The Nuestra Señora dela Soledad de Porta Vaga, Reina de Cavite or La Virgen de la Soledad, is the beloved patroness of Cavite City. Reputed to be a relic received from Spain, it is a painting of the Virgin Mary framed in carved wood. It is said that the icon was beached and discovered on the shores between the old Puerto Vaga and Barrio San Roque in Cavite City during the 18th century. The painting, presently set with precious gems is also known as the “Virgin of a Thousand Miracles” because of the many miracles granted to faithful devotees.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is depicted as Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary, garbed in black and white attire, seems to be on her knees as she contemplates the Passion of her Son, Jesus. Before her are the crown of thorns and the nails, the instrument of Christ's crucifixion.
The painting is set with gold and silver accouterments and precious gems, which are votive offering from her devotees. An inscription found at the back of the painting says: “On April 12, 1692, Juan Oliba placed this most holy image here." The most venerated icon of La Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga is an invaluable treasure inherited by the Caviteños from their ancestors, and is the oldest extant dated Marian painting in the Philippines.
One stormy night, while a Spanish sentry was at his post, he perceived a halo of bright shifting light. A dazzling apparition rose from the currents of Cañacao Bay, startling the sentry with suspicion that it could be pirates who were out to ransack the port. The guard shouted “Halt! Halt!" However instead of stopping, the light proceeded toward him. He asked “Who is there?” with a very loud voice. He heard a sweet and melodious voice saying, "Little Soldier, why halt me on a night so cold? Let me pass. Dost thou not recognize Mary?". The guard, struck with awe and confusion, humbly and repentantly replied, "Forgive me, Virgin Mary, Queen of my devotion, for I am a soldier who complies with my duty!"
The following morning, fishermen and workers at the Cavite Royal Arsenal usually pass through the Porta Vaga (Vaga Gate) found along the beach of Cañacáo Bay and found a framed image of the Virgin. It was close to the spot where she appeared the previous night. They brought the image to the parish priest who temporarily installed it in the parish church. Later, a small chapel was built near the Porta Vaga's walls, and for three centuries it was the shrine of the Virgin de la Soledad. The icon was used to bless the galleon plying between Cavite and Acapulco, Mexico during formal sending off ceremonies, earning her the title "Patroness of the Galleon."
The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located in the San Roque Parish Church in Cavite City.
Here is the list of hotels and resorts near in Cavite Province:
- Mount Sea Resort
Location : General Trias 163 Marseilla Street, Bagbag II, Rosario, Cavite
- Microtel Hotels & Resorts Cavite
Location : General Trias Amadeo Rd, Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club, Cavite
- Island Cove Resort & Leisure Park
Location : Cavite City Covelandia Road, Binakayan Kawit, Cavite
How to get there
From Manila, Cavite can be reached by bus. Buses are available in Manila around 5am to 10pm every day. Ride a bus that has a trip going to Cavite. Buses usually load and unload passengers at Vito Cruz corner Harrison Street across the Central Bank of the Philippines.
There are also buses and minibuses that have trips going to Tagaytay whose terminals can be found in Baclaran. It usually takes the route in Parañaque/Las Piñas.
From Metro Manila, one can take a cab from Harrison Plaza or Baclaran. The travel time will take more or less 30 to 45 mins.
Tourists can ride in a jeep or tricycle when exploring Cavite.