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SVD Mission in Surigao Affected by Earthquake February 25, 2017

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Surigao, OMG!, Pastoral, SVD Philippine Southern Province.
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Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

The lone SVD parish in Surigao was badly affected by the Northeastern Mindanao earthquake with a moment magnitude of 6.7 and a maximum intensity VII (very strong) last February 10, 2017, 10:03 pm. “There are cracks all over the place,” reported by Fr. Yohanes Dua Dani Bao, the Indonesian parish priest.

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

Even the mission school founded by the parish back in 2003 was not spared. “Some of the cabinets fell flat, many of the academic materials destroyed,” he added.

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

Few weeks ago in a separate interview, Fr. Yohanes relayed his enthusiasm that many parents approached him wanting their children to enroll in the mission school. “Many of our pupils became outstanding students when they go to Surigao West, Pilot School, CV Diez and St. Paul College.”

Photo Credit: Fr. John Dua, SVD

Photo Credit: Fr. John Dua, SVD

At present, the parish mission school has 48 pupils composed  of 3 levels of Nursery 1, Nursery 2 and Kindergarten.

 

Earlier, the Surigao City government had declared the entire city under the state of calamity.

 

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

Photo Credit: Hershey Bason Surada

 

 

Awesome Pollinators August 5, 2016

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Archdiocese of Davao, JPIC, OMG!.
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Entrance of Monfort Bat Sanctuary

Entrance of Monfort Bat Sanctuary

Monfort Bat Cave (Samal Island), Davao Region, Philippines:

The largest known colony of an estimated 2.5 million

Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus)

in the world.

These bats are the major pollinators of durian.

Interestingly, they also show no sign of slowing down.

Female bats here in Samal are continuously pregnant,

a departure from the bats’ usual seasonal gestation habits.

Wow.

Bats!

Bats!

 

Bats...

Bats…

 

...bats...

…bats…

 

..and more bats!

..and more bats!

Fiel Clan’s Oldest Living Twins February 7, 2016

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Fiel Clan, OMG!.
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(Photo Credit: Dr. Boyet Solis)

(Photo Credit: Dr. Boyet Solis)

I lost count of the number of twins we have in our clan. But today, I am just so happy to see the oldest living twins in our FIEL CLAN celebrating their 80th birthday: Celerino “Lolong” Fiel Solis and Celerina “Lily” Fiel Solis-Mendoza. It was uncle Lolong who handed to me the list of relatives he kept from one of Fiel Clan reunions organized by Mayor Eutiquio Famor and his wife Auntie Trinidad “Ining” Maravillas Fiel-Famor many, many years ago in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. I know that Uncle Lolong has a twin, but I was really clueless that it is Auntie Lily. Now I know, Auntie Lily’s real name is Celerina. Hehe. 🙂  And oh, I knew their parents too. As a child in the 80s, I used to visit Lolo Toto and Lola Eling’s house in San Pedro, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. Laagan man gud ko sauna gud. Mangitag salag sa tamsi ug pirok-pirok. 🙂

I Like the Works of Vito Selma February 23, 2014

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Cebu, OMG!, Tourism.
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I just moved from my island mission area to the metro city of  Cebu last month and so I am still trying to make myself familiar with all the geography, landmarks, peoples, and events here. It feels really great nga kanang free kaayo ko ba nga maglakaw-lakaw diri sa Cebu, something that I could not do while I was in Zamboanga. You see, I was always guarded by CAFGUs/military escorts for several years. Tapos, pag-abot diri sa siyudad sa Sugbu, free kaayo ko maglatagaw sa Colon ug magtabuk-tabuk sa dalan sa Fuente without fear nga naay mopunit nako for kidnap for ransom ba.

 

When I was invited for the 110 anniversary celebration of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Ayala the other day, I was actually worried because wala ko kadumdum sa The Gallery. Hahaha, kay alang-alang, bag-o pa lang gud ko diri sa Cebu mao nga effort kaayo ning pagpangita sa mga likoonon, subidahonon ug mga baktasunon.

 

Anyway, when I was already at the Ayala, the best thing really was to ask the sekyu for directions. Dili man gud ko kabalo atong swipe-swipe nila for directions. Anyway, the venue was easy to locate but what took me too long to reach The Gallery was this:

Masterpiece: Baud (Wave)

Masterpiece: Baud (Wave)

Nice no?

 

This is the work of Vito Selma – a Cebuano designer. His family has been a major player in the furniture industry in the for 3 decades. He was also awarded one of The Outstanding Business Young Leaders (TOBYL) by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

His works has been displayed in many many parts of th world, including the Espacio Nudage Exhibit in Santander, Spain (dili Santander Cebu ha). He has also raised funds to support his many advocacies.

Vito Selma Creation

Vito Selma Creation

Vito Selma Creation

Vito Selma Creation

Vito Selma Creation

Vito Selma Creation

One look at it and you know it’s a work of a Filipino.

One look at it and you know it’s a work of a Filipino.

