LOOK: Thousands join fluvial procession in Naga

Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2017 06:06 PM

NAGA -- Thousands of Filipino Catholics celebrated the annual festival of the Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga City, Camarines Sur province on Saturday.

The festival started with a "novena" or nine days of prayer at the Cathedral of Naga, where the wooden image of the Virgin Mary was brought from its original home at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia also in Naga City.

The culmination of the week-long festival was the fluvial parade along Naga River, which has become an annual attraction for the city attended by devotees and tourists.

The statue of the Virgin Mary, fondly called "Ina" by Bicolanos, is actually a replica of the Madonna in Salamanca, Spain.

Devotees waving white handkerchiefs greeted the image as it made its way through the river and the narrow streets of the city pulled by the "voyadores," or devotees entrusted to carry the image and bring it back to its home shrine on the last day of festivities.

Filipino Catholic devotees scramble around the carriage carrying the image of Jesus Christ during the annual Penafrancia festival in the city of Naga in Camarines Sur. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Devotees wait for the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia along the streets of Naga City. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Members of the Philippine Army volunteer for the security of the procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

The image of the Virgin Mary is held aloft by devotees before it is put on top of the carriage that will carry it throughout the procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Thousands crowd around the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia or the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the start of the procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

"Voyadores," or devotees entrusted to carry the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia, pull on the ropes that carries the carriages of the statue. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Thousands try to touch the Virgin Mary while thousands more just watch the procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

A man crawls on top of other devotees to touch or kiss the image of the blessed Virgin Mary. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Devotees scuffle around the carriage carrying the image of the Our Lady of Penafrancia. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

The fluvial procession of the Our Lady of Penafrancia winds its way along Naga River in Naga City. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Priests recite the Holy Rosary along the route of the procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

A barge carrying the image of the Virgin Mary is surrounded by other boats joining the fluvial procession. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

A devotee watches the fluvial procession on a bridge along the river. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds join the fluvial procession on colorful boats. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds join the fluvial procession on other boats. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News