HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF PIAT
The miraculous image of our Lady of the Rosary, popularly known today as our Lady of Piat, for brevity, was sculptured in Macao, then a colony of Portugal. Presumably, upon the request of the Dominican Missionaries, the image was brought to the Philippines sometime in the year 1604, and placed in Lallo, then the Episcopal See of Nueva Segovia, for the veneration of the people. When the Dominican Missionaries started the Christianization of the Itawes region, they found the natives of a very rebellious character, and they thought it valuable for their work to introduce the devotion to our Lady among the people. Eventually the image was taken to Piat, and erected on a side altar. It was not long when the people felt special manifestations of divine favors through Our Lady. Their love and devotion to Our Lady had grown with the years, and attachement to her image bordered fantacism. This was clearly seen when Fr. Juan de Santa Ana sent the same image to Tuguegarao in 1622 and ordered another one more beautiful from Manila to replace the image. In no time, the people rose up in public protest and asked to the point of insistence that the original image be returned to them. Knowing the peculiar character of the people, Fr. Juan de Santa Ana finally gave in, and the image was brought back amid great rejoicing of the people. There arose, however, a dispute between the people of Piat and Tuao as to where the sanctuary should be constructed. Happily, solomonic solution was found, and it was agreed to have the sanctuary built between Piat and Tuao. The people worked with great enthusiasm on the sanctuary and in 1623, the edifice was ready. On Dec. 26, 1923, the image of Our Lady was brought in a solemn procession from the parish church of Sto. Domingo to the new sanctuary. The following morning, a High Mass was sung and the sanctuary solemnly blessed with a great concourse of the faithful present. For the first time, the care of the sanctuary was given to the charge of a certain lady by the name of Dra. Ines Maguillabbun. It was she who introduced the pious custom of keeping a votive light burning day and night before the Lady's image, a custom which is kept up to this date. Many years later, the people suffered great losses due to the inundations of the Chico River. Their deeply-rooted devotion to Our Lady prompted them to move her sanctuary near the riverbank in the hope that Our Lady would spare them from the scourges of the yearly inundations. As a result, the people built a more spacious church of more durable materials on a hill about a mile from the parish church of Sto. Domingo. Fr. Diego Pinero, later restored by Fr. Jose Gurumeta in 1875, began the present sanctuary.
One who sees the image of Our Lady of Piat for the first time will be surprised by its natural charm and appeal. This might be explained by the fact that the image is life-size, and has features very similar to our own. It is made of carved wood, and with the passing of time, it has taken a natural brown color so peculiar to Filipinos.
Before the missionaries arrived in the valley, the people had surely no idea about Our Lady, but once brought to their knowldege their love and devotion for her was spontaneous. Originally placed on a side altar in the church of Sto. Domingo in Piat, the people nevertheless, never failed to kneel before her image in silent prayer. Their simple faith and confidence in Our Lady won for them her all-powerful intercession. Her sanctuary is veritably the Mecca of the whole Cagayan Valley.
A few silent wonders wrought by Our Lady will be of great interest. In 1624 there occurred a drought throughtout the whole Itawes region. Three times the people planted their fields, but the plants dried up due to lack of rain. Frs. Francisco de Santa Ana and Andres de Haro, parish-priests of Piat and Tuao, respectively, decided to implore Our Lady's help in behalf of the oppressed people. From the pulpit, the priests exhorted the people to go to confession and communion warning them that this calamity was a just punishment for their sins. The people humbly complied with the exhortation of the priests, and promised the sanctuary of Our Lady, and there offer a Mass in honor of Our Lady. Our Lady was so much pleased with their faith, and humble disposition that on that very night she sent a copious rain. Thinking that the rain fell throughout the whole region, the parish-priest of Piat announced to the people the following morning that it was no longer necessary to go in procession to the sanctuary of Our Lady, in as much as she had answered their prayers, and the way made impassable due to the heavy rain the night before. But the people wanted to prove their gratitude to Our Lady, and they insisted that the procession finally reached the sanctuary (which as we noted before was equidistant form Piat and Tuao) the people of Tuao already gathered there, and to hear that not a drop of rain had fallen on their fields. Those devotess of Piat immediately concluded that they had not complied with the exploration of penance for their sins. However, those devotees of Tuao repented for what they had done and all went to following the good example of the people of Piat. After having religiously fulfilled their promise to the letter, Our Lady did not delay the heavens gave intermittent heavy rains. Since then, the sanctuary of Our Lady became a center of devotion, and a refuge in all trials and tribulations.
