Cavite - Dancing the Karakol with Nana Pilar

The City of Imus is a first-class component city in the province of Cavite. It is considered as the center of religion in Cavite as the seat of the Diocese of Imus which oversees all the parishes in the province is located here. It's patron saint, Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) celebrates its feast day every October 12 with a lot of festivities happening around the City. One of the highlights is the Karakol held on the eve of her feast day.

Last October 11, I went to the cathedral at the city proper to witness and join the festivities. A mass was being held inside the church when I arrived and there were already a lot of people outside waiting for the Karakol to start. While waiting, my mind started to wander. I remember reading one article that in Turkey, Ramadan is also a huge religious festival in their country. During this activity, families, friends, neighbors and relatives unite in faith and come together to celebrate. It makes me want to book flights to Turkey to experience such a wonderful religious activity. What an awesome way to know more about the country's culture and tradition is to join its people manifest their faith.

After about an hour of waiting, Nana Pilar (as Imuseños fondly call her) was finally brought of the church for the Karakol. As She slowly appeared from the main door, people outside started to dance and waved their hand to the Virgin Mary. The image was held on the shoulders by men of the City of Imus while dancing the Karakol as part of their devotion to the Virgin Mary.

Karakol is a religious procession-dance performed during fiestas in Cavite. It is accompanied by folk music played by live marching band or recorded music. As soon as the image was brought out of the church, the people started to dance their hearts out in showing there sincere devotion and love for Nana Pilar. I am happy to witness the overwhelming display of the devotees' faith, zeal and deep devotion towards the Our Lady of the Pillar.

With the beat of folk songs, the devotees danced with Nana Pilar.

Men, women, young and old are there to show their love and respect to the Virgin Mary.

Having been living in Imus, Cavite for the entire 32 years of my life, this special occassion is what we always look forward to; as it gathers families and friends together in celebration of our town's fiesta.

Viva Nuestra Señora del Pilar! Happy Fiesta City of Imus!


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Adelle said...

'an awesome way to know more about the country's culture and tradition is to join its people manifest their faith' -- i couldn't agree more!

SunnyToast said...

This tradition defines Filipino strong faith in religion and to Nuestra Señora del Pilar. I already heard this through an old friend and he even invited me to witness but the worst thing work is in between. Ang saya pala maybe next time I should give a yes. On how you describe and your pictures!

MEcoy said...

finally some place that I personally knew we cavitenios have a lot of traditions but I suggest next year some when in the month of june try visiting cavite city we are having our vrsion of san juan festival which we call regada

killerfillers said...

ah yun pala ang karakol. Happy Fiesta sa mga taga-Imus!

Anonymous said...


thepinaysolobackpacker said...

awesome! thanks for sharing!sayang d ko alam to.

Eileen Campos/ Possibly Pinay said...

I always thought that the Karakol was a Filipino thing and not just a Cavite thing until I started talking travel with other people, I saw myself EXPLAINING the concept of the karakol.

My stepdad used to (i think still does????) join the karakol every year, having lived in Carsadang bago - even now na dito na kami sa kawit - dumadayo pa din sya ng karakol. :) di ko lang alam kung pati recently... :P

Pinoy Adventurista said...

Meron din cguro sa ibang provinces where they dance the Santo... Baka iba lang ang tawag... I grew up dancing the Karakol sa school during Fiesta in Kawit... :)

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