 

 

 

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Awards The Outstanding Business Young Leaders February 23, 2014

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Archdiocese of Cebu, Cebu, OMG!.
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Happy 110th at The Gallery, Ayala

Happy 110th at The Gallery, Ayala

It’s been twice that I was invited to the events of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Not because I am a priest/missionary or I am known to them, but because they sent an invitation to our station DYRF to cover the event. For twice already, the station was also faithful in covering the events in the business industry in the Queen City of the South.

Last February 21, the CCCI had their celebration of Centennial + 10 anniversary at the Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu. The big names in Cebu business industry were there. It was also graced by the presence of the past presidents of the CCCI  and their partners.

One of the highlights of the celebration was the awarding of The Outstanding Business Young Leaders (TOBYL). Here they are:

Edward Vincent Onglatco Hyundai Cebu Group

Edward Vincent Onglatco
Hyundai Cebu Group

From 2007 to 2009, the Hyundai Cebu was awarded as the Philippines’ Dealer of the Year and was the Asia-Pacific Dealer of the Year in 2007 and 2009. Thus, Hyundai Cebu Group is counted among the 300 dealers in the region.

 

Vito Angelo D. Selma Stonesets International Inc.

Vito Angelo D. Selma
Stonesets International Inc.

Vito comes from the family that has been a major player in the furniture industry for nearly three decades. I love his furniture designs! It was all over the Gallery of Ayala. I will blog about his designs in my next post. You should watch out for it.

 

Enrilen Joy T. Benedicto Enrison Land Inc.

Enrilen Joy T. Benedicto
Enrison Land Inc.

Enrison Land Incorporated is a new dynamic resort group based in Cebu and they are now rapidly expanding in Visayas region, especially in Bohol. I wonder how is she related to Ambassador Francisco Benedicto (former CCCI President) who I met through Fr. Bobby Ebisa, SVD few days ago in one lunch.

 

Christian T. Paro-an RC Goldline Saleshop Corporation

Christian T. Paro-an
RC Goldline Saleshop Corporation

RC Goldline Saleshop Corporation is one of the innovative and leading wholesale and retailers of latest gadgets and accessories with gold service and trusted name in the telecommunication industry for the past 16 years. Christian believes that the principle of active citizenship would help our society and one’s self to become better.

 

Jason S. Yap NUTECH

Jason S. Yap
NUTECH

NUTECH started with 5 employees and now one of the most-sought in terms of providing I.T and security products in city. Kung gusto mong magpakabit ng CCTV, NUTECH is “the one”! I like his mantra: “A happy person is a happy family member. A happy family member is a happy citizen of the country. A happy citizen of the country is a happy world.” Nakupo, wala pa pala kaming CCTV sa aming radio station!

 

Katherine K. Cheng Baker Bob and Kates Bakery Products, Inc.

Katherine K. Cheng
Baker Bob and Kates Bakery Products, Inc.

Believe it or not, this company grew from 1 employee to eventually 10 outlets. It’s value proposition is “delicious, fresh products within a modern retail store concept.” Saan kaya ang branch niya dito sa Cebu?

 

 

I highly salute these outstanding business young leaders for their contribution to the growing Cebooom industry. Their efforts are worth following.  To these young leaders, always keep your feet on the ground and know at all times who you are in the Lord. You are not defined by your bank accounts or by how many plaques and certificates you received. Your ups and downs are invitations for you to share your testimony with others about the great things the Lord has done in your business. The Almighty too, wants you to be fine examples of His light and love. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

 

 

 

SVD Institutions After Yolanda December 11, 2013

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in JPIC, OMG!, SVD.
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When the typhoon Yolanda (International name Haiyan) struck Visayas last month, several SVD institutions were also badly damaged. No Divine Word Missionaries were reported to be missing or dead. Our SVD hospital, immediately came to the rescue of the victims and was even reported to be the only hospital that opened, despite being crippled, in the aftermath of Yolanda.

Liceo del Verbo Divino from Afar

Liceo del Verbo Divino from Afar

Holy Name University, Bohol

Holy Name University, Bohol

Outside the Liceo

Outside the Liceo

Our school lost its roof

Our school lost its roof

Liceo at Another Angle

Liceo at Another Angle

Divine Word Hospital of Tacloban

Divine Word Hospital of Tacloban

The Longest Biko (Sticky Rice Cake) in the World November 6, 2013

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Diocese of Ipil, Mabuhay, Mission Anecdotes, OMG!, Pastoral, Tourism, Zamboanga Sibugay.
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The Photo That Landed on I CHOOSE PHILIPPINES

The Photo That Landed on I CHOOSE PHILIPPINES

For press release:

Here’s some piece of good news about Zamboanga, Philippines! The Parokya San Miguel of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay in cooperation with the Local Government Unit and other participating parishes and institutions recently had our Guinness World Record bid for the longest sticky rice cake (called biko in the local dialect) in the world. Listed under the claim I.D. # 436682 of the Guinnesss Records Management Team. The biko measured 360 meters and 10 cm with 1 inch thickness and 12 inches width.