Another outstanding wonder, which our Lady of Piat worked, was that in behalf of the nephew of Dra. Ines Maguillabbun, first caretaker of the sanctuary. The child of five years was suffering from a swollen arm for four days, and because there were no medicines, neither did anyone know how to cure it, the child was simply left to his fate not without great danger of losing his life. It was then that Dra. Ines brought the child with her to the sanctuary not precisely to ask for his cure, as she confessed later. The child was left asleep at the altar steps of Our Lady's image, and when he woke up he was not little surprised to find his arm entirely whole and cured. The news of the wondrous cure went like wildfire in town, and the parish priest wanted to ascertain that it was Our Lady's work. Dra. Ines denied having gone to the sanctuary for the purpose of asking Our Lady to cure her nephew, but when the child was questioned he admitted having asked Our Lady to cure him with just this simple words: "Holy Mary, have mercy on me."
The cure was so instantaneous and so effecacious that everybody believed it was Our Lady who miraculously saved him.
P. Andre recalls another wonder of Our Lady. A couple in Iguig, Cagayan lives for so many years without bearing a child. They decided to ask the advice of the priest about the matter. The priest had no other advice to give them except to make special devotions to our Lady signifying their great desire to have a child and to offer that child in a special way to her. Both man and woman complied as they were told by the priest, and in a year, a child was born to them and was baptized Juan de Santa Maria in fulfillment of the promise they made to dedicate their child to Mary.
As early as 1883, Pope Leo XIII, the Pope of the Holy Rosary, granted several indulgences to the faithful who under the usual conditions make a visit of pligrimage to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Piat.
A. Plenary indugence can be gained on July 02, feast of Our Lady of Piat.
B. Plenary indulgence on the occassion of a visit or pilgrimage on any other day.
C. 100 days indulgence to those who visit the sanctuary or any day.
There are quite a few conjectures on how Piat got its name. One has it is that it derives from "piyas," an Ilokano word, in Ibanag "addulu" and in Tagalog, "kamiyas." Another has it that the word comes from "aggapiya," meaning "healer, masseuse," and a more credible version has it that it is derived from the Ibanag and Itawes word "piya" which means "goodness, kindness, health."
The town is located in the southwest part of Cagayan Province in what is known as the Itawes Region, 125 40' East, 17 North, along which the Rio Chico runs west, south, and northwest of the town until it debouches into the Rio Ibanag somewhere near Nassiping.
The original people were the Itawes; at present, there are many Ibanag. Ilokano, Tagalog, Kapampangan and other dialect speakers. There are also families of Spanish and American descent. The head of the family was called "urayan" or "baruwang" and the council of elders "Kammaranan." There were also war leaders and braves called "mengal," and priestesses called "anitera" from the Spanish word called "anito" or "minangilu" in Ibanag, "mangilut" in Itawes and "baybaylan" in Bisayan; there were few priests among the ancient people.
They were a free an warlike people; Fray Diego de Aduarte speaks about "the courage and valor of this tribe: such that the Spaniards feared them. They staged a few uprising mostly because of the exactions of the "encomenderos." However, through the works of the Dominican missionaries, from "blood-thirsty wolves," they became "gentel sheep."
THE ARRIVAL OF THE SPANIARDS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Magellan's expedition, which set out from Spain in 1519, touched down in Homonhon Island on March 16, 1521. He claimed the Islands for the King of Spain and named it the "Archipelago de San Lazaro." Getting embroiled in a quarrel between the chiefs of Cebu and Mactan, he invaded the latter island and was killed on April 27, 1521 by Lapulapu and his men. Of the given ships which set out on the expeditions, only the Victoria, captained by Sebastian del Cano, reached Spained in August 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe and Magellan the first man to accomplish the same feat.
There were three other expeditions sent to the Islands. The Loasia Expedition, commanded by Juan Garcia Joffre de Loasia, set out from La Coruna, Spain on June 24, 1525. One of the ships sank near the Cape of the Thousand Virgins: Loaisa and the vice commander, Juan Sebastian del Cano died during the long Pacific Ocean crossing. Only the flagship, commanded by Martin Iniquez de Carquisano, sailed on to the Philippines and put in at Tidore, an island in the Moluccas, to wait for reinforcements since it was impossible to win against the Portuguese who then controlled the Spice Islands.
With a small fleet, Alvaro de Saavedra set out from Navida, a port in Mexico, on Oct. 31, 1527 to look for survivors of the Magellan and Loaisa expeditions. After touching at the Caroline Islands, the fleet sailed on to the Moluccas Islands where they joined the survivors of the Loaisa expedition. Hermando dela Torre, who had taken over the command, disputed possession of the Spice Islands with the Portugues. The two sides decided to settle the dispute by force of arms; the spaniards defended themselves valiantly, but because of inferior numbers and arms, decided to give up. The Portuguese gave them the means to return to Spain, which they did.
Despite the failure of the two previous expeditions, Charles V sent yet another expedition in 1542 under the command of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos. Not much is known about the achievement o fthis expedition; however, it resulted in the Islands being named after King Philip II, who succeeded Charles V as King of Spain.
