SAN NICOLAS, Batangas, Sept. 11, 2012―The first Marian regatta held at Taal Lake aimed at creating environmental awareness among the people, drew more than 3,000 Catholic faithful within the archdiocese and outside Batangas.
The successful “Marian Regatta: Fluvial Procession for Peace, Family and Life,” coincided with the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8 and featured different boats carrying various images of the Blessed Mother.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles said the activity augurs well with the local Church’s advocacy on environment with special focus on the famed Taal Lake.
He underscored the need for awareness and faithfulness to the importance of defending the family and nature from harm, urging Batanguenos to help preserve the beauty and splendor of the lake.
“Taal Lake is the heart and identity of Batangas,” he said, quoting his predecessor, former Lipa Archbishop Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales.
The prelate also called on the government and the private sector to dismantle fish cages and to allow the “re-cultivation of indigenous species that could only be found in Taal Lake.”
The event which attracted about a hundred boats served as kick-off for the forthcoming “9th Marian National Pilgrimage” to Lipa on September 12.
Some 50 boats carrying the images of the Blessed Virgin and their respective patron saints participated in the four-hour regatta or fluvial procession around the lake. Included among the Marian images were the Our Lady of Caysasay and Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace.
Boats from parishes of Talisay, Laurel, Tanauan, Balete, Lipa City, Mataas na Kahoy, Cuenca, Agoncillo, Sta. Teresita and Alitagtag joined the regatta as the pagodas passed by. Also seen among those who joined the fluvial procession were several municipal and city mayors and their chiefs of police. Local residents lit fireworks as the procession passed by various parishes.
Arguelles also acknowledged in his homily the strong relations between the Catholic church and local and national government officials. He said Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto was a partner in the pro-life movement, and cited the support of Batangas legislators to the archdiocesan Anti-RH campaign.
Catholic faithful representing the 61 parishes of the Archdiocese of Lipa attended the concelebrated Mass at the San Nicolas covered court after the regatta.
Archdiocesan radio stations Spirit FM 99.1 and the DWAL Radyo Totoo Batangas 95.9 FM, both affiliates of the Catholic Media Network provided the public with timely updates.
The first-ever Marian Regatta ended successfully without any untoward incident with the joint efforts of all local government units, the respective police operatives from various towns and the support extended by the Philippine Coast Guard. (Melo M. Acuna)
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