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|Our Lady of Kalooy|
Sometime in 1800, there lived a couple by the name of Maximo Dumangca and Baldomera Borong, in sitio Kalooy, Barangay Bantig, Calape, Bohol. The couple had an only child then named Pedro, but due to extreme poverty, they could hardly eat three square meals a day and their only means of livelihood was fishing.
One evening, the head of the family went out fishing and unluckily, he didn’t have any catch because every time he would spread out his fishnet and pull it in, his only catch was one empty Antuwang Shell better known today as the Takobo Shell.
Maximo therefore thought to get rid of the shell. He thus sailed his banca towards the deeper part of the sea and went on fishing only to find out that the shell was once again in his fishnet.
Maximo was very surprised that the shell kept on following him and he also wondered why he didn’t have any catch at all except for that ordinary-looking shell.
Nevertheless, thinking that there must be something significant in the shell, Maximo therefore brought it home and put it in one corner of his nipa hut. Once in a while, he would use it as container of feeds for the chickens.
Years passed by and Maximo remained a poor fisherman who eked out a living day by day. One night, however, he dreamt he was being asked by someone to make a nine-day novena to the Virgin de los Remedios. Being religious and devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he made the novena together with his wife. Strangely enough, after the novena ended, people from neighboring towns of Jetafe and Inabanga went to see the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Church of Calape, asking him on the whereabouts of the Lady in a Miraculous Shell. They claimed that they were asked in a dream to go to the barrio of Bantig, where they will find the miraculous shell.
Maximo, unaware that his shell was a miraculous one, showed it to his neighbors and they were the first to discover that there was a strange growth in the once empty Antuwang shell. Maximo then cleaned the shell and kept it inside his baul. Meantime, people started flocking to his place and donated small amounts of money, which Maximo used in reconstructing his nipa hut.
Time went by and people later on noticed that the growth in the shell had become transformed into an image of a very beautiful and radiant lady. The shell looks like ivory and the miraculous lady seems to be made of ivory. She wears a white long robe, her eyes are beautiful and gentle and even her cheeks and lips are somewhat reddish.
Almost every five years, the Virgin would add some trimmings to her robe and mantle, like for instance; she is now wearing a white robe with gold trimmings whereas before, it was not visible to the naked eye. Until today, the image of the Lady, which is about seven inches tall, is still very much attached to the shell.
She is now known as Our Lady of Kalooy whose feast falls on December 10 every year. (Kalooy is a visayan word that means pity.)
TAKEN FROM The Miraculous Lady inside the Shell by Ethel V. Valiente (Women’s Journal January 28, 1995)
Photo courtesy of ballenerharold of www.flickr.com
Compiled by JoVi Atanacio