Bobonanons are a highly religious people. The tradition of the fiesta like most of its religious customs and traditions is an ancient one handed down from the many Spanish religious practices. Most fiestas are celebrated among patron saints and/or the major events in the life of Jesus Christ and His Mother.Bobon's Patron Saint is Señor Santo Niño. Bobonanons venerate the white and the black Señor Santo Niño. But it is widely believed that the black Santo Niño called the Agta is the more mysterious and miraculous one.Stories told by our grandparents have it that the Santo Niño would stand fast along Bobon's shores so that bandits could not enter the town. It was believed that the Agta would leave the church and go around the town to protect the townsfolk from danger. In the morning, people would notice amorsicos all over His cape.It is also believed that some people have attempted unsuccessfully to retouch His face. Also, after one of the fires gutted the church, the people found the Agta miraculously intact and untouched.
The Sto. Niño Fiesta, the Sinulog
and the Sakay-sakay of Bobon
Bobonanons celebrate the fiesta of the Sto. Niño on August 10 and on the second Sunday of January of each year. This is a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation of Bobonanons.The celebration on August 10 usually starts on the day Bobonanons call Ante Vespera (August 8), then goes on to Vespera (August 9), and then to the Kapatronan (August 10). Actually, the religious activities such as the novena start even before the Ante Vespera. The town, though, starts to feel the fiesta atmosphere when the band plays the diana at dawn, the baratillos (discount retailers) come to display and sell their merchandise, the feryahan (fair) opens its rides and a host of other entertainment to the public. Civic parades and athletic activities also take place on vesper day. The religious activities are highlighted by a pontifical mass on August 10 officiated by the Bishop of the Diocese together with invited priests from other parishes.The celebration on the second Sunday of January has evolved from the simple Sinulog and Sakay-sakay (fluvial parade) to the present more elaborate Ati-atihan style. Prior to the introduction of the Ati-atihan style celebration in 1973, the January Sto. Niño celebration started with a high mass and ended with a sakay-sakay in the afternoon. Before the afternoon sakay-sakay, the image of the Sto. Niño is brought to designated places all around the town. In these places, people venerated the image of the Sto. Niño by dancing the sinulog to the "music" of tin cans.At present, the celebration takes its form from the famous Ati-atihan in Ilo-ilo and the Sinulog in Cebu. Different groups dressed in elaborate costumes perform ati-atihan routines and compete against each other for prizes that are given away by the sponsors of the event. After the ati-atihan, there is still the sakay-sakay.
The Flores de Mayo
May is the month of flowers in Bobon. Everyday, during the whole month of May, little girls dressed in white (and boys, too) take turns in offering fresh flowers in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The word is derived from the Cebuano word "sugat" meaning to meet. This event commemorates the meeting of the Resurrected Christ and His Mother and is observed by Bobonanons at dawn of Easter Sunday. During the sugat, the men of the community join the procession bearing the statue of the Resurrected Christ while the women join the procession bearing the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary "Dolorosa". The two processions start from the Church and meet at the town's main street intersection where a castle-like structure is built before proceeding back to church. In the past years, this castle-like structure was elaborately designed so that a little girl angel can be lowered down to unveil the Blessed Mother's heavy black cloak while singing a song of praise in Latin.
Kalag-kalagay (Fiesta sa mga patay)
Every year, on November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day), something unique would take place in Bobon: kalag-kalagay. This practice demonstrates the playful character of many Bobonanons. During this time of the year, it was not uncommon to see flower pots, stairs of nipa huts or even the huts themselves, and mobile stores in the middle of the streets the next morning - all done in the spirit of fun.
The animated Christmas church decoration
During the midnight mass on Christmas eve, the main altar of the church is decorated with animated figures of angels, sheeps, and people celebrating the birth of Christ. There were also figures of the moon and the star racing from the church entrance towards the altar while angels would "fly" showering the people with fresh flowers and perfume. This always kept children awake and guessing as to whether it would be the star or the moon that would reach the altar first.
