VIRGEN DE SALAMBAO. Our Lady of Salambao, One of Obando's fertility divinities, and patroness of fishermen, as she appears in 1954.
One of the more unusual Marian images in the Philippines can be found in the fishing town of Obando, Bulacan—Our Lady of Salambao, or Our Lady of Salambao.
The Virgin’s iconography includes a fishing net (salambaw), which figures in her unusual discovery in 1793.
Legends tells of three fishermen named Juna, Julian and Diego de La Cruz, who were out fishing in Tambobong (now Malabon), specifically at Hulingduon, Binwangan. As they pulled in their catch, they were astounded to see an image of the Virgin trapped in their salambao, a fishing net supported by crossed bamboo framework that was mounted on their raft.
They sailed to Navotas, but inexplicably, they couldn’t bring down the image; their fishing vessel had become heavy and had stalled. They proceeded to Obando, where their boat suddenly became lighter and easier to sail, which everyone took as a sign of that Obando was Our Lady’s chosen place of repose. It now resides in the Church of Obando, together with the other patron saints of the town—San Pascual Baylon and Sta. Clara.
The three patrons are the central characters in Fertility Rites that are held on their feast days—May 17, 18 and 19. Every 19th of May, the image of Our Lady of Salambao is taken out for procession, shrouded in the fishing net that has become her most recognized attribute—the salambaw (fishing net). As the patron of fishermen, she is invoked for a bountiful catch and for water safety.
Feast Day: 19 May
Church of Obando, Brgy. Pag-asa, Bulacan