Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish Church
Roxas Avenue, Dadiangas South, General Santos City
Our Lady of Peace And Good Voyage, circa 1965Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the basis of the Spanish galleon's successful eight ocean crossings, and on several occasions, it was attributed to her saving the galleon by warning the people about an imminent catastrophe.
On March 25, 1626, Don Juan Niño de Tabora left Mexico aboard the El Almirante galleon towards the Philippines, bringing along the brown image of the Blessed Virgin. A celebration was held upon the arrival of the image wherein a religious procession was held for the transfer of the image to the Church of San Ignacio in Intramuros.
When Governor Tabora died in 1632, the Blessed Image was turned over to the care of the Jesuit fathers who were then constructing a church in Antipolo. But attempts of the Jesuit fathers to move it from the Church of Antipolo were useless because somehow, as if in protest of leaving this town, the image was always found on the trunk of a tree called the Tipulo which grew in the original site of the old church. Because of these events, a pedestal was curved out of the trunks of the said tree, in hope that it would stay.
When the Chinese in Antipolo revolted, they burned the church and tried to burn the image. It was recovered unblemished. It was transferred to Manila, then to Cavite, where it stayed for 14 years. It was brought on board the galleons of the Filipinas-Mexico trade route on round trips from Manila to Acapulco.
During World War II, the Antipolo Church became a Japanese garrison. It was kept in a drum that was buried under the convent floor. When the town was destroyed, the image was taken by the devotees to the house of Rosario Ocampo and was later transferred to Quiapo Church. It was brought back to Antipolo when the war was over.
The image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was sculptured by Mexican craftsmen. It was carved from dark hard wood similar to the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.
The devotion to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage prospers in the Patronato de Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buenviaje Fund, a collection of public tithes and donations. The fund supports a scholarship program which benefits the poor but deserving elementary and high school students. This program has emerged from an earlier welfare program, which was started by Ms. Cue in 1971. The Patronato is administered by the Parish with the help of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The Paaral ng Birhen (Scholars of the Virgin) were picked from candidates in selected poverty-stricken communities. They were given free education plus school supplies and uniforms.
The Parish is sustained by different congregations of sisters including Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Daughters of St. Dominic.
Celia and Josefina Bautista, children of Eustacio and Catalina Bautista who also served as guardians of the image at the end of World War II are the present caretakers of the Virgin. They also safeguard the Candle Room, Patronato Program and the Camarin de la Virgen. They are also the custodians of Our Lady's replica, jewelry, accessories and a five-hundred-piece wardrobe. The church has been declining dress gifts for some time now and instead ask the people to give donations to the Patrocino Program and other ministries.
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish church today