The 16thcentury Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño overflowed with thousands of devotees attending the last scheduled Friday mass last January 6, 2012.
“Viva Pit Senyor!” The assembly loudly chanted as the mass ended and the swarm of church-goers headed towards the exit.
After almost an hour, the church seemed completely empty except for the staff of PRworks Inc. Observing the sanctity of the place, the group silently proceeded to the chapel housing the image of Sr. Sto. Niño, the Patron of Cebu.
No, the PRWorks staff went there not for public relations but to arrange a fresh floral decoration, a panata or panaad (vow) for several years now. It was a privilege of an exclusive evening with the image of the Holy Child inside His chapel that Friday night.
Before they had the chapel all to themselves however, they have to wait a while longer.
The PRWorkers, upon arriving at the side door of the chapel, found themselves talking in almost to a whisper because there was still a devotee inside, praying fervently on bended knees. The man, who had his surgical mask pulled down below his jaw, appeared to be crying while mouthing his supplications. Praying for some kind of a miracle? Maybe, but only God knows what the man was praying for.
When the man left, the PRWorkers had the chapel all for themselves. Along with some volunteers, they first removed the old flower decors in hush-hush tones. As the work progressed, the hush-hush atmosphere gradually dissipated and the chapel soon became resonant of activity.
PRWorks and the volunteers were dead serious and focused on their work as they are determined to get the job done as early as possible.
However, as time flew by, the activity surprisingly became enjoyable and fun with the arrival of the professional florists tapped to do the decorating. Tedious, though, the work was, it never affected the group as they exchanged jokes and funny stories while fashioning out the floral designs.
While everybody was busy, one of the PRWorks staff took time out to have a glimpse of the Sto. Niño whom he claimed was wearing a grin at that very moment. So, he decided to get his mobile and took some snapshots of the “grinning” Holy Child.
Alas, all the shots he had taken came out blurry. To test his mobile’s camera, he took a shot of his fellow PRWorker and it came out very good. So, he took some snapshots again of the Sto. Niño, this time from different angles, but lo and behold, the pictures still came out blurry.
He gave up, thinking maybe the Holy Child didn’t want His picture taken, especially with a hint of a grin on His face.
PRWorks has been sponsoring the floral decorations for the Sto. Niño every Sinulog for ten years now and the staff involved said this annual activity has become more enjoyable than tiresome.
The volunteers who helped PRWorks were Darling Cabizas, Lourdes Cabarrubias, Ivy Rose Apao, and Jennifer Melgar. Responsible for the intricate floral décor were professional flower arrangers Soccoro Cabilao, Damiana Hollero, and Larry Pantonial.
Satisfied with their achievement offered to Cebu’s Patron at dawn the next day, the group happily left looking forward to a grander fiesta and Sinulog celebration. Viva Pit Senyor!
- Visayas bishops, priests urge change for marginalized (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- Sinulog Witnessing – January 2012 (santonino-nz.org)
- 2012 9-days Novena Schedule (santonino-nz.org)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch (ilovemandaue.wordpress.com)
- PAGSAULOG SA PAGTU-O (A Celebration of Faith) (santonino-nz.org)