Biliran Island Picture Gallery
Naval Church in 1938

Naval Church in 1938

These picture show the well-decorated interior of the church, photographed on January 27, 1938. The date fell on a last Thursday of January, a day that coincided with the vesperas of the Naval fiesta in modern times. I am speculating, but these pictures probably marked the first time the town fiesta was ever celebrated on a January, instead of the usual commemoration on the first Sunday of October. The latter is still celebrated with appropriate religious activities, but without the usual fiesta fanfare.

October was at the tail-end of the famine season (tinggutom) in those days, with the rice harvesting season still weeks away. Because of food shortage, our folks therefore could not have a wholesome celebration. Thus, they proposed to the parish priest to move the fiesta to January, just after the planting season when the residents also still have stocks of rice. (Basic information provided by the late Alberto Bago, nephew of Msgr. Felix Sabenicio, parish priest of Naval for 25 years: 1922-1930; 1931-1947.)

Now that there is already food all year round, would it not be fitting to reunite our municipal and religious fiestas in October?

Discription Courtesy by: Prof. Rolando Borrinaga
Picture Courtesy by: Engr. Leonardo Madeja

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