Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary ChurchMarseilla Street corner Gen. Trias Drive, Rosario, Cavite
The town of Rosario was named after its patron saint, Nuestra Senora Virgen del Santissimo Rosario, Reina de Caracol. The parish church is the shrine of a miraculous image of the Madonna and Child, said to be an early 1800s painting by a famous Filipino artist, Faustino Quiotang.
The image is enshrined at the main altar, with a replica lording over a small chapel adjacent to the right nave of the church for private devotions. A steel fishing net serves as a veil over the icon, held on both ends by two fishermen, in a nod to the main source of livelihood for the people in the municipality. Devotion to the icon came about when the crew of a sinking batel during an extraordinarily violent storm prayed to the image which was aboard at that time, and they were all spared, washed ashore in a sitio of the town.
A makeshift chapel made of bamboo and wood was built in the sitio for the image, but legend says some boys who liked to swim at the beach found the image afloat again and again. So the townspeople transferred the icon inland, building a more permanent structure for the painting.
When the devotion to the Madonna grew it wasn't long before the barrio, called Tejero, where the church was built was declared a parish. This was in 1845, and it prompted the Spanish regime to cede the barrio, decreeing it a new municipality a year later.
Caracol is a big celebration in Rosario during the feast months of the Virgin Mary, May and October. There's a fluvial procession, caracol del mar, as well as street dancing, caracol del tierra. The street dancing is also observed in most coastal towns in Cavite, and it's an awesome sight to see middle-aged men and women dancing in the streets carrying a santo. The dance steps are constant, and it looks like one step forward and two steps backward, that the entourage never seems to go along. But the acceptance of the devotion and its caracol is evident in the way commercial buses full of passengers and private vehicles would stop for as long as an hour during caracol time, as the caracol route is normally along major thoroughfares.
On the other side of the Rosario church is another adjacent chapel that houses the stations of the cross. What makes the Rosario church unique is that the stations of the cross culminate with the Risen Christ at the altar in the center of the chapel.
a colossal banyan tree at the church courtyard, in the midst of which is a statue of the Virgin Mary
*With a clean public CR by the multi-purpose hall.