Rains on a blessing-day (Part 2)

Allow me to continue where I left off.

I realized I knew all the bishops in the procession except for one. Being so curious, I began to ask a religious. He could not answer me because he did not know the person.

So, I asked a diocesan priest, Father Ian Fel Balankig. There I was mesmerized to hear that the Archbishop of Guam, Anthony Apuron, was in town to join the procession of the Santo Niño!

I interviewed Father Balankig on how Guam and Cebu are linked to one another, at least in the perspective of the history of the Church. Then after that, I proceeded to interview Archbishop Apuron. ( I later found out on the Internet that he was like me, a Franciscan).

The context of the interview was about the Holy Child in Cebu and the devotion to Him. But, hell, I got caught in the rain somewhere near the University of San Jose-Recoletos. The rain dripped on my phone and I had no way to control the water as I did not have any umbrella with me. My cowboy hat never helped as the material was so porous–my head was already wet!

Usually, my wireless land line phone can allow 10 minutes per call. After that, it just turns itself off. Naputol ang interview with Apuron and I had no choice but to cut him short: “Excellency, we’ve been cut off”…

Good thing after a few minutes, my phone went back to normal, and Johanna called again.

Luigi, ready na ka?”

“Yes, ready na ko”, I replied back.

“Standby, Luigi”.

“Balikon nato ang Arsobispo sa Guam kay naputol ta ganiha…”

Then I went on with the interview. After that, I gave another situation report. This time, I got cut off again. My phone was destroyed–for good.

I had to think of another alternative while standing under the umbrella of other priests at the procession and even from the Archbishop of Guam himself! I thought of staying under the umbrella or my phones would suffer collateral damage. Of course, I did not want that to happen as I would not have any way of reporting, and I would not have any means of communication at all with family and others.

I had a belt bag with me (kana ra gu’ng made in China–remember, they say that God made man, and everything else is made in China!), and I was not surprised that it was not waterproof at all.

I was already thinking of backing out. I did not know where to go. Everywhere, it was wet, and there was no way of doing things.

I reached Elizabeth Mall and I found a solution: I had to transfer my SIM to another phone. Voila, it worked!

I was able to file another report from Alcantara Street. The street was flooded. One or two inches deep. Yet, I was able to report beside some friends from Don Bosco Formation Center.

After I made my report, they knew my predicament. They told me, “Pray to Don Bosco.”

After we made a turn to V. Rama, I realized my SIM card did not register on my phone. Bang. Another problem. “How could I fix this?”

That report would be my last for the entire procession. I still could not recall to this day the number of reports I made for that coverage alone. It was so full of stories to tell.

I was thankful that Jun Tariman (his blog can be found here) covered the procession not far from where I was. I was situated inside the carroza while he was situated just outside of it.

I transferred the SIM finally to my Palm Treo 680. I do not normally use my phone in this situation because it is always reserved for my Globe. It worked, but it went off after a few minutes. The SIM did not register again.

I was already disheartened. I thought to myself, di na lang tingali ko mo-report. Tutal naa na bitaw si JunTar.

But I managed to look for him after we have reached F. Gonzales Street, on the way back to the Basilica.

JunTar asked me why I left the cordon. I told him I could not report because my phones are all dead!

We switched roles, and I rushed back to the live point at the Basilica where Juve and Aldwin were. I had to brave the throng of people there, and they did not even mind that I was a member of the media trying to rush to our live point. I had to brush elbows with all of those people who want to enter the basilica.

Bahala na. I really have to enter. I had to withstand the smell of people’s armpits just to enter the ramp leading to the second floor of the Pilgrim Center, where our live point was situated.

Good thing I was back to home base. I had to dry my phones or else the rust would eat away my phones slowly.

Then we proceeded to annotating the Mass and the religious Sinulog that followed. It was my first procession as a member of the media. It was also my first procession on the second floor–without the benefit of seeing the altar. Good thing we had wireless mics and headsets for our audio, albeit delayed.

This goes to show the Santo Niño has blessed me this day. I went back to base camp in R. Landon fulfilled.

Deo Gratias!


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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