Quantcast

Inquirer Visayas

A devotee’s story of death and faith

By |


LAURA Banzon. Charisse Ursal/Inquirer Visayas

CEBU CITY—I died. I saw God … then I just woke up.”

That was how 87-year-old Laura Duterte Banzon described in Cebuano what she said was the most extraordinary experience in her life.

Banzon, then 26, was afflicted with acute pneumonia and was brought to Sacred Heart Hospital in Cebu City in 1952. Two days later, she died.

An hour after she was declared clinically dead, she roused back to life.

Her physician, Dr. Dayday Borbon, considered it a miracle when her patient recovered from her ailment and didn’t suffer any side effects during the 60 minutes that her heart didn’t beat.

A woman of faith, Banzon believed that the miracle that happened 61 years ago was simply a reminder that people should not question the existence of God. Her experience also made her a devotee of the Holy Child Jesus, whose feast day is held every third Sunday of January through Cebu City’s biggest and grandest celebration, the Sinulog.

Lifelessness

Banzon described her state of lifelessness in the hospital.

She saw herself lying on the bed while her family was crying. Then a narrow road that could barely fit a person appeared on the side of the window. It was long, steep and bright, but dark on the sides.

She followed the path and heard a voice telling her to sit beside him. “Sit to my right, daughter,” she was told.

The man was tall with deep-set brown eyes and was wearing a snowy robe with a blue-green shroud. She thought that man was St. Peter, but looking intently at his eyes, she felt his sacredness and thought she was seeing God.

Little angels flew across the cloudless white sky. All had tiny wings and were smiling. Some were playing while others were talking.

The man told her that they were children who died at a very young age.

No sun, moon or stars, but a garden of flowers with different colors as if these were plucked out from a painting. One thing she noticed: it was a very peaceful place.

The man told her that it was not her time yet. So she had to go back.

“An angel will escort you back,” the voice said.

Sto. Niño

Then she woke up. Her family was speechless.

The experience strengthened Banzon’s faith, especially on the Holy Child Jesus.

During the feast of the Sto. Niño, she would make sure she would join the foot processions, as well as the nine-day novena Masses.

But two years ago, she slipped inside her “sari-sari” store and suffered a leg fracture. She underwent surgery to replace a femur at Velez General Hospital. Her physician Dr. Alejandro Mediano, advised her to refrain from too much walking.

Her condition had stopped Banzon from joining the religious activities. She had to content herself with watching the live TV coverage of the procession and offering a prayer to the Sto. Niño.

Banzon lives with her husband, Manuel, 86, on F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. She has six children and 18 grandchildren.

The devotee said she tried to live a pious life.

“We will all meet God soon. That is why we should be good. We should feel ashamed if we remain sinful. We must be ready to meet Him,” she said.

Banzon said she was happy that God gave her 61 more years to enjoy life. Now, she is more than willing to meet him a second time.


Follow Us


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 Sinulog , disease , faith , Health , Laura Duterte Banzon , Religion


  • $39764945

    A  very  uplifting  story  and  a  great  ‘ Reminder ‘ of  our  ephemeral  existence,  from  which  we  hope to  learn.

  • WalterPaulKomarnicki

    it wasn’t ‘just one of those things’ or ‘dumb luck’, but a miracle in the sense that it seemed to violate the laws of biology and physics to show something beyond what this limited world can perceive…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JVSEXTMANAEZGLOSZGWJYW67Q Jess

    There is a common thread with all these “near death” experiences: a bright light beaconing you to walk towards it, a voice or person, seeing your body, a relaxing feeling. Science explains this is the “energy” expelling from a person after death which is also like a “void” felt by close friends or relatives felt after the death of a love one. 

    But whatever, it is, this is something that cannot be fully explained by science. It is a “miracle” nevertheless when it is unexplainable. Praise God and his wonderful ways. 

  • $37644997

    You don’t need to die nor experience near death or being clinically dead,but you can experience God while being alive in the physical.Among those who will read my words will also hear my words.

  • Benito Juarez

    I heard similar stories from three different persons.  God is everywhere. I believe in Him. Many remember HIM when they are gloomy and forget HIM when they are merry. As they say, God whisper in our triumphs and shout in our failures.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QSBNZB3TEKHJE5A74STZTTUHC4 ed0408

    Kaya kayong mga politiko repent or Lucifer will fetch you when you die. Bwaahaaahaaaa



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace
Advertisement