delivered me through Our Lord's help. I am now in Bacolod, twenty-seven years old and living that "forest clearing" in my dream.

This is a humble story of Our Lady's often sweet messages to Her children. That we are not alone, that we are children of The Queen.


Dana Santos

Testament of Faith

This is an amazing story shared to us from a devotee from Cavite... He's truly a great artist. I am sure our Lady of La Naval is smiling down on his amazing amazing tribute...


To all my fellow Santo Rosario devotees, my name is F.P. and I live in Cavite. Allow me to share this rather long story and please bear with me as I share this rather big story about a little Queen…
2:05 PM, October 12, 2008, National Shrine of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila. At last, I reached the shrine for the Great Procession of La Naval, after being drenched in the sudden downpour from TM Kalaw, Manila, and having gone down the last vehicle I have to take for me to reach the stupendous edifice that was Santo Domingo church. I have at last, reached my destination -- well not just me though. For in my hands was a big box that served as an impromptu shelter for a little Queen, a 2 foot high replica of the Madonna. And not just some ordinary Madonna, for when I reached the doors of the church, the large Madonna of the La Naval was being brought down from the Baldachino and being installed in her triumphal carroza. It won’t be long until my two foot replica of the La Naval will join the procession, and will meet, face to face with the La Beata Virgen Canonica -- the original La Naval.

Since 2003, I have been a devotee of the La Naval de Manila. And even before that, I have been, more or less, a devotee of the Santo Rosario since this string of beads was exactly the first prayer taught me by my mother. Since then, especially when I was in high school and later during the worst years of my life, the Holy Rosary had been my principal weapon against despair. And yes, there were miracles. Some discreet, some spectacular, but all were given by God in times of great need, thanks to His Mother.

Shown in these pictures is the very replica of the La Naval de Manila, though not like the other replicas in Santo Domingo and elsewhere, where they average to about 6 feet tall, from pedestal to the top of the Virgin's head (I dont know exactly how tall the La Canonica is) but this one is different! She is around 2 feet 4 inches tall, but she is virtually an exact replica of the La Naval in her canonical regalia -- well almost though I have to make a few adjustments. I did her myself -- for ten months, from January to October, right at the eve of her fiesta. Funny to think though that it took me a decade to do this! No, not ten years, but rather from January to October. 10 months -- one month for one Ave Maria in a decade of the Rosary. The motive was a collective Thank You to Both Jesus and Mary for the all the things They did to us through the Rosary.

My devotion to Mother Mary and Jesus Her Son via the Rosary is no funny matter. This is exactly, as I would repeat, the very first prayer taught me by my mother, and both of Them (our Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary) prove to be very close to us through this prayer. It was through this prayer that saw us through the difficult times.

It was through this prayer that aided my mother through her heart ailments.

It was through this prayer that saw me through and aided me to succeed during my high school years, third year high school to be exact. Thanks to Them and Their help, I made it to the creame section.

It was also this prayer that consoled me through the difficult, battering times of my senior years. During those years of isolation when virtually no one wanted to befriend me just because I was different from the others. I focused on my studies while the rest have to enjoy their lives in the bandwagon of adolescence.

It was through the devotion to Mary in Her aspect of the Santo Rosario that granted my father a job -- overnight! Or more amazingly, 8 hours after we prayed and clasped Her Hand through a Santo Rosario image that visited a Mall in Alabang (it was a Manaoag statue, but still the same Mama Mary). Viva la Virgen!

It was through this prayer that we were utterly spared from the apocalypse caused by the 220 kilometer per hour winds of Typhoon Milenyo, that September 28, 2006. All of the trees in my neighborhood were demolished. Those winds were merciless! They were strong enough to lift whole houses (well barung-barongs actually) and snap concrete power poles as if they were stick-o chocolate sticks! But neither, NOT ONE of the 23 trees in my yard was ever uprooted or destroyed. The altar was lit with candles, I was praying the rosary while Hell was roaring outside the door. I can see the sky turn brown and the winds literally growling like a beast. Then the eye came everything calmed down, but Hell returned again! But GRACIAS A DIOS!!! VIVA LA VIRGEN!!! We were spared! Not even a single roof shingle blown away!

It was also through Them through the Rosary that we were also spared the wrath of Typhoon Frank. I was praying the Rosary again and the storm weakened significantly, even when the eye skirted more than 20 dozen kilometers from my house, but the winds were still strong enough.

It was also a Rosary that I was praying at the altar, when I and virtually millions of others were praying for the failure of the missiles that PyongYang, North Korea, was launching for their tests (what the hell were they doing? Inciting World War 3?) Anyway, after 9 days of Rosaries, the missiles were fired, but they all went dud and fell into the sea according to CNN! GRACIAS A DIOS!!! VIVA LA VIRGEN!!!

Not to mention that it was through the intercession of Mama Mary, even if it did not involve a rosary, that won other favors, such as my inclusion into a Senator Angara scholarship in college (big, BIG help for my family, especially with the much needed stipend) and I wound up Magna Cum Laude when I graduated -- GRACIAS A DIOS!!! VIVA LA VIRGEN!!!

And so, in my desire to have a replica of the La Naval in my house, and of course, in gratitude to all the things Mama Mary and Her Son Jesus did to us, I have ultimately decided to make a replica of the La Naval.

I started by surfing through the Internet for photos from the Virgin as a whole, down to the very jewelry that she wore during her coronation during that October 1907. At this point, I would like to send my sincerest thanks to the photographers for their astounding pictures. I also have personal photographs of the La Naval -- I took those photos with my camera during the 2003 La Naval. Lastly, for details, I also had a large poster of La Naval bought straight from Santo Domingo on 2004. I have to use them for reference to transform the otherwise, old little worn-down statue of the Manaoag into a neat looking replica of the La Naval de Manila. And I got round of the La Canonica in her canonical attire -- I set myself to work.

