Milagro sa Porta Vaga (lost Filipino religious drama film; 1982)

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Status: Lost

Milagro sa Porta Vaga (lit. Miracle at Porta Vaga) is a 1982 Filipino religious drama film directed by Florencio Orbenta and starring the late child actress Julie Vega. The film is billed as "a true-to-life story of the miraculous Virgin of Our Lady of Solitude of Cavite City", referring to the Our Lady of Porta Vaga, a religious icon depicting Our Lady of Solitude which is a Marian title venerated in Spanish-speaking countries and in the Philippines which has a large Roman Catholic population. The film also stars Ting Jocson and Leopoldo Salcedo and was produced by Fiesta Films International.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Our Lady of Porta Vaga is said to be the oldest dated Marian painting in the Philippines and the patroness of the province of Cavite, permanently enshrined within the Diocesan Shrine in San Roque Church.[1] Tradition has it that in 1667, a halo of bright light appeared to a sentry guarding the Porta Vaga and introduced herself as the Virgin Mary in a soothing voice, asking the sentry for passage with the latter apologising to the Virgin Mary for his irreverent act, having mistaken the Marian apparition for Muslim pirates intent on sacking the port. The following day, a painting of Our Lady of Solitude was found floating on the waters of Cañacao Bay. A shrine was since dedicated to the image, and since then, several miracles have been ascribed to Our Lady of Porta Vaga.[2]

Centuries later, the Marian image and her many miracles served as an inspiration for a theatrical feature film starring Julie Vega, one of the most popular child actresses in the Philippines during the 1980s.[3] Vega reportedly offered to play her role for free as it was a religious film, likely as an act of devotion to her faith.[4]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Not much information has surfaced about the film over the decades, apart from promotional posters and a still from the film, as well as a mention in the book The Urian Anthology, 1980-1989.[5] Several people and groups have attempted to find the film since the late 2000s, one of them being the religious confraternity Cofradia de la Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga. The confraternity sought to locate a copy of the film to aid in promoting their devotion to the Our Lady of Porta Vaga for the past decade to no avail, stating in Filipino:

"Nakalulungkot isipin na wala ng makitang kopya ng natatanging pelikulang ito. Isa sa mga hinahangad o minimithi ng Cofradia de la Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, Inc. ang makakuha ng kopya ng pelikulang ito, upang makatulong sa higit na pagpapalaganap ng debosyon." ("It is sad to know that no copy exists of this film. One of the Cofradia de la Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, Inc.'s goals is to obtain a copy of this film to aid in spreading our devotion.")

It is unknown if ABS-CBN's Cinema One, a cable channel dedicated to airing vintage Filipino films, has aired the film;[6] IBC-13 and RPN-9 (now CNN Philippines) did at one point air reruns of it according to a Facebook user.[4] Another Facebook user reported that cable channel Cinemo did air the film as recently as of November 2021; no further evidence to this was provided, however.[7]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]