N.B. The following text is taken from the La Naval de Manila Flickr Group where the blogger is a member.
Text from Posts By: Orven & Francis Jason Diaz Perez III
In this day and age when miracles seem to be just a part of a forgotten past, the times of our parents and grandparents, the third vestment of the Santo Rosario, a product of a genius, a masterpiece in our present day, stands as a mute but an everlasting witness that miracles still and do happen in the present.
The third of the Santo Rosario's famous vestments is also called the Sollano Ensemble - the result of a freak accident and answered prayer, a miracle from heaven for a distraught parents.
Dr. José Sollano, Jr. and Dr. Rosario Zaide-Sollano (the daughter of Don Luís Zaide, the Camarero of Santa Catalina de Ricci) have three beautiful children. One day while happily playing with a toy whistle, one of their daughters, accidentally swallowed the whistle which got stuck somewhere in her throat so much so when she spoke the whistle made a sound. Funny as the incident may seem, the little girl had a difficulty with breathing and a few more delays will prove to be fatal. Informed of the incident, the worried parents prayed for a miracle to the Santo Rosario, the miracle of time so that the girl could be brought to the UST Hospital and the whistle could be removed with a delicate operation before the situation turns for the worst.
Heaven smiled at them and their daughter is now a beautiful young lady.
In gratitude for the singular miracle from the Santo Rosario they vowed to donate a new ensemble for the Virgin to wear on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of her making (1593-1993).
Since it was destined to be worn by La Gran Señora de Filipinas it had to be the best.
The gold threads used were ordered in Spain though Dr. Chari's sister who lives there. The design had to be executed by the one and only Rafael del Casal who also supervised the actual embroidery which was entrusted to Glória Manundo, from the famous Talleres de Máximo Vicente.
Rafael del Casal, very much aware that the Numero I is part of the Santo Rosario's signature look, he relied heavily on this concept and thus served as the basis for his interpretation of what would be called thereafter as the Sollano Ensemble.
After the Numero I and the Numero II and in our present day no other vestment of the Santo Rosario has surpassed the beauty of this masterpiece in terms of design, execution and materials that were used.
It is a product of a genius who has devoted his artistic prowess in the service of the Queen of the Philippines and the triumph of modern Philippine Embroidery for the Divine.
The brilliance and definition of the design of the Sollano is its ability to stand out even from a great distance - as the Santo Rosario is seen by devotees and the curious alike. The leaves and flowers are so pronounced and raised at various levels that even from afar you can still make out the flow of the embroidery.
Even in inadequate lighting conditions, the flowers and the form of the design can still be appreciated from afar and up close.
As Rafael del Casal understands very much the La Naval tradition, he retains the signature look of the Santo Rosario. His design, though a modern interpretation of the Numero I maintains the concept and the flow of the Numero I and even in some way that of the plancha de oro y plata.
If it was not enough, the genuine materials used — hilo de oro from Spain that is also used for the famous Madonnas there and the careful execution, the various levels of relief that was employed made this ensemble truly a masterpiece of the embroider's art and priceless in everyway.
But the greatness of this ensemble, after its artistic and monetary value, is the fact that it was given in thanksgiving and as an eternal testament and proof that miracles, we only seem to read now in dusty old books and in the stories of our parents and grandparents, still happen, and that to this very day, the Filipino family still pays homage and devotion, unceasingly and undampened, to the Queen and Mother of the Nation, La Gran Señora de Filipinas - Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario, La Virgen de la Naval de Manila.
Photo Credits : FJDPIII, Erick Photomurals