The Crosses Still Stand In Basilan

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Edited by: Fr. C James Castro, CMF, Ian Shelly Alabanza, CMF, Benedict Dilag, CMF

On April 22, 2000 at five in the morning, the people of Tumahubong, Basilan woke up to the sound of cannon fire. The military had started its operations against the Abu Sayyaf, bombarding its main camp up in Mount Punoh Mahadji. It was Good Friday. Christ had started to walk towards Calvary. His was a familiar face - the faces of Rhoel, Annabel, Marisa, Mr. Rubio, and the much younger faces of Chary, Emelyn, Christy and the other children who then were still at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf. And of course, there were also the faces of the mothers of those children, who, like the women of Jerusalem, were crying for their sons and daughters as they walked along the streets of Tumahubong in the traditional devotion of the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. And still many kilometers away in Castillejos, Zambales were Manong Dominador and Manang Raquel, earnestly hoping and praying for the release of their son Rhoel.

That Holy Week was deeply significant in Tumahubong as well as in Punoh Mahadji and Castillejos. Indeed it seemed like an extended week that lasted for 43 days, from March 20 till May 3. Just like Jesus, Rhoel, the hostages, their love ones and the whole Christian community of the Tumahubong bore the weight of their crosses all the way to Calvary. And finally, death came on May 3 at five in the afternoon. The suffering of Rhoel, Editha, Annabel and Ruben ended.

But was it really the end of it all? Did that Holy Week end on Good Friday? Or was there still a Holy Saturday? I thought that it wouldn’t be a Holy Week if it didn’t have a Saturday.

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0.349 kg
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Title Type Price Quantity
The Crosses Still Stand In Basilan Printed $3.00