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NAMAMASKO PO!!! December 24, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Christmas, Jesus, Mama Mary, Pastoral, Personal Message, Subanipa Diaries.
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120 comments

Christmas 2006

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Nakaugalian ko na na magpost ng Christmas message tuwing Pasko. Habang naghahanap ako ng magandang salawikain patungkol sa Pasko, nakita ko ang isang sinabi ni William Vaughan a.k.a Burton Hillis,

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. “

Ouch! I read it with pain. Kailan ba ako last nakapagpasko sa amin? I remember my mother in Davao. Sabi kasi niya, ang makakakumpleto daw ng Pasko niya ay ang presence ko at ng kapatid ko na nasa Caloocan.

Ouch again.

This is not only true in my case bilang isang paring misyonero. It is also true to many Filipinos around the world who left our dear homeland in search of greener pastures. Our dear OFWs bravely left their families and loved ones here in the Philippines.  Armed with hope, pinipilit nilang maging masaya kahit malayo sa pamilya, ang kanilang tanging yaman. This Christmas I pray(+)  in a special way for all Filipino missionaries and siyempre, my blogger friends abroad – Superlolong Pinoy, TopexpressBoni Station, Flamindevil, Pinkdiaries, Dencios (na nagsara ng blog), Jaggedjagger, Kuya Blu, Mommy Pokz, Darbs, Daddy Nonsense, King, Lee, Glaiza (honorary blogger) at marami pang iba…

Malayo man sa family, masaya ang Pasko ko. Since December 12, araw araw may Christmas party dito. Sa bawat baryo na pinupuntahan ko, yun din ang date ng kanilang Christmas party kaya todo busog ako all the time. Once, nai-post ko nga sa aking facebook shoutout: “Crabs, octopus, squid, cake, apples, shells, tuna, shrimps — punta nga kayo dito para maubos lahat ng mga pagkain dito sa parokya ko.”

True talaga. Inuulan ng blessings ang Pasko namin dito sa parokya. Tatlo kaming pari and we are very thankful to God because despite the poverty of our people, di nila nakakalimutan ang magbigay. Some of our fisherfolks actually stopped fishing na because of extortion from pirates.

Christmas 2007

But more than all these, masaya ako dahil muli, wini-welcome ko si Bro sa puso ko.

I remember the first Christmas:  the simplicity of the manger.

I give thanks to the God who chose to be born among us. Emmanuel.

Thanks Bro!

Sana ang dasal naming mga SVD ay maging dasal nyo rin: “May the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.”

Merry Christmas sa inyong lahat. GROUP HUG!!!

Christmas 2008

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THE SVD, THE VIRGIN AND THE PHILIPPINES September 11, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Arnold Janssen, Mama Mary, Pink Sisters, SVD, SVD Philippines Centennial.
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121 comments

Note: This is the summarized version of my article that will soon come out in the coffee table book about the 100 years of missionary presence of the SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) or the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines.

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The Virgin of the Poor – Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay

THE APPEARANCE OF THE VIRGIN

Have you seen this image of the Blessed Virgin Mary? This is the Lady of Banneux or more popularly known as the “Virgin of the Poor.” On the 15th of January 1933 (24th death anniversary of our founder St. Arnold Janssen), a silent apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary happened to a young girl named Mariette Beco in Banneux Norte Dame, province of Liége, Belgium. In this apparition, the Blessed Virgin introduced herself as the “Virgin of the Poor” and it quickly spread like fire. Soon after, on the Feast of the Assumption of that same year, the chapel requested by Our Lady was blest and was attended by sixty thousand people. On August 22, 1949, the Bishop of Liége recognized the authenticity of the apparitions at Banneux.

