Immaculate Conception

December 09, 2019

Before anything, I wish to mention that it was the feastday of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, one of the most important feastdays of the Catholic Church, celebrated worldwide.

“O God, mercifully hear the supplication of thy servants who are assembled together on the Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, may at her intercession be delivered by Thee from dangers which beset us.”

Keep our devotion to Blessed Mother of God, the Virgin Mother of God everyday of the year for asking favors through Her will never be denied by Her Son Jesus Christ whatever we ask for.

I am a Marian devotee since I was 11 years old; and I never fail to pray to Her in my private chapel, everyday.  It was in the basilica of our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag that I experienced Her miraculous assistance to us.

When my father was released from Fort Santiago, we went into hiding in Baguio City and the Spanish Dominican priests in Dominican Hill monastery hid my family in the monastery.  But when the bombing of Baguio started, we escaped down to Manaoag where the Spanish Friars hid us in the convent.

There were a few families with us and we were housed inside the Church in Manaoag beside the Convento of the Friars.

During the landing of Lingayen, the exchange of fire between the Japanese and American forces was too extreme.  It was a constant shelling and bombing everyday and everynight for three days.

Believe it or not, we were sleeping inside the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag beside the main altar when in the middle of the night an American plane dropped a bomb through the roof of the Church near the altar but it did not explode.  Had it exploded, we would have all been killed.  That bomb did not explode is displayed on the side of the basilica now.

When that happened, the next day we ran to the forests behind the Church to hide form the Japanese, wading through a creek.  I remember it to this day.

The youngest then in 1944 was my brother, Francisco, the fifth child, who was about two years old and his yaya who carried him through the difficult escape we took was Andrea Epino with a pillow for him to sleep on.  Nobody knew that the jewelries of my mother were inside that pillow wherever we went.  She is the same Andrea Epino who allegedly was used by my youngest brother, Jose Morato in the alleged sale of my mother’s properties before the death of my mother in 2002, undated, typewritten, and not notarized.  Anding Epino died way before my mother passed away in 2002.  We all buried her and my mother was there to bury her in the cemetery.  

When General Douglas MacArthur found out that my father and the family were in the hill near the Church of Manaoag, pinahanap kami at pinasundo kami.  Kasi President Quezon, MacArthur and my father were very close friends and friends of theirs called them “the triumvirate.”  When the President ordered a grey flannel suit, the General and my father were also told to order the same suits.

By the miraculous help of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag, we survived the 2nd World War.

President Quezon was in exile in the United States; was hospitalized in Saranak Lake and died there.  His remains was brought back to the Philippines in 1945 on board a ship and interred here.  I have the picture of the arrival of his remains in a casket, met by my father and friends at the pier.

To this day, I remain a devotee of Our Lady whose ivory 1800 life-size statue is in my private chapel for the past 50 years.  I pray to her everyday, in the morning when I wake up and at night before I go up to my bedroom, I pass by my chapel.  I’ve been a Marian devotee all my life.

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