Wondering where to stay for the Peñafancia Festival? Try The Carmen Hotel on Peñafrancia Avenue, Naga City. The Peñafrancia Festival is one of the primary reasons the hotel stands where it does – on Peñafrancia Avenue AND beside the Naga River.
The Best Hotel in Naga City for the Peñafrancia Festival
One could say The Carmen is Naga’s Peñafrancia Festival Hotel. Out of all hotels in Naga City (as of this writing), The Carmen is the only one that will give you a vantage point to two of the most important events during the month-long Peñafrancia Festival. It also serves as the perfect base for the rest of the Peñafrancia Fiesta activities.
The Traslacion Procession on Peñafrancia Avenue
The first such major Peñafrancia Festival event is the Traslacion Procession. This is a traditional procession held on the 2nd Friday of September, on the start of the novena dedicated to Our Lady of Peñafrancia (known to locals as “Ina” – which is “Mother” in English). During the Traslacion Procession – amid much fanfare and the palpable fervor of thousands of devotees in attendance – the image of Ina is transferred from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
Starting from the Peñafrancia Shrine [located on Peñafrancia Avenue, just a few meters past the corner of Magsaysay and Peñafrancia], the procession typically goes down the length of Peñafrancia Avenue until P. Burgos St, right at the Plaza Quince Martires juncture/rotonda, where the procession turns right on to Elias Angeles St.. The procession stays on Elias Angeles St. until it reaches the entrance to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, now graced by Il Porta Mariae (The Marian Gate).
Good news to The Carmen Hotel guests: you can watch the Traslacion right from The Carmen. The Traslacion Procession passes right in front of the hotel.
Thus, if you’re a hotel guest, you won’t have to squeeze through the multitude to get a good look at “Ina”. Sip an ice-cold beverage and watch the procession comfortably from the hotel roof top or (if you have a street-facing room) right from your hotel room. You can chant along with the crowd, shout “Viva La Virgen” as loudly as you can, while staying cool and removed from the heat and the bustle of the rowdy fiesta crowd.
The Fluvial Procession on Naga River
The Fluvial Procession – known as “boya” among locals – takes place on the 3rd Saturday of September, specifically on the 9th day of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia novena. On this day, the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is taken via a procession from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to the Fluvial Procession’s embarkation point on Tabuco Bridge. From Tabuco Bridge, the image slowly travels via pagoda down the Naga River until it reaches the disembarkation point along Balatas Road, from which is it is taken across the road to Basilica Minore where pilgrims visit the image for the remainder of the month-long festival.
Once again, The Carmen’s hotel guests will be able to enjoy a front-row seat to the Fluvial Procession. The Carmen Hotel is a Naga Riverside property, and management is planning to build a special view deck especially for hotel guests wanting an exclusive view of the Fluvial Procession from The Carmen’s hotel grounds.
The Perfect Base for the Peñafrancia Festival Festivities
As earlier mentioned, the whole month of September is devoted to celebrating the Bicol Region’s centuries’ long devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia. And for all the Peñafrancia Fiesta activities aside from the Traslacion Procession and the Fluvial Procession, The Carmen Hotel simply is the best hotel in Naga City for the Peñafrancia Festival tourist.
You see, a lot of Peñafrancia Festival activities take place in Downtown Naga or Naga City Centro. The Civic Parade & Float Competition, Military Parade, and Voyadores Festival – to name a few – all culminate at Plaza Quezon in Downtown Naga. There are other parades and pageants, too, that almost always take place in Centro’s Plaza Quezon. And Plaza Quezon is but a short walk away from The Carmen.
Some contests and competition also take place at the LCC Event Center or the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum. Both places are a short tricycle ride away from The Carmen. There’s also often a Trade Fair on Elias Angeles St., again a short walk away from the hotel. Finally, those who want to visit “Ina” during the 9-day novena period (which commences at the Traslacion Procession), will find The Carmen Hotel most convenient; it’s a short walk from the The Carmen to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
Stay at The Carmen Hotel for the Peñafrancia Festival
Indeed, if you’re in Naga for the Peñafrancia Festival, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another hotel that’s better suited as a base for the Peñafrancia Festival as The Carmen Hotel. And it shouldn’t hurt at all that The Carmen – aside from being the perfect take-off point for your Peñafrancia Fiesta activities – is a modern and contemporary hotel that offers quality accommodation at the heart of Naga City.