Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. The Nuestra Señora del Pilar Quasi Parish held its first fiesta as a parish-in-the-making community last Saturday, October 11, 2014 at its present church in Sitio Guilinan, Brgy. Lower Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. A novena-mass was held every 5:30 in the afternoon from the 2nd of October until the 10th. Two diocesan priests joined Fr. Dodong and Fr. Louie in celebrating the daily novena masses.On the last day of the novena, the eve of the fiesta, all the 17 chapels joined and brought their patron saints with their “andas” to join the first procession of the Our Lady of Pilar in Guilinan. On the feast day itself, thousands of parishioners and devotees came for the fiesta mass that was celebrated by the bishop of Ipil, Most Reverend Julius Tonel, DD and concelebrated by Fr. Mark Vaguchay, the chancellor of Ipil, Fr. Dodong Cleofe, CMF, Parish Priest of Risen Christ Parish and Fr. Louie Guades III, CMF the temporary administrator of Nuesta Señora del Pilar Quasi Parish.
Parish-based organizations were recognized and new sets of officers were installed right after the mass. A simple salu-salo was prepared by the people at the main convent – 4 lechon and 4 pigs slaughtered for the occassion aside from the different contributions of the people from every zone. The Jovenes Claretianos prepared a simple program and games in the evening of the fiesta.
The quasi parish is currently raising funds and building the new shrine. The Bishop intended to declare the new parish not later than February 2015 during the first assembly that will be held in Guilinan. Once established and people come for devotion to the Our Lady, it would be called “Diocesan Shrine – Parish of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.”
Nuestra Señora del Pilar Quasi Parish comprises the following chapels of the four zones under the present Risen Christ Parish of Tungawan: Zona San Agustin – Cayamcam, Batungan, Upper Batungan, Phase V, Tambis-tambis; Zona Del Pilar – San Jose I, San Vicente I, San Vicente II, Guilinan; Zona Corazon de Jesus – Tigloc, Payat, Sto. Niño; Zona Sto. Niño – Sinaburan, Tigbungabong, Guadalupe, Terras.
The quasi parish have two convents. The incumbent mayor of the town, Hon. Randy Climaco offered their old house and lot as tentative convent for the priests. Likewise, the donor of the land for the shrine, Mrs. Parel, also offered their house as another tentative convent for the priests.
The precious, one-of-a-kind in the entire Philippines, a 10-kilo image of the Our Lady of Pilar that will be enshrined in Guilinan, is an exact replica of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar in the Basilica of Zaragoza, Spain donated by the Claretian Missionaries of the Province of Santiago and was handed over to Fr. Louie Guades III, CMF in Madrid, Spain on the 4th of August, 2014. It was eventually brought to the Philippines on the 13th of August of the same year and was presented to the people of Nuestra Señora del Pilar Quasi Parish on the feast of the Guardian Angels, first day of novena in honor of Our Lady, October 2, 2014.