Revisiting Piat and gambling

I only remember attending a really long mass celebration (three hours, or maybe I’m just exaggerating) complete with PowerPoint  presentation (way before it was used during mass) during my last visit to the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan more than seven years ago. I can’t even remember what the church looked like. Annnnddddd I don’t know anything except that it’s famous in our part of the Philippines because it houses one of the most revered Marian image in the country.

tugue (11)According to Wikipedia, “Our Lady of Piat is one of the oldest Marian images in the Philippines. On June 20, 1954, in a ceremony led by papal delegate Egidio Vagnozzi, she was named “Queen of Heaven and Earth.” The Ibanags call her “Yena Tam Ngamin” (Mother of Us All) and to the natives of Piat, Cagayan, she is known as “Apo Baket” (Grand Matriarch)”.

SONY DSC SONY DSCOn the side of the building, there’s a staircase leading up to a second floor where one can actually hold a part of the image displayed. Piat is famous and many devotees come there to pay homage because the lady has been attributed to many miracles including an end to a drought that threatened famine in the Itawes region.

tugue (9)The tiny hole where you can put your arm and touch the image.

tugue (10) SONY DSCPawa, a delicacy of the North. Basically sticky rice with peanut and sugar filling. I like the taste of this one though I can’t finish more than five (which is already many).

???????????????????????????????Cooked rice inside bamboos. I remember buying one with a similar packaging in Ilocos during a Girl Scout trip in high school but that has more flavor. This one’s not really my type. If it was freshly made and still warm it might have been better otherwise it’s pretty bland.

SONY DSCPopcorn and Palamig which made me nostalgic.

232Walk a little further and you’ll see a road leading up to a so-called miraculous spring.

tugue (15)

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC tugue (17)The water was really clean and refreshing. According to the caretakers, they are starting to limit the people near the spring because the water turns bad whenever there are a lot of traffic. Maybe the gods or whatever surrounding the place are disturbed by human presence.

tugue (37)I have often wondered why a fish is sometimes used as a symbol for Jesus. Well, aside from fishes being mentioned and given symbolic meaning in the Gospels, the sign actually came from Ichthys which is the Greek word for fish. Early Christians needed a symbol that isn’t so obvious like the cross to attract little suspicion and alas, they were able to make an acronym for the word “ichthys” that translate to English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour”.

tugue (32)On our way back to Tuguegarao City, we passed by hoards of people on the sidewalk. According to our tricycle driver, they’re having a motorcycle race. Yes, drag racing (which I think is illegal) in broad daylight!

SONY DSCWe stopped for a moment to watch. Only two people race against each other and the sound their engines were making was scary. Kuya  said that the sport (if you can call it that) is pretty popular in the area and people bet upwards 10,000 pesos to as high as 100,000 pesos for a single race which doesn’t even last 5 minutes. I’m not sure about the authenticity of his claim but he added that the motorcycles are customized the oil used are the same ones used by airplanes!

SONY DSCI guess gambling offers a certain thrill. There’s so many kinds I can’t keep count. Actually, I’m currently reading the Manga “Gamble Fish” and I’m enjoying Tomu’s adventures as a gambler though some parts of the story are so implausible. One idea that kept popping up in the past 110 chapters is to “have the courage to bet on yourself”.

Yeah, right.

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