(San Nicolas, Batangas) – The program for the two-day Taal Lake Fest 2013, September 7-8, 2013, has been approved by the Executive Committee during its July 18 meeting held at the Dolor Pavillon, Antipolo de l Norte, Lipa City. Before the meeting, a Mass, presided over by Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles of the Archdicoese of Lipa, was held to emphasize the religious nature of this Taal Marian Regatta, now on its second year. The Mass also signalled the launching of this event, which starts the 10th National Marian Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace to culminate on September 12, 2013.
September 7 will be the Socio-Cultural part of the festivities around Taal Lake. For the second time, the municipality of San Nicolas will be the hub of these activities which include the launching of the photo contest, food and trade fair which would last till the following day, and cultural shows under the aegis of the Department of Education. By this time, intensive and final preparations of the boats and images, under the watchful eyes of the PNP, Coast Guard and Maritime authorities to ensure their safety, are being undertaken in teh different parishes surrounding the Lake.
The following day, boarding by participants in the fluvial procession around Taal Volcano is expecting to start as early as 4:00 am, in the different designated points in the 9 towns surrounding the Lake. This year, with the advice of the authorities, the participants will be limited to those aged 14 to 60 years old, discouraging people with disabilities to join the fluvial pilgrimage. By 6:00 am, after the blessing of the boats and participants to be led by the Archbishop, participated in by the other priests connected through the 2 radio stations of the Archdiocese, the boats will set to the middle of the lake and at a given signal will move clockwise round the Volcano, setting off to San Nicolas as the final port destination. To ensure the religious fervor during the trip, participants will follow the prayers led from the San Nicolas covered court. The boats are to be equipped with loud monitors. The radio stations — DWAM-FM Spirit 99.1 and DWAL-FM RAdyo Totoo 95.9 — will carry the prayers live for the participants to follow and participated in. This activity is expected to finish by 10:30 am.
After the fluvial procession, the Eucharistic sacrifice will follow at the covered court. With the theme, “Through Mother Mary of Lake Taal, Faith and Total Progress for Stewards of God’s Creation”, one of the highlights in this year’s celebration is the signing of Covenant for Environmental Protection and Preservation, especially the Taal Lake and Pansipit River. This would be participated in by the Municipal Mayors of the towns surrounding the Lake, the Church authorities and other government and non-government agencies, currently involved in safeguarding the area, following last year’s fish kill and other environmental problems that arose in the area .
The Executive Committee is headed by Msgr. Alfredo Madlangbayan, chairman with Mr. Pepe Alcantara as his co-chair. Members are the Parish Priests, Mayors and Cultural, arts and Tourism Officers of the 2 cities (Lipa and Tanauan), 9 Towns (Cuenca, Alitagtag, Sta. Terestia, San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete and Mataas na Kahoy) and 3 other parishes (Subic, Agoncillo; Balele, Tanauan City; and Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa City). Also in the Executive Committee are the representative of the Provincial Government and the Provincial Tourism Office, representatives of PNP, Coast Guard and Maritime. Ms. Edith Aandro, Ms. Aylene Acorda and Mr. Johnny Laylo comprise the secretariat; Ms. Angel Ortiz and Ms. Fritzie Tabones are the event organizers/coordinators.