personal but honestly real. Open for comments, questions, suggestions on what you want to know, clarify or for me to dwell more deeply.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Who else came to celebrate with me? Look!

Fr. Ernie Garcia, C.Ss.R., represented the Redemptorists. He is currently the Superior of the Lipa Community. The Novices were also there, together with their Novice Master. Unfortunately, our "old" Redemptorist professors and friends, like Fr. Ed Ryan, who recruited me, Fr. Regs Ahearn, to whom I was assistant in our Juvenate days, and others could not come -- they are all in Australia! Ernie is a close buddy, even during our Antipolo days.

Mr. Cayetano Gonzales, better known as "Coach Tanny", is the Secretary general of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP), an organization of well-known amateur and professional coaches in the country. He came together with BCAP president, Coach Chito Narvasa, and presented me with an appointment letter from BCAP. Aside from congratulating me for this jubilee, I was told that BCAP is appointing me as Coordinator of BCAP in the province of Batangas. Gosh, this is another challenge. However, I am deep into sports as I see it as also a way to evangelize people, especially young kids.

My friends in the sporting world were not able to make it due to their hectic schedules of practices in the PBA. Coach Binky Favis phoned me that morning asking for apologies as they were deep into preparation for their next crucial games. Coach Eric Gonzales, his assistant at Coke Tigers' camp, naturally could make it as well. Coach Bong Ramos and Coach Nash Racela gave the same excuse. However, they promised to come and celebrate with me! It is only Coach Francis Rodriguez and his wife who was able to show up.

Of course, the Star for All Seasons, my friend, the Mayor of Lipa, Vilma Santos Recto. The evening before she called up saying she could not make it because of emergency meetings with her department heads that following Monday. Early Monday morning, she called up again profuse with apologies for having to skip this occasion which she had already previously committed to attend. But surprise, surprised, she just walked into the Sentrum when the Archbishop was giving the homily. She quietly sat down at the back and then later, after the homily, moved to a better place in the congregation.

People started to mill around her after the Mass, all asking for a photo-op. Vilma went to where Inay was and talked to her. She was introduced to my siblings and cousins. IN her short message, she mentioned of our personal friendship, not born of politics but indeed a genuine personal friendship which goes even during her The Sensation days.

Thank you, Ate Vi!

Deed of Benefaction from FSC

This one took me by surprised and I was teary-eyed when the De La Salle Brothers, through the Visitor, Br. Dodo Fernandez, FSC, presented me with a "Deed of Benefaction" (a certificate and a medallion) for the services I have been rendering De La Salle Lipa for the past ten (10) years and the district, as well, as chaplain. I thought it would just be a simple "thank you for being chaplain for the past ten years", but this was not so.

I was all the more touched when Br. Dodo told me that it was Br. Rafael "Rafe" Donato who "engineered" all this. Br. Rafe was the one who personally lobbied for me to be assigned full-time chaplain from the Archbishop of Lipa, now Archbishop of Manila, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, in 1996. It was he who challenged me that "we will change the face of Lipa". To date, I have blessed more than 15 new edifices starting with the Sentrum in 1995 (and I was not yet the chaplain during that year)! Br. Rafe worked on this Deed of Benefaction early this year as he was aware that this is my silver jubilee year -- and his golden jubilee year, as well! I need not point out that he died a few weeks after October 16, Nov. 2 to be exact, of mysterious circumstances, which we can only accpet in faith. God bless Br. Rafe. God bless the Brothers of the Christian Schools!

The citation in the certificate is in French, the official language of the FSC. Br. Mawel Pajarillo, FSC, president of DLSL, and a multi-linguist scholar, read the text in the original, while Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC, Director of Novices, read the English translation.

I will treasure this forever!

