Inspired by the Visitation of the Blessed Mother to her cousin Elizabeth as soon as she learned about her condition as announced by Angel Gabriel, the Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish started a beautiful tradition. This is called “Dalaw ni Maria.”
For nine consecutive days, (Monday through Friday excluding Saturdays and Sundays), different enclaves of the PCJ community prepare for the visit of Mama Mary. This tradition was started in 2014, and has since been one of the events our PCJ parishioners look forward to as part of the preparation for its Parish Fiesta in February. The image of Our Lady of Candelaria visits nine families located at different enclaves, and stays overnight for the families to pray in vigil.
The second year of this devotional practice brought in some changes which deepened the devotion of our parishioners to our Blessed Mother, as these families now opened their doors to neighbors who would want to pray too, in vigil.
This year, in celebration of the parish’s 35th anniversary, this traditional visit of Mama Mary evolved into an avenue of communion of communities, with youth festivities incorporated in the program, a cooking contest where the main component is “malunggay” and a videoke challenge that encouraged homeowners and parishioners to show their God-given talents in singing. All these formed part of a joyful celebration in honor of our Blessed Mother and was embedded in the 9-day Novena Mass program in preparation for the Parish Fiesta Celebration on February 2, 2017.
This devotion with the changes introduced in 2017 brought communities closer in communion with one another as they actively prepared for the added activities, encouraging their own family members to participate and willingly inviting neighbors and friends to join in the festivities, all celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Candelaria, Our Patroness. As one Homeowners Association president puts it, “We are glad to have been chosen to be a place of celebration in honor of Our Lady, where we can freely express our sincere devotion to her, not only through prayer but through joyful participation in the singing and cooking contests. We are truly blessed.”