Friday, July 08, 2016

TIDBITS: Remnants of Cebu and My Augustinian Journey

One of my dreams came true last summer, when I and Jason (Sanchez, a former brother at Dominican Laity) visited Cebu. It was not really a planned journey, and there were obstacles especially when we prepared our finances, but the last week of April came and we were able to push through with our summer getaway.

While at Cebu, we had many encounters with the revered image of Santo Niño de Cebu. Since we stayed at Patria de Cebu (the hotel in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral), we managed to wake up early in the morning, to walk towards the Basilica (which is two blocks away) and venerate the image for quite some time. We did this all throughout our stay at Cebu; we saw it as indeed a blessing since not everyone has the opportunity to visit Cebu.

Cebu has an important place in the heart of Catholic Philippines. Here, the faith started to blossom forth from the image of the Child Jesus. The Santo Niño serves as the image of the Filipino faith: young, humble, cheerful. Five hundred years have passed and the trust of the nation in God remains steadfast despite the tests of time, and the challenges of the generations.

Who may have known that after a few weeks, I would enter the Religious Order which promoted the devotion to the image for hundreds of years? From Cebu, the love for Jesus spread throughout our country and to other places through the Augustinians. And we keep it alive until the present through our continuous prayer before the sacred image of Santo Niño every Friday.

Their footsteps, we long to follow now. We don't know what lies ahead, yet we seek his face in greater strides.

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