Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FORT PILAR CANDLES AND ANECDOTES

When I blogged about Fort Pilar, I myself never really gave extra meaning about the candles other than it being a symbol of thanksgiving and the red dragon candles was just an accepted tradition.

Interestingly, it was through the Commex that made me wonder about the Red Dragon candles. It has to be through other people's eyes for us to see beyond what we see as day-to-day!

I thought, "who should I ask?"... it seems to me, the  elderly (as I said, Pardon me!) candle store owners had been there forever and would be the best persons to answer this.

I met a beautiful lady with the name of Mely (of Mely's Love), who shared a lot about this. They say Mely is usually the spokeswoman when TV crews from Manila would come to interview them. She is the daughter of Pinang who was one of the candle vendors from way back when!

When I bought my first candles from her, she automatically said, "BLUE FOR OFFERING TO MAMA MARY, RED FOR LOVE"... "And if you have received your blessings, RED IS FOR THANKSGIVING"!
I was amused at how lively and animated she was. .. and how observant! She asked me if I was a lawyer or a judge! What!?! 

The candle vendors mentioned that the new Candle Colors previously posted was adapted from Cagayan De Oro... must be from the Divine Mercy Shrine!

I asked her and also the ladies from Meng's Candle about the red dragon candles and they shared that it started with the Chinese devotees who usually dream of the Lady of the Pillar and who were bestowed blessings!  They come from all over to offer candles. These devotees bring the Chinese Red Dragon candles especially during the eve of the Fiesta.
Our Lady of the Pillar is known to be MIRACULOUS!
As far as they can remember, even during the 50s and maybe even earlier, gigantic red dragon candles are placed on each side of the present entrance gates with the diameter of electric posts and about twice taller than people and these huge candles are continually lighted.

Lots have changed since those days... including economics, change of Shrine administrators and more likely, security and safety issues, so that there is now a fence around the shrine and the candle owners have been moved to Plaza Del Pilar, which is actually a better place!

As far as I remember, the size of the red dragon candles have also decreased, but I know the devotion has not!

An interesting story told by Ma'am Mely is how the Lady of the Pillar is miraculous and has shown apparitions to her mom, Manang Pinang and herself. She can remember her Mom told her about seeing the Lady giving bird seeds to the birds as if reminding them to keep the birds in the area. When she was a little girl, they would come to the Shrine at about 4 a.m. and there is a very cute little boy playing who suddenly disappears. Her mom would tell her just to go straight and keep quiet and just pray. 
She also has seen how a miracle of healing has happened in their own family and the sick little child on the verge of death is now a healthy family man!

Another story they share is that even our brother and sister Muslims come and offer candles to the Lady of the Pillar still for the same reason that they dream of her and also for miracles that have happened which they attribute to her. They say, these Muslims come and look for "Sitti Maryam". They know about this because they have bought the candles from the candle vendors themselves!!!

My conversations with Mely and the other candle vendors have been heartwarming and interesting and has made me look at many things in different ways. I was so happy to learn so much from them... including the story about the birds which I have blogged earlier!!! 

22 comments:

  1. nice piece of history
    glad you share

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  2. Ever since I was young, we also bought our candles from Love's store. We are her suki! Great read on the background of the red candles. Didn't really think much about them being there either! hehehe

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  3. I have not heard of this until now. Thank you for sharing. I always go to St. Jude and light candles during exam weeks.

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  4. i haven't visit it yet.. i hope soon. your gif of the candle is so nice! :)

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  5. very interesting...thank you for sharing...

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  6. so that's the story behind the dragon candles... thank you for sharing!

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  7. Thanks for sharing. We can really pick up a lot of information just by being open to meaningful conversations, just like what you had with Mely.

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  8. very cool. I like the dragon candles. :)

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  9. I saw on TV how candles were made and even these dragon candles! Quite simple but if one is not passionate about it, the result will not be as beautiful as the ones we see for sale :)

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  10. i don't know much about the candle colors and their meanings but i think as long as you pray with all your heart, regardless of what color of candle you are offering then it will be heard, right? :)

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    1. actually, that is also what I believe in!!!

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  11. I am amazed with these candles. Would want to know which color is for which..

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  12. i heard din that there are meaning to each candle color. does it really matter? i wonder how that started.

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  13. I really love what you share about Zamboanga :) And yes, it takes another person's perspective to remind us that not is all just as it seems, marami pa ngang pwedeng malaman about the usual places and events we thought we knew about :)

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    1. Thanks... I am appreciating Zamboanga more while I am doing this!

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  14. She didn't even asked if you're a reporter. Heheh :D Glad to know what it's all about.

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    1. hahaha... no I am not a reporter but maybe I was in my "past life"... I am in the medical field... maybe even my friends are wondering why I still have the time to do this or even think about this!

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  15. I was one of those who was also curious about the red dragon candles in your previous post. :) So thankful that you took time to research about. :D

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    1. I also became curious when you started asking... but so happy to have met the gracious candle vendors after talking to them....

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  16. Great story and origin of those kind of candles. I might blog about it as well sometime soon.

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  17. Wow, fellow Zamboanguena! We should really get together one of these days. Anyway, thank you for sharing this very informative post.

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