From Rafael Villongco (via Facebook):
THE SUPPOSED APPARITIONS OF OUR LADY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, TO EIGHT CHILDREN AT CABRA ISLET – MINDORO OCCIDENTAL, PHILIPPINES 🇵🇭 (1966 – 1972)
On 6 December 1966, the Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to a 10-year old girl, Belinda Villas, who was on her way home from school, on a rocky hill called “Burol” at Cabra Islet in Mindoro Occidental. The farmer’s daughter felt a tap on her shoulder and beheld a very beautiful lady floating in the air over an “alamag” tree. The celestial woman was wearing a white dress, a sky blue veil, and a same colored sash whom Belinda described to her friends as a “madre” (nun). Eventually, Mercilita Cajayon; Dalisay Tameta; Edna Villas; Mindadelia Tulaylay; Erlinda Villas and Gloria Tulaylay also witnessed the beautiful Lady.
The elementary school principal, Juana V. Torreliza, then urged the children to write down the details of their encounters with the mysterious lady from the beginning. One recorded vision has the lady smiling and with a sweet reassuring voice, telling them in the Tagalog dialect: “Ako ang Immaculada Concepcion!” (“I￼ am the Immaculate Conception!”)l This episode is reminiscent of the Virgin’s revelation of her identity to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France on March 25, 1858 (following her first apparition February 11).
News of the apparitions had spread all over the Philippines, more so when Belinda revealed that Our Lady promised a miracle on March 25, 1968, during the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Over 7,000 pilgrims from all over the archipelago came to Cabra that day. People claimed to have seen the Virgin appear at 4:30 A.M. and several eyewitness accounts included seeing “the sun dancing and changing its colors,” and “a bright star on top of the tree near the chapel,” spinning “like it was coming towards the people.” Shades of Fatima!
In Lipa (1948), which is also in the Philippines, the associated phenomenon with the apparitions was the shower of rose petals with various images of Jesus, Mary, the saints and other holy figures. At Cabra, there was (is) the appearance of similar holy images on rocks/stones from Apparition Hill. I myself had seen such stones from Cabra with holy images of the Virgin Mary in 1992 during a preliminary journalistic investigation by the late television broadcaster, +June Keithley-Castro.
The alleged Marian apparitions continued until March 25, 1972. By then, the visionaries were living separate lives: some in Manila, others in Cabra. All of the eight seers got married and raised children. Public interest in the apparitions waned as political turmoil took over the country during the regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos (1965 – 86).
Very recently (2019), a new and larger Chapel of the Apparitions replaced an old, small one and it seems that a new Church investigation into the Cabra events is underway, as the Vicariate of San Jose, Mindoro Occidental, is seeking testimonials from devotees and eyewitnesses who can assist in shedding light to the phenomena of Cabra Island. Holy Mass is now also permitted to be said in the chapel of apparitions.
In 1978, a book entitled: “The Apparitions at Cabra Islet” was published. Copies can be found in many￼ Catholic college libraries, in the National Library of the Philippines and the United States Library of Congress.
The purported apparitions eventually inspired the 1982 Ishmael Bernal drama film, “Himala” (“Miracle”) which starred well-renowned Filipina actress, Nora Aunor, with screenplay by Ricky Lee. Produced by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, the movie was first exhibited overseas in the Berlin International Film Festival. It later won the Viewers’ Choice Award for the Best Film of All Time from the Asia-Pacific Region in the 2008 CNN Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Not quite as obscure any longer!
OUR LADY OF CABRA, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION pray for us!