Set in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines, Miracles of Quiapo is not the usual miracle story we hear. Meet Boy Deo, rising from the dump to become the mayor of the premier city of the Philippines!
In a sqaulid place that society does not find worthy to look at, an abandoned child appeared from its half-lit alleys. This child would be raised by surrogate parents, and with grit and determination he would grind his way to survival. The story of one of his parents recalls the rape, the plunder, and the killing inflicted by a dictator on his people in the countryside. The child did not only survive, he made a good account of himself through formal education and the school of hard knocks, as it were; later on he earned his spurs while establishing a career in community organizing. Such was his springboard to national prominence that one day, to everyone’s surprise, he was elected mayor of the country’s premier city.
Miracles of Quiapo is a story of human determination to overcome adversity. It is about the triumph of good over evil. It celebrates little good deeds. It is a portrait that needed strokes from many hands to complete the artwork. It is about people helping people.
To quote the main character of this story:
I remember the first time I experienced the Traslación. Maybe I was 6 or 7 years old. I saw this boy, maybe even younger than myself, who was crying because he lost her mother. Then somebody told him to just stay where he was because his mother would look for him in the last place where the two of them stayed together. That good little deed of assuring him was a miracle; he stopped crying and, sure enough, his mother found her way back to him.
The message of ‘just staying where you are’ has not left me as I grew older. Staying where you are, to me, means keeping the faith. As we struggle, God will come back to us, in the person of somebody who we might not even know. In instances that I cannot count, I also experienced the Black Nazarene’s miracles in my life. The miracles came in the form of food when I was dying of hunger, and of mothers—I had at least 5 of them—who found their way back to me.
Staying where you are means keeping alive the hope that life will turn for the better for as long as we put in the effort to make a living, with determination and dedication. It means doing little good deeds for our neighbor. It means helping putting the smile back in those who need our help. To be of service to others is the last place— “the communion of saints,” as we hear the preachers explain in their homilies and as we pray the Apostles Creed—where we all stayed together. That is where God, I suppose, will come back to us. Cardinal Calaveria has reminded us of how the Holy Eucharist works for us. It is an assurance that God will keep coming back to us, fulfilling his promise that he will not leave us alone.
The Traslación is an occasion for the recollection of how our lives have experienced the outpouring of love from our brothers and sisters. The Black Nazarene performs his miracles through them. He heals the sick through our doctors and other medical professionals. He wipes the tears away from our eyes through our mothers. He brings laughter in our lives through our friends. And he keeps us humble through our enemies.
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The author is indebted to the memory of people whose lives have inspired kindness, compassion, and forgiveness among the many lost generations that followed them.
Although true-to-life events have partly inspired the stories presented in Miracles of Quiapo, this work in its totality is a work of fiction, a novel. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. No offense is intended for any mention of names, places or things that bears similarities with actual or existing names of persons (whether natural or juridical), places or things. Where the novel mentions Quiapo Church or Manila City Hall, among other iconic places, to cite a few examples, it is only because they are integral to its plot, and which otherwise further aims to edify their historical and/or cultural prestige.