THE POVERTY OF OUR BEGINNINGS

It was the poverty of our humble beginnings in the SVD Philippine mission that inspired Fr. Joseph Heuwagen, SVD to bring the first statue of the Virgin of the Poor to our country. From later part of the 1950’s until the 1980s, the German Secretariat of Banneux dispatched statues for their compatriots’ mission stations around the world. During Fr. Joseph Heuwagen’s visit to Banneux in the autumn of 1957, German pilgrims donated him a statue of the Virgin of the Poor. He brought the statue upon his return from his home leave. He wrote,

It is interesting that the customs in Manila released the statue on 15 January, anniversary of the first apparition…The statue arrived in February. As day of its blessing, I chose 2 March, the last day of the apparition in Banneux, so that I would have enough time to make the Virgin of the Poor known through sermons and public relations. (Jungfrau der Armen, n°3/1958, translated by Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD)

The site of the very first statue of the Virgin of the Poor in the Philippines was St. Joseph Parish, Claveria, Cagayan, some 600 km at the northernmost tip of Luzon. Fr. Joseph also reported that the attendance of the rosary has doubled! He added that his confrere was also surprised to see that never in the past two years so many people received Holy Communion during March.

Since then, many statues of the Virgin of the Poor were installed by the Divine Word Missionaries in various parts of the country.

Fr. Francis Kutscher, SVD donated a statue to the people in the town of Binmaley, Pangasinan in 1961. Eventually, the Virgin of the Poor became the patroness of the town’s municipal seat.

Fr. Herman Hermes, SVD also enshrined another statue of the Virgin of the Poor in the village chapel in Velasco, Tayum, Abra in 1962.

Bishop William Joseph Duschak, SVD also received several statues for the Vicariate of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro from 1960s to 1970s. He even encouraged that all people who come to Church must approach the Virgin and greet her first and say goodbye to her after the Holy Mass. One of these statues can be seen at the St. Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA) in Tagaytay City.

Fr. Victor Tunkel, SVD was one of the recipients of the Lady’s image from Bishop Duschak. He had it installed at the Blessed Trinity Parish in Baco, Oriental, Mindoro. When he became the director of Villa Cristo Rey in Christ the King, he procured another image for its chapel. The other image of the Virgin of the Poor beside the Shrine of the Divine Word in Christ the King was installed by Fr. Georg Heinemann, SVD in 1974. He was also the one who installed the Virgin of the Poor in Divine Word Seminary of Tagaytay.

Fr. George Koschincki, SVD was also a recipient of the statue in 1970.

Fr. Joseph Watzlawik, SVD also enshrined the Virgin of the Poor at the Sto. Niňo Parish in Guba, Cebu in 1971.

Fr. Bernard Pues, SVD offered another statue in 1974 to his good friends Feliciano and Thelma Magsakay in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro. The statue was transferred to the Magsakay Residence in Paraňaque in 1991 and since then, the statue has joined the annual procession on the feast of the Divine Mercy.

In 1976, Fr. Godehard Schaller, SVD installed the Virgin of the Poor near the tomb of Msgr. Antonio Buenafe, SVD, former rector of ST. Joseph Minor Seminary of Bangued, Abra.

Fr. Paul Scholl, SVD also reported a statue of the Virgin of the Poor at Sto. Niňo Parish in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro in 1984. That same year, Fr. Johan Glanemann, SVD also received a statue for the now Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Tigbao, Leyte.

In 1990, the SVD parish of the Risen Christ in Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila also received a statue of the Virgin of the Poor courtesy of Sr. Bernadette Winkel, SSpS. The ever-active Blue Sister spent her apostolate in the area.

Fr. Dino Ariola, SVD received a statue in 1996 and he had it enshrined at the Holy Name University (formerly Divine Word College).

Locally made images of the Virgin of the Poor also circulated. One of these is the one located at the SVD Retreat House in Tangalan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. This image was installed by Fr. Erwin Thiel, SVD. However, this property has been sold to the Locsin family.

On the 50th anniversary of the recognition of the apparitions (1999), three of the four sites visited by pilgrims from Quezon City were related to the SVD and all three were in Tagaytay City: First, the legionaries went to the St. Augustine Major Seminary (once administered by SVD); Then, they also put the invocations to the Virgin of the Poor at the Lady’s grotto in Divine Word Seminary-Tagaytay, and; they also honored the Lady at the cloister garden of the Pink Sisters -Tagaytay.

THE SVD AND VIRGIN OF THE POOR TODAY

The intimacy between the Virgin of the Poor and the Divine Word Missionaries also extended to our co-missionaries. On year 2000, the DWST librarian Woody Mallari installed a local image of the Virgin of the Poor in the DWST library which attracted many seminarians, priests and visitors. Kuya Woody, as we call him, also helped in the propagation of the image.