Msgr. Fred made a "public confession"

Msgr. Alfredo A. Madlangbayan, then simply Fr. Fred, was the one who invited me to help him start the radio station of the Archdiocese. It was my birthday -- April 15, 1972 -- when I joined him. I was already a budding radio announcer at another radio station (where I was recruited to join in December 1969). On hindsight, this is God's way of keeping track of me as I was downhearted by my Novitiate "rejection" in May 1969. In other words, Fr. Fred "pirated" me! My first reading during that silver jubilee Mass talks of Isaiah telling the Lord that He duped him and he allowed himself to be duped! Exactly!
I became his assistant director, station manager, janitor and secretary all rolled into one as we started from scratch! I used to joke around that at the time we started, I thought that the station's signal only reaches the mango tree that was locatred right in front of the station's gate. This is to show how antiquated the equipment was. I think Msgr. Fred was also duped into buying this. and he allowed himself to be duped also!
Gee, Msgr. Fred made the public confession of how "it was Nonie, who did all these for the radio station. It was he who is the culprit why people thought that DWAM stands for Alfredo Madlangbayan. It was he who initiated the establishment of our FM station, which people also said stands for Fred Madlangbayan!" The audience were delighted at his quips, of course! Of course, I was doing all the paper works and the follow-ups for the radio station. I applied for a change of call sign -- the original call sign was DZYQ, when we bought it from its former owner. When we transferred to the Basilica Site (again, at my behest), we not only changed the transmitter but also the call sign. The last one Fr. Fred had no inkling -- he just signs papers I present to him! I applied (and was approved by NTC) for the call sign: DWAM! I reckoned several things: Daily Works of Alfredo Madlangbayan, a fitting tribute to the man who has a vision to use media for evangelization! AM also stands for "morning". Inasmuch as we were practically beginning a new station, I thought that this is a "new hope, a new beginning, a new AM (morning) for the local church".
I did not mind (and still does not mind) playing second-fiddle to anyone, most especially Msgr. Fred. I don't seek for glory in this world. I did, and still do, things given me as God's will for me. But just the same, many thanks to Msgr. Fred Madlangbayan for the opportunity to serve God as a communicator!

"Tatang" Jim make my day!

Fr. Jim Reuter, SJ, my mentor in Communications, spoke of the priest as a communicator. Amazing is this nonagenarian workhorse of the National Office of Mass Media. Since 1972, I have always looked up to him as my mentor. He has known me as a budding broadcaster and he has involved my in a lot of projects of the NOMM --- training seminars, translation of materials, not to mention our regular semi-annual meetings of the then Phil. Federation of Catholic Broadcasters (PFCB), the fore-runner of now Catholic Media Network (CMN). In many a meetings, I used to be his assistant and I love when he would ask, "Where's the body of Nonie? Nonie, my duck, there you are!" And he would start a litany of what he wants me to do, etc. During my 15th anniversary as priest, I asked him to give the homily. He told me then not to forget to invite him for my silver. That's why he was here! Though he was not the homilist this time around -- I asked the Archbishop, as our father here in the Archdiocese to be the one -- he, together with some other VIPs (very important persons to me!, gave a short message not only to me but to the congregation present.

Photos of my La Salle Celebration

This is me during my silver jubilee celebration at De La Salle Lipa last December 4, 2006. I had with me at the altar (on stage) Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Bishop Salvador Quizon, Msgr. Alfredo Madlangbayan, Frs. Mandy Panganiban (shown in picture), Ading Adan, Chito Andal, Richard Panganiban, Jun Quiambao and Edd Pagcaliuangan (master of ceremonies). All other priest-concelebrants were seated below the altar as we could not accomodate the more than 70 priests (diocesan and religious) that came.
The PSALTERION CHOIR of the UST Central Seminary (of which I am an alumnus) sang during the Mass. I requested that they sing the Latin Mass. The Centralites were accompanied by their new Rector, Fr. Gerard.
The seminarian-theologians of St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary (where I teach Media for Evangelization) were altar servers. The Campus Ministers of the school -- mostly ex-seminarians -- assisted them. They were the "foot-soldiers" doing the dirty work during that event: altar decor, etc.
I could not thanks these people enough for making my celebration a-once-in-a-lifetime experience! They are God's blessing to me!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My "Stateside" Nephew

Yes, you read it right. That No. 68 is VICENT IVAN M. DOLOR now in Virginia with her Mom Cora. And according to the mom, as he grows older, his mannerism, physical make up, are becoming more and more like his father . . . Danny, my brother, which makes VINCE (that's what we call him) my nephew.

