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The author is a Columban lay missionary from Peru working in Cagayan de Oro City. Fr Rolly Aniscal, from Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, has worked in Peru as a Columban missionary and is now one of our vocation directors, based in Manila.
‘En un pueblo olvidado no sé porqué
y su danza de moreno lo hace mover
en el pueblo lo llamaban negro José
amigo negro José.’
‘In a forgotten town I don’t know why
and his dark man’s dance makes him move.
In the town they call him Black José,
friend Black José.’
By Mary Joy Rile
Ana had the chance recently of visiting Misyon in Bacolod City and Joy, our Editorial Assitant interviewed her. Here she shares the story she got through the interview.
Let me start with a quote from Mother Teresa, ‘Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.’ You can only guess how we started… Yes, we started with a smile, as I eyed her for an article, believing that there is one beautiful story from this simple, beautiful woman.
L to R: Mary Joy Rile, Ana Flores, Richelle Verdeprado, Marisol Rojas and Bessie Palma at the Misyon editorial office in Bacolod City.
By Macelinda Diaz Verano
I still could not believe that we were the Grand Champions of the whole Philippines in the Third National Catholic Family Bible Quiz held recently at Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati.
‘Am I dreaming?’
Of course, I wasn’t; it was more of a dream coming to reality. Months before it seemed to be a vision which I thought could only happen in dreams or through a miracle, notwithstanding the hurdles that we had passed before we finally made it here – the pressures of everyday living, the negative feelings of anxiety, fear, doubt and exhaustion, the responsibilities our family members had to attend to. The list could be endless. Yet through it all, God has given our family this precious gift – a miracle to remind us to trust in Him no matter what.
The first book I ever read, when I was 7, was Treasure Island. A map guided Jim Hawkins and his friends to the hidden treasure. God drew a map with clues that guided me to discover the treasure of my vocation during my teenage years.
This is a slightly edited version of the homily given on 9 October 2005 by Fr John Ryan, pastor of St Brendan the Navigator, Ormond Beach, Florida, on the fifth anniversary of the death of Columban Father Eamonn Gill, killed in an accident while working temporarily in the parish. Father Gill was one of the pioneering Columbans who came to Negros in 1950. He spent almost 50 years there, often in very difficult situations, but never losing his sense of humor.
By Jayson B. Arcamo
The author, who is based in Bacolod City, works full-time with the Columban Mission Office.
Victoria Malacapay Andas was born on 30 September 1929 in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, and died on 11 August 2012. She was eighth among the ten children of Justina Rojas Malacapay and Remegio Libo-on Andas who were both public school teachers during the time of Maestro Emong (Geronimo Abada Sr.), the first district supervisor of Kabankalan.
Victoria, while still in high school, started helping her sister Milagros to teach catechism in the Flores de Mayo after World War II. Padre Juan Garcia was the parish priest at that time. She wanted to become a religious sister and joined the Sisters of Charity. After a year as a novice she had to leave for health reasons.
Through the help of the late Columban Fr Thomas Cronin, Victoria enrolled at the University of Negros Occidental and took the two-year Junior Normal General Course leading to the title of Elementary Teacher’s Certificate (ETC) and graduated in March 1962. (The Order of Augustinian Recollects bought UNO in 1962 and changed its name to ‘University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos’ or ‘UNO-R’.) In 1963 Victoria became a Kindergarten teacher and later a Grade One teacher at Kabankalan College (now Kabankalan Catholic College). Three years later she decided to be a full-time catechist in St Francis Xavier Parish.
When her sister Milagros died giving birth, Victoria, together with Flora, their youngest sister, took good care of her orphaned nieces, Ana Mae, Aileen, and Milagros Aurea, and of their sister’s stepson Edmundo. Despite the financial difficulties that she and Flora had to face, she never saw looking for ‘greener pastures’ to have a better income for the family as an option. Instead, she took more people in need under her care. Her nieces would often describe their home as the extension house of the parish convent. They recalled that every month, she would offer her home to the ‘novios y novias’ from far flung areas of the parish who had no place to stay the night before the pre-marriage seminar they were required to attend the following day. Her nieces recalled that they had to share their bedrooms on the second floor with the ‘novias’ while all the ‘novios’ slept on the ground floor. Her family remembered that there were even parishioners from Hinoba-an in the far south of the province, victims of land-grabbing, who stayed with them the night before their hearing at the Municipal Trial Court.
By Sr Rhea Lei Y. Tolibas TC
The author is a Capuchin Tertiary Sister of the Holy Family. Sister Rhea Lei is assigned to Mater Dolorosa Formation House in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Life has its own amazing and extraordinary story, from the day we’re born until the day when we are gone but as Longfellow’s poem goes, ‘the grave is not its goal’.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life has an innate search for meaning, satisfaction, and for true happiness. This is the emptiness within that most of us are perhaps unaware of in a way that we are being misled to look for these in worldly desires and satisfactions such as material wealth, power, lust and possessions. But behind all these is the deep yearning for God.
When I was a child, simple things could make me happy: when my father came home from work with something for me, when my mother bought me a new dress, when my sisters gave me a candy. These brought a simple, temporary happiness. I never knew what happiness could really mean. I was thinking true happiness is only for those who are well off, who never suffer. I grew up in a poor family. I hated poverty, since it made us suffer, made my mother cry often, made my parents sacrifice so much. As children we never knew how to play as other children did. We needed to work hard and to sacrifice even if sometimes we could play.
Few of us like to suffer. We see suffering as pain, with no happiness or satisfaction. We don’t know how to embrace it with joy.
By Erl Dylan J. Tabaco
The author, a Columban seminarian, writes about the disaster that hit his native Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, last December. He has appeared a number of times in Misyon, most recently in the January-February 2012 issue, Revitalizing the Church: Bringing the Gospel to the Deaf.
While on my way to the airport for my afternoon flight back to Manila, I saw a big streamer with the words ‘Bangon Cagayan’ (‘Arise Cagayan’). This mirrored the sad faces of many in Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) where severe tropical storm Sendong (international name: ‘Washi’) had struck a number of barangays (administrative districts) in the city during the night of 16-17 December last year. It took the lives of hundreds of people and caused much damage to infrastructures and property.
On the other hand, the streamer encouraged people to remember that there is always hope amidst despair. I recalled my own experience that night. In my 25 years I had never experienced that kind of catastrophe. It was beyond my imagination.