THE LEGASPI EXPEDITON: CONQUEST, COLONIZATION & CONVERSION
Philip II ordered a fifth expedition to the Philippines. Unlike the others, this was planned and executed. Commanded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi with Fr. Andres de Urdaneta, an Augustinian, as navigator, the fleet set sail from Puerto de Navida, Mexico on Nov. 20, 1564 and reached Cebu sometime in April 1565, an event commemorated in the celebration of the 4th Centennial of the Christianization of the Philippines in Cebu in April 1965. The Spaniards established the first permanent Spanish colony in Cebu, 1568, Juan de Salcedo, Legaspi's grandson, came from Mexico to join him in Panay where the natives had accepted Spanish sovereignty. In 1571, Legaspi sent a group of soldiers commanded by Captain Juan de Salcedo. The group accomplished the peaceful conquest of the Islands; the event marked the beginning of a successful but brief career of this young man who, by his efforts, explored and conquered major areas of the Islands for Spain.
The Spaniards, despite the opposition of Rajah Soliman and his warriors from Tondo, occupied Manila in 1571. On June 24, 1572, Manila was formally established as a city.
THE EXPLORATION AND CONQUEST OF LUZON
Most of the then existing communities accepted Spanish sovereignty without a struggle. The Tagalog of Bangkusay in Tondo, led by Rajah Soliman, the towns of Cainta and Taytay along the shores of Laguna de Bay refused to give in. Salcedo after a spirited resistance from the natives forced them to submit. Martin de Goiti defeated the Kapampangans of Betis who fought their freedom.
Salcedo then undertook an expedition to the gold mines of Paracale in what is now Camarines Norte in the Bikol Provinces. Afterwards, he and his men explored the western, northern and eastern coasts of Luzon. He discovered the mouth of Cagayan River and explored the area. On his return to Vigan, the Villa Fernandian, he heard that his grandfather, the first Adelantado or Governor General of the Islands, had died. He, himself was later struck by a malignant fever and died in Vigan in 1576, bequeathing his ecomienda to Ilokano people.
THE SPANIARDS COME TO CAGAYAN
By order of the then Governor General, Gonzalo Ronquillo, Captain Juan Carreon with a group of Soldiers set out for Cagayan in 1581 with the aim of driving away from the mouth of the Cagayan Valley river the Japanese pirate boarded their boats and sailed away. It was easy for Captain Carreon and his men to subdue the people who lived on the plains from along the coast and the banks of the Cagayan River since the natives were divided into warring factions and could thus not offer the Spaniards and worthwhile resistance.
Fathers Francisco de Rodriquez, Augustinian and Cristobal de Salvatierra, Dominican Vicar General of the Diocese of Manila went to Cagayan with the Carreon expedition as Chaplains.
Three leagues from the mouth of Rio Ibanag or the Cagayan River, Carreon founded the city of Nueva Segovia, now Lallo and erected a chapel, which he entrusted to the Augustinians. Because of ther dissappointment with the conduct of the Spanish soldiers and the passiveness of the natives, they preferred to return to Manila.
In 1954, Gov. Luis Perez Dasmarinas requested the Provincial of the Domincan Province of the Most Holy Rosary to take over the spiritual care and protection of the people of Nueva Segovia and the Evangelization of Cagayan. In compliance with the Gov. General's wishes, Frs. Diego de Soria and Tomas Castellar went to Cagayan and met the same difficulties the Augustinians faced. They were disposed to leave for Manila with the permission of their Superiors. Upon arriving at Pata, now in Claveria, they unexpectedly met six members of the Dominican Order who had been sent to Cagayan on mission. From this moment on, there was no turning back; the Domincan had come to stay. By the end of the Sixteenth Century, the faith had been firmly established from the northern coast of Cagayan down to as far south as Maquila (northern Isabela) and Camarag (now Santiago in southern Isabela). However, some of these missions, although confirmed officially by the Provincial Superiors, did not have missionaries assigned for lack of personnel.
The patience and perseverance of the missionaries wrought the conversion initially of northern Cagayan and Nueva Segovia. When asked when they thought of leaving Cagayan, Fr. Aduarte reported that the missionaries invariably replied: "Cuando el rio Ibanag que Bana sus tierras, se seca." "When the Ibanag River, which waters your lands, dries up."