We are all proud of Vince as he is not only good-looking but brillant as well. Cora would send us reports of his grades and accomplishments, which I normally print and put in display at home for everyone to see. I also wanted this to motivate my other nephews and nieces in their studies and activities in the school.

I have pictures of Vince when he was a kid. He would sing at our Christmas re-unions. How I wish he takes another vacation here and be with us.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Photos of My San Roque SJ Celebration

These are pictures taken from the celebration of my silver jubilee at San Roque.

It became a virtual reunion of the Dolor Family. We used to have thes re-unions since 1976 but they stopped sometime in the mid-80s. My cousins really wanted to resume this. My silver jubilee provided the occasion.

Of course, the Castillo side would not be left out. Somewhere here is a picture of Tita Sabel, the only other surviving Castillo-Hernandez sibling, aside from my mother. she is shown talking to Azucena, the wife of my brother El. Incidentally, one grace (gift) of the Biblical jubilee is reconciliation. This became very, very true with my Silver Jubilee. Promiment among the reconciliations effected was between Cena and Inay and my sisters Ate Coring and Ermie. I hope this is a lasting gift.

Fr. Lou, my brother, was also there to lend a hand. He arrived in the afternoon as he had other ministerial tasks to fulfill in his parish that Saturday morning till noon. Later in the evening, Fr. Larry Abante and Fr. Ariel Gonzales, two of his closest friends and classmates, came. These two are in the habit to just drop by the house . . . in other words, they belong to the family, really! I intentionally did not invite any other priests because I wanted them to be at De La Salle Lipa on Monday, December 4. That is supposed to be their day with me.

Friday, December 08, 2006

December 2, My Real Jubilee

I decided to celebrate my silver jubilee as priest on Dec. 4 for two reasons: Dec. 2 was a Saturday, making it inconvenient for my fellow diocesan priests to be present; and secondly, the Christian Brothers had their district assembly and chapter from Dec. 1-3 at Greenhills, and i wanted the Brothers, not only of Lipa but of the District, to be there.

But my siblings, including Inay, would not hear of this. so, we had a celebration at San Roque. I celebrated a Mass at the barangay chapel. My "faithful" community from Bolo West were among the first to be present in the chapel. The Young Men's Choir of Aplaya, Bauan, sang during the Mass. Danny was responsible for inviting the group, handled by Bobet Manalo of STC. Bobet was a former choir-member of Ms. Angelina Conti in Bauan High School.

After the Mass, we headed home to entertain guests, mainly our relatives from my mother and my late father's side.

Thanks to our family friend, the sister-and-brother tandem of Joseph and Fe Aguila of Bayanan, San Pascual, who gifted me with two -- yes, two -- pigs! We had an overflow of food, from lunch to merienda to supper in the evening. Tita Sabel and Tio Rodrigo insisted that we take the goat they were offering. Danny had this killed and cooked the night before the big day itself. A cousin brought a lechon; another a big basket of tilapia. Others came with various gifts of rice cake, bread, sweets and other food.

I have this picture taken with my first cousin, Maryson, whom I seldom meet as she stays in Pasig most of the time. This is Eric Cristal's auntie, the sister of his Mom Tessie. Eric's blog is!

The Dec. 2 affair was a virtual family reunion of the Castillos and the Dolors. My nephews and nieces were able to re-acquiant themselves with their cousins. I also had the change to re-bond with our cousins. they were very, very happy! Even my estranged sister-in-law, Cena, was reconciled with Inay and Ate Coring, and with everybody! This was her first time to set foot in the house after the falling out with Inay and company. This, for me, is one of the greatest gift that God gave me - and the family - during this silver jubilee of my priesthood. It was really a time of grace!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dec. 4, A special day for me!

