ILIGAN CITY (PIA) – Some 23,000 devotees and residents here witnessed the Pagpakanaug Ritual (Descending Rite) of St. Michael the Archangel’s (Sr. San Miguel) image and joined in the procession around the city’s major thoroughfares on September 20, two years after its pandemic halt.

The devotees filled the streets while chanting “Viva Senor San Miguel!”. Some also carried replicas of the saint and dressed up as San Miguel while dancing the war dance.

Dressed in St. Michael’s costume, Analiza Lluch, who has been a devotee for 30 years, expressed gratitude that after two years, they were able to perform the ritual dance offered to the patron saint as thanksgiving.

“I’m very happy, sobra sa kalipay. Kay bisan pa nagpandemic, nakasayaw na jud mi ,” she said.

[I’m very happy. Because even though there is a pandemic, we were able to perform.]

Lluch is thankful to the patron saint for protecting her and her family.

The Pagpakanaug also signified the start of the nine days novena mass in preparation for the Diyandi Festival on Sept. 29 in honour of the patron saint.

The Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Red Cross, Office of the Civil Defense, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and other law enforcement agencies and emergency responders ensured the security and safety of the ritual and procession. (LELAntonio/ PIA Lanao del Norte)