Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Simala, Himala

19 Jan 2009. This is Simala, a church dedicated in honor of the Miraculous Virgin. Here, the image of Mama Mary is seen to have shed tears. Located in between Argao and Sibonga, this monk-run shrine used to be a small shanty but because of Her miracles, devotees have donated so much that in its place is this huge edifice but holy, nonetheless. We went - Mom, Tita Aida, Tita Lucy, Tita Flor, Bric and yaya Mila on the Monday after Sinulog. There were quite a number of pilgrims but not as crowded.

To kiss the Virgin, we had to fall in line. While waiting, I lit colored candles representing different petitions, took snapshots, prayed, played with Bric and took in the magnitude of the church. This was built on donations alone! If God wills it, it will really come. This has never been more evident here.

After a few more minutes, we finally reached the image of Mama Mary where Bric and I whispered our hearts' prayers. We left the church soon afterwards, knowing our prayers wouldn't fall on deaf ears. But more than the prayers of petition which we lifted to our Mother, we also asked her to bring our gratitude to God for showering us with His love and friendship in this lifetime.

Friday, January 16, 2009

S-l-o-w-i-n-g Down in Cebu

I would never have thought I'd get to the stage when I'd not feel "at home" in Cebu. This was my home for a good 30 years of my life and yet, now, I realize, I'm not completely 'home' anymore. Things change. I've been away for four years and this morning, driving from the beach house in Mactan to our house (to borrow Audrey's high chair for Bric), I feel like I'm half home, half not in this city. For instance, I consider our bed in Manila as our (Boydee's and mine) bed and the bed I feel most comfortable in. Our room in Manila is the one that brings me comfort and rest. And more importantly, I feel Bric is most at home in the nursery in Manila. Given these facts, I still would NOT abandon Cebu. NEVER. I will always keep coming home and I am only too happy and feel most fortunate that I can offer Bric two worlds, two homes and two 'cultures'.

I have gotten quite used to the pace in Manila, though. In Manila, it takes 30 minutes just to go from the house to the office. Here in Cebu, it's just 2 minutes or even less. I could actually run to go to our office and be here in a minute since it's just next door with just a hole in the wall acting as the gate. Hehe... In Cebu, what takes me 30 minutes is the drive from our house to the beach, or even less. Or the drive from our house to Chateau, or even less. Yes, Cebu is just a small city but complete with all the cosmopolitan comforts. The pace though is just kinda making me sleepy. You accomplish so much in a day that you actually run out of things to do. No wonder I had so much time for badminton when I was here... or golf... or my extra curricular activities.

Here, it's so easy to organize get togethers while in Manila, I'm too lazy to even contact my friends since I have to plan my route. Here, everyone knows everyone while Manila is just tooo big. Traffic is bad in Manila. Cebu's is better. But what I love in Cebu is our food. Aaahhh... lechon, barbecue, Fely's cooking, Chateau's spaghetti. And I love how it's just so easy to spend a day at the beach and be close to nature.

I am glad and mighty proud to be a Cebuana. And even if Cebu isn't exactly my home anymore, a part of me will always feel that way, a part of me will always insist that I always visit, a part of me will always be Cebu. A huge, important part.