Danny Lim and Our Lady of Peñafrancia


Last Saturday, as Bicolanos celebrated the feast of the Virgin of Peñafrancia something stirred the curiosity of those who joined the “traslacion”, the procession transferring Ina, as they call image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia , from the basilica to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City.

Around the city, there were several streamers that proclaimed “Viva la Virgen de Peñafrancia”. Below was the name and photo of Brig. Gen. Danny Lim, who is now in detention for allegedly planning to withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo in February 2006 following the expose of the Hello Garci tapes and in November 2007 following more scandals the most bewildering of which is the NBN/ZTE deal.

There were several reactions to the poster ranging from “What’s his plan?” to “Is he running for senator?” to “Guapo pala si Gen. Lim?”

I asked a friend of Gen. Lim and he said “Danny is a devotee of the Virgin of Peñafrancia. When Danny was a battalion commander in Camarines Sur, he often visited “Ina” at the basilica and always joined the traslacion incognito.”

Another sent me this info: “BGen Danny Lim commanded the 42nd Infantry Battalion, PA based in Bicol Region in 2000/2001. His area of responsibility covered the whole province of Camarines Sur and parts of Albay. He is well-loved and highly respected there and has many friends especially in Naga City.”

I posted a picture of one of the streamers in my blog and here are some of the reactions:

Parasabayan: “Sobrang aga naman yata ng posters ni Gen Lim! Although his candidacy would be a welcome thing. The only thing is, we do not know yet if there will be a 2010 elections. Mukhang ayaw pang umalis ni evil bitch sa Malacañang.”

Kabute sees no political color: “I think BGen. Lim is not campaigning. More likely he just wants to greet the Bicolanos whom he served during his stint there. Penafrancia celebration ngayon sa Naga City. A lot of devotees of the Virgin of Penafrancia or lovingly called INA (Mother) go there for a week-long celebration of the Feast of the Virgin of Peñafrancia. The celebration lasts from Sept. 12 to 19. Happy fiesta to all Bicolanos!”

Myrna, a Bicolana. doesn’t really mind: “That streamer of Gen. Lim is a welcome sight, and most appropriate, especially from someone who has endeared himself to the Bicolanos. Kung mukha man lang ni Gloria at ng kanyang alipores, huwag na lang. Baka masira pa ang fiesta atmosphere sa Naga.”

Jojovelas: “I read in an article by former Sen. Maceda in Tribune that Gen. Lim could be opposition senatorial bet.”

Chi: “Kahit presidente pa, uuwi ako sa Pinas and physically will campaign for my favorite General Danny Lim! Sori Ping, I think it’s not too early for the people to know that Gen. Lim will run for Senator, if true. Although, I see the streamer as just a ‘thank you’ from the Bicolanos who love the General.”

SumpPit: “I would prefer that B/Gen. Lim run, not just for the Senate (AT4 , Trillanes, has done that already), but as vice-president to Ping Lacson. Being a commanding general of the AFP’s elite force takes not just a bag of courage but a truckload of wits and management skills. Uncompromising loyalty to the flag, burning idealism, and resoluteness to the cause – they both have it. They believe in it.”

But not everybody agrees.

Dina Pinoy says: “Pinoy nga naman ok lang kahit wala sa lugar at sobrang aga basta bata nila ang gagawa. Kung si Bakekang sa malakanyang at ang mga alipores niya ang gagawa niyan, sigurado alburoto na naman ang Pinoy.”

Al has some apprehensions: “Another military man in the Senate? Aren’t you worried that even our legislature is being militarized?

Aren’t there competent and honest people in the civilian sector?”


Here’s something I got in the internet on the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia:

“On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its destination, the devotees shout “Viva la Virgen” (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a procession to the cathedral.

“History has it that a Spanish government official from Peñafrancia, Spain settled with his family in Cavite in 1712. One day, a son, Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, a seminarian studying at the Universidad de Santo Tomas got very ill. He and his family prayed to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, whose picture he was clutching to his breast. He made a vow that if cured, he would construct a chapel by the bank of Pasig river in Manila. Miraculously cured, he eventually was ordained a priest not in Manila but in the Ciudad de Nueva Caceres (now known as Naga City).

“In fulfillment of his vow, Padre Miguel mobilized the natives along the slopes of Mt. Isarog to construct a chapel made of local materials, nipa and bamboo this time by the bank of the Bikol river in Naga and ordered a local artisan to carve an image patterned after the picture of Our Lady which is known to have blessed some faithful with miracles.”

