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Jagna's 375th Founding Year
« on: June 25, 2016, 03:05:34 PM »
"THE PADAGAN SA COMETA and DAGIT SA MGA BITOON"

A SPECIAL FEATURE (Jagna's 375th Founding Year)

2006 - FOR more than a century, a traditional show annually held inside the stone church of the Saint Michael Archangel has held church goers in suspended thrill as they watch the gliding comet gather the star lanterns hung near the ceiling inside the church. The show is also part of the Christmas show that local and revelers await as they eagerly allow the Christmas drama to unfold in the daily scriptural readings. The show, sources said started after the church building was completed in 1867, when the present parish church like every other Christian church, has been decorated with lanterns every Christmas season. Before Christmas eve, the nativity scene called the belen is placed near the altar complete with a comet hanging above it. Completing the grand display are stars of varying shapes and sizes hanged on the left and right walls inside the church just beneath the ceiling. Jagna old-timers say that before the revolution against Spain , people used small stars and a small comet. But in succeeding Christmases, the stars "grew" to their present uniform shapes and sizes now also in a kaleidoscope of colors.

The star's halo is one and a half meters in diameter and its tail is over three meters long. The head of the comet and its tail are even bigger and longer. Then some people proposed other animation innovation. The changes would then put the comet on its historic run from the east to its hover above the nativity scene in the altar during the eve of Christmas. Then, at the epiphany, or the Feast of the Three Kings, the comet snatches the stars as it passes near them. Since then the show - padagan sa kometa ug dagit sa mga bitoon - became what both the young and the old look forward to in the church at Christmas. Active churchgoers in the heart of the town used a combination of long ropes and pulleys of varying sizes from the choir loft or coro to the altar. Smaller ropes connected to each star attaches it to the main line. With these ropes and pulleys, the operators maneuver the comet to glide to and fro and up and down. Jagna prides itself as the only town with the uninterrupted "show" - now part of her Christmas tradition. This tradition is so loved by the people that it was never interrupted even during the Japanese occupation. While the community moved out of the Poblacion to a makeshift church structure in the hills of sitio Sun-ok, Tejero, Rev. Fr. Filomeno Lucero and his assistant Rev Fr. Aguedo Cimafranca still managed the padagan sa kometa ug dagit sa mga bitoon in their evacuation site.

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