10 January 2010

Biking Bishop leads Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine

San Fabian –9 January 2010. Bishop Lasam Utleg is the Bishop of the Diocese of Laoag (Ilocos Norte). He has a passion for the protection of the environment. Biking and hiking are just but two of his hobbies. He is also 66 years old.

Together with about 200 bikers from Ilocos Norte who are members of different Biking Clubs, Bishop Utleg embarked on a pilgrimage from Luna, La Union to Manaoag, Pangasinan.

The cycling event was dubbed as "Bike for Mother Mary and Mother Earth". The trek covered 105 kilometers from the Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan, Luna, La Union to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag, Pangasinan.

The pilgrim-bikers have been regularly biking around Ilocos Norte. The Pilgrimage by biking has been on its third leg, and on its third year. Bishop Ulteg said that they are visiting Marian shrines. This year's event is just a continuation of their pilgrimage last year from Bantay, Ilocos Sur to Luna, La Union.

Our Lady Apo Baket of Namacpacan was the title given to our Blessed Virgin Mary by the natives of La Union because she appeared to the indigenous people of the Cordilleras as an old woman and offered them food and invited them to be baptized. Apo Baket is how the people call the elderly woman as a sign of respect. The Image got the name from the town itself.

The Our Lady of Manaoag (formally: Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag, literal translation: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag) is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, associated with a statue in Manaoag, Pangasinan said to be from the 16th century. She is the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy. She is also the patroness of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

The pilgrims left Luna at around 5,30 AM.

From Luna, the bikers went to San Fernando and then to Agoo, La Union for a rest and stopover. In every stopover, the group prayed one decade of the holy rosary.

They had a brief stopover at the Parish Church of San Fabian at around 11,00 AM where they prayed the fourth Glorious Mystery. A simple snack was prepared for the tired pilgrims. From San Fabian, they proceeded to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag.

The Biking Bishop, Msgr. Sergio L. Utleg, DD of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

To see more pictures of Bishop Utleg of the Diocese of Laoag and his biker-companions, please click HERE.