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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Patron Saints Of San Joaquin Town

Two patron saints were consecrated and perpetuated in the town of San Joaquin and two fiesta celebration is being held in their honor. It is interesting to know why there are two saints being enshrined in this town - Saint Joachim who feast is held every August 16 and the Little Child Jesus or the Santo Niño whose feast is being celebrated every third Saturday of January.

It was told in the tradition that the wooden image of Saint Joachim was once washed ashore in the town, so it was nicknamed "Floating Saint." The image probably landed in the place not far from the  present-day location of the town's church. However the woman picking up "lumban" shells in shallow waters mistook this as "katao" or mermaid and with the help of her husband she called, whacked it with gravel and throw some stones to it until the object floats back to the sea. In crossing the sea, this unusual object lands in the shores of Barrio Gosi, Ilog, Negros Occidental, in a form of wood. A logger from a distance who gather floating timber chance upon the wood, picked it up and happily went home. He was not yet half the distance on his way home when he noticed the object he is carrying is becoming heavier and he estimates that he could not carry it. To carry it lightly he thought of cutting it. When the sharp edge of the ax hit the wood, he was terrified to see not resin or water that comes out of it but very red blood dropping from the cut, together with moaning the object speaks.

"On the other side of the shore I was not even given a chance to land instead stoned to send me away and here, I was being hacked."

Suddenly, the wood shapes the image of Saint Joachim, the father of Virgin Mary. The shocked logger was dumbfounded. When he gained consciousness from shock and remorse, he brought the image with all reverence in their chapel. The people who saw the image proved that it has a wound at the back, that they thought caused by an ax of the logger. Eventually, that man was rewarded nagkamit-palad.

This is the story of  Santo Niño or the Holy Child of Jesus. One day, the Kapitan Mayor which is equivalent to present-day mayor went fishing.  He used the method "panglaya." In his fishing and to his amazement, fish is not caught by his net but instead the image of the Little Child. He gave it to the priest, and in return brought it to the altar of the church. In one of these days, the town was invaded by the bandits who ransacked the convent and threatened the life of the priest. It was said that the image saved the life of the priest by showing in the form of a child pointing to his heart. The enemies of the state were shocked and immediately abandoned the convent without any hesitation.

In his act of gratitude to the image, the priest brought it with him when he went to Tigbauan. For his stopover in this place, the image always disappear and found later at the church of San Joaquin. There are some travelers who foretell that they always meet a child while they are going to Tigbauan from San Joaquin telling that he is going to San Joaquin, a town close to his heart.

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