NUEVA SEGOVIA CREATED AS A DIOCESE
On August 14, 1595 in a Papal Brief, Pope Clement VIII raised Manila to the status of Archdiocese and created three new Dioceses of suffragans of Manila: Cebu or Name of Jesus, compromising all the islands of Visayas and Mindanao; Nueva Caceres, compromising all the provinces of Southern Luzon and the Bicol Peninsula: and the Nueva Segovia compromising all of the northern Luzon down to the Caraballo mountains in Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales. The seat of the new Diocese was originally in Nueva Segovia, now, Lallo; the first Bishop was Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. who took possession in 1599. Succeeding him was Bishop Diego de Soria, O.P. who took over in 1603. He made a Pastoral Visit to the Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos region and the Tarlac-Pangasinan towns. Later, he decided to stay in Vigan, probably for easier accessibility to the regions in his care. Finally, on Feb. 19, 1790, the seat of the Diocese was formally transfered to Vigan; Lallo remained the capital of Cagayan until 1893 when the seat of government was transfered to Tuguegarao.
THE TOWN OF PIAT
In 1596, the Dominican Provincial, Fr. Miguel de San Jacinto named Piat as a mission in the Itawes region comprising the towns of Tabang, Malaueg, Tuao and Piat. The encomenderos then were Pedro Barreda, Juan de Arranda and Isabel de Cardona. In 1604, the Bishop, Diego de Soria, negotiated for more missionaries for the Itawes region. To help in the pacification and evangelization of the region, the Dominicans introduced the devotion to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary: in 1604, they brought the images of Our Lady from Macau and first enshrined it in Lallo, later bringing it to Piat 1622.
The first Holy Mass said in Piat was on August 24, 1604; on May 1, 1610, Piat was made a parish with Fr. Dominic de Guzman as titular. Fr. Melchor Manzano was named Vicar of the Itawes with Frs. Francisco Jurado and Juan Bautista Cano as assistants. In 1612, Fr. Juan de la Leiva was name Vicar of Piat and Tabang with Frs. Garcia, Diego Collado and Pedro Gascon of the Itawes with Fr. Melchor Manzano as Vicar assisted by Fr. Tomas Villar, Juan Bautista Cano, Gaspar de Casablanca. The Provincial Vicar sent three more priests to help in the Vicariate.
From Lallo, the image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary was brough to Piat in 1622 and enshrined in one of the two altars of the Church of Sto. Domingo. In 1623, Fr. Juan de Sta. Ana sent the image to Tuguegarao and sent back a replica but the people protested so the image was returned in 1624 and housed in a sanctuary separate from the Sto. Domingo Church due to a quarrel between the people of Piat and Tuao. Fr. Diego started the construction of the church, which burned down in 1740; Fr. Jose Gurumeta reconstructed the church and Fr. Isidore Rodriguez put the galvanized iron roofing. The present Shrine has been constructed to meet the needs of Our Lady's devotees. The old Sanctuary, begun by Fr. Diego Pinero and restored by Father Jose Gurumeta has become too small to accomodate the many pilgrims who visit our Lady's Shrine.
Originally know as Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario, Our Lady is now venerated as Our Lady of the Visitation and her feast is celebrated on July 2.
In the Itawes area, the Dominicans founded the towns of Lubo, in 1604; Malaweg, 1608; Piat, 1610; Tuao, 1612 and Tabang, 1613,. In 1725. Fr. Juan de Sto. Tomas founded Mawanan, which was accepted as a Parish in the Provincial Chapter of 1735 and raised to that status by Bishop Jose Campomanes, the last Dominican Bishop of Nueva Segovia.
Because of oppression and abuses particularly connected with tax collections, the Itawes staged several uprisings in 1603 and 1617 and also in 1718; Fr. Miguel de la Viall became the "pacificador" of the later uprising. Many people also complained about the unjust exactions of the encomenderos and many missionaries took their sides.
In 1624, the Itawes region suffered from a prolonged drought. The people faced starvation; they planted their fields three times, the crops withered for lack of rain. The people then turned to their Parish Priest who advised them to make their peace with God by going to the Sacrament and making a novena to the Blessed Mother. The people went to confession and received Holy Communion and began the Novena to Our Lady of Piat. Soon afterward in the middle of the Novena, a torrential rain fell, and the farmers' crops were saved.
- In 1730, Captain Jose Ramos, a Spanish officer assigned in Lallo, fell seriously ill. All efforts by his physicians failed, so he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Piat to seek Our Lady's help. He made the trip with great difficulty but upon arriving in Piat, his illness became worse and the Parish Priest gave him the last sacrament. However, he did not lose hope and continued to pray to Our Lady of Piat, after a few days he slowly recovered; within a week, he got well enough and went to Lallo to resume his duties.
- On June 2, 1738, a boat with passengers was on its way from Pamplona to Aparri. Near the port, a sudden gale blew and the boat was swept out to sea. With the strong winds, heavy rains and big waves, rescue seemed impossible. A passenger on a pilgrimage to Piat began to pray the Holy rosary and exhorted his fellow passengers to join him. They all did; soon afterwards, the rain stopped, the windes died down and the boat and its passengers made it safely to the port.
- Also attribute to the intercession of Our Lady of Piat is the miraculous recovery from serious illness of Dona Ines Maquilabbun.
