Two babies could be the first to be baptized at the Shrine of Brown Madonna, the organizing committee of the Silahis ng Pasko announced recently.
“We want the lucky Christmas and new year’s babies the firsts to be baptized at the Shrine,” said Fritzgerald Padilla chairman of the month long SnP that ended with the gift giving for Raiven Clyde Reopa Agruda last Jan. 5 at their rented pad at the Slaughter House.
Baby Raiven’s 23-year old mother Jessica Reopa agreed to have her son baptized soon at the Shrine, when asked by Padilla.
Last December 29, Padilla rained gifts on Psalm Francisco, the Christmas baby, whose mother, Mildred, 25, is eager to have her son undergo baptism at the Shrine in Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet.
“We have been planning this since last year when we took over the running of the month-long Silahis which my father (Narciso) started more than 40 years ago,” admitted Padilla.
Raiven is the first child of Jessica and 27 year old dad Zaldy Agruda, a market employee, while Psalm is the second child of Mildred and her 33 year old husband, Wilmer, a market porter.
“It would be nice that we have Raiven and Pslam as the firsts of those to be baptized at the Shrine of Brown Madonna,” said Padilla, who is eager to hold a baptism at the shrine, a 30 feet high and 40 feet deep man-made tunnel that was intended to be a link to La Union from Baguio by the Americans during the early 20th century.
It was later used by the invading Japanese Imperial Army as a headquarters and abandoned when they fled the city as the American and their local allies liberated the city in 1945.
After the EDSA Revolution, Padilla started making the shrine with donations from friends including Archt. Gloria Vergara and then her future Baguio Rep. and congressman husband Bernardo.
Then shrine has been an introduction to the annual SnP and most of the program’s events are held at there.
“We will make the formal request with the Saint Vincent parish, which has domain until said sitio of barangay Tadiangan in Tuba,” added Padilla.