SUMMER AT GIWANO April 30, 2013Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Tourism, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Frt. Aaron Paul Hizola SVD, Giwano, Sioton
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In the middle of the island of Olutanga lies a beautiful spring. The people here call it Giwano. This is just a stone’s throw from the St. John the Baptist Catholic chapel in my mission area. From the very first time I laid my eyes on this beautiful creation of God, I already planned it long before that an outing must be held in here.
And indeed it happened last April 15. Together with my parish staff, escorts, several parishioners and friends, we had our outing at the Giwano!
NEW MISSION April 8, 2013Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Mabuhay, Mission Anecdotes, OMG!, Pastoral, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Catholic Education, Dr. Eusebio Momo, Fr. Manuel Mijares SVD, Fr. Tony Salas SVD
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Since time immemorial, the Catholic parents of Olutanga Island have been dreaming of Catholic prep and kindergarten. For several years already, they had no choice but to send their children to the Protestant Montessori in all three towns. They are captive clients.
When Fr. Manuel Mijares and I arrived in the island three years ago, we shared the dream of these parents. I remembered one time while I was in a birthday party, I was introduced to a parishioner named Jill Dulam who, according to what I heard about her, was very efficient in her work in an NGO specially alternative learning system. She told me Fr. Joseph Audiencia, SVD (the former parish priest) planned of putting up a children’s school for the parish.
“Gotcha!”, I exclaimed. “You are the one we are looking for!” Together with Fr. Manuel, we reawaken the dream. But we were groping where to start, what to do, and how to do it. We have in mind that this school will cater to our Catholic children but at the same time it will also accept Muslims, Subanen indigenous children and other faith and tribal affiliations. So, this is not just a prep and kinder school but also a school molding our children to be builders of peace – a school that will teach our young generation to respect, understand, show compassion and learn to love other people of various cultures and traditions. It made me remember Pope Francis’ message to the journalists on March 16 after the conclave: “Since many of you are not members of the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I cordially give this blessing silently, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each, but in the knowledge that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you!”
Several Catholic parents also expressed their support and shared in our dream until March 30, 2013 came. Holy Saturday. The dream saw its light. Fr. Tony Salas, SVD, came and gathered all those who expressed their support for the realization of the project. Together with them, we came up with the vision and mission of the school which has no name yet. Those invited were already called owners of the school by virtue, not because of their profession, but by being parishioners and members of the Christian community. They are the following:
- Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD
- Fr. Manuel B. Mijares, SVD
- Dr. Eusebio Momo
- Prudencio Anota
- Rico Caloňge
- Marlyn “Bebeth” A. Caloňge
- Jesus A. Arnoco
- Mina M. Berdin
- Flora A. Esmanel
- Jill S. Dulam
- Emma A. Rabon
- Carlos G. Magdula Jr.
- Romel A. Rabon
- Marigen C. Rabon
- Lourdes F. Ozarraga
- Princess Hazel Tolorio
- Annabele Tolorio
- Emilyn Sabornido
- Melinda S. Adlaon
- Mamerto B. Pagar
- Ronald B. Zarate
- Val Samonte
- Diosdado S. Omamalin
- Julieta C. Degumbis
- Zenaida G. Dumapi
- Maria Q. Rosal
Also invited during the meeting are Bro. Roland Pontevedra, SVD and Kiking Lim from Talusan. During the selection of the Board of Trustees, the following are elected:
Chairman Eusebio Momo
Vice – chairman Val Samonte
Secretary Jill Dulam
Treasurer Lourdes Ozarraga
Members Emma Rabon
Fr. Felmar C. Fiel, SVD
I am actually very amazed at all the happening! We built the concept of the school within two hours, complete with its mission and vision. It was like riding a car that immediately zooooooooomed in less than a minute. We had no money yet, no building yet, no teacher yet. And we were so ambitious to start the classes (of at most 25 pioneer children) this June. At the back of my mind, I actually worry about this project, but I lift it all to God. We will work all things out, knowing that we are not doing this for own, but for God’s glory and his beloved humanity.
If you want to contribute to this project, please pm me @ my facebook page: FELMAR’S MISSIONARY JOURNEY
So, help us God.