LATER MIRACLE CURES REPORTED AND AUTHENTICATED
- Mrs. Arieta Legasto, 77 years old from New Manila, Quezon City reports that through Our Lady's intercession, she was cured of a terrible sickness. In 1993, she fell ill with pneumonia. She developed pleurisy and the doctors drained some 500 centimeters of fluid from her lungs; a subsequent biopsy of lung tissue taken from her proved positive from cancer. At this time, her good friend, Mrs. Carmeling Crisologo, a devotee of Our Lady of Piat, visited her and gave her a novena to the Blessed Mother and a vial of blessed oil and began the novena. Sometime during the third and fourth day of novena, she reports that she experienced a very strange feeling as if, she said, something heavy was moving from the top of her head down through her body, and then it left her. From then on, she gradually imporved in health such that she felt well enough to go to the USA for medical treatment. Before she left, she had a check up; again no pleurisy but the doctors found a benign tumor. She reports that she still feels some pain; but despite the discomfort, she considers the pains she suffers as a blessing, an offering to our Lord in atonement for her sins.
- Mrs. Martina Banares Morales, a teacher from Amulung, Cagayan gives this healing account to Father Ferdinand Baculi, parish Priest of Penablanca and Chaplain of the Cagayan valley regional Hospital, who sent Mrs. Banares-Morales' letter narrating the events of the miraculous healing. In 1975, she was operated on for goiter. When on vacation in the US in 1992, she noticed two growths in her neck so she consulted a thyroid specialist who subjected herto a CT scan. He found two cysts grew; she has to undergo an operation. Because she was away from her family and also due to financial difficulties; she could not decide what to do. She preferred to be with her family and to undergo operation in the Philippines. Her brothers and sisters let her go home on condition that she undergo operation. Arriving in the Philippines on Jan. 20, 1993, she consulted a thyroid specialist and showed all her medical pictures from the States; he recommended that she be examined by ultrasound and the results showed her that she needed the operation. She asked permission to go home and see her family whom she had not seen for over a year, and the doctor told her to come home and inform him whe she would be ready for the operation. At home with her family, she started prayers to Our Lady of Piat, begging her to help her. The family went to Piat on a pilgrimage and she prayed hard to the Blessed Mother. On Feb. 11, 1995, World Health Day, Archbishop Talamayan officiated a Concelebrated Mass for the sick and the disabled after which he and the priest went around laying their hands on the people and praying for them. During this Mass, she offered her prayers and asked the Blessed Mother for a sign. A few days later, she was amazed to find that the cysts were growing smaller; her friends and relatives who saw her when she had just arrived were surprised; and after a few weeks, the cysts had completely disappeared. The doctor was surprised at the results of the examination as there were no more growths on the thyroid gland. She presented the x-rays and ultra-sound results before and after. In gratitude for her recovery, she now promotes the devotion to Our Lady of Piat, telling people about her miraculous cure.
- Mrs. Elisa K. Beltran from Gattaran, Cagayan sent a signed statement of a miraculous cure, which she attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Piat. One June 28, 1994 after a thorough examination, the doctors at the UST Hospital reported that she had a brain tumor. She became bedridden and had to be confined in the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital. Being a devotee of Our Lady of Piat, she prayed to Our Lady and alrso requested Fr. Rodolfo F. Beltran, her brother-in-law, to pray for her. Father Beltran went to Piat during the celebration of the Feast of the Visitation on July 2, 1994 and prayed for her intentions during the concelebrated Mass. Mrs. Beltran soon got well enough to be discharged from the hospital. The doctors, however, recommended that she undergo an operation this June 2, 1995. She writes: "When I reported for the pre-operation check up last Jan. 24, 1995, the doctors found no tumor after a brain scan, to my great joy and gratitude. I am deeply grateful to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother for this cure."
- I Marietta Osorio Flaherty am writing this unusual healingthrough the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Piat in behalf of my husband. Last Feb. 18, 2004 I arrived in the Philippines from the US to fulfill a promise I made to Our Lady of Piat for the miraculous healing of my husband, Thomas Flaherty who was diagnosed with cancer at the right lung, a tumor, the size of an American quarter coin. This drove him to a severe depression thinking that there was no way to survive the fatal disease. Often he thought of going tho the woods and find himself a hole where he would buy himself. It was devastating for a happy marriage, which he had always enjoyed. Even our only son, James, at age 24 was deeply affected by his father's fatal disease.
- When Archbishop Talamayan, Archbiship of Tuguegarao came to celebrate a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Piat at the residence of his sister, Mrs. Edith T. Angco at Westfield, Massachusetts, he was told that my husband was sick of cancer, and so he gave me a novena in honor of Our Lady of Piat with the advice that I would pray with full trust in the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Piat. I did so and after having said the novena, my husband felt that he was feeling much better. No doubt it was a miracle, his depression left him and so he was able to go back to work. His doctors assured him that the tumor just left a scar. I wish to tell the world how grateful I am for this wonderful healing by Our Lady of Piat and we promise to keep her in a special place in our hearts.
