Pagoda sa Wawa Sails Again

On the night of July 2, 1993 The Pagoda Festival leads to huge disaster that struck the town of Bocaue, Bulacan.

The Pagoda is packed with hundreds of devotees in celebration of the “Pagoda sa Wawa” without knowing that the multi-level pagoda has exceeded its maximum capacity. While devotees on board are enjoying,  a firecrackers fell in one part of the pagoda that causes a fire. Devotees got panic, and run away the fire, the uneven distribution of devotees on board got sunk the pagoda rapidly.

IMG_7244

The celebration is halted on the following year, and just resume in in 1999, but in small boat only.

After 21 years the town of Bocaue bring back the joyous celebration for the Holy Cross.  Last  July 2, 2014 a new Pagoda sails the river of the town. promising a better platform to ensure safety, with a strict implementation that only registered devotees with life best are allowed to board in Pagoda.

This is also the year where they ended their mourning to the victims of the  said tragedy.

IMG_7194

IMG_7266

Devotees are jam pack along the  bridge and both sides of the river bank, waiting for the arrival of the Pagoda.

IMG_7180

 The celebration is participated with 19 Barangays of Bocaue, government offices and other privates companies. Most of them hired a motorized banca, and roam around the river, to add colors to the celebration.

IMG_7185

To add more excitements, some of the motor banca are filled with devotees armed with water gun, and dippers to splash waters to all spectators.

IMG_7275

When the Pagoda arrived it  roam around for many times while devotees   weave their handkerchief in respect to the Holy cross.

 

 

History and Folklore:

Legend states that forefathers of Bocaue extracted the Holy Cross of Wawa from the river 200 years ago, and the celebration is in commemoration of this event. A well known story tells of a woman who was saved from drowning by a floating cross which is presumed to be the Holy Cross of Wawa

 

The Festival:

The Holy Cross of Wawa is a replica of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, is set on pagoda, which is paraded down the river, led by a retinue of bancas. The entire fluvial procession is colorfully decorated and hundreds of devotees from all over the Philippines gather to pay homage to the holy cross of Wawa. The festivities also includes 9 days of novena, which celebrates the the rescue of the Holy Cross from the river of Bocaue. Devotees customarily douse each other with water from the river during the festival, especially during the procession. The density of the devotees forces some to swim along side the pagoda when they cannot find a place for them in pagoda.

 

The Pagoda sa Wawa  is held every first Sunday of July to commemorate the discovery of the cross (except during a year after the tragedy) in Bocaue, Bulacan , in honor of the Holy Cross of Wawa (Mahal na Krus sa Wawa). The festival is also known as the Bocaue River Festival, Bocaue Pagoda Festival, and the Pista ng Mapagpalang Krus sa Wawa (Fiesta of the Blessed Cross of Wawa).

 

Transportation Expenses:

PHP 35.00 from EDSA (Balintawak Market)

 

How to get there? 

German Espiritu Bus Lines is travelling directly from Cubao, Caloocan and Divisoria going to Bocaue, Bulacan via NLEX, travel time is approximately 30 minutes. Inform the driver to drop you in the corner of Mc Arthur Highway. From McArthur highway is 5 minutes walk going to the bridge

 

 

 References:

Wikipilipinas: The Hip n Free Philippine Encyclopedia