Saturday, October 23, 2010

FW: Txt

Edith manages to open her eyes and finds herself face to face with a tiger. It is one of a pair of Tigger slippers on the floor. The sudden blare of the television knocked her off the bed. She puts on her eyeglasses and sees that it is four in the morning.  Pope Benedict in Vatican is on the screen, performing some rituals in Latin. The commentary on the bottom of the screen reads, "Canonisation de frere Andre." She fell asleep watching a French movie that night precisely because it is not her first nor second language. So she picks up the remote, surfs for English, and finds one interesting channel with the same scene, Pope Benedict in Vatican. However, this one has some reporters discussing an interesting angle about the Canonization of Brother Andre.

I am an atheist and I believe in miracles," says Jacalyn Duffin, who was one of the commentators. A hematologist, she was appointed by the Vatican to examine the medical file of a woman believed to have been healed through miraculous intercession of St. Marguerite d'YouvilleShe wrote the book, Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints, and Healing in the Modern World.

Edith climbs back to her bed. She recalls the pilgrimage with her friends to St.Joseph's Oratory in Montreal a few years ago. She knelt before a reliquary in the church museum that contains Brother André's heart. Yes, literally his bloody heart.
Bzzp bzzp, goes her cell. It's a text from Dumaguete. She closes her eyes for a few seconds then forwards it to all of her friends. Oops! She realizes that most of them must be asleep.

Well, except for one who is in another time zone. Elaine is visiting at her uncle's rice fields in Vintar, Ilocos Norte after fifteen years of being away. She gloats at the sight of their early dinner set on a table lined with banana leaves under the acacia tree. A few meters away, workers seem to be busy tilling the fertile land fenced in by the Cordillera mountains.

"Mom, is that how they plant rice?" Ralaine asks her mother. 

Elaine turns her head to look. She sees three farmers in their usual "inabel" trousers wearing what look like the baseball caps her uncle asked her to bring home from Canada. Then she notices a reflection of light, as the rays of the morning sun hit the ground where the three are crouched.

"What's going on there?" Elaine asks her uncle.

He looks at his watch. "Oh, the farmers are trying to get some signals so they can receive some forwarded text from a certain priest." He replies. "And they seem to believe that signals are coming from underground." He laughs. It's funny alright, but wait until you read my post script note below.

The three farmers reply to the forwarded text with some heart felt petitions to Fr. Ram who is also having some signal issues in Dumaguete. He manages DWYC-AM which was founded by the Order of the Franciscans in Negros Occidental in 1965. He is sending another text to Edith back in Toronto.

Need $$$ 2 buy trnsmshn twrs for FM radio.  JC wants us 2 b n d docks, sari2 store, rice flds, mntains, b d voice of those less heard in society.  Shawie still #1 singin & cryin n d alleys n bak rds of Phil.  Btw, ty for $$. Able 2 feed Mass n d web. GBU.

Edith, wearing red shirt in the photo on the left, spearheads a group called "Circle of Prayer" in Toronto. They are the "little helpers" of St.Thomas Aquinas Church.  Their task is to accompany the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima wherever She goes. That is from one house to another every week. At the same time, she tries to raise funds from the same circle to send home to Fr. Ram so he can feed the Mass to Filipinos all over the world, especially those in the Middle East who do not have access to the Catholic Church, like Pinoys in Qatar where a telephone rings.

"Hello, Ee-det!" Fred answers his phone. "Yes, we heard the Mass on the en-ternet, buong troopa. And teynks God, Bisaya gid!"

Apparently, there are two things you cannot change in Filipinos no matter where he goes, his Faith...and his accent! haha.


Photo of Mama Mary on Jeepney is by Boyet Igacio  
The farmers may be right in thinking that cell signals are coming from below the ground. A blog post on testfreaks.com explains that calls are generally routed to a land-based T3 line laid underground in order to reach their destinations.

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