Cebu News

Devotion, livelihood mix at the Basilica

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - While they do gain from brisk business due to the huge number of devotees, vendors at the Basilica del Sto. Niño said hawking flowers, candles and other items is also their way of paying tribute to the Holy Child.

Jessie Taypa, 53, from Escario Street, Cebu City, said he chose to sell flowers outside the Basilica because he knows these are being used for religious activities.

“Kining akong mga buwak, dili gyud ni malayo diri kay kini para ra gyud ni sa simbahan,” said Taypa, who was been a flower vendor outside the Basilica for 30 years.

Himself a devotee of the Senior Sto. Niño, he said he and his family would attend mass at the Basilica at dawn every Friday and Sunday and in the other days of the week whenever they are free.

He said even with his simple means of living, he was still proud that he has sent his three children up to high school and all of them are now working.

“Sukad pa sa una, mao gyud na nga mag-ampo mi tabangan mi ni Sto. Niño, mahalinan man gyud mi bisan wa pay okasyon,” said Taypa.

Meanwhile, couple Lennie and Gina Bayaton, who sell balloons outside the Basilica, said they promised to the Holy Child that they would bring happiness to children through what they sell as long as their body still allows it.

“Mao gyud na among panaad niya nga hangtod malihok pa ni akong kamot ug tiil, ari ra gyud ko diri mamaligya,” said Lennie, 46.

He and his wife started selling balloons in 1990, and they chose to do so at the vicinity of the Basilica because aside from the fact that there are many people, they themselves were also devotees of the Holy Child.

He said they offer their livelihood, which helped them send their seven children to school, to the Sto. Niño. Two of their children have now graduated from college.

Chona Radasa, on the other hand, said selling outside the Basilica was like hitting two birds with one stone because she got to listen to the words of God all day while earning a living at the same time.

The 26-year-old, who has been selling foldable fans for four years already, said she, too, is a devotee of the Sto. Niño.

“Kung naa koy problema, adto gyud ko niya mangamuyo,” she said, adding that every time there is mass at the Basilica, she would also listen to the gospel and the homily so she would likewise learn the lessons being taught and apply them in her life.

She, too, attributed how she managed to send her child to school with her income as a vendor to the graces showered on her by the Holy Child.

“Ma-feel gyud nako nga gitabangan gyud ko sa Sto. Niño kay wa gyud mi niya pasagdi. Bisag unsa kadaghan sa mga naninda diri, bahinan gyud mi niya. Di mahitabo nga wa mi agi, naa gyud bisan gamay,” she said. – (FREEMAN)












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