Since 2006, SVD ordinands in Tagaytay received a statue of the Virgin of the Poor on the day of their ordination, courtesy of Lei Lopez, a good friend of the SVD. The Sangmithi Class was the first to receive on February 2006, followed by Yobel Class on February 2007; then, Dakit Class on February 2008, and Pantas Class on December of the same year.

This is a testament that the Virgin of the Poor continues to draw her SVD sons to herself, especially the younger generations to always connect us with the poverty of our beginnings and to constantly remind us to continue our mission for the poor.

mary03

Seminarista Pa Lang Ako Nito

— The author would like to thank Milagros I. Dolores, author of the book The Virgin of the Poor: A Tribute from her Filipino Children.

Check out the latest update on BASE AWARDS.

Next post will be September 14, Monday.

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FREE DAY! September 5, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Arnold Janssen, JPIC, Mama Mary, Mission Anecdotes, OMG!, Subanipa Diaries, SVD, Tourism.
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264 comments

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I really love going to the sea. You see, Pisces po ang zodiac ko and I always affiliate myself with water. Ang sarap maligo sa dagat! But I am always reminded by my parishioners here in Olutanga Island to stay away from the sea because there are pirates and small-time kidnappers. Nakakatakot din makidnap ha. Virgin and martyr ang labas ko nyan!

2_448440495lSi Ate Inday and Mga Suki niya sa Copra

But, last Monday, Ate Inday texted me that we go to Long Beach, Moalboal, still of part of Subanipa town of Olutanga Island. It was so sudden, yon daw ang strategy…di dapat pinagplanuhan pag maligo sa dagat…so that no bad elements can also plan against us.

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Naghahanda si Manong ng Lunch

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Ang isa naming kasama iba ang pinag-iinitan…

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Halu-halong Crabs, Octopus, Fishes

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This is not Boracay! This is Long Beach, Moalboal, Olutanga Island. White sand yan! Paging, investors!

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Wala akong kalaban sa pagswi-swimming! Ako lang ang malakas ang loob na naligo dito. Strategy din ito na maligo during low tide para di masyado makalapit ang mga bangka na galing sa laot. So, in case kidnappers come, makakatakbo pa ang baby priest.

2_680191482lThis is Dargum, our bodyguard

But more than this strategy, I also learn to entrust my life to God each day. Naniniwala ako na di ako pababayaan ni Bro. Pag nasa loob na ako ng room ko every night, I pray na bantayan niya ako lagi. To Bro, I entrust my full trust and confidence. Thanks Bro!

P.S. Happy Birthday to Rye (September 6)! Rev. Benjo, SVD (September 7)! Marie (September 7)! Lhen (September 8)! Mama Mary (September 8)! SVD (September 8)! Frt. Mannix, SVD (September 9)

P.S. This is my first post for the Base Awards. The next post will be September 12.

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KAINAN NG BAYAN August 22, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Family Feast, Jesus, Mama Mary, Mission Anecdotes, Politics, Subanipa Diaries.
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127 comments

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Procession During the Fiesta

GEDC5022Ako at si Mama Mary

Fiesta sa aming parokya dito sa Olutanga tuwing August 15. Masaya ako kasi maraming mga tao ang lumapit sa akin at nagpasalamat dahil sa ginawa ni Fr. Roger Alasan, SVD, ang pioneer SVD missionary dito sa isla four years ago. He united the LGU and the Parish. Dati kasi bago siya dumating, ang town fiesta at ang parochial fiesta ay separate. Dati naman talagang August 15 ang fiesta ngunit dahil sa mga di maiiwasang “irreconcilable differences” ng dating parish priest at ng mayor, nilipat ang fiesta sa third week of November.

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Fr. Roger Alasan, SVD

(note: I first met him when I was assigned in Surigao.

Akala ko siya si Lito Legaspi!)

Pero nang dumating si Fr. Roger Alasan, SVD ay talagang sinikap niyang maging magkaibigan ang LGU at ang parokya. Dahil sa kanyang initiative at dala na rin ng peaceful dialogue (which is one of the trademarks ng SVD), nagkaroon ng memorandum of understanding. And what better way to celebrate unity kundi sa isang banquet!

Please welcome, ang aming KAINAN NG BAYAN!