Paglibot sa Niño during Christmas
On Christmas day, altar boys would bring the Niño (the image of the Baby Jesus) from house to house around the town and even the barrios to give people a chance to kiss and have a glimpse of the Niño
•Apostleship of Prayer•Antonianas•Children of Mary•Lourdes•Legionaries•Milagrosa•Holy Name of Jesus•Dolorosas•Catholic Women's League•Knights of Columbus•Daughters of Mary Immaculate•Perpetual Help•Squirettes•St. Jude•Couples for Christ
The Bobon Parish Council
In 1973, when Fr. Tarcisio Abrematia became Bobons parish priest, he organized the Parish Council which mobilized everyone in the community to take an active role in running the parish. At the first general assembly meeting of the Council, Fr. Abrematia outlined its objectives and presided over the election of the following first set of officers:•President - Agustin C. Paredes•Vice President - Pelagio Casinas•Treasurer - Trinidad G. Carpina•Secretary - Rosario E. ParedesThe first thing the Council did was to organize the whole town into a total of fifty (50) blocks. Each block organization had its own name, a set of officers composed of a chairman, a treasurer and a secretary. The following were the block organizations and their chairmen:•Mansanitas I - Florian Quinones, Sr.•Mansanitas II - Dominador Cardeno•Mansanitas III - Pablo Ricalde•Malimbin - Epifania Escober•Granada - Teodora Sanico•Chico - Rufino De Asas - Felixberto Centino•Narra - Luis Celespara•Avocado - Caridad Torres•Sampaloc - Librada Cobrana•Dapdap - Irene Deniega - Tomasa Lee•Ipil-ipil - Andrea Celespara•Makopa - Julita Paredes•Kaimito - Gerarda Estiller - Pablo Sanico•Igot - Quirino Ochondra•Mangga - Quirico Egang•Kalubian - Juan Bido•Mabolo - Antonio Rodriguez•Peaches - Filemon Morallos•Lanzones - Rodolfo Belo•Sarapati - Trinidad Casinas•Jazmin - Guido Escober - Crispina Dagotdot•Ibong Adarna - Josefa L. Lomo•Bukay - Pedro Duran•Camia - Domingo Doncillo - Exequiela Tagros•Riverside - Antonio Apelo•Everlasting - Teodoro Rebong - Antonio del Monte•Alejandria - Eufrocena Carpina•Lawin - Anacleta Zulueta•Sunflower - Alejandro Morallos•Lem-O-Lime - Claudio Agonias•Golden Beach - Amanda Balite•Git-git - Macaria Tatoy•Seaside - Pablo Tatoy - Nilda Pacle•Talisay - Tiburcio Arceno•Remas - Virginia Baldo•Kalipayan - Socorro Abellar•San Francisco - Macedonio Miscreola•Aratiles - Porferio Gepollo•Beatles - Lilia Sorio•Tambes - Luisa Tobes-Pancho•Gumamela - Andres Alfonso•Rose - Benjamin Batiles•Santan - Violeta Escareal•Banana - Praxedes Quirobenes•Guava - Leonila Chan•Sampaguita - Trifonia dela Torre•Kalachuchi - Estelita Centeno•Atis - E. Eneria•San Roque - Claro Balite•Dalakit - Pio CamposThe Council held its regular meeting in the church every third Sunday of the month. The meetings were attended by all officers of every block. After the meeting, the block chairmen would disseminate what was taken up during the meeting to the members of his block.The Council took the lead in electing and accepting volunteers to sponsor the following annual celebrations:•Santo Niño Fluvial Parade (Sakay-sakay and Sinulog) in January•Repository altar (monumento) on Holy Thursday and Last Supper of the Twelve Apostles and Parish Priest on Holy Thursday.•San Isidro in May•San Antonio in June 13•Town Fiesta Santo Niño on August 9-10•Immaculate Conception on December 8•Nativity - December 16 to January 6 (Three Kings)•Candelaria on February 2The Parish Council also took care of the maintenance of the Roman Catholic Cemetery. Maintenance and janitorial expenses were taken from monthly or annual dues collected from the families of the dead.After the death of Agustin Paredes on March 18, 1987, the Parish Council unanimously elected Antonio C. Paredes as its president. When Fr. James Rojo was assigned as parish priest in 1992, he dissolved the Parish Council and handled the management of the parish activities and its projects from then on.
