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For all Fiesta enthusiasts:
(para han mga para-pamatron)

The Carigara East Coast Fiesta this year was in July 11, 2009 and hosted by the Carigaran-ons of TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO The picture on the right is of this year’s reception site.

Parumpag @ Comal River July 12th 12PM


Santo Niņo Catholic Church
5655 Rigsby Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78222
Phone: (210) 648-1705
Fax: (210) 648-5365






The Legend

Early one morning, a fleet of Moro vessels suddenly appeared on the horizon. A Moro raid! The people fled in terror. Those who did not die at the hands of the sea pirates were carried off as captives to be held for ransom or sold as slaves. The old and the sick who were left in the village fell to their knees in prayer. As if in answer, the sky darkened and a storm broke. Then above the present town site a huge black cloud took the form of a cross. When the sky cleared the Moro pirates were nowhere in sight. The people fell to their knees again, this time in thanksgiving. They remembered the cross in the sky, and decided to build their town on the spot over which it had appeared - at the mouth of Kalgara River. From that time on, the Holy Cross became the object of veneration and devotion at the annual fiesta of Carigara.

The History

Jesuit missionaries led by Fr. Chirino left Manila in the middle of June 1595. They took the Panay route and sailed for Leyte. They landed on the shores of Carigara in the morning of July 16, 1595, the same day on which the Triumph of the Holy Cross was celebrated in Spain. On the beach, Fr. Chirino and his brother priests said mass and Brother Garay received communion. 

After the mass, Fr. Chirino and his companions erected a cross to mark the day and the place of their historic landing. They then walked to the town proper where encomendero, Cristobal de Trujillo, along with the townspeople welcomed the missionaries with great festivity and rejoicing. This was the first celebration of the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross in Carigara and in Leyte. 

In the time that Fr. Chirino was in Carigara, he noted two admirable customs:
1) the hospitality of the people; and 
2) the price of rice never varied, whether the harvest was good or bad. While Cristobal de Trujillo was having a house constructed for the Jesuits, the missionaries stayed with him and used a chapel left by the Augustinians as their temporary church. As Fr. Chirino's instruction was to select a suitable mission site, he left three of his companions in Carigara to study Visayan and start catechism classes while he and brother priest, Fr. Pereira, sailed east and south to find a second site. When Fr. Chirino returned to Carigara around the end of July, he found his companions occupying the house the people had built for them.

After his victories, which he partly attributed to the miraculous power of the Cross, Constantine became a committed Christian. When his capital city, Constantinople, was inaugurated on May 11, 330, he dedicated it to the holy Trinity and to the Mother of God. The Santacruzan procession in May features a Reyna Elena and a Constantino to immortalize Empress Helena and Emperor Constantine.

The Holy Cross miraculously appeared again in 1212 during the battle of Tolosa in Spain where Christians overcame their Mohammedan foes. It is said that the battle was won because the Holy Cross appeared in the sky lifting the morale of the Spanish soldiers.

Today, the Triumph of the Holy Cross is celebrated annually on the 16th of July by the townspeople of Carigara. The date commemorates the arrival of the Jesuits in Carigara on July 16, 1595.
In behalf of our beloved parish priests, Fr Martin Parayno, and Fr Anthony Mendoza, and all of the Carigaranos residing in Texas and New Mexico, we extend our sincerest welcome to all of the Cariganos who are here today. This is indeed a special occasion for it is the first time that our Fiesta honoring the Holy Cross is being celebrated in this part of the US. As Carigaranos, we always remember to honor and venerate our Holy Cross since the founding of our town and continue to practice our religious customs and tradition wherever we are. It is indeed a tribute to our Catholic background and upbringing that we get together today from all parts of the US and Canada, to participate in this annual affair. Here in Texas, we are blessed with warm weather, the presence of our own Filipino church and a picturesque city making it a prime city for Fiesta celebrations.

We wish to welcome and to thank Fr Ernest Palaming and Fr Ric Saldito, who have graciously accepted to concelebrate our mass with Fr Martin Parayno and partake of our hospitality. We also want to thank the Santo Nino Choir for participating in this joyful occasion, lending their sweet music and helping in the kitchen. To Mrs Irene Wright who helped decorate the Carrosas and the altar, our eternal gratitude.                       

Let us not forget that this is a religious celebration and our feasts, dancing and merrymaking are only secondary. May everyone enjoy and have a good time.

                                                                                                                   Teodorico H. Jaceldo MD