Rains on a blessing-day


January 15, 2011

Work of Divine Providence, I should say.

It so happened that on the field, we got to change assignments right there and then. by virtue of what I would like to call “common sense”.

I did not have a clear assignment, and my friends Aldwin Gevera and Juve Villar were supposed to be together. From the assignments given by our news desk head June Perez, Aldwin and Juve would be situated at the carroza, where the Santo Niño rests.

Again, I invoke Divine Providence. Aldwin and Juve were instead situated at the head of the procession, that is with those motorcycle-riding men who might as well be in charge of security. Therefore, no one from our team would be in the carroza itself. So, by virtue of common sense, I had to resituate myself.

It was around 10 minutes before 1:00 pm when I got the first call from the news desk. “Luigi, mo-report ka?”

“Sige, mosulod ko,” I told the lady at the news desk, who happened to be one of the finest ladies I’ve met, Johanna Gelicame.

Then it was when I made my first report on the procession and the preparations outside the Basilica del Santo Niño.

The skies were gloomy, the heat of the sun could not be felt, but the heat from the people waiting to see the Holy Child was the one dominating the environment that time.

The cadets from some universities added to the heat. They were really packed together like sardines struggling to be jammed inside one small tin can filled with tomato sauce and spices.

At around that time, the head of the lay Eucharistic ministers was already barking instructions from the sound system inside the Basilica. “Katong mga cadets sa ROTC ug sa CWTS, palihug na og pwesto…”

Anyway, it was a normal thing for me in events like that. I would expect instructions here, there and everywhere. Why would there not be?

Mind you, Aldwin borrowed my phone because he had to see Juve. I lent him my phone. I heard from Aldwin that he’ll be meeting Juve at an appliance center somewhere near the Basilica. Well, we parted ways as I had to make my report.

So, when Johanna called for the second time around, I asked her to call Aldwin or Juve so that I would be apprised of their situation and their location. Good thing I heard Juve on my monitor reporting their exact location.

I left the cordoned area hurriedly to be able to get my phone. Good thing I was able to go through the throngs of people waiting to get a glimpse of the Holy Child.

I was able to arrive at where Aldwin and Juve were situated. I got my phone and went back to my area, the cordoned area.

As I was about to enter the cordoned area, a team member of the security force stopped me. I had to resist, saying that I was a member of the media. But then he told me to ask permission from another head. I told him I was going in and out of the area minutes ago. Good thing, I was able to convince him to let me in, even if I did not have the media ID provided by the basilica (the Basilica only gives two IDs per outlet). Anyway, I had my dyAB ID with me.

I was able to enter. I had to stay at the side of the cordon at first then when the image already left, I was able to enter the second cordon reserved for the carroza of the Holy Child. Good thing the cadets saw me report. They must have been convinced about what I was doing.

Anyway, we already left the Basilica. We were at Plaza Sugbu when I made my third report for the day. It was a situation report from inside the cordon. Note that I was the only person from our outlet who was able to get inside the cordoned area.

I observed something: the crown of the Holy Child was misaligned. It might be perhaps due to the impact when the carriage entered the raised area at the Plaza Sugbu (which used to be part of Magallanes Street). The procession at our end had to stop so that the crown may be fixed. I initially thought that something really went wrong with the image or so.

I relished every moment that I had with the original image of the Holy Child just within my reach.

(to be continued)

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About Luigi Flores
Brother Luigi Flores: Writer/Editor. Mass Communication Instructor. Voice-over Artist. Upcoming Radio Host. Youth Minister. Lector/Psalmist.

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