Arriving at Paracale, I saw the one of the three churches that is celebrating its 400th foundation on the day itself. The church in Paracale is named Our Lady of Candles or Our Lady of Candelaria. It was built in 1611 using bamboo and nipa which makes it 400 years just like the University of Santo Tomas before it was reconstructed between 1888 and 1898. I admire old churches for their stone structure which authenticate the period of time it was built.
During the old days, Paracale was a mining town. Most of the town’s people lived by mining gold. Every February 1-2, they are celebrating the Pabirik festival. Pabirik is a local term for method in gold mining. A few blocks from the church, our group composed of Bernard Supetran, PR consultant, Benjamin Layug of Business Mirror, Lito Cinco of Daily Tribune, Kara Santos of Sunday Inquirer and yours truly, went to the public basketball court to witness the Pabirik street dancing competition. We were accompanied by the Provincial Tourism Office people of Camarines Norte, Roufel and Amable.
Mostly participated and represented by the schools of Paracale, they gave active performances that are very creative and very modern as well as very colorful because of the costumes. Each group gives account to the origins of Paracale. According to the legend, the Lady of Candelaria goes down the Tabernacle and defend the town against the Moro invaders. We also made introductions to the mayor of Paracale during the event. After watching a couple of performances, we left to visit the other two churches.