MY BIRTHDAY POST March 13, 2013Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in OMG!.
Tags: Baptismal Photo, Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD
Two weeks ago, I went home to brush elbows with my dear relatives and my dear family. Bisag pari ta, mingawon pod ta oy. And guess what did I found when I scanned over the old photos at my lola’s house?
Tsaran!!! The photo of my baptism! I looked so cute.
EL SALVADOR March 9, 2013Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Pilgrimage.
Tags: Cagayan de Oro City, El Salvador, Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD, Fr. Manuel Mijares SVD, Shrine of the Divine Mercy
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Last February 22, the Legion of Mary of Parokya San Miguel – Mabuhay together with Fr. Manuel Mijares, SVD and I went for a pilgrimage in the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in El Salvador. No, this is not in Latin America. El Salvador is a small town in Cagayan de Oro which is the home of the 50-foot statue of the Divine Mercy.
We left Olutanga Island at 7 in the morning and arrived 8 in the evening in El Salvador. It was pretty a long trip. When we arrived at the Holy Queen Pilgrim House, we were surprised that a group of other pilgrims from Gensan took our accommodation. Funny. We texted our contact that we would be late because our van was having some engine trouble. Just before we arrived, this group from Gensan who did not have advance booking told the receptionist that their van had an engine trouble. To cut the story short, the good receptionist welcomed them, gave them our accommodation, with the thought that the Gensan group was our group.
So when we arrived, we found ourselves without a place to lay our tired bodies. There were some available beds for our group of 30 but it was not enough. Some of us sacrificed to stay at the sala of the pilgrim house. I stayed outside, at the pathwalk (which is a good thing because I found out the following day that those who stayed outside are free, lol).
The pilgrimage kicked off the following day. Everybody was excited. In fact, Fr. Manuel and I mistaken signed a log-book due to our excitement. We thought we wrote in a guestbook. When I scanned the photos I took during the pilgrimage, I realized that we signed a log-book for those who will be wearing skirts. Hahahahahaha!
We were so blest to have attended the Holy Mass at 8 am. I was one of the concelebrants. I also spent some time to hear the confessions of many pilgrims. It also brought me back to my childhood days where I used to recite the English version of the 3 pm Divine Mercy prayer at ABS-CBN (tagalong na kasi ngayon eh). I just realized that it was one of the longest prayers I memorized by heart as a child. My journey to El Salvador was indeed a spiritual boost.
THANK YOU GLOBE TATTOO! March 5, 2013Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Globe Tattoo Review
I’m back! I think I was in hiatus mode for more or less three years . Aside from my occasional posts, I felt I was disconnected from the blogworld. It started when I was assigned as the parish priest of Parokya San Miguel of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay. There was no internet/wifi access in the area. And so I tried to use a broadband mini-stick (starts with letter S) . However, it didn’t help. One web access could take eternity. Imagine lang ha, yong portal pa lang ng facebook, halos isang oras bago ko ma -access. Pero ‘ika kapag puno na ang salop, dapat ng ehem, palitan.
And so far, I am happy with my new choice: Globe Tattoo! Ang lakas ng signal! Hindi halatang nasa halos dulo na ako ng Pilipinas! Mabilis pa magdownload.
So this can only mean one thing: I’m back to blogging!!!
My premiere post will be this coming 9, Saturday…
IPIL MISSION NOW A DISTRICT December 5, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Mabuhay, Mission Anecdotes, Pastoral, SVD, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Fr. Danilo Noval SVD, Fr. Exequiel Mahinay SVD, Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD, Fr. Isagani Ehido SVD, Fr. Jingjong Rocha SVD, Fr. Sherwin Aromin SVD, SVD Ipil District
The Ipil Mission Team at the Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay was recently elevated to the status of a district. Fr. Exequiel Mahinay, SVD was appointed as the first District Superior while Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD was elected as his assistant. Rounding up the new district team are the following: Fr. Sherwin Aromin, SVD as the District Treasurer while Fr. Danilo Noval, SVD is the District Admonitor.
