By Crischellyn Abayon
IT WAS a normal Monday for me and as I tuned in to Balitang Bisdak, a particular news item caught my attention: A Sto. Niño talked to three kids in Lapu-Lapu City. As Vic Serna was reporting and giving the viewers a walk-through of the situation in Sitio Saac II in Barangay Mactan, I could not help but be amused by the devotion of the people lining up just to get a glimpse, wipe their hankies and kiss the image. At first glance, it is easy to be swoon by such a sight but as Bobby Nalzaro put it: Do not believe such claims right away.
This news story has received ample air time in a span of days. There are claims of miracles, of being healed, of simply expressing their faith and of hopes that their prayers would be answered too. But just after a few days, the media released the interview of Sto. Niño Parish Priest, Fr. Benjamin Balsamo, saying that the kids may have lied about their claims that the image talked to them. Did that change the situation in the neighborhood?
The lines of devotees still sprawl from the tiny chapel to the main road and asked if they felt discouraged about the kids “lying,” the answer of most is still a resounding “No.”
For a nation composed mostly of Catholic church-goers and a background of 300 years of Spanish colonization, such fervent devotion is expected. Filipinos are a faithful people albeit calamities and crises test it.
The story of the talking Sto. Niño image broke just a few days after the annual Sinulog festival. The closeness of the events may have been interpreted by some as a miracle in itself. Some may even theorize that the Sto. Niño has a message for the Cebuanos and the world. But could it be that God has a message to tell that He allowed the image to talk to children ages 6, 4 and 3? Do we need such an occurrence to pause and intently listen?
As a people, the Filipino also loves oddity. It is when the rarest things or the toughest times happen that we often remember a Supreme Being trying to intervene or at the very least, we believe that we are in no way in control of all things that happen to us. We then kneel and submit ourselves to the will of God, hoping for the best and accepting the worst. But how often do we have to hear news stories of a dancing sun, healing dead or talking image? What would it take to believe and still be logical?
Does healing always have to involve flocking to far places to hold an image or wipe a piece of cloth in it? Will it do the sick good if they are brought to these places under harsh weather conditions? Is it not that the true measure of faith is extending a hand to those who need? Of listening to those who are never heard? Of being a good person?
It is a matter of belief, many people would say. Perhaps, no one can really fathom the depth of one’s faith and belief. No one can question either.
As for an observer and a believer, the talking image should not be the measure of our faith. It is not church attendance or the amount we drop on those baskets being passed around mass that measures how much we believe in God. It is not lining for hours under the scorching heat either. Faith is shown best when, amidst of the storms of life, we manage to utter words of thanks that we get to see another day. Healing happens when we learn to accept that even with a health woe or a broken heart, we are allowed to experience life and feel the love of those that surround us.
I believe that if God has something to tell us, it would be to love each other more. Love does heal and in love we can share our faith and let His church flourish.
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GREEN Fins, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Reef-World Foundation, has launched its new website “to reflect the needs of its users across the globe.” “We carried out extensive research into what our users were. Tourists want to be able to choose Green Fins dive centers, especially those who are going
Among ipaagi sa ipa-Super Mo ang among handum nga unta matagad na sa pamunoan ni barangay kapitan Rolando Trajera kay espeso na kaayo ang tubig nga way pagkahubas sa among dalan dinhi sa Bucana. Pogi Street man unta ang pangalan sa dalan, pero laksot kaayo kay morag tunaan. (Sun.Star SuperBalita Davao)
The long weekend will definitely be fun-filled for residents and tourists with 11 participating schools highlighting the opening Panagbenga 2014 festivities today.
Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. chief of staff Evangeline Payno said the participating schools include Kias Elementary School, Josefa Cariño Elementary School, Quezon Hill Elementary School, Baguio Central School, Jose P. Laurel Elementary School, Mabini Elementary School, Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary School, Lucban Elementary School, Fort Del Pilar Elementary School, Doña Aurora Elementary School and Baguio SPED Center. Continue reading–>
OTHERS call it the Lunar New Year, in China it is called the Spring Festival, and the majority recognize it as the Chinese New Year – few days from now till the redolence of the spirit of the centuries-old celebration will be experienced once again this January 31st.
The night before of the 31st is the biggest event of the Chinese New Year’s Eve – the Reunion Dinner where family members from far will gather and celebrate it with various Chinese dishes on the tables. Continue reading–>
Avelino encouraged more than 10,000 overseas Filipinos in attendance to keep in touch with their loved ones in the Philippines without having to worry about expensive IDD costs with DUO Canada, which assigns a virtual Canadian number to any Globe mobile number in the Philippines.
For only C$25 per month, Avelino said that calling back home can be fast, affordable, and easy, just like calling any number in Canada.
Customers who subscribed to DUO Canada were treated to a $10 discount off the subscription fee, as well as the chance to meet and greet Avelino.
Lucky audience members who participated in the activities and games also received freebies from the leading telecommunications company.
To register to a DUO Canada service, subscribers can fill out an online form at duocanada.globe.com.ph with their Globe or TM mobile number of their choice and they will be assigned a virtual Canadian number.
With just C$25 monthly, subscribers can enjoy big savings when calling family and friends in the Philippines.
To know more about DUO Canada, log on to duointernational.globe.com.ph. (PR)
THE Camarines Norte Association Canada–Ontario (CNAC-O), a seven-year-old community-based volunteer organization of Filipino-Canadian GTA residents from the 12 towns of Camarines Norte, selected its new set of officers and directors for the 2014-2016 term.
At a general meeting held at the social hall of Walton Place, Scarborough on January 11, 35 Tagalog-Bikol mix speaking CNAC-O members elected 21 members of the Board of Directors.
Elected executive officers are: Susan S.J. Llanera, President; Merle Canlas, 1st Vice-President; Pong Ostonal, 2nd Vice-President; Lydia Madrona-Yanto, Secretary; Nely Lopriego, Treasurer; Jocelyn A. San Juan, Auditor; Liwayway Nabus, Business Manager; and Carlito B. Cruz, Public Relations Officer.
The other members of the Board of Directors are: Lourdes Balce, Elizabeth S. Cruz, Sonia S. dela Cruz, Eva S. San Andres, Andrea A. San Juan, Maricris A. San Juan, Ramon A. San Juan, Virgie G. San Juan, Minda Sayoc, Rey Senes, Homer Senson, Faye Silvio, and Rommel Yanto.
Together with CNAC-O founders Tony A. San Juan and Jojo Taduran, the outgoing president Larry Bercasio and 1st vice-president Wilson Nabus will join and serve in the newly reconstituted CNAC-O Council of Advisers.
Speaking after her election, President Susan S.J. Llanera promised to work towards with purposeful commitment and solid enthusiasm pursuing the established vision, mission and mandate, through the sustainable projects and programs of the 59-member association of former natives of Bikolandia’s northernmost province, Camarines Norte. (TSJ)
Photo shows District Deputy Domingo Trinidad (left) installing Rev. Fr. James M. Reposkey (right) as Chaplain of the newly formed Knights of Columbus St. Alphonsus Council 15840 on January 19, 2014 during the 11:30 a.m. mass at the St. Alphonsus Church corner Vaughan and St. Claire West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Brother Manuel Mendoza Ching and Brother Liborio Mendoza are the grand knight and deputy grant knight, respectively. (Contributed photo)