The Bacani Dolorosa is an exquisitely-made processional wooden figure of the Dolorous Virgin, an heirloom image of the Bacani (Bakani) Family of Guagua. Family lore tells of the image being used for processions on Holy Thursdays even during the Spanish times. But more likely, it is a handiwork of their relatives--the Jingcos--who were a family of sculptors led by Sabas Jingco, and later, his son Maximino Jingco, a U.P. Fine Arts graduate who opened a taller de escultura y pintura in Betis in 1927. The younger Jingco studied under the tutelage of Isabelo Tampinco. This also explains why the Dolorosa is often referred to as the Jingco-Bacani Dolorosa.
The patriarch, Dr. Jose Irisari Bacani was a well-known medico cirujano, a graduate of University of Sto. Tomas (1917) who later pursued higher studies in the U.S. Upon his return, he worked briefly at the Philippine General Hospital, then settled back to Guagua in 1919 to practice his profession. In 1920, he married Consolacion Valenzuela where they raised three daughters.
The Dolorosa, over the years, has been repainted, and now has a fairer complexion like ivory; it is hard to tell from a distance whether it is real ivory or plain wood due to her most recent encarnacion. It always participated in the pre-war Holy Wednesday procession in Guagua, until its carroza was completely burned at the height of the World War II in 1942. In those dreadful times, Guagua town was razed to the ground.
As a result, the family withdrew the Dolorosa from the Holy Week processions of Guagua. This prompted the Lopezes, another prominent family of the town, to have another sober-looking Dolorosa made in Spain—known today as the Macarena.
|Rosario Bacani Guanzon|
Apung Charing shared the Dolorosa with siblings and relatives, allowing them to keep the image in their homes for as long as six months. After which, the image was secured and kept once more by Mrs. Guanzon in nearby Sta. Rita town, where she keeps a home.
The Bacani Dolorosa has not been seen publicly since. Dressed in her red embroidered vestment and caped with her wide manto, the Dolorosa cuts a striking figure, especially when she wears her silver rostrillo. It is hoped that the people of Guagua will behold the face of this beautiful Dolorosa once more in the near future.
PHOTO CREDITS: Jerry Punzalan Sagmit