Past Parish Priests
From 1842 to 2000, there have been 63 parish priests assigned to Bobon. They are as follows:The Parish Priests ofBobon, Northern SamarFrom January 19, 1842 to the PresentFr. Pascual Gomez: January 19, 1842 - April 22, 1842Fr. Jose de Mata: April 23, 1842 - December 18, 1843Fr. Jose Dias: January 28, 1844 - February 1854Fr. Sebastian de Almonaine: March 20, 1854 - July 1, 1866Fr. Pedro Arnais: July 15, 1866 - July 30, 1870Fr. Mariano Casanova *:September 10, 1870 - September 25, 1870Fr. Bernardo Tapiol: October 16, 1870 - April 27, 1879Fr. German Diaz *: April 27, 1879 - June 3, 1883Fr. Francisco Latorre *: June 11, 1883 - June 25, 1883Fr. Candido Esquirra *: June 25, 1883 - September 16, 1885Fr. Gregorio Sosing *: September 26, 1885 - August 15, 1886Fr. Manuel del Alma: August 22, 1886 - December 29, 1889Fr. Pablo Cue *: January 5, 1890 - January 11, 1890Fr. Telesforo Acereda: January 12, 1890 - August 22, 1897Fr. Bonifacio O. Mora: September 5, 1897 - September 26, 1898Fr. Pablo Cue: January 5, 1890 - January 11, 1890Fr. Damaso Valle: July 5, 1900 - February 8, 1901Fr. Jose Deasnes: October 16, 1902 - December 16, 1902Fr. Jose Valle: December 20, 1902 - January 29, 1903Fr. Wenceslao Singzon: February 1, 1903 - December 13, 1903Fr. Basilio Jambrena *: December 27, 1903Fr. Felipe Mata *: December 28, 1903 - June 7, 1904Fr. Agapito Lopez: June 12, 1904 - July 26, 1914Fr. Hermogenes Cela: August 2, 1914- April 25, 1915Fr. Julian Toribio: May 2, 1915 EncargadoFr. Agapito Lopez: May 9, 1915 - May 28, 1916Fr. Julian Toribio: June 4-25, 1916 EncargadoFr. Paulino Camba: June 29-July 2, 1916 EncargadoFr. Pedro Espinosa *: July 9, 1916 - July 16, 1916Fr. Manuel Velasco: July 23, 1916 - October 6, 1918Fr. Paulino Camba: Nov. 3-Dec. 1, 1918 EncargadoFr. Hermogenes Cela *: December 15, 1918Fr. Julian Toribio *: January 19, 1919 - March 2, 1919Fr. Hermogenes Cela: March 4, 1919 - September 30, 1919Fr. Antonio Ybañez: October 5, 1919 - February 13, 1927Fr. Pedro Hierro: February 20, 1927 - September 1, 1929Fr. Gregorio Arnal: September 1, 1929 - October 15, 1933Fr. Anastacio Frechiller: October 29, 1933 - July 29, 1934Fr. Gregorio Garcia: August 5, 1934 - July 11, 1936Fr. Angel Carlavilla: July 12, 1936 - May 21, 1939Fr. Yndalis Cerrano *: May 21, 1939 - August 20, 1939Fr. Manuel Moral: August 27, 1939 - September 24, 1939Fr. Angel del Prisco: October 1, 1939 - January 10, 1941Fr. Alejandro Froilan: January 26, 1941 - May 3, 1944Fr. Nemesio Ocaña: May 28, 1944 - February 3, 1946Fr. Manuel Varela *: February 17, 1946 - June 4, 1946Fr. Froilan Monsanto: June 26, 1946 - May 1, 1949Fr. Juan Acebron: June 1, 1949 - October 29, 1950Fr. Max T. Cruz: November 5, 1950 - December 17, 1950Fr. Sofronio Maceda: December 17, 1950 - June 18, 1953Fr. Jose Ricalde: July 18, 1953 - August 2, 