That's me with Fr. Edd Pagcaliuangan assisting me at my thanksgiving Mass at the Sentrum of De La Salle Lipa last Dec. 4, Monday. The occasion was my Silver Sacerdotal Jubilee. Actually, I was ordained priest in Bauan Parish church on Dec. 2, 1981; however, since this year's Dec. 2 fell on a Saturday (a busy day for parish priests and beside the Brothers are in their District Retreat), I settled for Dec. 4 which was a Monday. Of course, not all of the diocesan priests could come, but majority of them did.
The Archbishop, Most Rev. Ramon Arguelles, was there and gave a very long homily, almost a lecture on the theology of the Eucharist, centering on the theme I chose for my celebration: Blessed, Broken and Shared!
The people who mattered to me most were there. Of course, my own family led by my still beautiful and strong 85-year-old mother was there. Also present were my sisters Ate Coring, Ermie and Mayet with her hubby Boss Didi, my brothers Danny and Fr. Lou who was among the concelbrants in the Eucharist. My nephews George, Lonlon and CJ, my nieces May and Camille. George and Lonlon did the reading, while May did the prayers of the faithful. I will write a separate posting about my family's celebration of my silver jubilee at home during that Saturday. That in itself is another story!
My godfather, Monsignor Elias Poblete, travelled from his retirement in Pansol, Calamba to narrate how I got to be his godson. Again that is a story by itself. Fr. Jim Reuter, S.J., my mentor in Social communication and my idol and my spiritual father, gave a beautiful piece that only he could give. However, the people at the back complained they could not hear this over-ninety year old Jesuit communicator. Fr. Ernie Garcia, C.Ss.R., spoke on behalf of the Redemptorists -- present and past (as in the Juvenate in Antipolo). Msgr. Fred Madlangbayan, my long time boss at the Commission on Social Communication, finally declared in public that it was me who was mainly responsible for what the media in the Archdiocese is. He recounted how we struggled, especially during the Martial Law days to keep this afloat. He professed his innocence and pointed to me at what people thought was a self-serving name of DWAM (Daily Work of Alfredo Madlangbayan).
UST was also there. I requested the Psalterion choir to remind the people of the original language of the Church and the beauty of the Gregorian chant -- they sang in Latin (with one Responsorial psalm in Tagalog and two English songs for Communion). They were accompanied to Lipa by their yet-to-be-installed rector, Fr. Gerard Timoner, O.P. Sem. Noel Abalajon, our seminarian-coordinator to UST Alumni Priests Association (ALPA), was also there as with the other coordinators. Of the Board Members of ALPA, it was only Fr. Rene Vigilia of Cabanatuan who travelled to Lipa to concelebrate.
My colleagues in the local media, headed by our Dyaryo Veritas editor-in-chief, Joenald Rayos, who is also Batangas Press Club head, were among the crowd of around one thousand during the Mass. However, most of my basketball friends were not able to make it due to their practices. Bingky Favis called me early in the morning saying they could not re-schedule their morning practice to the afternoon as the venue has been reserved. He said he needed his assistant Eric Gonzales in the practice. Eddie Laure, now of Alaska, called up citing the same reason. Even Charlie Dy begged to be excused. Chino Trinidad called to say he was just given an assignment (to interview Boom Boom's family for GMA) and so he could not make it to Lasalipa. However, Coach Francis Rodriguez with his wife came. I introduced him to Br. Dodo Fernandez, president of Benilde, as Francis was applying to be head coach of the men's varsity team of that school. The big bosses of the Basketball Coaches of the Philippines Association (BCAP) -- President Chito Narvasa and Secretary-General Cayetano "Tanny" Gonzales -- announced my appointment as BCAP's Coordinator for Batangas Province. My appointment takes effect immediately till December 30, 2007. I am being tasked to organize the coaches in this province.
They were there -- the people whom I became friends because I ministered to them and their communities: my Hilltop family, led by the Mendoza sisters, of the Mission Area VI of Batangas City; my DWAM family, my Sunday TV Mass family, my ex-Juvenist family, my Ulat Batangan Family, and other individuals whom I had been associated with for one reason or another: former students at SBC High School, former students at St. Theresa's Academy, former teachers in elementary and college, and present co-workers at De La Salle Lipa.
The star-for-all-seasons, my friend, Mayor Vilma Santos-Recto, who had already asked to be excused because she had to preside over a meeting of her department heads to assess the damaged done by thypoon Reming during the week-end. But in the middle of Archbishop's Arguelles, she walked in. I had her called up to say something to the congregation. After the Mass, they had a heyday taking pictures of and with her. Happy na si Mother!
Of course, the biggest surprise and the greatest gift I recieved that day is the conferment of the Deed of Benefaction to me by the Brothers of the Christian Schools (FSC) in the Philippines. Br. Dodo Fernandez, FSC, Visitor, spoke on behalf of the Brothers; Br. Mawel read the original citation in French with Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC, translating it to English! I shed a tear when Br. Dodo whispered to me that this was mainly Br. Rafael "Rafe" Donato, FSC, who had this materialized. I cried at the thought of him passing away weeks after he celebrated his golden jubilee as religious (Oct. 16) and turned 69 (Oct. 12). It was Br. Rafe who personally asked Archbishop (now Cardinal) Dency for me to be the resident chaplain of the Brothers and the school here at Lipa. Indeed, he became my best friend, confidant, and older brother. I was his confessor!
I am 55 years old: 40 years as coach, 33 years as teacher, 37 as media person, and 25 years as priest. and let me be clear about this. I am a priest who is a coach, teacher, media person at the same time. I don't think it is right to take those from me and say that I am just a priest period. My being coach, teacher, media person is integral to my being priest. BELIEVE IT ... or DON'T!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