September 20, 2008 1:07 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Feb '06, Malaya, Military

44 Responses

  1. kabute - September 20, 2008 6:55 am

    Today is the traslcion of the Virgin of Penafrancia. Ina will be carried from the Naga Cathedral to the sakayan and ferried through the Bicol River to the Penafrancia Basilica. I’m sure if BGen. Danny Lim were a freeman today he would join the fetivities being a devotee of the Virgin of Penafrancia. I hope and pray the good General be a freeman soon and be able to join again the Bicolanos in celebrating Ina’s festivities as a devotee.

  2. pranning - September 20, 2008 9:53 am

    20 September 2008

    What the heck is this alleged Lanao leaders(???) and the rest of the traitorous MILF calling for jihad???they want to have aholy war in mindanao??? my question is what is being holy of wanting to dismember the republic, what is so holy about that??? in fact, an under armed lumads fought them off squarely agaist the so called heavily armed MILF traitors and yet they did not even defeated these lumads.

    They said they want a jihad, I say as gene maximus in the gladiator movie said, LET’S GIVE THEM HELL!!!! if they wanted it then we give it to them. In 2000 before the (force) removal of president estrada in 2001, they called for a jihad, what did president estrada give them??? HELL!!! and what is the end result??? they scampered and ran away from their jihad and went to the two faced MALIsians. Now they want jihad??? then lets serve them the notice.

    No more peace talks with the traitors and give them what they want. If they want jihad, stop asking the MALIsians and the one sided OIC countries for help, and let’s start your jihad, STUPID MORONS!!!!! No more running, do not inculed the civilians, don’t make human shields out of these innocent civilians, and don’t fight like COWARDS!!!! STUPID MORONS….


  3. bitchevil - September 20, 2008 10:13 am

    Pranning, it’s just an empty threat. They better not keep threatening by calling Jihad for this may encourage the foreigners like the US to directly get involved in the Mindanao crisis. That’s what Uncle Sam has been waiting for.

  4. Ellen - September 20, 2008 10:58 am

    Aloy Lim, wife of BGen Danny Lim says

    ,”Please extend my warmest thanks for the inspiration and moral support they give to Dan and our family. God bless us all.”

    Aloy said she will print out all your comments and show it to Gen. Lim.

  5. Gabriela - September 20, 2008 7:31 pm

    Many years ago, I watched the Peñafrancia fluvial procession. There were so many people.

    Wasn’t there an accident during the procession some years ago? I pray everythings goes well.

  6. kabute - September 20, 2008 9:36 pm

    Gabrela, the pagoda in the fluvial procession broke and the image of the Virgin almost fell into the Bicol River. Many many years back, the Colgante bridge which was made of wood collapsed due to so many devotees on the bridge watching the fluvial procession. Many died and many more were injured. Today that wooden bridge has been replaced by a concrete one. Authorities of the City of Naga have limited the people on the bridge during the fluvial procession to avoid accidents.

  7. bitchevil - September 20, 2008 9:49 pm

    The accidents during Fiestas are common not only in Bicol but throughout the country. Instead of receiving blessings, did they receive curses? Or such traditions and practices of pagan origin are against God’s commands? Is it biblical? I’m sorry but these are the things we should consider. Aside from frequent accidents, the amount of money being spent during Fiesta celebrations has made it much harder for ordinary Filipinos who cannot even afford to have three meals a day. Yet, when comes Fiesta time, they are willing to sell their carabaos, pigs and chickens just to have one day of fun.

  8. kabute - September 20, 2008 11:06 pm

    Yes bitchevil, accidents seems to be common during fiestas, but they’re just that accidents. They’re either because of negligence, miscalculation, laxity, imprudence, exhaustion, and many other causes. Blessings and curses I leave that to each belief. As to the costs it takes to celebrate a fiesta, some have really taken it to some extreme. But still many others celebrate their fiestas as a devotion to their patron Saints sans flair and much expense.

  9. bitchevil - September 20, 2008 11:13 pm

    Thanks kabute. But the question is, are fiestas necessary at this time of extreme economic crisis? Can people not able to show their devotion without spending so much money? The ones who mostly benefit from such occasions are businessmen, vendors, church and others who take advantage of the celebration. Such traditions and practices handed down by foreigners like Spain should be eliminated if not lessened. People have long been fooled and deceived for centuries.

