World A.I.D.S. Day – Cebu Activities

World AIDS Day


What: Commemoration of WORLD AIDS DAY
When: Dec. 01, 2018 (1pm – 6pm)
Where: Plaza Independencia, Cebu City


Schedule of Activities:


1pm – 4:pm = Talk at the Tents: A focussed-group discussion (FGD)


a) On Mental Health
– Speaker: ABURAJIV A. MANABILANG of Mens University Cebu

b) HIV 101

c) On Sexual Orientation Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE)
– Speaker: GERALD L. YGAY

d) On Philippine HealthCare System
– Speaker: IRISH GRACE RAMIREZ of Aksyon Health Workers – Cebu

e) On Violence Against Women & Children
– Speaker: ANGEL TROCIO of Gabriela – Cebu

f) On Philippine Society & Culture
– Speaker: c/o Student Christian Movement of the Phils.

g) On Drug Addiction
– Speaker: FAMELA MANTUHAC of Surrender to GOD (SuGOD)

h) On Solid Waste Disposal
– Speaker: TONY C. GALON

i) Photo Exhibit
– Panaghugpong sa mga Kabus nga Taga-Dakbayan


*note: Participants can freely choose what topic(s) they want to attend. At least 40-45 minutes is given to every topic so that participants can attend at least 3 topics of their volition.


4:30pm – 6:00pm = Ecumenical Prayer and Candle Lighting: An afternoon of Prayer, Songs and Sharing of life-experiences


Other Services:
1. Free, Fast, Confidential HIV Screening
2. BP Taking
3. Random Blood Sugar Testing
4. Uric Acid Test
5. Blood Typing
6. FREE T-SHIRT PRINTING (just bring your own shirt: red or white)



SVDs, SSpS, USC Mission Meet Up with Partner Communities

University of San Carlos Talamban Campus, Cebu City

For the very first time, I attended the 3rd annual gathering of the partner communities of the SVDs, Holy Spirit Sisters and the University of San Carlos (USC) at the St. Arnold Janssen and St. Joseph Freinademetz chapel of the Talamban campus. The theme of the gathering was “Panagtambayayong Alang sa Paglambo sa Kalikupan.” The event highlighted activities related to JPIC-IDC’s promotion of good environmental practices that should be imbibed and integrated by local partners in their initiatives towards community development.


The theme of the celebration


University of San Carlos Talamban Campus, Cebu City


After the Holy Mass presided by Fr. Heinz Kulűke, SVD, the different communities were acknowledged.  I was tasked to present a video about the “Inconvenient Truth” and Sr. Sandra Clemente made a creative presentation on Laudatu Si. An interpretative dance contest was held in the afternoon.


Called to Serve


Products from Janssenville-San Pio in Dumlog, Talisay City


This annual gathering intended to recognize the achievements of local partner communities. It also aimed to provide venue for each local partner to learn and share from each other’s success stories, dreams and aspirations as a community.

T-shirt, embroidery and mug printing livelihood of our partner community from St. Arnold Janssen Village, Maghaway, Talisay City. Contact person is Mr. Edwin Ruaza: 0933-537-0713 or 0997-584-1613.


Sharing Among Parents


The date of the event was strategic: World Mission Sunday. This is so to manifest that the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) as a religious congregation, its lay partners and other SVD institutions like the JPIC-IDC and the University of San Carlos share the common vision of long-lasting change in the lives of the poor and marginalized communities they are journeying with.


Products from Janssenville Compostela, Basak and Canamucan


Products from St. Arnold Janssen Village Tangub


Products from our partner community in Bantayan Island



Photo Credit: DXGN


OCTOBER 14, 2018 (Sunday)

10 am – Arrival at Davao Airport / Motorcade to Ateneo de Davao University- Matina

11 am – Eucharistic celebration at Ateneo de Davao University- Matina

1:00 pm – Public Veneration

5:00 pm – Conference

7:00 pm – Procession to San Pedro Cathedral

8:00 pm – Public Veneration



OCTOBER 15, 2018 (Monday)

6 am – Eucharistic Celebration

12 nn – Eucharistic Celebration

5:30 pm – Eucharistic Celebration


There will be a continuous public veneration which will be interrupted only by the celebration of the Holy Mass as scheduled.



