|CABETICAN;S LOURDES IN CABIAO, N. E.|
As such, many original Kapampangan families can still be found there, still speaking their mother tongue and living the ways of their own culture. The Kapampangans were clustered in a place called Likod—so named because it was located at the back of the church—and it was here that the extraordinary devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes of Cabetican, Bacolor was introduced and propagated.
In barangay Maligaya, a chapel now stands, where, a small, antique print of the Cabetican Lourdes can be seen atop the altar, framed in silver. The story of how this revered object of veneration came to Cabiao is told and printed on a small tarpaulin poster that hangs on the iron grill gate of the chapel.
In the 1930s, a Kapampangan woman named Gertrudes Dizon-Castañeda, had a reputation for seeing visions. Her granddaughter, Lucita Castañeda-Vivas, recalls that her Impong Tuding was often seen talking to herself, or so it seems. But in fact, her Impo claims that she was conversing with an old woman, whom she alone could see.
|THE LOURDES STORY AT THE CABIAO SHRINE|
One day, this old woman, as the story goes, asked her to go to Cabetican in Bacolor to look for a particular picture of a lady there —and to bring it to Cabiao. Impong Tuding obeyed her order, and even though she had no idea how to go to Bacolor by herself, she reached the barrio on the feast day of our Lady of Lourdes.
After walking all over the barrio, Impong Tuding found the picture of the lady. She was sure it was the right one, as she could not take single step after she had beheld it. But by then, she had run out of funds to pay for the print, so she sadly returned to Cabiao without it.
To her amazement, when she got back to cabio and began unpacking, she discovered the small print of the Lady among her belongings, bearing the caption : ING MAPAGMALA NANG LARAUAN NING NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LOURDES. Daralangiñan da qñg Santuario Cabetican, Baculud (Pampanga)
Our Lady of Lourdes became the patroness of Cabetican in 1906, when the populace was hit by a pestilence. The devotion was brought to the Philippines by Capuchin fathers, who had a church built in 1892 in honor of our Lady of Lourdes. Sculptor Manuel Flores was commissioned to make a statue of the Virgin, who appeared to shepherdess Bernadette Soubirous in a grotto in Massabielle, France in 1858.
The people of Cabetican asked for intercession from Virgen de Lourdes for the healing of the sick and to end the plague, which resulted in many miraculous recoveries. A religious book to mark the miracle was printed by the printing press of Proceso Pabalan Byron entitled: “ING MALA NING VIRGEN LOURDES 1906, CABETICAN, BACULUD, CAPAMPAÑGAN. Qñg Mipnung Lugud Ampon Pacamal Mecopia ya iti qñg Imprenta nang Proceso Pabalan Byron a Sinulat nang Jose Crisostomo Soto a Metung Munaman Sacsi qñgMesabing Mala Iniang ing balen Baculud Mirasnan ya qñg Salut …Ñgening Ala ne qñg Tau ing Sucat Ipanulu qñg Dios carin Panintunan”
(Translation: “The Miracle of the Virgin of Lourdes, 1906, Cabetican, Bacolor, Pampanga. By all the goodness and love, we caused this story to be published in the printing press of Proceso Pabalan Byron, written by Jose Crisostomo Soto, one the witnesses to the miracle when Bacolor was hit by pestilence. Now that the cure is no longer in the hands of the people, it is in God that we search for a cure. )
That’s how the religious print of the Virgen de Lourdes of Cabetican found its way to Cabiao, and for awhile was kept in Impong Tuding’s nipa hut. She hanged it on her wall and the picture inexplicably began to get wet. The more she wiped off the wetness, the wetter the picture got. Word went around the barrio about this unexplained that was deemed as a miracle, and soon people began flocking to Impong Tuding’s hovel to pray to Virgin de Lourdes from Cabetican.
The duplicate image of our Lady of Lourdes and the sacred but tattered print are now housed in a shrine that was built through donations to accommodate the faithful and the pilgrims who go there. The roof and ceiling were added in 1993.
Descendants of Impong Tuding are the caretakers of the shrine; they keep the premises clean, as well as sell candles for devotees to light. Cabiao and Cabetican, together with their Kapampangan faithful, have now been united by one Lady, who continue to shower them with blessings and graces, wherever they may be.