  10. bitchevil - September 20, 2008 11:42 pm

    By the way, I apologize for expressing my opinion about “Fiesta”. I think I should be more considerate since this thread is about Penefrancia Festival of which our beloved Gen. Danny Lim has been very much involved. There’s another chance to discuss about the history of Fiesta and it’s biblical basis. That would be another long discussion, though. Traditions and practices are rooted in Filipino mind for so long that anyone who goes against these are expected to get unpleasant responses.

  11. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 3:45 am

    Whewww!!! At last, nakatuntong din ako ng Maynila after being away for a few months. Mas malamig pala ang beer dito. Hehehehe.

    I got interested dito sa thread about Penafrancia and Gen Danny Lim. Kanina nakita ng mga kasama ko sa bahay na nagbabasa ako ng blog ni Ate Ellen. They noticed nga this thread na na-mention si Gen Lim. Yung isang bisita namin mentioned something about a child or high school student ata yun na nag-interview kay Gen Lim as part of her school assignment. I am very interested on what questions were asked and how Gen Lim answered it. Am trying to find out more details about it. Baka maya-maya makuha ko yun. Konting snooping lang. Kukwento ko sainyo pag nakita ko mamaya. Hehehehehe

  12. SumpPit - September 21, 2008 4:21 am

    kabs & bitch:

    Challenging traditions is a lonely battle to wage on. We’re just so lucky that Ellenville is a space populated mostly by faithfuls yet open-minded souls.

    We are currently developing a webpage which may alter the faith somewhat but when completely understood might take it to the next level. Just click my handler if you will.


  13. bitchevil - September 21, 2008 5:12 am

    Faithful yet open-minded souls? Hope so…but some fanatics aren’t.

  14. SumpPit - September 21, 2008 10:15 am

    Most fanatics are just victims;lunacy self-inflicted.

  15. DinaPinoy - September 21, 2008 3:29 pm

    talagang magastos ang Fiesta.

    Magkano kaya ang ginastos doon sa mga banners? mahal siguro kasi ang laki!

  16. Ellen - September 21, 2008 4:12 pm

    Sump Pit, okay ang site mo.

  17. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 5:31 pm

    Wow, I got what I wanted….and fast at that. I thought it would be in a folder packaged as a school report, but instead, what was handed me is a xerox copy of the original, in Gen Lim’s own handwriting.

    Six (6) questions were asked of him by this child on 22 October 2007.

    1. Did you intend to become a soldier?
    2. Who and what inspired you to become one?
    3. What did you expect life in the military?
    4. Do you feel fulfilled or frustrated as a soldier?
    5. Will you encourage the youth to become a soldier and serve the country?
    6. Who is your personal hero and why?

    His answer to question #6 is very interesting.

  18. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 5:33 pm

    Ate Ellen,

    I do not know if it is okay to post his answers here. Please help me out. Thanks

  19. SumpPit - September 21, 2008 6:02 pm

    Thanks, Ellen.

  20. SumpPit - September 21, 2008 6:03 pm

    Thanks, M’Ellen.

  21. Ellen - September 21, 2008 7:51 pm

    It’s okay Sulbatz.I’m interested to know his answer.

  22. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 8:45 pm

    Thanks Ate Ellen. Please bear with me at medyo nahirapan ako maintindihan yung handwriting (hehehe).

    Q#1. Did you intend to become a soldier?

    Ans: As a young man, soldiery as a profession was farthest from my mind. Had we the means to support my college studies, (taking up a course I truly like), I should either be a physician or an engineer now. Even with a college scholarship, other expenses were still considerable. I was a freshman at UP when some classmates (some had elder brothers at PMA) convinced me to to take the entrance exam for PMA with them. I did very well in the exam and eventually decided to enter the Academy. After one year at PMA, I took another competitive exam for USMA at West Point and was lucky to be selected to represent the country as a member of USMA class ’78. Having gone through all the preparations for a military career (1 yr at PMA and 4 yrs at West Point), while not initially inclined to it, I have embraced and learned to love the vocation.

  23. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 8:50 pm

    Q#2. Who and what inspired you to become one?

    Ans: Honestly, no one in particular inspired me to become a soldier. My mother was so much against the idea of me, the youngest of her 5 boys, entering the Academy that she must have gone to all the churches she could go to praying that that I flunk the entrance exam. I guess pragmatic considerations and some “peer pressure” from my UP freshman classmates helped me become one.

