Luab: Today we celebrate

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Saturday, January 18, 2014


TODAY we are feasting. We are happy. Yesterday and for the past nine days before Jan. 18 we stormed the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño with our show of faith as we attended the novena masses. Prayers of gratitude, petitions for so many requests came from the sincere hearts of those who traveled from afar or walked long distances just to be in the presence of the Infant Jesus. Praise God for the joining of so many hearts in prayer.

Today as we make merry, let us respect the intentions of the organizers and the dancers of the Sinulog fiesta.

The Sinulog parade, the dancing on the streets and the dancing at the Cebu City Sports Center is really meant to pay homage to our Sto. Niño. Let us not forget the intention in the midst of competitive dancing, colorful costumes and extra-ordinary choreography.

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Deep in the hearts of most of the dancers, especially the young, is really the desire to offer something of their own to the Infant Jesus.

Let us walk the streets, if we still can, or watch TV and be a part of a big celebration. Pit Senyor!

We welcome our Filipino brothers who have come home for a visit to be merry with us. While we miss your presence when you are abroad, we respect your choice of abode. We are grateful for the financial help that you send to us to make life easier for some of the families left behind. We can only imagine your early years in a foreign land. We can never know what you also had to go though to make good. Thank you for showing us your inner strength, and your determination to follow your dream.

To foreigners who are here to see Sinulog for the first time, please enjoy the sights, the efforts of all participants to show the mettle of what Cebuanos and the settlers of the neighboring islands can do in terms of skills, backdrops and the creativity of each group as they show their belief in praising the Infant Jesus.

We will end the day with rewards and appreciation for so many people. We will have a display of fireworks and revelry on the streets even late into the wee hours of dawn.

We will of course plead for sobriety in the midst of revelry. We hope that snatchers will not have a field day. We pray that what is good in our people will surface above what could go wrong when we have thousands and thousands of people enjoying themselves. For those of us who will enjoy the comforts of our home and watching the celebrations on TV, we really are so thankful for the sponsors, the Sinulog hosts who are on their toes most of the day under the heat of the sun or under drizzles. Many of us are praying that there will be no rain today except for the rain of joy.

When we were much younger, we joined the Sto. Niño processions until the route got to be longer and longer to accommodate so many people.

The procession is always held a day before the Sinulog.

There was a time when the starting group of the procession got back to the Basilica while the last group of people participating in the procession was still at the gate of the old Sto. Niñ Church. We believe that the longer route gave more people a chance to join the procession and to see the caro, the carriage where the Infant Jesus is placed.

All five daughters of mine were studying at St. Theresa’s College (STC). The school always joined the procession. Since they were in different grades, you can just imagine our anxiety after the procession. The older ones were told to watch out for the younger ones.

Yet in spite of specific instructions as to where all of us would meet, there were always mishaps and endless waiting until everyone got together.

Imagine the long walk back to where the cars could park. This was our participation until they all graduated from STC.

When my daughters started having families of their own, they continued paying homage to the Infant Jesus in their own separate ways.

Many of us pray to the Infant Jesus according to the kind of relationship we have with God. Whatever way our faith dictates us to pray, we know that we will always respect, anyone who does homage to our Sto. Niño in his own special way. Again, Pit Senyor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2014.

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