Bicol's Peñafrancia festival kicked off yesterday with the Traslacion, or the transfer of the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia from the Peñafrancia Shrine to Naga City's Metropolitan Cathedral. But what was supposed to be a solemn affair got marred by violence.
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I can't say I'm surprised. It's an open secret that some, if not most, voyadores (the male devotees who escort the image during the mile-long procession) participate while under the influence. I've heard it said it's the surest way to survive being in the midst of thousands of sweaty, barefoot devotees fighting tooth and nail to reach the andas (float) and the image of Our Lady.
But there's a danger to sitting on a powder keg: sometimes it will explode. That is what happened yesterday.