  24. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 8:56 pm

    Q#3. What did you expect life in the military?

    Ans: I expected that life in the military would be difficult and would offer challenges that not very many would experience. That in many ways, it is, in a sense, tantamount to sacrifice. I expected te kind of training that would build character, intill discipline and imbue one with the moral courage to arm him for the realities associated with the chosen profession. I expected professionalism at all levels.

  25. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 8:57 pm

    Daming typo…sorry.

  26. TonGuE-tWisTeD - September 21, 2008 10:38 pm

    Ayan ka na naman Sulbatz. Ituloy mo na, nadyi-jingle na ako.

  27. bitchevil - September 21, 2008 10:56 pm

    Friends, correct me if I’m wrong…those West Pointers like Ramos often have western mentality meaning they are mostly pro-West (US). After being educated for many years and learning what those Western instructors teach them, most likely graduates like Ramos and Lim are pro-US. Nothing’s wrong for being pro-West or US unless they become Uncle Sam’s representatives in the Philippines…you know what I mean. A West Pointer would be challenged between his loyalty to the Philippines and America. Of course it depends on the individual. Patriotism is in one’s heart. But in my opinion, I’m pretty sure this Ramos is an American Boy who served and continues to serve America’s interest.

  28. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 11:37 pm

    Sorry po, nakatulog ako sa harap ng pc. Alam mo na, medyo napasarap kasi yung kwentuhan at salo-salo sa harap ng pinapawisang San Miguel kahapon.

  29. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 11:44 pm


    Q#4. Do you feel fulfilled or frustrated as a soldier?

    Ans: I feel fulfilled having developed that character and sense of self-discipline I believe I have put to good use in all the modest accomplishments I have undertaken while performing my sworn duties. I am blessed by the many experiences I’ve gone through which you can’t find if you’re not in the military. I am frustrated when I observe that the actions and attitudes of our leaders (both civilian and military) sharply contrast with the ideals that we were supposed to have internalized.

  30. SULBATZ - September 21, 2008 11:50 pm

    Q#5. Will you encourage the youth to become a soldier and serve the country?

    Ans: Even with all its defects (mainly the faults of senior military people who have allowed themselves to be prostituted by partisan considerations and personal aggrandizements), the military remains a noble and honorable profession. I would encourage our young people to join the service. But one word of caution, be prepared for its disappointments. It is not a perfect organization.

  31. Ellen - September 22, 2008 1:11 am

    Where is #6?

  32. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 1:25 am

    Sorry Ate Ellen, I have to call some people just to get my data right kasi yung sagot ni Gen Lim sa #6 got me interested and made me recall some incidents and stories in the past. I happen to be one of the audience sa kwentuhan and I just have to check with some people I remember who were there kung tama yung recollections ko.

  33. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 1:41 am

    Q#6. Who is your personal hero and why?

    Ans: My personal hero and a very dear friend – Haydee Yorac. She embodied everything – good, right, just and the truth. This is not my first time to be detained for my principles and convictions. For my involvement in the Dec ’89 military rebellion, I was jailed for almost three years. During those times, Haydee was a frequent visitor. And we have maintained our very close friendship till the time she went ahead of us. If she were alive today, she would be lawyering for me.

  34. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 1:48 am

    What struck me about this revelation of Gen Lim in regard to his answer to Q#6 is that at that very same period where his friendship with the late Haydee Yorac was developing, another friendship was being developed with another Marine officer several miles away from the detention center of the former in 1989.

    The then Major Miranda, who was a Battalion Commander of the 3rd Marine Bn in Sulu, had his first encounter with Haydee Yorac, who was then with the party of FVR, Ninez Cacho Olivares and some local politicians. This first encounter with the much respected lady would soon bloom into a deep friendship until her very last days.

    Gen Miranda, when asked the same question as that of Q#6, would answer the same as Gen Lim’s.

    Unfortunately, both are now in incarceration.

  35. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 1:49 am

    I could relate the story of that first encounter between Haydee Yorac and Gen Miranda, if you like.

  36. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 1:59 am

    Not many know that Haydee Yorac started as an “Honorary Marine Corporal” (there’s a story behind that) before she became a JAGS officer in the Reserve Force having been recruited by the Marines. She used to wear the Marine uniform during those days when we celebrate our anniversaries.