- Mr. Rey Estonactoc, a sculptor from Quezon City, who was commissioned by the Archbishop to make the images that comprise the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, gave this healing account. Long which the doctor in the Philippines and those from abroad could not name nor identify. The skin all over his body, except his face, was swollen and was producing liquid and giving an unbearable smell. Since his business was lucrative and was doing good at the time, Mr. Estonactoc was able to go abroad to look for the best medicine and doctors who could give cure to his disease. He has already spent millions for his medications but to no avail; he was not even cure a little. Mr. Estonactoc decided to remain in his hous and work. He was even shy to come out because of the smell his skin produces. When the Archbishop commissioned him to do the image of the Rosary Walk, he was still indisposed but still he accepted the offer. He would sometimes have more hours to rest than his working time because of lack of energy and strength, and the sores all over his body was too much to look at. When Mr. Estonactoc was through with the tenth mystery, he felt much better and he felt something different in his body. But he did not give much emphasis on this development on him. But as the days passed on, he noticed that the sores in his skin were starting to dry up. However, when he made the frist delivery of some of the images of the Rosary Walk to the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat in Piat, Cagayan, all his sores were dry and felt very normal since then, and the smell was gone. To this very day, Mr. Estonactoc still continues to finish the images of the Rosary Walk.
- The son of Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Somera was between life and death. Ronald approached Leona, his sister-in-law for help. He told Leona his son might die anytime. Leona, being a devotee of Our Lady of Piat could cure her nephew, suggested to Ronald to pray and ask the Blessed MOther to heal his son. Leona gave one of the chemises of the Blessed Mother to Ronald and instructed him to wrap his son with it as the family prayed. To everyone's surprise, joy, and gratitude; the child instantaneously opened his eyes, started experiencing relief and eventually recovered. The boy is a young man now. He is now gainfully employed and residing in Tuao, Cagayan.
- In 1993, at the height of the New People's Army(NPA's) activites, a group of policemen visited the shrine from Macapil Tuao. They rode in a Philippine National Police (PNP) service car on their way home, somewhere in one of the barangays of Tuao, Cagayan a land mine exploded, hitting the police service car. To everyone's amazement, not one of the policemen was injured. Later, as the investigation took place, the people saw a picture of the Lady of Piat on the windshield of the car. Each of the policemen carried a handkerchief of the Blessed Mother, which was given to them by Jose Purisima. The policemen attributed their having been saved to the power of Our Lady's protection. Immediately they offered a Thanksgiving Mass.
- A year after Dr. Benito A. Valdepenas was widowed, he visited his daughter in Chicago, Illinois, USA. While enjoying his stay there, his back pains as usual bothered him but since it was diagnosed in the Philippines as mere arthritis, he didn't give it much attention. However, due to the frequency of its occurrence, he visited Dr. Vivencio Battung, a cousin who runs a hospital there to have an executive medical check up. The findings revealed that the back pains were due to a heart ailment. A heart surgeon specialist was consulted and the latter advised a heart by-pass. Dr. Valdepenas objected to submitting himself for operation, instead he said he would just go back home to the Philippines for he did not like to die in the US. Finally he submitted himself for operation due to Dr. Battung's persuasion and guarantee that the surgeon is a well-known and successful heart specialist. Dr. & Mrs. Vivencio Battung are devotees of Our Lady of Piat. Dionie, the nurse and the wife of Dr. Battung got her Novena to Our Lady of Piat, pressed it on Benito (Titoy's) lips and on his breast and whispered to him "Titoy, this is Mama Mary of Piat." "Let us pray to her to save you. Follow me, ha!" After this, Dionie place the novena on his right hand and again whispered to him. "Titoy, hold tight the Novena of Mama Mary. Pray and pray and cling to her to save you, so you can go back home to the Philippines strong and healthy as you wish. Soon Cora, his daughter, who vigilantly stayed with his papa in the hospital saw the fingers of one hand move. She was surprised and informed Dr. Battung about it. Later he moved his arms and his legs and then when he opened his eyes, he murmured, "Matolay nga paga." (I will still live). The doctors were stunned and overwhelmed in disbelief of what happened, a miracle through the Blessed Virgin of Piat. Dionie again led the prayer of thanksgiving a nine-day novena in the hospital.
