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Let a hundred flowers bloom: The Valenzuela City Bread and Flower Festival 2015 in photos
Flower of Youth

Youth dance on the streets of Valenzuela City village Polo during the Bread and Flowers Festival held in honor of patron saint San Diego de Alcala, November 12, 2015. 

Photo by: Rodrigo De Guzman
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Valenzuela City on Thursday, November 12, celebrated its 392nd founding anniversary with festivities at its cultural center, Barangay Polo.

The highlight of the occasion was the Bread and Flower Festival, where dancers in bread- and floral-themed costumes danced in the streets in honor of patron saint San Diego de Alcala, whose feast was also being observed on the same day.

Legend has it that San Diego de Alcala, a Franciscan lay brother who lived in 15th-century Spain and in whose honor the parish in Polo is dedicated, would smuggle pieces of bread out of the convent and gave them away to the poor. He was on his way out to do his usual act of charity one day when a suspicious superior stopped him and demanded that he show what was under his robe. As San Diego lifted the hem of his frock, something miraculous happened: what spilled out of his robe were not pieces of bread but flowers.

The San Diego de Alcala Parish Church was opened by Franciscan friars in 1627, four years after Polo, which had been a small sitio in Catanghalan, became a separate town. The town, three centuries later, would be the modern-day Valenzuela City.

The San Diego de Alcala Parish Church was built in 1627 by Franciscan friars.

Devotees packed the church for the 9:00 a.m. mass.

The Most Rev. Jose Oliveros, Bishop of Malolos, in his homily exhorted parishioners to emulate two things about the patron saint: San Diego's compassion for the poor and faithful observance of the Eucharist.

The mass was celebrated jointly by Bishop Oliveros with parish priests the Rev. Flint Capiral and the Rev. Vic Bartolome.

An elderly devotee.

Schoolchildren from the San Diego Parochial School attended the mass.

City Mayor REX Gatchalian carried the chalice to the altar.

The object of the Catholic faith.

When the mass ended, the dancing began in the streets.








2015-11-13 | By: Rodrigo Carganilla de Guzman (photos) and Rafael Carpio Cañete (words)

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