Devotion: For the love of God

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


THE bells rang, the gates opened and the streets were filled with people.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday (January 7), there were many people coming in and out of the Jesus Nazareno Church at C.M. Recto Avenue.

There were kids running, students carrying their books, lovers discreetly quarrelling at the back, people in their work uniforms, and some on bended knees – as they waited for the Black Nazarene statue to be back in the afternoon.

Virgilio Gullion, 49, a former coordinator and supervisor at a mall once had a successful life and career.

Struck with a complication in the gall bladder which led him to constant admissions to the hospital, he now sells rosaries, shirts, booklets, prayer guides and the like.

He says it is his way of showing devotion toward God and spreading the word of how the Black Nazarene eased his situation.

He is now in front of the church’s facade, selling happily.

Fely Villahermoso, 67, waits in the corner of the church as she is hesitant to return home without seeing the Black Nazarene herself.

She is from Initao, Misamis Oriental, and she was alone, carrying her hanky which has not been washed for three years already.

The hanky serves as her immediate resort for help whenever she feels headaches, her asthma attacks and other unexplainable illnesses.

She has been going to Quiapo for two years, where the ‘original’ Black Nazarene resides until 2009 when another replica of the relic was sent here in Cagayan de Oro.

She is sure that if one believes strongly of what the Black Nazarene can do, He will positively respond.

Roger Lagrosas, on the other hand, comes to the Nazareno Church to touch the relic as a sign of respect.

He wants to “become closer” and be hopeful as he will take his licensure examination this January 26. He failed three times and wishes to pass on his fourth take.

He “surrenders” his problems and put his strong faith to the Black Nazarene.

Rick Rafael or also known as “Boy Bahadi,” 55, has been an ‘hijo’ (son of the Lord) and been serving since the relic came to the city.

Donning a Black Nazarene iron-printed shirt, he proudly says that volunteering to safeguard is what he does aside from his day job – a basketball referee.

This is his devotion to the Black Nazarene as He has been giving abundant blessings to him and his family.

He wishes to continue his service to the Church even for no occasion at all. He instructs and guides the people lining up to touch the sacred relic.

Alejo Yacapin, 59, also a volunteer at the Nazareno Church, shares his profound knowledge on the Black Nazarene.

He says the relic is not a duplicate of the one that is found in Quiapo, but also an ‘original replica’ as it was also made where the Black Nazarene of Quiapo was made.

Due to the hundreds of requests to ‘borrow’ the relic, the Church plans to ‘lend’ the Healing Hand every Friday.

As to his personal intentions of his strong devotion, he said, “Nothing in particular. Wala nako’y pangayuon sa iya kay tanan iya na gihatag. Ang problema, naa man gyud na. Pero para pud na nga mu-close ta sa iya,” he ended.

The procession or the ‘translacion’ on January 9 will start from Kolambog, Lapasan to the Nazareno Church.

There has been an increase of number of people who come from different places like Cebu, Davao, among others, to show their devotion.

Today, there are more students in their uniforms, people in their office clothes, some came from shopping, mothers with their children, others with their husbands – all from different walks of life lining up to touch the statue of the Black Nazarene. (Alyssa Rikka C. Clenuar/MUST intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 09, 2014.

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