The election was held last October 12 at Dr. Momo’s Residence, one of the parishioners of Parokya San Miguel in Mabuhay. Present during the election was Fr. Jingjong Rocha, SVD , the Provincial Superior of the SVD Philippines South and Fr. Isagani Ehido, Provincial Treasurer. It was the Provincial who announced that Fr. Mahinay is the appointed leader of the newborn district.
The following day, the elevation of the team into a District was celebrated through a Holy Mass together with the Parishioners of Parokya San Miguel –Mabuhay. The District Officials were also presented to the faithful. More power to the new SVD District of Ipil!
THE 1972 MIRACLE OF ST. MICHAEL IN MABUHAY, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY October 3, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Mabuhay, OMG!, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Miracles, St. Michael the Archangel
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At the peak of the battle between the Barracuda and the Ilaga in 1972, a story about St. Michael the Archangel’s intercession lived until today after being passed from one generation to another here in this part of the world – Municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay (which was then part of Zamboanga del Sur).
According to the witnesses who are still alive until today, when the rebels already penetrated at the Poblacion, one of the principal targets of attack was the newborn parish of Parokya San Miguel. There were only 6 soldiers at the Xavier High School who guarded both the parish and the parochial school. The people already ran for their lives. One survivor told me that her aunt just delivered her baby when they heard gunshots. They then brought their boiling and half-cooked rice in a kettle and hid in the bushes.
But the seemingly triumph of evil was short-lived. The throng of rebels suddenly retreated when they saw a legion of armies coming from the parish church. The whole area was filled with bright light, making them ran in fear. The legion of armies also disappeared when the rebels already left. As to who the soldiers were, nobody knew. Certainly, they were not the 6 soldiers stationed at the school.
The parishioners believed that it was St. Michael leading the celestial armies against the invaders. One of the rebels who renewed his life after the war, also testified to the truth of the story. Almer (not his real name) said, “nakakita mig dakong tawo nga hayag kaayo ang panagway kauban ang daghan kaayong nag-gilak-gilak nga sundalo. Mao nga nangahadlok mi ug nanagan.” (We saw a man with a very bright face together with a band of armies dazzling in white. So, we ran with fear and trembling.)
Year after year, the parishioners of Parokya San Miguel continue to tell the story.
A BEAUTIFUL GIRL October 3, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Love Story, Pastoral, Subanipa Diaries, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Cecellen Cenes, Fatima Soriano, Special Children
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I first met her two years ago. She confidently sang during a program and from that time on, I always think of her. She reminded me so much of Fatima Soriano, the blind girl who speaks like an angel.
She is Cecellen Cenes, a 22 year old hydrocephalus girl in Fama, Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay. Her father already died and she is left under her aunt’s care because her mother already has another family. I was so surprised when I visited her once. Their house was a very small nipa hut, covered by sulirap, a string of woven coconut leaves.
Her aunt has a small kamanting/cassava garden at their backyard – that is their source of daily sustenance. In fact, they have camanting for their lunch. Her mother had not visited her for several years already. She has three step-brothers but she could no longer remember the last time they visited her.
“What do you do when you are alone?”, I asked her. She proudly said that she can cook, do the laundry, clean the house.
A nurse told me that for a hydrocephalus person to reach 22 – that is already an extraordinary case. She must be very special! And oh, did I tell you she is still studying? This girl is very inspiring. She related to me last June how excited she was for the opening of the classes. She is already in grade 5. At that time, she has no bag yet, no notebooks, pencils and paper. However, she believed before the classes start, her aunt will be provided by God the necessary amount for her school expenses.
I highly admire her for her faith. So bubbly, so full of hope, so inspiring and so convinced of God’s love despite her seemingly hopeless situation.
God loves her. God bless her+
DANIEL PAGADOR’S 8-HOUR MASTERPIECE October 3, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Jesus, Mabuhay, Tourism, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Tags: Daniel Pagador, Municipality of Mabuhay, Parokya San Miguel
If you are in the Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay, and you mention to the locals the name “Daniel Pagador”, their faces will surely bright up. Everybody knows him in the island. A local artist who was blest to design the orangutan landmark in Sandakan, Malaysia, Daniel has been around the island designing houses, tourist landmarks, schools, resorts, grottos. Few months ago, his cave-house here in barangay Malinao was featured in Rated K of ABS-CBN Channel 2. And here’s the good news! He offered his talent to make a painting in our altar. Believe it or not, he made it in just 8 hours!