The attempt for the longest biko was  part of our parochial fiesta celebration last September 30, 2013. Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD – the parish priest together with Fr. Manuel Mijares, SVD, the parochial vicar explained that “this idea to set a world record came as part of the halal (not forbidden) fellowship move to welcome those of other religions and denominations” It was observed that during fiesta, while merry-making includes everybody, sometimes the minorities are being left out during meals since fiestas in the Philippines mean lechon (roasted pig) on the table, thus our Muslim brothers and sisters cannot join us. The Guinness bid eventually became a uniting factor for the Muslims, Christians and the indigenous people called Subanens in the area. Thus, a showcase of peace-building and harmony among our people.

The event was participated by 28 different contingents from chapels, schools, and nearby parishes. The glutinous rice estimated to have been cooked for the sticky rice cake was 1,080 kilos. The coconuts used totaled up to 3, 240 and the community used 712 kilos of sugar. A total of 565 people helped in grating the coconuts while those who helped in the cooking were 386. Excluding the PNP and the military personnel, the marshal were 720 students from the Western Mindanao University of Mabuhay and the Mabuhay National High School.

  

 

 

One Word: Katakam-takam!

One Word: Katakam-takam!

The People Enjoyed It!

The People Enjoyed It!

Thank you so Much to the good people who documented our story!

Thank you so Much to the good people who documented our story!

It's a Delicious Statement! Salam Means Peace.

It’s a Delicious Statement! Salam Means Peace.

That's Another Delicious Statement: Happy Fiesta!

That’s Another Delicious Statement: Happy Fiesta!

Special Thanks to the Local Government of Mabuhay!

Special Thanks to the Local Government of Mabuhay!

Ang daming tao! Lahat yata ng tao sa isla nagpunta sa Mabuhay!

Ang daming tao! Lahat yata ng tao sa isla nagpunta sa Mabuhay!

Sakspan! Nagdalag Silopin!

Sakspan! Nagdalag Silopin!

Lipay ang mga Bugoy o! Nakakaon ug Biko. :)

Lipay ang mga Bugoy o! Nakakaon ug Biko. 🙂

Maraming salamat sa ating mga pulis!

Maraming salamat sa ating mga pulis!

More photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.423569004414579.1073741832.113964978708318&type=1

Video of the Longest Biko: http://youtu.be/nlpjjlZstk0

Please like our photo at “I CHOOSE PHILIPPINES”:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=579305978773360&set=a.109389565765006.5803.109288295775133&type=1&theater

Road to the Longest Rice Cake in the World August 30, 2013

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in OMG!, Pastoral, Zamboanga Sibugay.
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Mark Your Calendars: September 30, Monday

Mark Your Calendars: September 30, Monday

Road to September 30, Parokya San Miguel – Mabuhay Fiesta: Witness the united effort of the Christians, Muslims and the Subanen indigenous people as we prepare the longest rice cake (biko) in the world. In this photo, our parishioners are practicing how to prepare it. You are all invited. This proposed bid has been submitted to the Records Management Team of the Guinness World Records, Claim I.D. # 436682.

UNREACHABLE May 30, 2013

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in JPIC, OMG!, Tourism, Zamboanga Sibugay.
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@Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

@Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay

I used to ignore this banana when I arrived here in Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay. It was only planted near the canal where the pigs love to tread. But recently, I can’t just ignore it. So, I took my camera for a photo op.

I posted this photo on facebook and many people asked me if it’s not edited. To set it straight: yes it’s real and it’s  not edited.

NEW MISSION April 8, 2013

Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Mabuhay, Mission Anecdotes, OMG!, Pastoral, Zamboanga Sibugay.
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Meeting with Fr. Tony Salas, SVD

Meeting with Fr. Tony Salas, SVD

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.

Meeting with Fr. Tony Salas, SVD

Meeting with Fr. Tony Salas, SVD

“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:

 

  1. Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD
  2. Fr. Manuel B. Mijares, SVD
  3. Dr. Eusebio Momo
  4. Prudencio Anota
  5. Rico Caloňge
  6. Marlyn “Bebeth” A. Caloňge
  7. Jesus A. Arnoco
  8. Mina M. Berdin
  9. Flora A. Esmanel
  10. Jill S. Dulam
  11. Emma A. Rabon
  12. Carlos G. Magdula Jr.
  13. Romel A. Rabon
  14. Marigen C. Rabon
  15. Lourdes F. Ozarraga
  16. Princess Hazel Tolorio
  17. Annabele Tolorio
  18. Emilyn Sabornido
  19. Melinda S. Adlaon
  20. Mamerto B. Pagar
  21. Ronald B. Zarate
  22. Val Samonte
  23. Diosdado S. Omamalin
  24. Julieta C. Degumbis
  25. Zenaida G. Dumapi
  26. 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

Prudencio Anota

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.