STO. Niño devotee Rosalie Branzuela said she has a cellular phone, but it is not capable of connecting to Wi-Fi.

“Karaan na man kaayo ni (This is an old model),” said the 31-year-old native of Pinamungajan.

She said she is staying in the Sinulog Devotee City with her husband and four children because it’s safer there than sleeping on the sidewalk.


“Giingnan mi nga naa kun naa miy laptop makagamit mig Internet (They told us we can access the Internet if we have a laptop),” she said.

But Rosalie said their purpose for coming to the city is not to get connected, but to bond with the Holy Infant through prayers.

“Mao gyod ning panaad namo nga modagkot mi matag piyesta (We vowed to light candles at the Basilica del Sto. Niño during each feast of the Holy Infant),” she said.

Her family is among the 800 devotees who registered at the pilgrims’ temporary shelter at the Compaña Maritima compound, where the Cebu City Government assembled 110 20-foot cargo containers.

“Nakadagkot na ko (I already lighted candles),” she said. “Nagampo ko nga mamaayo na akong bana. Bahalag pobre mi basta wala miy sakit (I prayed for my husband’s recovery.

I don’t care if we are poor as long as we are not sickly).”

Being blessed

Rosalie, who fails from a farming village in Barangay Tangub, said she sold candles for the first time here in the city last Friday because her husband Maclin has a respiratory illness. She earned P100.

Aside from saying her petition, she said she also thanked the Holy Infant for sparing her town from major damage when typhoon Pablo struck last December.

Rosalie said she is also a devotee of the Virgin Mary.

For Balbina Abella, having 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren is a blessing.

She said she has never been admitted to the hospital. And at 72, she still has a sharp memory.

“Way laing grasya kung maayo ang lawas ug makakita og panginabuhi (And with good health and a livelihood, I don’t need to ask for anything more),” said Abella, who sells packed pansit and rice for P5.

Sleeping inside a steel container with wooden flooring does not bother Abella.

“Bisag asa basta matuman ang panaad (I will sleep anywhere as long as I fulfill my pledge to the Holy Infant),” she said.