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Scenes from the Gapan City's

January 5, 2005

The paseo -- that's the traditional name of the parade for the Gapan fiesta -- is led by three men astride horses, garbed as the Three Kings.

Given star billing at the head of the parade is the Zabat Band, reputed to be the oldest marching band in the country, having been founded in 1820.

The city's many other marching bands follow...


... dressed in eye-catching uniforms.

The main paseo participants are pilgrims, many from other towns and provinces...

... who join to fulfill a vow made to the Three Kings in exchange for favors granted.

Also seen at the paseo are the city's senior citizens...

... members of Class 1959 of Nueva Ecija South High School, a number of whom came all the way from abroad...

... floats of commercial establishments...

... government officials led by City Mayor Ernesto Natividad...

... and 4th District Rep. Rodolfo Antonino...

... village muses...

... and Mutya ng Gapan 2004 Mariel Matias.
After the paseo, the pilgrims head for the church...

... to hear Mass...

... buy candles and make offerings at any of the many candle vendors that line up the road ...

... and do some haggling at a huge flea market  on streets around the  church compound, where one can buy literally anything. ###

Digital photos by Ramon R. Valmonte
January 2005