Cop’s, ex-frat man’s inspiring stories: Changed lives owed to the Holy Child

(The Freeman) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Strong devotion towards the Senior Sto. Niño helped turned a janitor into a policeman, and a drug addict and a violent fraternity member into devotees.

Here are their stories.

Police Officer 3 Romeo Cabulao, 53, said that in the 1980s he was a casual worker at the Cebu City Hall working as a janitor when he asked the Holy Child that he be given a better job.

“Janitor ko kanang mag-mop.  Akong adlaw ato 10 pesos pa, wa pa nang bag-ong (executive) building.  Sige ra ko’g labang-labang ug balik-balik sa Basilica while working.  Inig alas dose or wala pay alas dose, ara ko sa Sto. Niño,” he said.

Cabulao said a friend, who was a former Sto. Niño School student and was working as a fireman, advised him to take the National Police Commission examination.

 “Diha ko’s luyo sa iyang (Sto. Niño) altar ako ra usa, nanuktok ko: ‘Senior  taga-i intawon ko’g milagro, sa imong pagkamilagroso, tibuok nakong kinabuhi akong isalig sa imoha.  Wala man ko na-regular, imo ning pagbuot, mo-take ko’g exam sa NAPOLCOM. Tabangi ko unsaon nako pag-answer kay wala man gyud koy idea ani’,” he said.

Months later, Cabulao passed the examination. He went back to the Senior Sto. Niño, result in hand, to thank the Holy Child for the wisdom and enlightenment he had during the examination.

“Senior ara akong resulta sa exam, salamat kay imo kong gitabangan. Sunod nakong pangayoon tabangi ko nga makaya ni nako ang training sa police kay wa koy idea, para naa koy ikabuhi sa akong pamilya”, he narrated how he told the Baby Jesus.

He has been a faithful devotee of the Holy Child even up to this day.

“Sa balay before ko mo-duty, makig-estorya gyud ko ni Senior nga unta giyahan ko niya sa area kung asa ko ma-assign ug unta magmalinawon ang akong pagtrabaho. Inig-uli pud nako, magpahibalo sab ko ni Senior nga naabot na ko,” he said.

He said that if you have struggles in life, surrender them all to the Senior Sto. Niño, strengthen your faith, and let the Holy Child do the rest.

“Now, I offer my life in serving him every Sinulog and in protecting my fellow Cebuanos, VIVA Pit Senior!” Cabulao said.

For Joseph Bagol, 34, from Carcar City, Cebu, a former drug user and a gang member, his being saved after his fall from grace he owed to the Sto. Niño.

He said he grew up in a family where faith in the Sto. Niño is strong.

However, bad company made him turn to the crooked way during his second year in high school, when he learned to use illegal drugs and joined gang fights. There was even a time when he stabbed someone during one of those encounters with a rival group.

And while he still believed in God, he just did not care about what he was doing. He even criticized devotees who endured the huge crowd and risk of stampede to attend the novena mass for the Santo Niño saying they were just making themselves tired.

“Nitoo gihapon ko ato sa Ginoo pero kutob ra pagtoo. Wala sa buhat,” he said.

He said the death of his mother in 2000 was that turning point when he realized how he had been wasting his life.

“Nakonsensya ko ug didto ko niduol na gyud sa Ginoo. Nangayo ko og pasaylo ug nagpatabang ko nga mabag-o na gyud ko,” he said.

Bagol said he was thankful to his friends who never gave up on him and constantly invited him to join them in their religious organization’s activities.

He said that it was during one activity, while the others were sharing their experiences, when he felt God’s presence.

“Mao to nga na-active na ko ato nga religious group,” he said, adding that he then stopped using illegal drugs and refrained from smoking until he totally quit all his vices.

He said he was very thankful to the Senior Sto. Niño for helping him change his ways so he would have a peaceful life.  (FREEMAN)

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