Hard life and hope

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Friday, January 10, 2014

THE feast of the Holy Child that Cebu celebrates every third Sunday of January of the year kicked off yesterday with a procession that started at the Fuente Osmena circle, where most of the devotees gathered, to the Basilica del Sto. Niño. That, in essence, is the initial salvo of the 10-day long annual celebration of the of 2014 Sinulog.

It does look greatly fortunate for us that the feast of the Child Jesus always falls on the first month of the year. It makes us start our entry into another 12 months of existence in God’s earth with a joyous feast, celebrating the recently born Holy Child.

It is a time when we could all smile and cavort with each other, full of hope that the next 12 months of another year would bring us a still better time than it ever was before--a future sans calamities like the year 2013.


The theme for this year’s Fiesta Señor is “Senior Sto. Niño: Hope of the People.” This was announced in a press conference by one of the organizers of the annual festival.

It seems that the choice of the theme is an offshoot of what happened during the preceding 2013 when devastating twin calamities hit our country one after the other--a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and a super typhoon called Yolanda.

The former destroyed churches and bridges in Bohol in October. Then came super typhoon Yolanda with its strong winds and surges that swept through the towns and cities in the islands of Central Visayas.

The destruction still gnaws at the vitals of millions of people in the area, as well as causing the death of thousands of the inhabitants, not to mention hundreds of others who are missing until now. And the equivalent value of the lives lost and houses destroyed went up to billions of pesos, needing relief and rehabilitation.

Thus we hope. Indeed we must, for only in being able to hope again and look forward to the coming new days ahead could many of us rise again, buckle up and take a step, one after the other to start a new life with renewed hope and renewed spirit, that the beat of the Sinulog dance might revive a vibrant spirit and a more vigorous effort to achieve a stronger glimmer of hope.

And so, let it be said that those millions of displaced calamity victims should grasp a glimmer.

The next ten days, devotees of the Sto. Niño would be braving Cebu City’s overcrowded streets and heavy traffic, not just in the downtown areas but even in the upland barangays, as well as in the neighboring towns.

It is a season when those who come to Cebu City will not just be coming for a buying spree but generally, and more essentially, to undertake a religious pilgrimage that in other days and times, they would devote to malls and “ukay-ukay” stores.

It is, indeed, very appropriate to celebrate the feast of the Sto. Niño in the wake of the hard life we underwent in 2013. It is only fitting that we should look forward to a more hopeful life in 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.


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