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Blessing in Disguise

My travel experience on September 4 from Camarines Sur back to this island province was presumably worth telling a story. I was trying to catch the 1 o clock schedule of ferry boat at Tabaco Pier en route to San Andres but waiting time at Naga Terminal convinced me that I was never going to make it. Realizing that I will have to spend overnight at the terminal, I told myself to make the most out of it instead, and therefore take it as a blessing in disguise.

penafrancia
Panoramic view of the Fluvial Procession, Naga city.
The girl seated beside me at the van was, I learned, a freshman at Ateneo de Naga University, and is a native of Albay. It was pleasant talking to her learning about her ambition to pursue Medicine later on, her firsts in the City of Naga, her family, with me sharing alternately about my younger years, family, and some facts of life.

The next blessing was a chance to witness the fluvial procession along the port area of Tabaco City at late afternoon. It turned out to be a fiesta celebration in honor of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Mang Noli, the local pedicab driver who was courteous enough to act as my on-the-spot tour guide, shared this story of an old man sole survivor of a strong typhoon 56 years ago in an island-barangay near Tabaco City (pardon my memory, said barangay starts with letter "N"). As the old man’s way of thanking Virgin Mary for his second life, he sought the honors of proclaiming Our Lady as the barangay’s patron saint, and the tradition was passed on to this day.

penafrancia
Tercentenary celebration.
The third and final blessing was the chance to attend a five o clock Sunday mass at the terminal, with Fr. Manuel Camu as the celebrant. It was surprisingly "hilarious" meeting him. The terminal crowd was practically roaring with laughter as he shared his wits and humor. (I actually asked permission that I shall be mentioning him in my column. Thank God, he consented.) I’ve learned about his modified acronym for XL as "Extra Liit". He was making a joke that because of his height, one funeral parlor would like to offer him a "buy-one, take-one" promo. He has also his version on why did the bus tragedy at the Quirino Grandstand happen. To him, it’s because President Noy in his inaugural speech on that same site quipped, "Kayo ang bus ko." To us mass-goers, he was more of a stand-up comedian cloaked in a habit.

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Our lady of PeƱafrancia.
Had I been able to catch the Saturday one o clock trip, I wouldn’t have enjoyed all these experiences.

Life is full of u-turns, crossroads, delays, and what-have-you turns. It’s not always on how we try to find ways to get ourselves out of the unwanted situation, but also on how we try to find BLESSINGS out of it. Making connections with people we meet along the way, even with the conscious awareness that we may not be able to meet them again. Yet, we unknowingly believe that these people are worth trudging the journey with, and will help us get through it.

By Babes C. Masagca
September 26,2010
Source: Kaleidoscope, Catanduanes Tribune - 22 September 2010

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