  37. bitchevil - September 22, 2008 4:04 am

    Is there such a thing as Honorary soldier or Honorary Military Officer? If one is adopted by one PMA Class, then he could be an Honorary Member of the Class but not necessarily an Officer. If you’re referring to Reserved Officer, it requires a process and eligibility. Back in the early 80s, there was so called “Project 36-70” for civilians to become Reserved Officer. It’s a Commissionship for those who want to be reserved officers of the AFP. Those civilian government officials including local leaders, businessmen whose business could contribute to the AFP in times of crisis qualified. Another way to become Reserved Officer is to take up National Defense College. Once one graduates, he or she becomes Lt. Colonel of the AFP Branch he chooses. That where Sen. Loren Legarda got her reserved officer status. In the past, I think during the time of Mayor Villegas, a civilian could be an Honorary Member of the Police Force complete with badge and uniform. All he needed was to be sponsored and appointed by the local Mayor. In other countries, this is being followed. These civilians are called Volunteer or Auxiliary Police Officers.

  38. SULBATZ - September 22, 2008 4:25 am


    Please take note…it’s in open/close parenthesis.

    “Honorary Marine Corporal” (there’s a story behind that)

  39. bitchevil - September 22, 2008 6:00 am

    Why was the late Yorac given only the title rank of “Marine Corporal”? Even a new lawyer is commissioned as Captain at JAGO. Pardon my ignorance. You may ask “What’s in a rank and title?” For many, it means so much.

  40. bitchevil - September 22, 2008 6:03 am

    Since the topic is about Penafrancia, a religious Festival, and religion/God is being discussed; I wish to share with you this piece I came across with:

    The FIRST Plague that faced America was BLASPHEMY !!

    If you think the “good works” God refers to in the Bible means making money off of the Word of God, you’re sadly mistaken. That’s called USING the gospel for personal gain. If your pastor is guilty of making a living off the gospel, or if commerce is taking place on the grounds of your church, such as having fund raisers, or hiring entertainment, or selling items for worship such as books, CDs, or even Bibles, be well aware that all such things are an ABOMINATION to God.
    Jesus didn’t overturn the tables of the moneychangers in the courtyard for any other reason, other than for exchanging money on church (temple) grounds. What do you think the following means?, “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. (John 2:15-16)
    My Father’s House is to be a place of PRAYER, but you have made it a den of thieves. Get your commerce, your merchandise, your entrapreneurs, salesmen, song prose, and Bible sales people, tape, CD, and book promoters, out of MY house of PRAYER.
    Most people will boldly proclaim that God loves America, that we are the most Christian nation on earth, and that we have sent more “missionaries” to other countries than any other nation in history !

    Well, that may well be partially true, but first consider the abominations America has carried out under the official banner “In God We Trust,” then consider for just one minute how God must feel when the doctrines we are teaching these other peoples are utterly FALSE, and in fact designed to be nothing but self-serving to the denominations these “missionaries” are being sent by.

    “Woe to you and your missionaries, hypocrites! You travel across land and sea to make converts, and when they are made, you make them twice the child of hell that you are yourselves, by teaching them your church’s false doctrines.” (paraphrased – Jesus – Matthew 23:15)

  41. juggernaut - September 22, 2008 8:41 am

    “You may ask “What’s in a rank and title?” For many, it means so much.” – BE

    For a few, it means a lot if you actually earn it, starting from the ranks and working your way up, getting to know very interesting people along the way. Its not much of an ego builder, but personally I prefer such a route to fully appreciate the organization, beter yet, the team…

  42. bitchevil - September 22, 2008 9:00 am

    Thanks Jug. What about lateral entry? What about PNPA graduates who automatically become Inspector? PNPA graduates are sometimes criticized by their veteran subordinates for only knowing the theory and lacking in actual experiences as Police.

  43. myrna - September 22, 2008 9:34 am

    isang tingin ko lang sa streamer na nakalagay sa itaas (as familiar ang lugar o building kung saan nakasabit yung streamer), mga sympathisers ni bg lim ang naglagay niyan. pimentel hardware and venancio hardware are owned by tsinoys, and siempre, may pera ang mga yan. ang tingin ko, sila mismo ang gumastos para sa streamer na yan.

  44. bitchevil - September 22, 2008 10:01 am

    That Pimentel Hardware may be owned by Sen. Nene Pimentel…he, he.

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