As the clock struck three in the afternoon last April 5, the church bells tolled, signifying the beginning of the thanksgiving mass at the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church. Celebrating with the thousands of devotees were parish priests from the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan led by Bishop Elmer Mangalinao, Rev. Julius Erwin P. Amarillo, OSJ, and the local church’s parish priest, Fr. Allen O. Romero.

Subsequent to the holy mass, drum and lyre corps, brightly-colored floats accentuating the patron saint, representatives from each of the 77 barangays of Bayambang, and church servers paraded along Quezon Blvd. with the route winding up at Barangay Bani, where the world’s tallest bamboo sculpture stands.

The day marks the feast of St. Vincent Ferrer, the commemoration of his 600th death anniversary, the celebration of the town’s 405th founding anniversary, and 400th year of the parish. Bayambang Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao and wife Niña Jose-Quiambao gave the St. Vincent Ferrer Statue as a personal gift to all Bayambangueños.

The statue is made up of 22,626 bamboo panels and medium carbonized decking and steel, standing 50.23 meters high from its octagonal foundation, surpassing both the Statue of Liberty in New York and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

Five years after winning the first Guinness World Record for the longest barbeque, Bayambang clinched another record, this time, for the world’s tallest bamboo sculpture (supported). The tabulation and proclamation of the new record was made by Swapnil Dangarikar, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records.

The visualization and realization of the project was made possible by Mayor Quiambao and wife Niña, Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation, and the parish church, in collaboration with JQS Builders, FEISCO, RAA Architects, Engineers and Consultancy Services, and Palafox Associates. — Christien Emmanouelle P. Artacho, Aliah Nicole C. Brillante, and Justine V. Bugarin

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