National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Shrine of Devotion, Shrine of Mission
Trivia | Blog
The Heavenly Sounds of Carillon Bells
In the midst of so much noise from cars, airplanes, vendors and people on the streets, a new kind of sound could be heard emanating in Baclaran today. This sound comes from the carillon bells of the newly constructed bell tower of the shrine. The bells’ exquisite sounds evoke a sacred aura that could be heard as far as one kilometer. One can hear these sounds at certain times of the day.
This is the first time the Shrine has had a bell tower since it was built. Built in 2015, devotees and pilgrims helped fund the carillon bell tower. The shrine has opened the bell tower to all devotees and guests every day. It is becoming one of the most popular spots in the shrine today.
“Carillon” is a set of stationary bells normally placed in a tower or high outdoor frame which when rung together can play a song or music. There are 25 carillon bells in this tower. They were all casted by Grassmayr, a European leading bell casting company from Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria.
The carillon bells do not need a human bell ringer. They are automatically programmed to ring at 6 am, 12 pm and 6 pm for the angelus. It also rings at 8 pm in honor of the dead and at 3 pm in commemoration of the death of Jesus on the cross. It also rings 15 minutes before every Mass or Novena service. There are 55 carillon bell “songs” to choose from, which include Novena songs, Christmas songs and religious songs. In special occasions of the shrine, like the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, they are used to signify to people about an important part of a liturgical service like the consecration in the Eucharist.
The bell tower also features 4 mosaics of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on each side of the tower. The four mosaic panels were created by VitreArtus Liturgical Arts Company owned by Mr Robert Cruz. According to Cruz, VitreArtus used imported glass tesserae which are homogeneously colored stones that will never fade.
Another interesting feature of the Carillon bell tower is the Sinirangan coffee shop at its ground floor. The Sinirangan Coffee Shops is another spot which is becoming increasingly popular. If you have the chance to climb the tower you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the surroundings of the Baclaran National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
It is indeed refreshing to hear the sounds from this bell tower. In this technological age, the carillon bells help to remind us of a time when bells were used to call worshippers to the church for a communal service, and to announce times of daily prayer, especially the angelus. It helps us to pause and ponder the sense of mystery amidst the frenzied and materialistic rhythm of our daily existence.
Sinirangan Coffee Shop: Your Not so Typical Coffee Shop
Sinirangan Coffee Shop is a special kind of coffee shop. Like an ordinary commercial coffee shop such as Starbucks, Gloria Jean’s, and Figaro, it serves wonderful coffee. Aside from coffee, the shop also serves a wide range of items including pasta and pastries. Like an ordinary commercial coffee shops, it aims, of course, to earn money and profits. The difference, however, is that all the profit from Sinirangan goes to the poor. All profits from Sinirangan coffee shop do not go to the shrine nor to the Redemptorist community but to the survivors of the super typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar. So technically it is a non-profit venture in the business’ sense.
The coffee shop is located at the ground floor of the Carillon Bell Tower. The space inside may be small but the exterior is spacious and has plenty of hard wood trees and plants. This provides a relaxing and nature-friendly ambiance, an excellent environment while you are drinking coffee.
Through the concerted efforts of the Redemptorists’ Permanent Commission on Social Mission Apostolate (PCSMA) and Tabang Sinirangan Visayas, a multi-sectoral and inter-regional group whose main organizers include the victims themselves, the idea of building a coffee shop that caters products directly transported from Visayas was born. Amidst the devastation, a new hope was born, thus, the coffee shop was named “Sinirangan” which in Eastern Samar’s Waray language means dawn, a new day.
Sinirangan Coffee Shop is basically a livelihood support program benefitting the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Municipalities of Llorente, Gen.MacArthur, Quinapondan and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, Philippines. It involves the whole process of “soil to cup”—from planting and cultivating, to brewing and selling coffee. The soil-to-cup approach is the empowering of the small farmers in the process of production. This means that the farmers will have control from planting to marketing by providing them the necessary tools, conditions and structures.
Sinirangan coffee plantation is located in the towns of Llorente, Gen.MacArthur, Quinapondan and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, Philippines. The coffee farmers belong to rural poor families and communities that were affected by the Super typhoon Yolanda. The total number of direct beneficiaries is 3200 households. The total number of indirect beneficiaries such as communities is 19,200 individuals. The types of beneficiaries are household families. The reason for their selection is because they are poor and have no means to take care of themselves.
Another interesting feature of Sinirangan Coffee Shop is that it provides job for graduates of the shrine’s skills and livelihood center. Also, many of the staff of Sinirangan are girls from the women’s center.
By patronizing the coffee shop one can enjoy the coffee while helping the poor beneficiaries. Come taste our Sinirangan Coffee and have a chance to climb the tower which will give you a magnificent view of the surroundings of the Baclaran National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.