- Mrs. Daisy Corazon A. Cruz narrates: on our second year of marriage; we sought some medical help because we were still childless. We had spent so much, but everything in both our bodies were found to be normal, so we stopped seeing a doctor. Upon the advice of my mother, we sought help from the Almighty through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She taught me how to pray the Novena. I'm not that religious, but I do have faith in God and the Blessed Mother. My mother also brought me to the different pilgrimages to Our Lady of Manaoag, Penafrancia, Piat, and to the Black Nazarene of Capalonga. We had been to each place twice or thrice and the trips were not always as pleasant as we expected. Maybe they were part of our test of faith. It was during one of those trips to Our Lady of Manaoag, Penafrancia and of Piat that I started to conceive. I was really very glad and so with my husband and my mother. At last after almost three years of praying we were heard. When I gave birth to a baby girl, I readily gave her the name Pia, so that we will always remember Our Lady of Piat throughout our lives.
- Archbishop Talamayan narrates: Col. Dwayne Drown of USA as kidnapped in Cagayan by the NPA's as early as October of 1990. The US Embassy through our office tried to make negotiations of his release. On Dec. 27, 1991, his wife Mrs. Ruth Drown requested to be allowed to stay with us for a few days as the release of her husband was supposed to be done anytime. We were informed that the NPA's would release him to me personally, and so together with Fr. Gary, our Social Action Director, Fr. Ric Baccay, meida men and Dr. Ronie Guzman, we went to the mountains of Kalinga-Apayao, hiking kilometers and crossing many brooks. Mrs. Ruth was with us but we did succeed to get Col. Drown. Whe I realized that the negotiations did not yield much fruit, I said to Mrs. Ruth: Madame, I know you are not a Catholic, but I ask you to go with me to Piat where the Blessed Mother is venerated and ask for the release of your husband. Meantime, please join me and my household staff in our daily Rosary. On my part, I made an appeal to the Lady of Piat: "Please have him released before July 1 because on the date, I will leave for our CBCP meeting in Tagaytay and after that I was scheduled to go to USA." Toward the end of June, I was starting to be resigned that Col. Drown was not being released. But to my joy, on June 30, 1992, after giving that Invocation for the Oath of Officer of Governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo, I got the message that the NPA's were releasing Col. Drown, so, I sent my vehicle to the designated place and after some hours, Col. Drown appeared in my residence to the great joy of Ms. Ruth Drown. It was then when I felt Isaiah's word: ("He has anointed me and sent me to give release to the captives")
- Mr. Carlos Sievert Callejo, who, at the age of 63 was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer in 1999. Mr. Callejo says, "No matter what illness, one should never lose hope as nobody, not even doctors can speak with certainty of death only God can do that." In 1986, he was discovered in the United States to be diabetic and for which he was, prescribe to take diamicrom, glucophage, equal sweeteners, etc. In 1996, he begun to experience nausea and stomach discomfort. In 1997, he underwent the removal of stones before his diabetes could deteriorate further. He underwent ultrasonic; laparoscopy and the stones were removed. Towards the last quarter of 1998, he continued to lose weight, going from 190 to 170 lbs. And in approximately six months, Mr. Callejo went down to 150 lbs. from a high to 210 lbs. He had a C.T. Scan of the upper abdomen, which showed that he had an enhancing tumor mass, which measures 4 cm. X 3.1 cm. In the interior superior segment of the right lobe of his liver. Further, blood chemistry showed that his Alpha-Feto Protein (marker for liver cancer) was five times above normal. Malignancy, therefore, was confirmed and he was immediately referred to an oncologist who ordered an upper abdomen C.T. Scan to determine if the cancer has spread to his lungs and other vital organ. After several tests, his doctors concluded that his cancer was still confined to his liver. After further consultation with a panel of doctors, he was advised to undergo an operation. Since he had a damaged liver, his blood is not coagulating as desired and so his doctor decided to bring up his blood coagulation to at least 70 to 80% before cutting him up, as he did not want him to bleed to death. When he woke up, he was startled to see that he was in his room instead of in the I.C.U. and so he asked his wife questions which the wife did not answer. He, therefore, surmised that something was terribly wrong and this was confirmed the next day when his surgeon visited him and told him that it was an open/close case. In other words, his condition was inoperable. His doctor got samples of his liver for biopsy, which later disclosed it. He was told 5 to 20% chance. Mr. Callejo considers this chance as hopeful in any language. With the threat of impending death and losing his family, his depressions deepened. Hence, he did not like to see people and kept himself locked in his room. He then turned to God. He asked God to make him face reality and to give him strength to fight his cancer. He developed sever stomach pains and his former gastroenterologist suspected that his cancer had spread to his stomach. After various diagnostic examinations, it was concluded that he had developed acute ulcer in the stomach, probably from the chemo-embolization. While suffering from stomach pains, his cousin Carmen Conge Carag invited him to go to Tuguegarao to attend the formal inauguration of the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat in June 1999. Mr. Callejo says that on the very day he felt no pain, and he knew from his heart that Our Lady of Piat interceded for him. And the doctors who predicted that he was doomed said it was a miracle. Mr. Callejo says, "I have become more sensitive and tears easily come whenever I pray to God, thanking Him for giving me a second chance of life. I went back to the Lady of Piat on June 22, 2000 to thank her for her intercession for me."