National Pilgrimage

September 12 is a red letter day for the Archdiocese of Lipa. All roads lead to Carmel, the site of the famous "shower of roses" during the late 40s, as Lipa hosted the Third National Pilgrimage for Peace, Reparation and Consecration. More than eight thousand pilgrims from all over the country -- delegations from Davao, Ilocos, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Tarlac, Quezon, Marinduque, and of course, host province Batangas -- flocked to Carmel to listen to the conferences and then attend the Mass in the afternoon.

The above photo shows our interview with Sec. Cerge Remonde, a former KBP president with whom I was acquianted even during the martial law days as an actgive media person. Cerge hails from Cebu City. Fr. Ilde Dimaano has his baptism of fire in covering an outdoor activity like this. This is his first since he took reins of the FM radio of the Archdiocese. We were able to interview Ms. Tintin Versola Babao of ABS-CBN, who was also there as a devotee.

(These photos are courtesy of Bing Recio!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Emceeing for Fr. JQ

This was a photo taken when I emceed Fr. Jun's fund-raising concert at the cathedral. He'd be holding another one when he celebrates his ordination anniversary sometime this October. He asked me to again emcee the show. Of course, I'll do anything to help!

This is me and Fr. Hermogenes Quiambao a.k.a. Fr. Jun or Fr. JQ. (Fr. Jun and I are both godsons of Msgr. Elias Poblete, now a retired priest in Pansol, Calamba. Our ninong just celebrated his 65th sacerdotal anniversary this year at San Pablo Cathedral.) We are shown here comparing notes during our SOLTARE II in Queen Margaret Hotel in Lucena City. He is so excited to learn how to use his top-of-the-line mobile phone. I showed him some of its features -- as if I was an expert. The truth of the matter is that I still consult people like Fr. Ilde to teach me how to manipulate my own Treo 650 he he he.


Last August 21-25, the Bishops and priests of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lipa (Batangas, Quezon, Marinduque and the Island of Mindoro) gathered at Lucena City for the Second Southern Luzon Tagalog Region Priests' Retreat and Congress. Stewardship is the main theme of the retreat. For the first time, we had a teleconference with a priest-speaker. Fr. Andrew Kimberely could not make it so from his St. Thomas More Parish at the Archdiocese of Denver, he talked to us for more than an hour. The power of modern technology at the service of the Gospel!
The two top prelates of the country, former Metropolitans of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lipa, were there: His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of Manila, and His eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal of Cebu. There were around 320 Arch/bishops, priests and deacons who participated in this one-week retreat-congress in Lucena City.
Here are some pictures taken from that almost a week affair!

See if you can identify priests or bishops you know. If you want some updates on them, just post your requests in this blog. I am willing to provide you updates on your priest-friends, including tsimis (joke only).

