Quezon City, Philippines – The Diocesan Shrine of Santo Niño in Bago Bantay, Quezon City under the Diocese of Cubao, expressed their support for Santo Niño de Pandacan, after a fire consumed the whole church.
Father Gilbert Dumlao, the Parish Priest in Bago Bantay became emotional after learning about the tragedy that happened.
“Nadurog yung puso ko, napaiyak talaga ako sa pagdarasal… Syempre Sto. Nino Parish din kami, so alam namin yung pakiramdam lalo na ngayong hikahos lahat,” he said over an interview with the Diocese of Cubao Social Communications Ministry.
Father Dumlao, who grew up and studied in Sto. Niño Parochial School in Bago Bantay has been a devotee of Santo Niño since his childhood. He was also assigned under the watch of Fr. Sanny De Claro, the current Parish Priest of Pandacan Church, when he was still a seminarian in San Carlos Seminary, Makati.
“Bata pa ako, lumaki ako sa Sto Niño, bata palang ginabayan din ako ng kapwa bata na si Niño, blessed ako na naging parish priest din ng Sto. Niño dito sa Bago Bantay. Ramdam ko kung gaano kahirap yung pinagdaraanan nila with the pictures, lalo na yung video nung bumbero, sigurado napakahirap nitong pinagdaraanan,” the priest added.
He then appeals to his parishioners and other devotees of Santo Niño to help and support the Pandacan Church by sending their monetary donations.
Fr. Dumlao believes that the Santo Niño will always guide the faithful in the midst of the storms and sorrows of life. He said that we just need to approach the Child Jesus and offer him our faith in God.
“Ang Sto. Niño natin ay patuloy na nagiging gabay natin at kaligtasan sa buhay sa mga ganitong pinagdaraanang unos at hirap, [Siya] ay kasama sa ating pananampalataya at paglalakbay. Kagaya ng Sto. Nino umiiyak din sya bilang bata, kailangan din nating patahanin at iyakan minsan, pero humanap tayo ng paraan para patahanin at pangitiin muli ang Niño sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtutulungan at pananampalataya sa Ama.”
Last Friday, July 10, 2020, around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, a fire broke out in Santo Niño de Pandacan and ravage the whole church including the rectory. As of writing, the Bureau of Fire Protection is still conducting an investigation regarding the cause of the fire, and the original image of Santo Niño was not yet been found.