OCTOBER 16, 2018 (Tuesday)

6 am – Transfer to REMASE, Catalunan Grande

8 am – Start of Activity which is exclusive for priests and consecrated persons

4 pm – Return to San Pedro Cathedral

5:30 pm – Eucharistic Celebration

6:30 pm – Public Veneration



OCTOBER 17, 2018 (Wednesday)

6 am – Eucharistic Celebration

8 am – Motorcade to Airport





October 11-14 Schedule – Heart of St. Padre Pio – Visit to Cebu

Archdiocese of Cebu Schedule



(OCTOBER 11-14, 2018)



10:30 am – Welcome Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (Archbishop Jose Palma, DD, Archbishop of Cebu)

12:15 pm to 7 pm – Regular Masses

7:45 pm – Procession around the block of the Cathedral

9:00 pm – Holy Mass with Healing Session (Fr. Joselin Gonda, Parish Priest, National Shrine of St. Padre Pio







5:30 am – Regular Masses (5:30 am – 10:30 am)

10:30 am – Farewell Mass (Msgr. Ruben Labajo, Team Moderator, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral)

12:15 pm – Departure for IEC Pavilion

12:00 nn – Registration for the Recollection of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons in the Visayas

1:00 pm – Conference: The Person, Priesthood and Spirituality of St. Padre Pio (Fr. Joselin Gonda, Rector, St. Padre Pio National Shrine)

2:00 pm – Conference: Renewed Servant Leaders (Clergy) for the New Evangelization (Msgr. Buenaventura Famadico, DD, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Clergy)

3:00 pm – Conference: Renewed Servant Leaders (Consecrated Persons) for the New Evangelization (Sr. Joy Carmel Jumawan, Executive Secretary of the Commission on Mutual Relations between Bishops and Religious)

4:00 pm – Reflection and Prayer

4:30 pm – Break

5:00 pm – Holy Mass with Renewal of Priestly Promises and Religious Vows


(The IEC will be closed for the re-arrangement and cleaning of the venue)


9:00 pm – Holy Mass with Healing Session (Msgr. Buenaventura Famadico, DD, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Clergy)







6:00 am – VENERATION

8:00 am – Holy Mass sponsored by St. Padre Pio Communities in the Visayas

9:00 am to 3:00 pm – VENERATION

3:00 pm – Holy Mass sponsored by World Apostolate of Fatima (Msgr. Ruben Labajo, Spiritual Director of WAF-Cebu)

4:00 pm to 9:00 pm – VENERATION

9:00 pm – Holy Mass with Healing Session

10:00 pm – VENERATION

12:00 mn – Anticipated Holy Mass (Fr. Jonald Concha, Vicar for the Clergy of Cebu)





6:00 am – Farewell Concelebrated Mass (Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu)




October 5-11 Schedule – Heart Relic of St. Padre Pio – Visit to the Philippines

Photo Credit: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila website

October 5, 2018 (Friday) –  Arrival at NAIA; Evening Motorcade to the Shrine; Welcome liturgy and Holy Mass


October 6-7, 2018 (Saturday and Sunday) – National Shrine of St. Padre Pio; concelebrated Mass at 9 am; veneration and confession


Photo Credit: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila website

October 8, 2018: Day of the Clergy and Consecrated People

10 am – Arrival of the Relic and welcome liturgy, conferences, reflection, prayers and veneration (exclusive for the clergy and the religious)

4:30 pm – Short procession to Plaza Mayor, Mass (open for all); Presider: Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan and CBCP Vice President

After the Mass, veneration will be open to the public overnight at the Santissimo Rosario Parish


October 9, 2018

7:30 am – Farewell Mass and eventual transfer to Manila Cathedral (The Manila Cathedral will be open 24 hours to allow many devotees to venerate the relic. Confessions will also be available)

9:00 am – Arrival of the Relic and Welcome Mass

12:10 pm – Holy Mass

6:00 pm – Holy Mass


October 10, 2018

7:30 am – Holy Mass

12:10 pm – Holy Mass

6:00 pm – Holy Mass

October 11, 2018

6:00 am – Farewell Mass and departure of the relic to the Archdiocese of Cebu


Silsilah in Jolo to Rebuild Hope

Photo Credit: “Oasis News” of Silsilah Dialogue Movement

Disclaimer: The author is  Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME (center, above photo) – known as the founder of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. Touched by an experience of conflict between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao and inspired by God’s dialogue with people of all cultures and religions, Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra PIME, with a group of Muslim and Christian friends, started the Silsilah Dialogue Movement in Zamboanga City on May 9, 1984. Silsilah is an Arabic word which literally means “Chain” or “Link”. It is used by the (Muslim Mystics) to describe a process of attaining an experience of the Divine. The same root word is used as “genealogical tree” which implies a spiritual chain of humanity as created by the same God. Thus, “Silsilah” in the Movement is taken as an inspiring and key concept to describe Muslims, Christians and other people of living faiths who are moving together towards a common vision and mission of dialogue and peace.




