Cebu News

Walk with Mary, Traslacion: Faithful brave the difficulties

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – No disability or physical defect could stop devotees of the Señor Sto. Niño and of Mother Mary from waking up at dawn and walking for at least an hour in yesterday’s procession just so they could stay true to their promise to the Holy Child.

One of them was former engineer Manuel Alisoso, 61, who insisted on joining yesterday dawn’s Walk with Mary despite having suffered a mild stroke.

The Alisosos, who reside in Talisay City, Cebu, had to wake up at 2:30 a.m. to join the procession from Fuente Osmeña to the Basilica del Sto. Niño.

Angel, 22, said his father had always been a devotee of the Sacred Family and a mild stroke he suffered five years ago did not stop him from continue fulfilling his pledge to join the Walk with Jesus and Walk with Mary processions every year during the Fiesta Señor.

Yesterday, he joined the dawn procession on a wheelchair.

“First time ni niya karon nga nag-wheelchair na kay karon ra man pud ni ni-grabe. Pero iya gyud ni nga will nga mokuyog diri,” said Angel.

Despite his condition, Manuel said he was still thankful for the gift of life. He said his petition during yesterday’s walk was to properly walk again.

“Sige lang gihapon ko kay deboto man. Pasalamat gihapon sa maayo nga panglawas,” he said, adding that except for the inability to walk, he was in good health.

Meanwhile, another devotee took the risk of joining the huge crowd during the procession even though she was eight months pregnant.

Alicia Saragosa, 40, of V. Rama Avenue, Cebu City said she was pregnant of her third child and was due to deliver the baby next month.

Though unaccompanied, she said she never felt like the procession was a burden or was difficult for her.

“Dili man sad kapoy. Gaan kaayo akong pamati,” she said.

Saragosa said her prayer to Mother Mary and the Baby Jesus was that she and her baby will be safe during her delivery especially that she was a diabetic.

“Promise sad gyud nako niya nga mokuyog gyud ko ani hangtod sa makaya nako,” said Saragosa.

Antonio Aying, 51, on the other hand, said he got closer to God only after his right leg got amputated in 1986 due to excessive smoking.

At 15, he was diagnosed with Buerger’s disease, a condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels in the legs and arms, particularly those in the hands and feet, and lost his leg to amputation five years later.

“Wa ko nituo nga putlanan to kay gatuo ko nga luto ra to sa sapatos tungod sige’g duwa basket(ball). Tungod diay to sa akong grabeng bisyo sa pagpanigarilyo,” he told The FREEMAN.

“Uwahi na ang tanan. Apan kadtong niduol ko ni Sr. Sto Nino dili pa diay uwahi. Gitabangan ko niya nga makakat-on ko’g kabag-ohan sa akong kaugalingon ilabi na sa pagtuo ug panampalataya,” he said.

Instead of losing faith, however, he gave up his vice and “began my devotion to the Holy Child.”

At the Basilica Pilgrim Center yesterday, he prayed for healing, good health, and happiness for his entire family, especially for his son Janry, who celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday.

Residents of Agus, Lapu-Lapu City, Janry and Antonio joined the 9th Novena-Traslacion Mass at the Basilica and endured a drizzle prior to the mass.

In his homily, Fr. Jose Montecillo, parish priest at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, encouraged the faithful to pray for the sick and give mercy and compassion to those who have sinned.

“Sa atong katilingban daghan makakasala ug masakiton.  Hinaot unta nga maluloy-on kamo ngadto kanila pinaagi sa pag-ampo ug maayong panig-ingnan. Adto unta silang dad-on, paduolon kang Señor. Sto. Niño kay tingali sa ilang kaugalingon wa silay kaisog ug kusog sa pakiluoy ug kompisal,” he said.

The foot procession with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe started from the archdiocesan shrine in Gudalupe, Cebu City going to the Basilica. Marian devotees went along and were joined by others at the Fuente Osmeña.

At the Basilica, the image of Mama Mary joined the Holy Child. The two images would be the centerpiece of today’s fluvial procession from Mandaue City to Cebu City.

As to the Traslacion that follows, Glen Antigua, chief of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue said no traffic-related complaints were recorded yesterday.

Thousands of bikers from various private companies also joined the procession.

Mandaue City Police Office Officer-in-charge Julian Entoma said they estimate the crowd waiting at the vicinity of the National Shrine of St. Joseph to around 3,000.

Last week, Mandaue City officials, including Mayor Jonas Cortes, were surprised the after Sinulog Foundation, Inc. changed the Traslacion route to  A.S Fortuna Street, after years of having it pass through the streets of Barangay Subangdaku.

Antigua, who was initially concerned about the possibility of a heavy traffic in the new route, heaved a sigh of relief that the annual foot procession ferrying the images of Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe sailed smoothly.

“So far walay reklamo nga mo-traffic sila kay time to time, wa man gyud nako makita sa monitor. Wa gyud napuno gikan sa Metro padung sa highway Seno,” he said.

The two holy images’ arrival at St. Joseph around 9 a.m. was followed by a mass celebrated by Monsignor Daniel Sanico, Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Cebu. Cortes and songressman Luigi Quisumbing were present for the religious event.

“Ako nga magpasalamat ta, sa blessings nga taong nadawat..sa new chapter sa bag-ong tuig nato sa 2016. Unya, sa 2016, daghan kaayo ta og activities, Sinulog, atong fluvial, ang atong International Eucharistic Congress. Mag-ampo ta nga magmalinawon og malampuson ang tanang kalihukan nga atong gipahigayon dinhi sa Sugbu,” Cortes said.

Quisumbing, on the other hand, praised the efforts of the organizers and coordinators behind several fiesta activities.

“This was a tremendous effort in the part of the city hall sa PNP as well as the organizing committee…this was also the first time that they have chosen this route (A.S Fortuna), but it really doesn’t matter where the image of the blessed Virgin Mary and Sto Niño pass, Cebuanos and Mandauehanons will come out in troops to pay homage,” he said.

At the Cebu City Police Office, authorities also recorded no crime during and after the Walk with Mary, which was followed by the Traslacion.

Chief Inspector David Señor, Police Community Relations Branch chief, said that based on the monitoring by the Operations Branch, not even a single crime was reported at the Fuente and Waterfront police stations.

There was also no untoward incident except for two ladies that collapsed during the procession.

He estimated the devotees to have numbered 250,000, which is 50,000 shy of the 300,000 that joined the Walk with Jesus last Thursday.

He said that while the Traslacion was ongoing, the traffic situation was “very manageable” because the motorcade moved faster than last year’s.  — Ma. Fatima R. Secuya, Kristine B. Quintas, Christell Fatima M. Tudtud and Bryner L. Diaz/RHM (FREEMAN)



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