Miracle in Davao: Manna from heaven in styrofoam lunch packs
By ROGER M. BALANZA
It could have been manna from heaven in the form of seemingly inexhaustible free lunch packs in Styrofoam that fell on poor Dabawenyos grappling with stiff cost of rice and other basic commodities.
Or it could have been a result of poor arithmetic. But lay workers who helped distribute to poor residents some 3,000 free lunch packs on Sunday at the San Pedro Cathedral swear the hand of God was at play in what they say was a miracle on the day of the feast of St. Peter, Davao City’s chief patron saint.
At the end of the 4-hour distribution of the free lunch packs—courtesy of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that became part of the San Pedro parish’ fiesta “blow-out” to its indigent parishioners—Vicky Anghag said she and lay workers were shocked to find there were about 500 more packs left despite their estimate of more than 3,000 people who lined up for the treat.
Anghag, a secretary of San Pedro Cathedral parish priest Auxiliary Bishop George Rimando, could not hide her joy to tell about the miracle when she met with councilor Conrado Baluran at the Davao City Council. Anghag was at the council yesterday to furnish city councilors with a copy of Bishop Rimando’s letter thanking Mayor Duterte for his generosity in sharing the free food with indigent parishioners.
Mayor Duterte is a regular contributor to the June 29 feast of St. Peter, chipping in free food that the parish treats parishioners. In Sunday’s food distribution, Baluran and councilors Diosdado Mahipus and Edgar Ibuyan joined lay workers in giving out the free lunch packs from 11am to 3pm. In the Masses for the day, officiating priests thanked Mayor Duterte and wished him speedy recovery from a recent gall bladder operation.
Baluran said Anghag and the lay workers were sure God played a miracle in what appears to a modern-day version of the Holy Bible’s Old Testament’s Book of Israel on how God fed with “manna from Heaven” the children of Israel fleeing persecution in Egypt who followed Moses into the wilderness. Tired and hungry the Israelites asked for food from Moses, whose prayer to God for food came in the form of “manna” that fell from the sky.
The Bible never tells us exactly what manna was and where it came from, but there are many Old Testament passages which describe its physical qualities and conditions associated with its appearance.
But Virgie and the other lay workers are sure about the manna that came down Sunday at the San Pedro parish ground during the distribution of free lunch packs to poor, hungry parishioners: more packs that added to the 3,000 lunch packs in a mysterious riddle that could only be described as a miracle.
Talks about the “manna in styrofoam packs” spread at the parish in the afternoon of Sunday as Virgie and lay workers finished with the tiring work came found more packs left after more than three thousand people line up for the fiesta treat.