Fiesta aftermath

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, January 20, 2014


YESTERDAY, from early morning to late in the afternoon, all one could read or hear from the print or broadcast media in Metro Cebu and environs was how Fiesta Señor 2014. The assessment and impression was that the feast was an enormous success.

Indeed, Sun.Star Cebu’s headline stated that the Sinulog was an “awesome party” that attracted an estimated 3.5 million participants and visitors.

But it was not just the local and foreign visitors that marveled at the feast of the Holy Child. There was also the spinoff joy of those who enjoyed the benefits of the religious festival. I am pointing to the businesses that are said to have received a big boost from the event.

A member of the Sinulog organizing group said that it generated “more sales than Christmas or any other holiday.” The city’s business community should rejoice.

Island Souvenirs is said to be one of those businesses that benefitted from the fiesta. Its proprietor was the first to offer its customers “destination-specific merchandise” and took advantage of the indigenous and foreign visitors.

I think that another great beneficiary of the fiesta was the group of candle vendors that crowds the front yard of the Basilica del Sto. Niño. They come from all over the municipalities of the province.

In fact, my late grandmother used to look up to the week of the fiesta long before World War II broke out. I went with her to the city when I was just seven or eight years old.

The “Sinu’og,” as it was popularly called, was not as attractive and well-attended as it is today. But it was already a significant religious event then, even at that time when only the faithful had considered and thought of it as an important religious event.

In his homily during the pontifical mass, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma pointed to the damaged Basilica and reminded the Christian faithful of the twin calamities that seriously hit many parts of the island province as well.

Super typhoon Yolanda and the 7.2 magnitude temblor somehow tested and measured the resilience of the Cebuanos. And, as the archbishop said, the devastated Basilica has become witness to the suffering the faithful went through.

One of the features in the archbishop’s homily was the importance of looking after the devotees’ kids. He reminded the “mass goers of the importance of caring for the sick and the needy.”

Palma’s homily, it seems, may have been echoed by the other priests in their respective homilies last Sunday, for a similar plea to look after our children was also made by priest-celebrants in our town. It was truly a fitting topic to touch during masses for the Holy Child.

Indeed, the advocacy to look after the welfare of our children was an appropriate finale of our week-long celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 21, 2014.

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