I am still praying that my annual trek to the Shrine of Infant Jesus of Prague early dawn of this Good Friday will not be the last as I feel that I am no longer that young to climb the almost two-kilometer winding road of Madapo Hills.
I have voluntarily done this devotion to the Holy Infant as early as I can remember when the family of the former city mayor Luis T. Santos opened the gate to the almost seven-hectare property overlooking the business hub of the city, the Island Garden City of Samal and the majestic Mt. Apo to the public in the 70s, a year after eldest son Briccio brought the miraculous Image from Prague, to Davao City and permanently enshrined the Replica of the Child to where it is now.
I also visit the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila every time I am in the metropolis.
I noticed then that the last 10 I was in the old place in Matina, many of my contemporaries and acquaintances that I regularly met along the way of the 14th Way of the Cross every Holy Week were dwindling in numbers while I often saw the others once every two years only.
And when I left my old place in the south side of the city and transferred to my residence to the northern part two years ago, the old fellow devotees were totally no longer in sight.
Most often, the children or relatives of these acquaintances who recognized me were the ones informing me that, “may sakit po si Tatay,” or, “patay na po ang barkada ninyo.”
Poor me, when it’s my time to go. No more barkadas in our time will be around to see my remains buried six feet below the ground. Masuwerte pa rin sila!
On Good Friday, a day before my flight to the US, I will still be around at the Infant Jesus despite the fact that the last two years that I visited Him I felt I was a total stranger while visiting the place because of the absence of people I knew.
While I opened this column today, I hope and pray that I am still around for more years to come, I am also looking forward for my favorite puto bombong, the bibingka, suman, buko juice, among others which are among the local delicacies sold on both sides of the road during this Semana Santa. Chow!
Of the candidates for the Senate, six of my 12 candidates in the May 13 elections are in the Magic 12 in the latest national survey conducted by The Issues and Advocacy Center (The Center) from March 24 to 30 to 1,800 people all over the country. The remaining six of my candidates didn’t make it to the winning column and are catching up from their present positions from 13 to 20 listing.
Since elections are still 35 days away, we expect that the voting pattern may still vary and those out of the Magic 12 will still catch up and replace those who are ahead of them. Marami pang milagrong mangyayari.
I am not surprised if re-electionist Senator Grace Poe continues to lead the field and win her bid for the second term. She’s doing a good job in the legislative body not to mention that she is the daughter of the late movie industry king FPJ whose films are still being patronized by millions of adoring fans.
And I am not also surprised if come-backing senator and action star Lito Lapid will still win together with re-electionist Cynthia Villar. The longest running teleserye of ABS-CBN, FPJ’s “Ang Probinsiyano,” where Lapid portrayed the character of “Pinuno” of the former “Pulang Lupa” group fighting the government and later became an instant hero when he joined Cardo’s (Coco Martin) Vendetta helping the government in its fight against corruption and other criminalities in the country, has a big impact to his position.
His fans remember him despite the allegations of corruption hurled at him when he was still a senator. Hindi pa talaga maubos-ubos ang mga uto-uto tuwing may eleksyon.
Anyway, the survey conducted by The Center involved only 1,800 respondents. The number was very small. So, what is there to worry when the country has about 180 million in population?
We join the nation in observing the Fall of Bataan (Araw ng Kagitingan) anniversary tomorrow which is a holiday!