Thousands of people lined-up to get a glimpse and touch a ‘talking doll’ in barangay Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City.
Three-year old Neñil Balermo told his friends Charmel Arellano, 6, and KJ Ace Arellano, 4 about the talking doll he saw on the beach of Sea Breeze neighborhood.
When the three went back to place where Balermo saw the ‘doll’ the elder Arellano picked it up. Upon careful observation the girl did not take any interest and was about to throw it to the shore when the ‘doll’ spoke again.
“Ayaw ko ninyo ilabay kay buotan ko (Don’t throw me away because I am good),” was how the children recalled hearing from the ‘doll’ whose texture softened like that of a human They heard a few more sounds but it was already inaudible.
Junito Balermo, father of Neñil said that when their attention was called about the ‘talking doll’, they investigated and saw that the ‘doll’ was actually the image of the Sto. Niño or the child Jesus.
Junito and other adults who heard of the story in the impoverished community thought a miracle had happened.
They built a makeshift chapel in the neighborhood for the image. Word spread quickly and people have been lining up to touch the image and the three-year old boy.
Since Friday, the boy did not have a decent sleep according to his parents because believers also want to touch and kiss him. Some even brought him food.
Balermo saw the doll Friday morning. It was the day when the yearly ritual of bathing the replica of the original image of Sto. Nino was held at the Basilica del Sto. Niño to close the Sinulog festival.
Fr. Benjamin Balsamo parish priest of Sto Niño parish in Mactan said they still have to get more data and verify the claims of the children.