- Msgr. Vincent S. Catral P.A., Past Parish Priest of Piat recalls: on July 2, 1957 Bishops and Priests made a pilgrimage to Piat for the consecration of Bishop Teodulfo Domingo. A temporary platform was constructed for the Mass and the visiting Bishops. The image of Lady of Piat was placed in a corner of the platform. After the mass, so many devotees crowded the platform to kiss the image that the structure collapsed sending the altar and the people crashing down, except the corner where the Virgin was standing. Many who saw this recount the extraordinary way in which the image, Virgin Mary was saved until this day. During my time as a pastor, a photographer from Bayombong came to take a picture of the Virgin. He brought a new, sophisticated camera for this, but when he tried to get the picture the shrine, his camera would not click despite his new batteries and his camera's new gadgets. The photographer attempted to take the picture three times but the result was always the same. Inside, his camera would not work, but outside, it did. I found out later that he was a commercial photographer who wanted to reproduce the pictures for sale. He wanted to do business at the expense of the Virgin. In my incumbency as Parish Priest of Piat, the Virgin was brought to the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Tuguegarao during the Marian Year in 1956. A photographer tried to take the picture of the Virgin. When the later developed the film, he was greatly surprised that everything was dark except the hundreds of candles burning before the Virgin. I was shown the picture but I have forgotten the photographer who took the picture.
- Ms. Divina Callangan-Canapi narrates the Power of Love: I got married on Nov. 6, 1975 to Perey S. Canapi at age of 23. Unfortunately, for a period of 20 years after our wedding day we remained childless in spite of our efforts in undergoing physical checkups and taking expensive medications. We consulted popularly know Obstertricians and Gynecologists. Most of them assured us of a big chance to be able to bear children. We even tried faith healings a recommended by our friends. During our medications we cried for God's mercy to help us overcome our problems. We devoted ourselves to Our Lady of Piat who is well known for her miraculous powers nationwide and abroad. In making devotions to her, my husband and I regularly heard Mass at her shrine every first Sunday of every month. We prayed the novena and the Holy Rosary fervently together while making our petitions especially our yearning for a child as a fruit of our love. We know that the Blessed Mother is full of grace and mercy. She works miracles in the lives of her faithful and devoted children. On July 31, 1994 it was my husband's 42nd birthday. We were inspired to hear Mass in Piat. We prayed together the novena to the Our Lady of Piat and the Holy Rosary. While praying for our own personal intentions at the back fo the Blessed Mother's altar, we noticed that the air inside the room was filled with strong scent of fresh flowers and this lasted for a few minutes. We did not know where the smell came from. I was frightened at first until finally I began thinking that it might be Mama Mary's own way of saying at our wish will soon be granted. I cried for joy and I put her mantle all over my body for her blessings. It must be the greatest birthday gift my husband has ever received in his life. Another miracle happened to me when at early dawn I felt pain on my abdomen. It was exactly 4 o'clock in the morning. That very moment my mother came rushing to me putting something on my stomach. She advised me to just keep quiet. After a while, she related to me her experience. At 3:30 in the morning, a very beautiful lady with a long hair woke her up from her sleep. She told my mother to pick up a red bougainvillea and pink orchid from their garden then put them on my tummy for relief of pains. After a few minutes, she again called for my mother for her immediate compliance. A little bit firghtened by the appearance of the beautiful lady she went to the garden to do what the beautiful lady told her to do. I knew that everything was the wonderful work of the Blessed Mother through her miraculous intercession. Finally, the most awaited moment came when I began experiencing labor pains on July 2, 1995, the feast of Our Lady of Piat. My physician told me that it was not yet time for my delivery. Pains were felt up to the 5th of July; in the evening at the same day my bag of water was ruptured at home. I was then rushed to the hospital for an emergency operation to save the baby and me. I was supposed to undergo caesarean operation on July 15, but it came earlier. There was no more time for my physician to regulate my blood pressure, which was 150 over 110, and my sugar was so high. During the operation I suffered eclampsia and almost died. My physicians prayed hard for my safety. They prayed over me. I was asked to follow them in prayer. I thought it was all a dream. I could hear their voices but could not move. My baby also suffered some kind of illness so that she was placed inside the incubator for 14 days. Our physicians were really made instruments of God for our fast recovery. My baby is a girl. She was baptized at the shrine of Our Lady of Piat. I thank God she became very healthy physically, & mentally.
Source: A tribute to Our Ladyof Piat on the Quadricentennial Celebration of Her Arrival & Golden Jubilee of Her Canonical Coronation. From the Devotees of Nuestra Sra. De Piat Foundation Inc.