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Cebu News

Sto. Niño devotee: Beauty queen remembered

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The right side adjacent to the candle section of the Pilgrim Center of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño was the favorite spot of the late Cebuana beauty queen, Rizzini Alexis Gomez.

Yesterday, as her family joined the Traslacion Mass, they stood in the same spot and could not help but feel the pain of losing Rizzini at such a young age.

Rizzini died of lymphoma of the lung last October. She was 25.

Rhoel Gomez, Rizzini’s father, reminisced how his daughter would wave her hand to the image of Sr. Sto. Niño every time the gozos “Batobalani sa Gugma” was sung.

“Sakit nga wala na siya. Apan amo gihapong giisip nga uban siya namo, maong amo gyung gidumdom ang lugar diin adto siya gusto mopwesto,” said the teary-eyed Rhoel.

Rizzini was a Cebuana beauty titlist who bagged numerous crowns, including Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012, Miss Tourism International 2012, Aliwan Festival Queen 2010, Miss Cebu 2009 first runner-up and Miss Mandaue 2008.

One of her last brave acts was to dance during the coronation of the Sinulog Festival Queen at the Cebu City Sports Complex even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Rhoel described Rizzini as a devotee of the Holy Child even as she was battling lymphoma of the lung. He tried to hold back his tears as he told The Freeman his fond memories of his daughter.

“She’s very religious and ever since nagdako gyod na siya duol ni God. Sto. Niño is our patron,” he said, while he recalled when Rizzini was hospitalized for six months at Perpetual Succour Hospital and that the beauty queen would always remind them never to lose faith in God.

In the middle of the interview, Rhoel broke down in tears, sobbing as he expressed how he misses Rizzini in every Novena and Sunday Mass and even during meals and workout sessions. Aside from being a devotee, Rizzini was also a sports enthusiast.  Rhoel, a former PBA player and UC basketball team coach, admitted that they have not yet moved on from the passing of his unica hija. But, he said their faith to Sto. Niño keeps them stronger and united like a “team.”

He said their constant prayer and faith to the Holy Child helps them to, little by little, move on.

“Physically masakit ang pagpanaw niya but our prayer has been healing us gradually,” he said.

Quoting Rizzini before she died, Rhoel said “With God’s grace, this too shall pass.” — Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ALIWAN FESTIVAL QUEEN ATILDE CEBU CITY SPORTS COMPLEX CEBUANA HOLY CHILD KRISTINE B MISS CEBU RHOEL RIZZINI STO
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