Makatapak Festival, blessing of ancient bells set in Bacolor

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    Workers prepare to put back the rehabilitated bells of the San Guillermo Church in Bacolor. Photo by Ric Gonzales 

    BACOLOR, Pampanga – All roads lead to this historic town in November as various activities are scheduled to celebrate the 225th La Naval Fiesta Celebration.

    The 4th Makatapak festival on November 19 serves as the centerpiece of the month-long activities, said Fr. Jess Manabat, parish priest of the San Guillermo Church.

    He stressed that “the Makatapak festival is a celebration distinctly expressed by walking and dancing barefooted in a procession, nay, a pilgrimage defining our heritage, our faith and our experiences.”

    “It is an invitation to walk barefooted in a pilgrimage to the past, to the present , and to the future. Makatapak is a call to go back to the roots — a pilgrimage to the past,” added Manabat in a statement. 

    Manabat disclosed that the activities will start on November 2 when the antique bells of San Guillermo will be blessed. Guest of honor is Gov. Lilia Pineda.

    “We rehabilitated the bells because it’s made of metal and bronze before. They will be more durable if they are made of all bronze,” said Manabat in an interview as the workers began to put back the bells at the half-buried church.     

    Third District Board Member Monina “Monz” Laus attended the press conference and launching on Wednesday when they danced barefoot along the Gugu River.

    Laus, a native of Bacolor, rehabilitated her house in Barangay San Vicente three times to promote the return of the residents forced to evacuate in 1995 when lahar flows buried several villages.

     Andy Alviz of ArtiSta.Rita is the musical director of Makatapak which will feature ritual dance, bathe with lahar, street dancing, and food festival, among others.    

    The Centro Catolico de Bacolor led by its president Bob Henson and his fellow official Gina Cunanan are the co-organizers of the event.

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