1953Fr. Agrifino Osal: August 2, 1953 - May 14, 1955Fr. Miguel Seno: May 18, 1955 - May 22, 1961Fr. Santiago Dineros: May 22, 1961 - April 22, 1963Fr. Pablo Lanuevo: April 23, 1963 - March, 1973Fr. Tarcisio Abrematia: March, 1973 - April 30, 1978Fr. Gaspar Balerite and Fr. Eleno Tepace: May 1, 1978 - September, 1979Fr. Francisco Bacoy: October, 1979 - September 2, 1981Fr. Nemesio Tan: September 3, 1981 - September, 1986Fr. Bonifacio Salinas: October 1, 1986 - October, 1992Fr. James Rojo: October, 1992 - August 31, 1998Fr. Diego Unay: September, 1998 - September, 2004Fr. Pompeyo Tan: September, 2004 - September, 2009Fr. Potenciano E. Dulay: September, 2009 - Present* Interino
Past Hermanos and Hermanas
From 1943 to 2000, the following have been hermanas/hermanos for the annual town fiesta:1943 - Mrs. Antonia Cabanes 1944 - Mrs. Cecilia P. Sabalza 1945 - Mrs. Cecilia S. Chan 1946 - Mrs. Isabel B. Cornillez 1947 - Mrs. Genoveva Tagros 1948 - Mrs. Tomasa Tenerefe 1949 - Mrs. Benita T. Tagros 1950 - Mrs. Elena C. Gallion 1951 - Mrs. Monica Gremio 1952 - Mrs. Barbara P. Rodriguez 1953 - Mrs. Ricarda J. Evangelista 1954 - Mrs. Regina L. Escareal 1955 - Mrs. Silvestra B. Balite 1956 - Mrs. Romana P. Miranda 1957 - Mrs. Alejandra S. Cornillez 1958 - Mrs. Bernarda C. Merida 1959 - Mrs. Columba M. Sacaguing 1960 - Mrs. Irene Asinas Balite 1961 - Mrs. Irenea L. Tobes 1962 - Mrs. Patricia Sison 1963 - Mrs. Maxima Valera 1964 - Mrs. Eugenia C. Paredes 1965 - Mrs. Nieves Bula 1966 - Mrs. Florencia Tobes 1967 - Mrs. Sergia Dollentes 1968 - Mrs. Remedios B. Cornillez 1969 - Mrs. Cecilia R. Topacio 1970 - Mrs. Albina V. Tapang 1971 - Mrs. Efegenia Calera 1972 - Bobon Parish Council 1973 - Mrs. Margarita S. Escareal 1974 - Mrs. Carmen P. Bandal 1975 - Mrs. Caridad C. Quiñones 1976 - Mrs. Jovita O. Gorgonia 1977 - Mrs. Alice C. Chan 1978 - Mrs. Leonila T. Chan 1979 - Mrs. Ildefonsa P. Caparal 1980 - Mrs. Morita C. Rabuy 1981 - Mrs. Domina M. de Asas 1982 - Ms. Teodora S. Sanico 1983 - Mrs. Lucrecia T. Lustico 1984 - Mrs. Lydia B. Paredes 1985 - Mrs. Helenita P. Bermudez 1986 - Ms. Russi Sanico 1987 - Mrs. Vilma T. Miscreola 1988 - Mrs. Potenciana Cornillez 1989 - Mrs. Nelly B. Hill 1990 - Mrs. Rosa C. Torres 1991 - Mrs. Neria Cornillez Garcia 1992 - Mrs. Milagros Cerenado Peral 1993 - Pablito and Beatrice Bandal 1994 - Patrocenio and Luisa del Monte 1995 - Mrs. Felipa Paredes Ortiz 1996 - Mrs. Higinia C. Chan 1997 - Baltazar and Emma T. Paredes Nelson and Lourdes P. Alaras Cres and Lilia Evangelista Marsan and Lota Evangelista 1998 - Exequiel and Sonia (Oprenario) Manlantao 1999 - Margarita Escareal and Family 2000 - Rosario E. Paredes Rene and Neneng Bautista Butch and Melinda Paredes Dick and Epay Paredes Brian and Lydee Hershey Tez E. Paredes
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