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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

tribute to spartans

{this is a video i have made, with the help of some Integrity sidekicks. enjoy!}

Saturday, November 03, 2007

3 day retreat

Three Day Retreat
31 October - 2 November 2007
Banate, Iloilo

I am glad that I had this time to be quiet, to pray and to reflect the things that has happened to me for the last few months since I have arrived here in Iloilo. Indeed, as I start my prayer, I realized that there were many blessings and graces that I have received and thankful for. Here are three significant areas that I would like to share.

My Vocation and Work

Being a Jesuit Regent is hard. There are many things that are demanded of us. Just like my work here in Ateneo de Iloilo, since there are many things to do, it is hard to manage my time both personal and work-related that sometimes I ended up being scolded by my superiors. Not that I am complaining, but simply I am expressing that this kind of life is hard.

Perhaps the next question here is how do I sustain myself from giving myself to my work? After praying, I realize that it is this love for my personal God that I fully give myself to whatever He calls me to do despite the difficulties and challenges. As I end my day, as I end it with a short prayer, I always offer to my God whatever I have accomplished and simply thank Him for allowing me to humbly take part of His work. These are the hard consolations and joys that have brought about my dealings with students and colleagues.

I admit that I am not a good teacher and a campus minister. I know there are more qualified persons in school who can perform much better than I am. Yet, I give myself to my work because I know despite my weaknesses; I can still touch a soul to bring him or her closer to God. As I usually say, if I can only help one soul, to show that person that he is loved by God, then I feel I have done my part and I am truly happy.

Community and Friends

I am blessed with a good community both in the convent and in school. I describe my Jesuit community as a complete package. Though we are only five in the community, it may represent already a typical Jesuit community where the “drama of life” really unfolds (ask a Jesuit if you don’t understand this part). Life with these persons can be really a challenging one. Come to think of it, how can someone live with his bosses under one roof? Well, that’s the Jesuit way. But what I am grateful for is that despite our differences and concerns, we can laugh together especially when we eat and share stories. I guess that sustains us as a community. We understand somehow our differences, yet there is the spirit of understanding.

In school, especially the faculty and staff, I really appreciated how they welcomed me. Is it because I am a Jesuit? Well, that is a factor. But I have felt I have been welcomed for who I am and that meant a lot to me. Because of these, I can easily relate from one person to another. I can simply be myself. I am grateful how they also open their lives to me. As they share their stories I am always reminded of my mission – to be a companion with Christ.

Outside of the convent and school, I have a circle of friends that I usually meet at least once a month. They are friends that I can easily unwind myself and share stories that are not Jesuit and school related. I thank the Lord for them because it is a special blessing how we met and brought us together here in Iloilo.

These people are the sources of my consolation as I move along with my journey. And I really thank the Lord for giving me such persons who takes care of me as well as molding me into the person the Lord desires me to be.

Four Integrity Spartans

Being a first time teacher here in Ateneo, I was hoping to be assigned as an adviser of the first year, second year, and even of the third year. No. I was assigned in a fourth year class called Spartans. I sometimes pity my class because they deserve a veteran adviser since this is their last year – like in the traditions of Sir Primo and Maam Lally.

Looking at the situation as I pray, I have found more meaning to why I was assigned in this class. They are a good class. There are natural leaders in the class that lead and guide them to whatever activities and tasks at hand. Then I realized that they don’t really need someone to stern at them – though at times they really need that and I thank to Sir H (my co-adviser) for being that – they need someone to affirm them, to push them and support them. And I guess that is my role to them. Someone who is by their side whatever happens. I only hope that I have been a good adviser and a friend to them. For the rest of their stay, I will do my best to make these last months more memorable and meaningful to them.

These are the few three areas of gratitude that I prayed over during my personal retreat. After reflecting my stay here in Iloilo, I thank the Lord that I have grown here. Each step is a learning experience for me that I allow myself to fail and to nurture. I continue to ask God to give me the grace of sensitivity so that I may be able to sense Him in every person, places, and experiences that I will encounter.

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