FAITH
Aboard the Pleguezuelo
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

From Manila, the good Sisters had to take a boat for Cebu, then still take another boat to reach Dumaguete in October 1904. Unlike them, Dr. Jose Rizal had set foot in Dumaguete only on August 1, 1896 from Dapitan on his way to Manila. Here’s more of the account of their voyage:

To board the Pleguezuelo, one had to cross a long and narrow plank suspended obliquely, with nothing to hold on to. It was enough to make anyone dizzy…

We returned to the deck where the captain informed us that, contrary to what we had been told, our baggage had not been brought to the ship, but was still with Customs. What were we to do? It was almost 2:00 p.m., and the ship, which should have left at noon and had already waited for the mailbags to arrive, was about to lift anchor. However, the captain said he would wait for thirty minutes more if we wanted to go to the Custom House.

In spite of the fearful plank that we had to cross, we did not hesitate. Sister Superior was again obliged to have recourse to an American gentleman who courteously offered his arm for the descent, while Sister Josephine received the same courtesy from the captain… They were on the way to the Custom House, assisted by this American gentleman who, though a Protestant, had placed himself entirely at their service.

An hour passed… No one appeared… Two hours… Still no one… The captain, losing patience, grabbed his field-glasses to see better, but there was nothing. Meanwhile, we were reciting the Rosary for the Poor Souls in Purgatory to come to our aid. The captain stamped his foot at the height of his impatience. It was already past five o’clock.

At last we could see from afar the white cornettes of our Sisters and the gray jacket of the American gentleman.

The captain rushed to the quay. He seemed furious! What was he going to say? We expected an unpleasant scene, but our fear was quickly transformed into a strong desire to laugh…

Back on deck, the two Sisters told us that they had met many difficult situations: all our trunks had been opened and they had had to pay a very large amount of money for their release. All our furniture had to stay temporarily in Manila. We could bring only our trunks with us…

On the second night, we resigned ourselves to lie down, some on the bunks, others on chairs or stretched out in the short space left open between bunks, the baskets, and the clothes. One must take the rough with the smooth! To crown our misfortune, the food was horrible! We could not eat anything. We sailed nearer to Cebu with real pleasure. To think that we still have to travel on another ship! Anyway, courage! It will be the last one. But what a voyage! (To be continued)


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