Pilgrims say Calungsod canonization was 'awesome'-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
CEBU CITY -- Long waits that lasted three hours or more failed to dampen the excitement felt by thousands of Cebuanos who witnessed Sunday the mass where Pedro Calungsod became a saint.
Toledo City Vice Mayor Arlene Espinosa-Zambo said she felt inspired and fulfilled at the rite of canonization, and expressed hope that it will draw the youth closer to God.
“Anyone can be a saint. It’s really the way Christ wants us to live,” Zambo told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview.
She prayed that her children will be guided as they grow up. Zambo also said she hopes there will be peace and unity for the people in Toledo, the leaders of the province of Cebu and the country.
“I will pray that the people would have discernment to choose the right people…in their Christian ways (during the upcoming elections),” Zambo said.
Cebu Provincial Board Member Alex Binghay, who is also in Rome, said there was a palpable excitement and happiness when Pope Benedict XVI declared Calungsod a new saint.
All the Filipinos, Binghay said, clapped, waved their flags and rejoiced.
Together with Binghay in Rome is his wife, Balamban Vice Mayor Rosario Veloso-Binghay. They were with Zambo and some of the councilors of Toledo City who flew to Rome for the rites.
Zambo said she saw PB Member Peter John Calderon, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Daanbantayan Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot.
Before the day of the canonization, Binghay reported, he saw Vice President Jejomar Binay in one of the churches in Rome.
Interviewed separately, Mayor Rama said his trip to Rome to witness the canonization was well worth it.
“It was awesome, overwhelming and the crowd was so huge. The waiting was worth it. It was a sacrifice but it was worth the wait,” the mayor told Sun.Star Cebu.
Rama said they waited for more than three hours for the event. He was already at the St. Peter’s Square around 5:30 a.m. for the mass that started around 9 a.m.
Nelia Garcia-Neri of Sun.Star Cebu, who is also in Rome, said witnessing the canonization was a “once in a lifetime experience.”
“This is already my third trip to Rome but this is something different, something historical. I don’t think I can see another saint canonized who is a Filipino and a Cebuano at that,” she said.
Neri and her family were already at St. Peter’s Square around 6 a.m. and waited for at least three hours for the event.
What made her trip even more memorable, she said, was attending a mass that is celebrated by Pope Benedict VXI himself.
“The experience was awesome,” she said.
In Cebu City, the celebrations are expected to pick up again on November 30, when the national thanksgiving mass will be celebrated in the South Road Properties (SRP).
The Cebu City Government plans to declare as a historical site the
templete where the national thanksgiving mass will be held.
The City’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac) has endorsed the move, which was earlier requested by Cebu’s high-ranking church officials.
The Chac, headed by Glenda Gabuya, wrote the City Council for the official declaration after the event.
“The event has to happen first. We cannot declare it historical when history has not yet happened,” said Councilor Margarita Osmeña, vice-chair of Chac.
Asked if the area where the thanksgiving mass will be held will be donated by the City to the Archdiocese of Cebu, Osmeña said that is something that has not been discussed.
Osmeña, who also heads the council’s committee on tourism, raised the possibility that other religious denominations would ask for portions of the SRP to be donated for their religious activities, if the City decides to donate the thanksgiving site to the Roman Catholic Church.
“It is much more complex than it appears to be. So let’s just wait. Let’s take it one step at a time,” she said.
Osmeña said, though, that a marker may be placed at the church on Kawit Island or in the church that will be built by SM Prime Holdings Inc. at the SRP to mark the historic event on November 30. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2012.