Happy fiesta!!! St. Michael the Archangel loves you!
Today, September 29, in is the feast day of Señor San Miguel de Arcangel in Maripipi,Biliran; Mahaplag and San Miguel towns in Leyte; Basey and Gandara,Samar; Laoang, Northern Samar; and Macrohon in Southern Leyte. To the people in these Waray towns, may I greet you, malipayon nga patron ha iyo ngatanan, hinaut unta iyo maangkon an kamurayawan ha ngatanan nga takna han kada nalabay nga tuig, tungod han iyo mahugot nga pagsarig han iyo patrono nga amo an prinsipe han kaanghelesan nga nagseserbe ha aton Makagarahum nga Ginoo.
When we recall old tales about the miraculous intercessions by this chief warrior of God who slew and defeated Satan, we rejoice at the same time at how, because of our devotion to this saintly angel, our town and our community are being shielded against the forces of destruction. We say our thanks to St. Michael, through an elaborate church mass and festive activities.
Last September 27, as I was listening to Rico Cajife talk at the covered of Basey National High School as one of the four afternoon speakers invited to the third general assembly meeting of Baktas Kabub’wason Rural Workers Association, on how the “poor” people can check abuses by government officials and employees, I had concluded that apart from helping Basey protect itself against natural disasters, St. Michael could also be helping eradicate graft and corruption in government and fight poverty. While at the same time I was looking watching the backs of Baktas’ audience, whose number quite doubled after 1 p.m. when BNHS student journalists joined in, my mind went on to further explore a possibility that on that very day St. Michael the Archangel was sending Basaynons the advance message that he was sending human emissaries who would be telling them that there are other ways that they could save their souls. These “other ways” could be humans, events, or obtaining situations, I said to myself.
Of the humans: Besides Rico, who retraced at length the beginnings (from Marcos’ Bataan Nuclear Power Plant) and worsening of the country’s foreign debt, Nick Cinco of the Department of Trade and Industry-Samar, the solo resource speaker in the orientation-seminar on coco charcoal and copra production project planning of that Baktas’ affair, emphatically awakened the seminar participants on the essential requirements of their planned project vis-a-vis the poor state of the coconut “industry” in Basey. Then came journalist-teacher Marvin Añonuevo (from Pinabacdao, Samar, who became a pastor at young age when he was founding the Baptist church in Pagsanghan, Samar) who expounded on the advocacy of Samar MOVE, somehow impressing on me the thought that through cooperativism, the poor Samarnons can collectively earn what they have long been craving for. Judy Torres, regional coordinator of KAISAMPALAD Inc., a non-government organization, engendered enthusiastic interest among the Baktas members when he suggested that they could already start planting the Indian variety of tanglad (lemon grass), – tama! an banwa nga nakakapananam han sabaw han tinola nga isda o manok, ug nagkokompleto han kamarasa han pakdol nga linaga nga karne hin karabaw! – for its very high economic value. Judy’s was a true eye-opener: imagine, tanglad making money for the poor farmer!!
Of the events: St. Michael must have been planning much earlier. He must have whispered to the ears of the Baktas officers that they should fix their annual meeting cum seminar on September 27 instead of the original August 18 schedule as agreed on in their July meeting with DTI’s Nick and provincial planning officer Mario of RUMEPP. The postponement enabled ex-sangguniang bayan member Anita Mendova Ogrimen to leave temporarily her heavy NGO schedule and share her thoughts with her fellow officers in Baktas whereof she is its project management committee secretary.
That day, too, found another Michael (Unabia Dela Torre), an active agrarian farmer-beneficiary youth leader, adding inspiration to the Baktas’ affair, and John Ernan Gacutan Gacus effectively leading the association to the brief election of its first set of regular officers, as well as the reappearance of Nilda Dagotdot, another FB, who came with her month old angelic baby. (Sept. 27 is also the natal day of Miguelito Bajas – belated happy birthday, idol! – who is among the supporters of Baktas.)
As the BNHS covered court gradually embraced the dusking day, the Baktas members headed back to their own homes, filled with a renewed hope that very soon, their efforts would yield positive results. Well, for one, Nick Cinco (during my talk on trainings in preparation for entrepreneurships), assured to develop a proposal for a training (on appreciation entrepreneurship – which could help in identifying which particular businesses to go into) for them from DTI, to be held at the municipal office of the Department of Agrarian Reform for three days, with DTI shouldering the cost of supplies, snacks and meals, he said.
Other towns celebrating the fiesta day of thanks for the archangel surely have their own experiences to tell, and share.
The saintly chief angel of God, we can say again today, is also watching us, so that he can help save us. That’s why we also recite prayers for his intercession. We may pray as recommended by Pope John Paul II on April 24,1994 (a Sunday) thus:
“May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: ‘Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power’ (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”
Saint Michael the
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God-
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
By: Chito Dela Torre
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