Thousands of devotees from Tanza, Cavite joined a centuries-old image of Saint Augustine on a monumental pilgrimage to Antipolo City in Rizal last June 29.
The pilgrimage, called “Ahunan sa Antipolo,” marked a historic event as the venerated 18th century statue of St. Augustine, locally known as Tata Usteng, left Cavite for the first time in four decades.
Festivities included traditional street dancing known as Karakol along with the display of giant papier-mâché figures dubbed as “Higante and Toro.”
The pilgrimage ended with a mass at the Antipolo Cathedral.
During the homily, San Agustin Shrine Rector Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza recalled the historical bond between Cavite and Antipolo.
Both statues of Tata Usteng and Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, also known as Our Lady of Antipolo, arrived in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era.
Found several centuries ago in Tanza, the image of Tata Usteng is believed to possess miraculous qualities and is revered by the locals ever since. They attribute its parading to bringing essential rain for farmers.
Thumbnail photo of the official Facebook page of the Antipolo Cathedral