Boys see future through God’s ‘instruments’

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - January 30, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - It was just his first communion but 12-year-old Rudifier Chavez already sees himself presiding over the ceremony for young communicants when the Philippines hosts the International Eucharistic Congress in the future.

“Ganahan ko mag-pari pareha ni Cardinal Vidal. Akoy mag-pari inig sunod nga IEC,” he tells The Freeman.

Yesterday afternoon, he joined thousands of children receive their first communion during the Children’s Mass at the Cebu City Sports Center. The event was one of the highlights of the IEC.

Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal who took his first communion during the IEC in Manila in 1937 celebrated yesterday’s Mass.

Rudifier says he will study hard so he can follow in Vidal’s footsteps.

Unlike the other children who received communion with their families by their side, Rudifier went to the sports center with an IEC volunteer. He was among 450 children rescued from the street and who now live at an orphanage.

“Wala ko kaila sa akong mama ug papa. Nagpasalamat ra ko sa orphanage nga ning-rescue nako sa dalan. Sila ang nagpa-eskwela nako ug nagpakaon nako,” he says.

Yesterday, as he received the Body of Christ for the first time, Rudifier did so with prayer – that the communion would guide him to the future he hopes to have. He says he will take good care of the while long sleeved shirt bearing the IEC logo, black pants, and black shoes he wore yesterday so he will not lose track of his dream.

“Maayo unta og maabot nako ang akong gi-dream nga ma-pari… Dili ko ni wagtangon para naa koy remembrance,” he says.

He also promised himself to always hear Mass.

“Tungod sa akong first communion, pirmi na gyod ko mo-simba ug maminaw kos pulong sa Ginoo,” Rudifier says.

Not far from where Rudifier was standing at the communion line, 14-year-old Marvin Sordilla could not contain his happiness of being able to step foot in Cebu City and attend the event, let alone do so using a prosthetic leg.

Marvin, a member of the Bagobo native in Barangay Kiago, Davao Province was born with his right leg shorter than the other. He used to attach a piece of bamboo his mother had made to his leg to help him balance his walk until lawyer Johari Baña saw him in July 2013.

“Two years ago, nakit-an na nako siya sa opisina nako sa Digos. Nakit-an na nako siya one time natulog sa dalan. Akong gi-picturan didto ko na-touch sa iyang kahimtang,” Baña shares.

“Napansin gyod nako siya tungod sa iyang kapansanan. Naa man koy amigo nga doctor so nagpatabang ko and, kato nga time, gihimoan siya og prosthetic leg,” Baña says.

It was also Baña who brought Marvin and another child to Cebu.

Baña says it was Fr. Carmelo Diola of Cebu-based Dilaab Foundation who invited him to bring five children here. Diola was the lead organizer of yesterday’s communion mass.

Afraid that bringing five children would be too risky, Baña says he chose to bring only two – Marvin and nine-year-old Lord Lawrence Manico from Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Baña says he chose Marvin because he wanted to help him get a better life. Marvin was reportedly linked to two criminal cases years ago, something that Baña is convinced the child could not have done.

“All the more ko nga natandog ko aning bataa aron nga ilayo gyod siya anang mga butanga,” Baña says.

After the parents of the children gave their consent, Baña dipped into his own pocket to fly the two here. He also took care of their accommodation. He says he does not mind spending a hefty amount because he believes God has made him an instrument to help change the lives of the two kids.

“I really think this is in keeping with the inclusivity sa mensahe sa atong simbahan labi na gyod nga we are celebrating this year, church for the poor,” Baña says.

For the first time, Marvin and Lord Lawrence travelled 696 kilometers away from home.

“Pag-abot nako, daghan kaayo ang dagko nga balay nga nindot. Kulbaan ug nalipay ko naabot ko diri,” Marvin shares.

The fourth of five siblings, he admits having committed petty crimes in the past but vowed never to repeat his actions again.

“Magdala ko sauna og pusil nga among kinuha, magdala og hinagiban, manguha mig para kaon namo,” Marvin shares.

“Dili nako magbuhat og dautan. Ang Ginoo ang nakapausab nako labi na sa mga gitudlo sa amoa sa mga katekista… Inig uli namo, mo-apil nako og ampo,” he said.

Like Rudifier, he also promised to do his best in school so he can achieve what he now dreams of becoming – a lawyer just like his benefactor. — /JMO  (FREEMAN)

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