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National newsbits for May 16, 2014

FIESTA HONORS PATRON SAINTS

Hundreds of devotees consisting of childless couples, individuals looking for a life partner, farmers and fishermen as well as tourists, are expected to travel all the way to Obando, Bulacan, starting tomorrow, May 17, until Monday, May 19, for the “Kasilonawan” Festival, more popularly known as Obando’s Fertility Fiesta.  The three-day event is held in honor of the town’s three patron saints: San Pascual Baylon, whose feast will be observed tomorrow, Our Lady of Salambao, and St. Clare of Assisi, (Sta. Clara), after whom the much-awaited “pandanggo” dance procession by childless couples to the tune of “Santa Clarang pinong-pino,” is dedicated. San Pascual is believed to intercede for unmarried individuals to find their ideal mate, while Our Lady of Salambao is venerated as the patron of farmers and fishermen. Sta. Clara, whose feast day falls on Aug. 11, is venerated as the patron saint of childless couples and good weather. She is believed to intercede for childless couples to be granted the gift of fertility. (Christina I. Hermoso)

SHARI’AH JUDGES JOIN TURKEY SEMINAR

Twenty Shari’ah judges from the Philippines are visiting Ankara and other cities of Turkey from May 18 to 28 to undergo a seminar on Islamic Law, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said yesterday. “NCMF Secretary Bai Yasmin Busran-Lao is very thankful to the Turkish sponsors of the seminar,” said NCMF Commissioner Edilwasif Baddiri. He said the seminar was an offshoot of last year’s visit to Turkey by NCMF officials led by then Secretary, now NCMF Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain, a sign of good relations the agency has with some Turkish state agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). (Edd K. Usman)