Hope floats

By: Editorial January 20,2014 - 03:09 PM

Our calamity battered islands found an avenue to assert the primacy of hope in the religious and cultural celebrations of the Fiesta Señor and Sinulog over the weekend.

The most important proof is the integration of the narrative of the Oct. 15 earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda into the dance routines of many grand parade contingents.

Our resilient and religious people have shown for current and future generations the essential formula for recovery:

Help the oppressed.

Take your hopes to the Lord in prayer.

Count your blessings and celebrate it in dance.

While this year’s grand parade had the lowest number of dance troupes, the remembrance of the disaster-hit lands and peoples in dance themes showcased the other-centeredness of which Filipinos are capable.

The Fiesta Señor and Sinulog are Cebuano celebrations. But the hearts of those who celebrate from near and far do get caught up in the devotion that empathizes with and exercises compassion for those who suffer.

As dancers in glittering costumes graced Cebu City’s carousel grand parade route, not forgotten was the rest of the country, ravaged by floods and landslides carried by Agaton, the first typhoon of the year.

At the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the faithful summarized everyone’s prayer, for those who suffered in the near and distant past. Shouts of “Pit Señor” echoed for victims, survivors, relief workers, recovery and success.

More than three million joined Saturday’s procession of the image of the Holy Child Jesus in a show of faith that eclipsed numbers at the Black Nazarene feast in Manila and remained orderly and peaceful.

Hope is sustained even in the worst circumstances. Perhaps this is why priests at the basilica do not tire of making exhortations for the faithful to take the higher road in living—which is the message that every Santo Niño devotee and Sinulog merry maker must take home.

Archbishop John Du of the Archdiocese of Palo, said put it well in his homily on Saturday night: Devotion and feasting must result in stronger marriages, more peaceful families, more industrious students, a better cared for planet.

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