The materials were all cheap -- gold foil paper (palara, to make the accessories such as the 2 crowns, the halo, the rostrillo, the golden baston and staff and the intricate embroidery of the mantle) gold textured foil paper for the manto, silver cigarrette foil ( for the silver pedestal) recycled scratch paper (for the cloud pedestal) white water-based poster paint for the Virgin's and Nino's face to imitate ivory. Oh yes, I used scratch cartolina for the mantle and inner garment. I cannot carve their hands -- it was all too intricate, so I cut paper folder hands for them instead.

The jewelry? Nope they of course are not real diamonds, cant afford that! The 24 stars around her head are actually accentuated with green glasss cut to look like emeralds. I was looking for something to look like diamonds but then I came across these green emeralds. Something in me told me to choose this, and it worked out perfectly! Anyway, the emeralds will represent the green color of our Islands that She Interceded to God to stem the Dutch away. Oh yes, in fidelity to the real Aurole, I have to craft more than 53 little springs made of tiny wire, wound around safety pins to make them -- they were fastened with molten plastic glue to make the stars quiver -- a tremblant.

The mantle was very VERY ELABORATE! It took a painstakingly long time to make the appliques, amidst the mind boggling arabesques and curlicues and flowery abstracts of the design! It was the Numero Uno that I imitated. But I have to make a few adjustments to fill in the gaps in the design and voila!

Thus, streams and streams of cut glass diamonds ( from fancy headbands 15 pesos a piece), and silver sequins, red imitation ruby buttons (thanks SM Southmall) and cut silver cigarrette tinfoil, were painstakingly glued to accentuate her canonical crown, the rostrillo, and the halo. Multi colored jewel stickers from 1 peso marshmallows were used to imitate the emeralds, the topazes, the garnets and other stones used in the 7 archepiscopal rings set in the Virgin's staff and her baston de capitan. And lastly, there were small objects from my house, small humble tokens from our home and our lives that I would like to place on the Madonna -- like the Virgin's and Nino's crowns. They have bottle crowns to fasten it on their Heads -- thanks to little magnets glued on their Heads. These were from the store that thanks to Them through the Rosary, is now 4 years old and still running prosperous!

At last, by October 11, 2008, at around 11 PM, she was complete. The next day I crafted the collapsible cardboard box to contain her on our journey to Santo Domingo, where she will be blessed and crowned.

To me though, the work was hard, but every gesture, such as cutting the designs, glueing the stars and setting the cut glass jewelry, was a prayer in itself. I remembered breathing a "Hail Mary" everytime I would stencil and cut the gold tinfoil -- thank you Mama Mary this I do in gratitude to all Your help and Your Son's too, be all the Glory and Thanks.

October 12, 2008, Santo Domingo Church, 3:05 PM. I finally found a spot near the reception lobby where I dressed her in silence. Of course, people were looking as to what I was doing. I got round of a Dominican priest named Father Nilo -- very good American English accent though. I asked him for the favor to bless the Madonna and crown both of Them, which he did -- first the Child Jesus and as soon as the Virgin was crowned we sang the Salve Regina, and up came Her Halo on her head.

She was quite a sight indeed, smiling as a Dominican priest was paying her tribute. And so was everyone who saw her on that day -- nuns, religious, seminarians, acolytes who accompanied the Saints on their flowery carrozas. The little Queen followed right after the carroza of Saint Dominic -- I carried her of course. But when she was brought into the church and out of the door she must have been a sight indeed, enough to make the audience gasp in silence, aim their cell phones and at least for 2 people, reach out and venerate her -- Later, scores of people woud touch her, venerate her and bless themselves upon seeing her that night. One elderly Knight of Columbus made a half salute when he saw Her! (to my suprise, I was about to say sorry for having bumped against him).

It came to the point that other scores of people would take their pictures alongside her on a table in one of the offices in church, where we both retired after the 2 hour procession. Quite funny though that the Virgin's halo was already tiliting to the right when they were shooting pictures with her that night. I certainly have to fix that! And one Dominican priest joked with an elderly matron saying, "Hindi ikaw and cute! Ang cute si Mama Mary!"

Though if course there were accidents. she bumped against people thrice and the Nino fell to the floor and to the pavement; His Crown broke, good thing they didn’t trample on it -- and He has to proceed crownless! The second fall was a bit tragic, since in my effort to fix Him, we missed the La Canonica and the thousands who followed her. Anyway, the La Canonica and the little Queen did greet one another at the doors of the church, when La Canonica was brought out in great applause, and when during the procession, they were approximately 20 feet off, right in the midst of a stupendous sea of candles and prayers that was the Procession de la Processiones.

Thus on that time, the little Queen it seemed, was not only a little token of eternal thanks for all that our Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary had done to us through the years. But to the thousands who came to that La Naval de Manila, the little queen became a small but very profound object of their faith and devotion. She became for them, the La Naval, though of course, she is La Naval, only a smaller. But of course, you cannot climb up the carroza to touch the real La Naval Virgin -- you have to be a member of the Justice League to do that ( Ha! Ha! Ha!). Thus, in one way, the little La Naval is the Madonna that they can touch with their fingers, as well as their eyes and their hearts.

Now, she is at the little altar of my home, along with other Santos which I bring out in procession in some times of the year. But due to the stupendous impressions I felt during that October 12, I will bring her to Santo Domingo year after year now, this time, with candles to light her face, (on lamps of course, I don’t want her to burn and become a candle herself!), all in thanks to the Virgin and to her Son. And for the sake of the hundreds of faithful who call on Both of Them as La Naval de Manila.