Ina Poon Bato – A Visit to The Miraculous Blessed Mother’s Shrine in Botolan, Zambales

It was my first road trip in Zambales with the company of friends with the same purpose – to visit all the municipal churches in this province. Ina Poon Bato was a shrine we visited in Botolan that has an interesting story that goes back to 1607 when Catholic missionaries started to spread Catholicism in the Philippines. It was said that missionaries heard about” The Miraculous Lady of the Aeta” and when they saw who the Aetas were worshipping, it was the “Blessed Virgin Mother” (click herefor the story).

Apo Apang Shrine in Botolan Zambales
The new Ina Poon Bato Shrine

We arrived at Poon Bato at around 1:30 in the afternoon after visiting Saint James Parish Church of Subic, (up to Sta Monica Parish Church in Botolan.) We still have more churches to visit up north but we also need to pay a visit at Ina Poon Bato Shrine and to have our lunch there. The shrine is located in Barangay Poon Bato, inhabited mostly by Aetas. The original shrine was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 so what we have seen was the new Shrine constructed close to the river where lahar and mud flows made its way from Pinatubo to the South China Sea. Apo Apang was half buried in lahar during this catastrophic event. Ina Poon Bato or Apo Apang is said to be the oldest image of the Virgin Mary in Asia.

The Blessed Miraculous Mother
Ina Poon Bato

Ina Poon Bato Church
Me, as I pray to Ina Poon Bato
Praying to Ina Poong Bato
A candid shot of me taken by a friend
Ina Poon Bato Shrine is a nice place to meditate
 
January 23 to 24 is the Feast of Ina Poon Bato. There will be flocks of pilgrims from all over the country visiting the Shrine to worship Apo Apang. After pitching candles and offering prayers inside the shrine, we had our lunch in the parking area. We took some pictures too, then we continued our Visita Iglesia to the remaining churches in towns up north.


Shared by: Khumar Verico Torres Dass


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