Vito is a barrio in Sagay which was used to be known as Narvaez. It was later renamed Vito. Vito Church in Sagay City is the Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer. The church was established during the religious administration of Negros by the Recollect Friars. The first Recollect missionaries were assigned in Vito in 1898 but the church and convent was constructed only in the 1930s.
The religious tradition of palapak is still being practiced at Vito Church. The base of a small statue of St. Vincent Ferrer is lightly pressed on the head of a devotee. Thus it’s called palapak, taken from the word lapak, Hiligaynon meaning “to step on”.
According to the book Handurawan: Visita Iglesia Negros y Recoletos, a fisherfolk named Juan Barco found a driftwood in Molocaboc Island. He originally wanted to use it as firewood but after several signs and miracles given to him by a saint, he decided to carve an image out of the driftwood. This image was later identified to be St. Vincent Ferrer.
The old wooden image of San Vicente Ferrer at Vito Church is said to have miraculous healing powers. This is the reason why every Friday especially the first Friday of the month, devotees flock to Vito Church as part of their panaad (religious vow).
Barangay Vito is a bustling fishing village along the coast of Sagay City facing Molocaboc Island. The best time to go there is on the first Friday of the month so you can witness the old tradition being practiced.
Vito Church in Sagay City by Glady Reyes