Talibon Feast of the Blessed Trinity

Talibon, a progressive town situated on the northern coast of Bohol is the seat of the Diocese, being the resident town of the Bishop. It became a parish in 1831, a year after it was established into an independent municipality, with the Blessed Trinity as its patron saint and whose feast day is celebrated every last Saturday of May.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity or “Holy Trinity” is celebrated on the Sunday following Pentecost (the 50th day after Easter) and which is movable, so the curia of Talibon set it on the last day of May to facilitate the schedules of the “Balikbayans” who come home to celebrate the event.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity is a month-long affair with all parishioners busy preparing their abodes for their yearly expected guests; and fattening cows, carabaos, goats, pigs, and what not, for the forthcoming feast. Feasting on food and drinks usually starts on the “vesperas” or the day before the feast day itself. Others are busy practicing for activities set on dates which are in consonance with the novena Masses.

The grand activity of the church, aside from the usual religious practices of the 9-day Novena Masses, the Holy Mass & procession of the Blessed Trinity and the Fluvial Parade, is the Search and eventual Coronation of the Matron of Talibon. Yearly, a search is made for five (5) Boholano matrons representing: 1) the Local Government Unit, 2) the Visayas, 3) Luzon, 4) Mindanao, and 5) abroad. This is a fund-raising affair and proceeds from this event go to the further improvement of the Talibon Cathedral.

Other activities are lined-up with the Novena nights, sponsored by different organizations. Some performances by out-of-town talents are invited in by the local government unit of Talibon to enhance the celebration. A mainstay activity is the inter-town and inter-barangay basketball tournaments. The Tennis Club of Talibon also joins in with tournaments while inviting out-of town players.

The deep love of the Talibonons for their patron saint is made manifest by their daily attendance of the 9-day Novena Masses, the Procession and the Holy Mass on the feast day and the subsequent fluvial parade. The cathedral overflows with the faithful whenever the masses are held.

Different barangays, offices and organizations sponsor the Novena Masses and the feast day Mass. The queues during offertories are very long. Each Talibonon take this opportunity to publicly display their great love for their patron by offering a portion of their income to the church.

The procession, which follows after the last Novena Mass, is likewise well attended. It seems all of Talibon is converged on this event. First to go are the different patron saints of the barangays under the Parish of Talibon with their escorts composed of the “hermanos” and “hermanas”, then the different religious organizations of the church, and the municipal officials and employees.

The image of the Blessed Trinity is followed by the priests and the lay ministers, the band and then the remaining faithful. The procession is so long that both end meet; wherein the head of the procession arrives in the church yet the tail has not yet left.

The church plaza and the municipal plaza are so full of people as well as the streets surrounding the church and the nearby market. It is the day that the local merchants generate more sales since the people from the far barangays and those from the mountains take time to attend the procession, light candles then go shopping.

The Fluvial Parade that follows after the concelebrated Mass, on the feast day itself, is joined again by the images of the barangay patrons and their escorts plus family members. The fluvial parade is a parade of boats, joined in by all big and native bancas that dock at Talibon pier. The boats, usually decked with buntings and small banners for the occasion, are festive to look at.

It is a joyous occasion for the little ones accompanying their parents for it is their first time to ever set foot on a “big” boat and ride it. Many join but not as much as the procession the day before. The parade follows a short sea route then docks back at the pier. The images and their cohorts disembark and then parade back to the church.

Related article: 178th Annual Town Fiesta of Talibon

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