The Case of the Poisoned Family

The Case of the Poisoned Family

Banawa, the Kingdom of King Humabon, bordered the sea. During the months of November and December, as was always his custom, he reminded his people to be wary of eating a certain kind of poisonous fish locally called boriring (globe fish). He had to do it because during those two months this kind of fish swarmed like ants hear seashore. So thick were this kind of fish that a mere child could pick them up like picking up pebbles along the seashore.

Now there lived in Pansil (now called Pasil), a part of Humabon’s Kingdom, a certain family consisting of a father, a mother, two sons and two daughters. One day a neighbour found the members of this family lying prostrate on their kitchen floor. The neighbour was surprised. He went up the house to find out what caused them to lie flat on the floor as if they were dead. He found the unfinished dinner of the family – rice on the plates and a big fish locally called tambanguno almost totally eaten on another plate.

Globe Fish/Pufferfish (Buriring or Boriring)

The neighbour at once concluded that the family was poisoned eating the fish. But the fish was not poisonous. How could the family be poisoned? It was however, resolved that the tambanguno had eaten boriring and having eaten it, its poison remained in the flesh of the tambanguno.

When the accident was reported to King Humabon, he ordered that all members of the poisoned family be brought to the square before his palace so that all people could see them, and having seen them, learn a lesson. A great crowd gathered around the family who were lying flat on three lantay (bamboo beds). Two of the onlookers were the Amoy and Queen Juana. The Amoy was told by King Humabon to say a prayer for the dead. But Queen Juana went up the palace to fetch the image of the Holy Child. Before long she returned with the image.

While the Amoy was mumbling the prayer, Queen Juana went to each member of the poisoned family, letting the feet of the Image touch the forehead of each. Wonder of wonders! The members of the poisoned family all opened their eyes as if they had just awakened from sleep. In no time at all, they all stood up as if nothing happened to them.

The onlookers stood rooted on the ground with surprise. Never had they witness a “miracle” such as this. (Manuel Enriquez de la Calzada).

Source: (Miracles of Santo Niño de Cebu, (Cebu: Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu, 2007), 135.

Painting of Queen Juana receiving the image of the Holy Child.

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