Father’s Son – The Miracles of Quiapo

Let those who are afflicted be comforted. And let those who are comforted be afflicted.”

— 2 Corinthians 1:4
This novel rants. It cries out to the high heavens for a more equitable world. It nudges those who have the means (those who live a life of relative comfort) to help, and those who are oppressed to rise and rage. Altogether, they need to do something.

The Philippine setting of the story resonates everywhere — from Mexico to Brazil, from India to the rest of the world — especially in urban poor neighborhoods that are blighted by inequities and uneven access to opportunities. And yet, even as it cries for social reform, it keeps alive the hope of a better world for all.

The story starts with years of struggles, depravity, and survival tests. It ends with the transformation that happens in our lives when we do even just little good deeds for others. There the reader will “miraculously” find inner peace and joy: from the depths of human misery rises a story that celebrates life and transforms communities. Too trite a storyline? It probably is — until one finds new hope in old truths.

Father’s Son – The Miracles of Quiapois a story of transformation and faith, about how God makes miracles happen with the cooperating hand of his people.

Deo Regnat, the main character, shows up as an abandoned child. Individuals and groups of varied interests scramble for the chance to snatch him, consigning him to a fate in which he would be tossed around from one family to another, from one destitute place to another. He would eventually settle in Quiapo, Philippines, a place known for the miraculous Black Nazarene, where he spends the rest of his childhood and most of his teenage years with Junie.

He then goes through college and immerses himself in urban poor communities as part of the course curriculum. Driven by a do-something mission to address the deprivation and inequities that he experienced as a child, he uses the academic platform to put together a blueprint for governance reform and transformation of communities. When Junie rose to become a political leader, the childhood buddies put this blueprint to work. Their success at facilitating community processes propels their careers in politics to new heights. But just as Junie is about to capture the highest elective office of the premier city of Manila, suspected political opponents ambush him. Boy Deo takes the place of the murdered Junie and eventually becomes the new mayor of Manila.

Boy Deo’s popularity rises to dramatic levels so that no politician of consequence could ignore him. He is a threat to the reign of established political dynasties; the propaganda to demolish him soon started. His identity came into question. This leads to one discovery after another, which eventually uncovered his being the grandson of a military general turned politician and son of the activist grandchild of the sister of one of his surrogate mothers. The activist grandchild, his mother, went to the mental hospital when she could no longer bear the pain of separation from her new-born child (who would be picked up later as the abandoned child in Quiapo) and stayed there for 30 years until his son, now Mayor Deo, searched for her following the lead given by Father Revo, a catholic priest in Quiapo Church, who turned out to be his biological father.

The other main characters include Sir Dikomo—the chief of police of Quiapo who rose to become the country’s top cop; Reg Makatigbas—a multi-awarded army trooper who at the start of his military career in a rural farming community impregnated a young Paloma, who turned out to be Boy Deo’s grandmother; and TeresaPaloma’s sister who fortuitously became one of Boy Deo’s surrogate mothers.

This novel may disappoint those who have heard the drama or saw spectacular footages of mass devotion in the Black Nazarene. Instead, it edifies “Little Good Deeds” (Chapter 10). When life is hard, genuine acts of kindness (consoling the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, etc.) can bring light to life-changing discovery and redemption.

The Traslacion is an occasion for the recollection of how our lives have experienced the outpouring of love from our brothers and sisters. The Black Nazarene performs his miracles through them. He heals the sick through our doctors and other medical professionals. He wipes the tears away from out eyes through our mothers. He brings laughter into our lives through our friends. And he keeps us humble through our enemies.

deo in his address to black nazarene devotees
Father’s Son – The Miracles of Quiapo – The Novel
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