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Sari-saring Shells

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Fr. Dan: “Wag muna tayong mag-usap Bishop. Concentrate muna.”

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Bishop Julius Tonnel and Mayor Joel Capotulan

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Crabs of Different Sizes

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Masarap!

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Indeed, Kainan ng Bayan

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Like the multiplication of bread, they all ate and were satisfied…

GEDC5151…and there were twelve baskets left…

MORE PICTURES HERE!!!

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THE PATRON SAINT OF FUTURE LEADERS August 5, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Jesus, Mama Mary, Politics, Prayers, Saints, Showbiz, Vatican.
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89 comments

Usap-usapan ngayon sa mga chatrooms and even many Catholic circles kung gagawin bang isang santa si Tita Cory. Facebook recently launched the cause Support the Canonization of Cory Aquino. Fr. Joseph Alonzo referred to her as a “living saint” during the novena at Greenbelt. My good friend Bluepanjeet also asked the question, Is Cory Aquino a Candidate for Sainthood?

Marami ang nagsasabi na siya nga ay isang santa. Lalo pa in these times na uhaw sa isang good and moral governance ang ating mahal na Inang Bayan, many look to Tita Cory as “the one.”

Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ mentioned that may nakasulat sa likod ng picture na binigay ni Cory sa kanya: “I have crosses and roses. I cannot complain.”

Awww…beautiful!

u0M

Here are some of the quotes of Tita Cory I gathered around the net, a testament of her faith…

1. “There is much that women can bring into politics that would make our world a kinder, gentler place for humanity to thrive in.”

2. “As I came to power peacefully, so I shall keep it.”

3. “I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”

4. “Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things – with resignations, yes, but above all, with serene, blazing hope.”

5. “I am not embarrased to tell you that I believe in miracles.”

6. “I guess my religious faith sustained me more than anything else.”

7. “It wasn’t until we got over the self pity that we were able to accept suffering sufferign as apart of our life with Christ.  A man or woman reaches this plane when only when he or she ceases to be the hero.”

8. “It’s not just in politics that you can be a servant of the people, you can do it in so many other ways.”

9. “I am not an icon of democracy. You are all, collectively, the icon of democracy.”

10. “I would like to ask the many Filipino people to pray together, to help each other so that we will be able to preserve the democracy we restored 20 years ago.”

God bless you Tita Cory…+

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DALANGIN KO SA MAYKAPAL July 23, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Jesus, Mama Mary, Prayers.
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34 comments

Sinimulan ito ni Dfish.

Na-touch si Jorge.

Na-inspire din ako.

bro1

Friend, who do you want to wish good health and well-being today or the coming days?

I have 5.

1. Madam Cory Aquino. – Lord, alam nyo po ano ang the best para sa kanya.

2. Kapatid ni Lhen. -  Blogger friend ko po si Lhen. Isang  litratistang katekista.

3. Sunga Families in Marikina – labs ko po ang families na ito, lalo na po si Baby Rice.

4. Leopoldo Funa – isama nyo rin po sa kanya patience.

5.  Para po sa sister ko, si Farrah.

JO5L0051

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INVITATION TO A PILGRIMAGE July 19, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Mama Mary, Pilgrimage, Tourism.
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50 comments

fatima

Gusto nyo ba sumama sa isang spiritual journey sa mga Marian and miracle sites of faith in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France?

Join ka with Rev. Fr. Arlo Yap, SVD this coming October 14 to 31, 2009.

This pilgrimage is consolidated by Ephesus Travel and Tours, Unit 203 Puso ng Maynila Building, UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, 1000.

For more info, please text or call: 0917-893-8267 or 0917-576-1739 or 0922-849-0408.

This pilgrimage is organized by Ms. Pearl Buenafe.

JO5L0051

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NOVENA PRAYER FOR CORY AQUINO July 2, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Jesus, Mama Mary, Politics, Prayers.
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30 comments

cory

Our Father in heaven, Source of goodness and strength, Author of life and love, with contrite hearts, we come to You today in a novena of Healing Masses for Tita Cory. Our hearts are burdened because of the illness of our beloved former president and the pain and discomfort she has to endure.

