CEBU CITY (21-Oct-2012/PNA) -Thousands of residents of Ginatilan town, some 135 kilometers south of Cebu City, braved heavy rains on Saturday to retrace a trail that they believe Pedro Calungsod could have taken.
The 14-kilometer procession from Barangay Cagsing to the town proper was a prelude to Calungsod’s canonization at the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday, along with six others.
Calungsod, the Philippines’ second saint and the first from the Visayan region, is believed to have his origins in the mountain village of Cagsing.
The activity attracted residents, community members said to be relatives of the saint, as well as young people.
Ginatilan’s town plaza was abuzz with people making last-minute preparations, while some set up booths for Sunday’s feast, programs and parlor games just across the centuries-old San Gregorio Magno parish church.
Parish priest Fr. Gerardo dela Victoria, who celebrated mass after the procession, voiced hope that the merriment would not be fleeting in the town.
“The people are enthusiastic. I hope the people’s enthusiasm will last more than a few days. This is the challenge for Cebu, to sustain this level of activity,” he said.
He added that after devotees have formed themselves into a brotherhood or sisterhood, they would proceed to fulfill the mission of the church to preach and live the teachings of Christ.
Ginatilan Vice Mayor Dean Micheal Singco said the quiet town seemed to have been awakened by the announcement of the canonization of Pedro Calungsod.
“We are joyful and proud that our town has become part of Pedro Calungsod’s life. We still have no proof that he was from here,” he said.
The oldest church records, whether baptismal, marriage or funeral entries, date back to 1848.
Pedro was estimated to have been born in the late 1600s.
The origins of Pedro Calungsod have not been determined but several towns in the Visayas have claimed the new saint as a townmate, as his last name is common in the region.
Barangay Cagsing in Ginatilan is known to have the most number of Calungsod family members in the town. (PNA)