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Devotees flock to Sapian’s Meditation Hills
BY FELIPE V. CELINO
ROXAS City — Hundreds of devotees of Our Lady of Lourdes flocked to the Mediation Hills in Sitio Bangkal, Brgy. Maninang, Sapian town for the patron’s annual feast over the weekend.
This year’s Feast Day of the Grotto of Our lady of Lourdes is also the 5th anniversary of the Meditation Hills. The grotto was first blessed on February 11, 2006.
The place, which was opened to the people for visitation and prayer, is being maintained by Acting Provincial Administrator Atty. Jose Villanueva and his family.
Villanueva, also provincial legal office chief, is the president and chair of the Pamily sang Birhen Maria Inc. Board of Trustees.
He said the sacrificial pilgrimage to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is done every year.
A chapel, he said, has been built and was blessed during last year’s anniversary. It was used as the “Healing Chapel.”
A 40-foot cross will soon be erected on the grotto on top of the mountain, Villanueva said.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Sapian is pushing to make the town the “Pilgrimage Capital of Capiz” due to the grotto and the yearly visitation of religious images from other places in the country.
It was through the efforts of Mayor Arturo Orosco and wife Dr. Evangeline’s that religious images were able visit Sapian.
During Orosco’s first term as mayor, images of Black Nazarene, Santo Niño and Our Lady of Manaoag visited Sapian.
Villanueva, his wife Violeta and their two children, Maria Karen Luisa and Joevanni, were faithful devotees of Our Lady of Lourdes.
For the past 33 years, as long as they are in the country, they have always been taking a monthly pilgrimage to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
Villanueva once dreamed of building the grotto on his five-hectare hilly property along the national highway in Sitio Bangkal.
In January 2005, together with a few friends, he went to his property which he has not visited for almost 20 years.
Amid a slightly forested area of the land, Villanueva found an unusual stock of giant boulders, in the very same place that kept on appearing in his dreams. It was where the concept of the grotto was born. The grotto was on top of the hill resting among the giant boulders. It could be reached from Mambusao-Talaba Highway and through the concrete and winding stairs and walkways from the parking area at the foot of the hill./PN
Prov’l board to probe misuse of gov’t vehicles
BY FELIPE CELINO
ROXAS City — The Provincial Board will investigate the alleged misuse of government vehicles by some officials and employees.
In his privilege speech, Board member James Magbanua said he was disturbed by allegations that some government officials and employees were using government vehicles for non-official and personal reasons.
Despite not mentioning names, Magbanua was categorically referring to Salim Biclar, an employee assigned at the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO).
Biclar was caught using her Korando, which was issued by the provincial government, in sending and fetching her children in a private school in Brgy. Banica here.
“I thought that it would be timely and proper for this Sanggunian, as a collegiate body, through the Committee on Good Government, to consider the conduct of administrative investigation pertaining to this allegation,” said Magbanua, also the chair of the Committee on Rules and Ordinance.
Magbanua also suggested to the committee to consider drafting an ordinance on the rules and procedures in conducting administrative investigations to be observed by the Provincial Board./PN
Pa nabbed for ‘molesting’ kids
ROXAS City — A father was recently arrested after his 15- and 18-year-old daughters accused him of sexually molesting them.
The suspect, identified only as Joel of Brgy. Dayao here, is currently detained in the lockup cell of the Roxas City police station.
The 15-year-old victim told the police that Joel went on top of her and massaged her private parts.
She managed to escape the suspect by kicking the latter’s private organ, police said.
The victim said Joel did the same to her 18-year-old sister.
According to the victims, the suspect threatened to kill them should they report the incident to the police.
It was their mother who encouraged them to report their father, the victims said.
The mother is currently working in Kuwait.
Joel strongly denied the allegations, but the victims pursued filing charges against him. (Felipe Celino/PN