The Pregnant Image Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
In the small town of Pangil, which lies northeast of Laguna province, there is an old Catholic Church where the pregnant image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is prominently displayed at its side altar. The church owns solely that distinction which no other church can lay claim to. The church is called The Our Lady's Nativity Church.
While Catholic schools teach that Mary conceived the Child Jesus without any physical contact with Joseph the Carpenter, Mother Mary is generally portrayed in pictures and sculptures in the normal fashion which projects her as a revered figure. But at the old church in Pangil, one sees the Blessed Virgin Mary with a big tummy supposedly bearing the Child Jesus. Old folks call the image as Virgen De La O. Tourists flock to Pangil to see for themselves this rare image.
Virgen De La O was actually a gift from Prince Carlos of Spain. As the story goes, the Prince was exiled to the Philippines in 1774, and stayed for three years at the town of Pangil. The Prince enjoyed his stay in Pangil and, as a token of gratitude for the townspeople's kindness and hospitality, he gifted them with the image of Virgen dela O after returning to Spain. With the pregnant image was another statue called Santo Nino de la O. Prince Carlos, later on, held the throne as King Charles III.
Virgen De La O is said to be miraculous. Once the town of Pangil was submerged under water for a long time. The people turned to prayers and asked intercession from the pregnant image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Surprisingly, the water subsided and everything was back to normal.
Today, travelers make it a point to pass by Pangil town whenever they are in the vicinity of the eastern side of Laguna. Virgen de la O is a top tourist attraction. Now, try to visit the churches in any part of the Philippines and chances are that you will not find a single pregnant image of Mother Mary. Buntis na imahen ng Mahal na Ina?? Only in Pangil. In the province of Laguna.
|The Our Lady's Nativity Church in Pangil, Laguna. Pangil is about 1 1/2 hr -drive from Antipolo City.|
|Photo of Pangil Church taken from another angle. Pangil's neigboring towns are Pakil and Paete.|
|Statue of Prince Carlos of Spain who spent 3 years in exile in the town of Pangil in the 1700s.|
|The story of Prince Carlos and the town of Pangil|
|Left side of Pangil Church|
|Statue of the Santo Nino de la O depicting the Child Jesus still in the womb.|
|Church's interior. Virgen de la O is at the right side altar.|
|Pregnant image of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Closer shot of the Virgin de la O|
|The original statues are enclosed in a specially-made frame.|
|Pangil Church's balcony|
|Amother statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the pregnancy stage.|
|The Ten Commandments|
|The Parochial Office at the right side of the church. If the main door is closed when you visit, try the Parochial Office. If no one is there, knock on the adjoining gate. Sacristans will allow entry to the church through a side door.|
|Laguna De Bay. Pangil is very near Laguna De Bay.|
|Breakfast at Jollibee. There are Jollibee outlets in the nearby towns of Siniloan and Tanay. Take note, classmate Allan Alcobendas of New Jersey.|