Jolo has a long history.  It is in the Southern part of the Philippines along the Sulu Sea going toward Borneo and Indonesia. It was in that area that Islam   arrived in 1380 and Jolo was the center of the first Sultanate organized in the peninsula before the arrival of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. In more recent times, Jolo became the center of the movement of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a revolutionary movement that emerged in 1972. The sultanate of Jolo still now claims part of Borneo offered to Jolo then in the past.  These important events in the history of Jolo brought us to reflect: What is happening to Jolo now?



Many attribute this situation to the presence of the Abu Sayyaf and new groups similar to Abu Sayyaf, others to the strong polarization of power in the hands of a few, others also to a strong presence of radical groups. I believe all these elements are contributing to make Jolo today a difficult place for all, especially for the Christians who, before, reached   10% of the population maintaining good relations among Muslims and Christians. But now the Christians are only 1% over a population of more than two hundred thousand. The Catholic cathedral is always guarded by the military and the Christians now are the favorite targets of bad elements. For this reason the Christians are leaving Jolo. This situation makes good Muslims in Jolo   ashamed because  it was not this way before. Muslims, Christians and Chinese in Jolo used to respect each other. Now, even good Muslim families who wish to live peacefully are leaving Jolo or have their houses also in Zamboanga City or other parts of the country.


Photo Credit: “Oasis News” of Silsilah Dialogue Movement


I was there a few days ago to meet the alumni of Silsilah. During my visit, I went to   the capitol where the Silsilah Forum built a Harmony Post ten years ago as a sign of hope and harmony in Jolo.  I also went to pray in the cathedral where in the little garden inside the fence of the church, there is the tomb of Bishop Ben de Jesus, killed in front of the church in 1997. He was a friend and an alumnus of Silsilah. When he was elected bishop of Jolo, he came to see me and asked to attend the Silsilah courses to be ready to face the reality of Jolo. The memory of Bishop Ben is still alive in the hearts of many Christians and Muslims in Jolo; he was loved by the people. During this last visit to Jolo, I also visited the victims of the recent fire in one area.  It was a big fire that affected more than three thousand   families.


I went to Jolo to share solidarity and to meet especially the leaders of the Silsilah Core group of Jolo. More than twenty arrived and it was a long sharing. I listened to painful stories, but also joyful ones and I realized that there is still hope and commitment in the midst of the reality of Jolo.   One experience that touched me most was the sharing of a young Muslim teacher who said: “ I  teach in a rural area near Jolo and  often  we hear   bombing in the near  area.  The children are afraid, but also we teachers are afraid”. Another said: “For us bombing is becoming familiar in Jolo.”



After listening to these and other stories with many details I asked the group: “What do you do in this situation?”Many suggestions came up from their sharing.  They are determined to be more active and united. They also suggested to reopen the Silsilah Center in Jolo, and also to have   training on trauma healing, things that we have done in the past to help. They also suggested to  restart  the formation for Madaris gurus, the teachers of Islamic  schools, and  for the Catechists, for  the Christian teaching and  also to reactivate  the group of the  Inter faith  Council of Leaders. These and other sharing made me realize that the spirit of dialogue is still alive there, like the fire under the ashes that needs to be reactivated and  we decided to  do all that is  possible. In fact soon, we will re-open the Silsilah Center in the center of the city, a place offered by the bishop of Jolo. I saw the coordinators of the Silsilah Forum Jolo regaining courage.


We never stop to hope in Silsilah. We will reactivate the presence of Silsilah in Jolo in spite of the alarming news that make us realize that Silsilah is indeed called to move “with hope in the midst of divisions and conflicts.”


Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME
Founder, Silsilah Dialogue Movement




N.B. I am an alumnus of Silsilah Dialogue Movement in Zamboanga. 🙂