If you want to visit this painting of Daniel Pagador, just visit my parish at Parokya San Miguel – Mabuhay, Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay. This is approximately seven hours from Zamboanga City.
POPE VISITS MISSIONARIES OF THE DIVINE WORD July 11, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Priesthood, SVD, Vatican.
Tags: Fr. Dennis Callan SVD, Fr. Giancarlo Girardi SVD, Fr. Heinz Kulüke SVD, Fr. Jerome Marquez SVD, Fr. Johannes Schütte SVD, Fr. Pat Byrne SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Pope Benedict XVI
ROME, JULY 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today made a private visit to the “Ad Gentes Centre” of the Missionaries of the Divine Word, located in the village of Nemi, close to his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
As the Vatican Information Service explained it was in that building, then called the International Centre of the Society of the Divine Word, that the Vatican Council II Commission on Missions met from 29 March to 3 April 1965.
Among the participants was a young theologian and expert of the conciliar assembly, Joseph Ratzinger.
Since January 2010 it has taken the name of the “Ad Gentes Centre”
The Holy Father was welcomed on his arrival at Nemi by Fr. Heinz Kuluke, superior general elect; Fr. Antonio Pernia superior general, and Fr. Giancarlo Girardi, procurator general. He then went to the chapel to meet with the 150 participants in the general chapter of the order and the community of the Mother House in Rome.
A Vatican Radio report described the visit as a “very personal trip down memory lane” as he returned to the house overlooking Lake Nemi, the setting of his fondest and “most memorable” recollections of the Second Vatican Council.
In a short unscripted speech he described as how in 1965 as a “a very young theologian of no great importance,” to his eternal wonder he was invited by the then Superior General of the world-wide order and Council Father, Johannes Schütte, to take part in an “important and beautiful task, to prepare a decree on mission.”
“His arrival was electric”, said Fr. Pat Byrne SVD, provincial superior for Great Britain and Ireland said. “The very first thing he did was kneel before the altar and the Blessed Sacrament and we joined him in silent prayer.”
“I am truly grateful for this opportunity to see this house in Nemi once again, after 47 years,” Pope Benedict said.
“I have fond memories of it, perhaps the most memorable of the whole Council. I lived in the center of Rome, in the Collegio dell’Anima with all the noise. This too was nice, but staying here, surrounded by this greenery, having this breath of nature, this fresh air, was in itself a beautiful thing. And then, in the company of many great theologians and a such an important and beautiful task, to prepare a decree on mission.”
“First of all, I remember, the General of that time, Father Schütte, who had suffered in China, had been convicted, then expelled: he was full of missionary zeal, the need to give new impetus to the missionary spirit and had invited me – a very young theologian of no great importance – I do not know why, but it was a great gift for me. Then there was Fulton Sheen who would fascinate us in the evenings with his talks.”
“Thus, these days gave birth to a good and beautiful decree, almost unanimously accepted by all the Fathers of the Council and which, for me, was also a very good complement to Lumen Gentium, from which we find a Trinitarian ecclesiology, that starts above all from the classical idea that bonum diffusivum sivi sui, good has the inherent need to communicate, to give of itself, it cannot remain self contained, the good thing, goodness itself is essentially communication,” the Pope continued.
“So, with these memories I have often thought of those days of Nemi that, as I said, are an essential part of the Council for me,” he added.
“And I’m happy to see that your Society flourishes – the Father General spoke of 6,000 members in many countries, from many nations. Clearly the missionary dynamic is alive, and it lives only if there is the joy of the Gospel, if we experience the good that comes from God and that must and wants to communicate itself.”
“Thank you for this dynamism. I wish you every blessing of the Lord for this Chapter, and a lot of inspiration: that the same forces inspiring power of the Holy Spirit that almost visibly accompanied us during those days may once again be present among you and help you find your path both for your Society and for the mission Ad gentes of the Gospel for the coming years,” the Pope concluded.
— from Xenit.org