You took the hand of our dear sister Cory, as she struggled through every trial, as she confronted every challenge, and embraced every cross of her life. Take her hand now and have mercy on her and upon all poor souls who are in agony and make Your will known to them.

Lord Jesus, You chose to take on our human nature, to redeem all people and to heal the sick. We beg You to look with compassion on Your humble servant, Cory Aquino and all cancer patients. Strengthen them with Your power, comfort them with Your protection, and give them the strength needed to fight this battle. You have chosen them to share in Your own passion, help them find hope and reason in suffering like You.

You are the Divine Healer, the Source of wisdom and light. Stay with Tita Cory, Lord, for it is You alone she looks for, because she loves You and asks no other reward but to love You even more. She loves You with all her heart while on earth and will continue to love You forever.

Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, bless and protect the family of Tita Cory, her children and her grandchildren. Let them feel the grace that abounds from You. Beseech them to surrender their fears and anxieties at Your feet. Help them seek solace in Your presence. Let them find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over suffering and even death. Send them Your peace, Lord, the peace that surpasses all understanding. And may the goodness and greatness that come from You dwell in their hearts.

In the name of God the Almighty Father Who created Tita Cory, in the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, Who suffered and died for her and in the name of the Holy Spirit, grant that the last beat of her heart may be an act of perfect love for You. Thank you, Lord, for the Cross. Thank You, Lord, for the resurrection. And lastly, dear God, take pity on our souls too, when the hour of the final battle shall arrive for all of us. All these we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer from the Cory Aquino Website

JO5L0051

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HE KNEW THE TIME OF HIS DEATH! January 29, 2009

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Mama Mary, OMG!.
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7 comments

Did you ever know of someone who prayed the rosary faithfully and eventually knew the time of his/her death?

I do. Yes, I do.

In fact, I am very close to the family. This family gave me a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary last 2005 for my apostolate area. However, I was not given a specific weekend assignment because I was appointed to our SVD Mission Partners. So, the Blessed Virgin stayed in our seminarians’ dining hall. Last year, the image was lost for several months but was returned later (nobody claimed to have borrowed it). At present, the image is in my room.

Let us call him “Tatang.” Tatang was a devout Catholic who prayed the rosary. In fact, “Ima” (his wife) married him because “he was religious and his devotion to the rosary impressed me a lot.”

Few years ago, Tatang became sick. More than 70 years old already, he often stayed in bed or at times, he would watch tv while in his rocking chair.

Later last year, he began to mention the date “November 4″ and started reminding the members of his family, “Mahal ka ni Mama Mary” (Mama Mary Loves You). Whenever his daughter Agnes enters the room, he would make the gesture of the sign of the cross and would assert that he sees the Blessed Virgin.

And he looks forward with joy, “Kaylan ba darating ang November 4?”…and everybody in the house were clueless about it.

On November 4, Tatang died peacefully…He died peacefully on the date he had been mentioning. It was only then that his family members understood. Mama Mary granted him the privilege to know the time of his death and Tatang looked forward to it with joyful anticipation.

Today, the family continued their apostolate of giving Mama Mary images to propagate the devotion to her.

I PERSONALLY, INTIMATELY KNOW THIS FAMILY….AND THEY ALSO WANTED TO LET OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THE ABUNDANT GRACES MARY BESTOWS ON HER CHILDREN WHO ARE DEVOTED TO PRAYING THE ROSARY.

Mama Mary Loves You!

JO5L0051

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MAKATI RALLY PHOTO BLOG February 29, 2008

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in JPIC, Mama Mary, Politics.
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7 comments
Mama Mary leads the rally.

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Seminarians from different congregations as human cordon.

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This young lady in wheelchair is mobbed by the media people before the prayer rally at Don Bosco. She also supports the cause of finding the truth. Later in Makati, I also see her there, nearer the stage. She is inspiring!

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This is one of my favorite statements. Simple, but it rocks!

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Vendors grab this opportunity to also increase their sales. The popcorn is selling like hotcakes!

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A seminarian plays a trick with some of the street children who seem to be amused at the sight of so many people.

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My professor in Moral Theology gives me a thumbs up sign.

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This picture is funny.

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Si Sister busy sa texting…

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Sister Mary John Mananzan is sharing her experience how the sisters manages to escort Lozada at La Salle.

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Now, that’s me…

JO5L0051

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