(San Nicolas, Batangas) – The first-ever Marian Regatta to be held at scenic Taal Lake around its volcano will be held on September 8, birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This event, sponsored jointly by the Archdiocese of Lipa, the Provincial and local governments of Batangas, and private sectors, will serve also as the kick-off ceremonies for the forthcoming 9th Marian National Pilgrimage to Lipa on September 12.
Rev. Fr. Eleuterio Ramos, the over-all chairman, said that the theme “Taal Lake Batangas 2012, Marian Regatta: A Fluvial Procession for Peace, Family and LIfe” jives very well with the local church’s advocacy on environment centering on Taal Lake, and the need for more awareness of the faithful about the importance to defend the family and life. He said that the 13 municipal mayors surrounding the lake have agreed to promote this as they themselves would be beneficiaries from local and foreign tourists that would flock to witness this historic and first-ever regatta.
Mr. Pepe Alacantara, lay co-chairman for this event, disclosed that more than 50 boats with the images of the Blessed Virgin and their patron saints will participate in a synchronized fluvial procession to be assisted by the Coast Guard, the Maritime and the Provincial PNP.
“We will not be doing anything that will destroy the environment. The local governments have committed to do the clean-up of whatever things that would be left at the lake after the event,” he assured those who aired their concern over the materials to be used, and even the proposed fireworks display that would be one of the highlights of the event.
For his part, Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles said that it is only right to bring to the attention of the Batanguenos to the plight of Taal Lake, which he said, quoting his predecessor, Gaudencio Cardinal B. Rosales, “Taal Lake is the heart and identity of Batangas”.
“We should learn how to take care of the lake and its resources,” he said reiterating his plea for the fish cages to be dismantled and for the re-cultivation of the indigenous species that could only be found in Taal Lake. “We will storm heaven with prayers during the fluvial procession, which will have the two Lipa Marian images prominently participating — the Lady of Caysasay and Mary Mediatrix of all Grace.”
It was learnt that the Archbishop will bring the Blessed Sacrament around the lake. Among the passengers in his boat will be Governor Vilma Santos Recto, who threw her full support to this project. The Governor said that this is an opportune time to promote tourism around the lake, which has a lot of resorts and other recreation centres, notably in San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete and Laurel, among others.