Please pray for us, priests, so that we may not only be faithful but also holy priests. Pray that the apostolic zeal may continue to breath its consuming fire in this region of the country. Pray for more vocations to the priesthood -- and to the religious life as well. Pray that these servant-leaders may have the compassion of Christ, the High Priest. We need your prayers as we are also vessels of clay!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

More Photos of My Sydney Vacation

I was able to concelebrate with His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell of Sydney. He introduced me to the Sunday congregation. I read the Gospel and and old Aussie lady came to me later to say "you sound like a television announcer!" If only she knew! later, the Filipino community present came up and greeted me. This was taken at Blue Mountain, their version of "Tatlong Maria". It was wet and foggy when we visited the place. From there we proceeded to Jenolan Caves. This was taken by Didi.
We really enjoyed our walk at the park beneath Harbor Bridge, which is just a stone throw from Ricky's (Mayet's brother-in-law) flat. This was taken by Didi of Mayet and me with the Sydney Opera House at the background. Later, taking a walk at the bridge, we visited that famous landmark.
Inside the flat. This was taken shortly before we went out. As it was winter, it was very cold, even inside the house. We went out at daytime and come back late in the evening. Didi and Mayet would still go to Ricky's restaurant to fetch Dra. Lulu (who aside from studying Oriental Maedicine acts as Ricky's assistant in the restaurant).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Why the Long Hair and Beard

The "vow" not to shave and not to have my haircut started as a political statement during the Marcosian days. Aside from vowing not to write for any paper (remember I was editor of Peoples' Courier and WPC's Westernian Advocate when ML descended quite unexpectedly, I decided to sport long-hair and beard during the duration of Lent.
However, I must admit that even as a kid, I hate haircut! Then the Beatles influenced me a lot during my adolescent years. I recall one incident that my father would offer me a bottle of orange if only to convince me to have a haircut. He was my barber. I shiver at the contact of that pair of scissors on my head. Of course, my father would have his way.

When I was in college, after graduating from the dreaded ROTC course, I had my long hair. However, during those days that we did not hear of "straightening" or "rebonding" or "relax", I hated my long hair curling. When I was at UST Central Seminary, my gosh, that's where I had my heyday with long hair.

When I went on vacation to Sydney, as it was winter, I had my hair long. In fact, I was "inspired" to see many clerics in Australia with long hair and beard. The Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, did not object to my long hair and beard when I concelebrated with him at St. Mary's Cathedral.

But know what? the longest hair I sported was during this year 2006. I really had it long for our R&R (Re-union and Re-juvenation) last February 17-19 and then Lent came.

And know what also? I take note of the cost of razor blades that would been bought had I shaved for the time of Lent. Why? That amount I would make as my "Alay Kapwa" share... since 1975. So from a political statement, it has evolved into a (folk) religious practice for me.

More photos

Inay, Ate Coring, Ermie, Mayet and Didi (Mayet's hubby)

My Inay at 84 years old still strong and beautiful!

Fellow ex-Juvenists attending Fr. Ernie's Silver Jubilee last May 16, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006

My RED Family

Last February 17 - 19, I was re-united with and was re-juvenated by my RED family. RED, of course, is the Redemptorist Juvenate (Minor Seminary). After more than 40 years or so, we (at least close to sixty) finally met and re-lived the good old days at the hills of Antipolo, Rizal. It was really a trip in memory lane... and what a journey it was: nostalgic, touching and poignant!
We were among the first batch of First Year Latinists when Our Mother of Perpetual Help opened in June 1963. Among my classmates who showed up for this R & R were Chito Desuasido and Melchor Cruz (who just came here for the R & R as both are based now in the USA), Rodolfo Racoma (Rocky as we call him, who came late Saturday) and Capuchin priest and whom we just discovered weeks before the R & R, Fr. Dominic Abella, OFM Cap.. Anyway, some guys from the Special Latin class who eventually joined us in the Fifth Year were also there: Angelo Baybay (who was with me during the Novitiate days) and Stanley Lee (who is now a permanent deacon, working with the poor of Camarines. Among our seniors who showed up were Joe Vergara (who was the most senior, as he entered the Juvenate in baclaran way back 1961. Joe is now based in Melbourne, and has 10 kids, and is also a grandfather. Prolific!), Rey Culaba (now a Redemptorist based at the Formation House in Quezon City), Constantino Cruz (who's a retired US Army but has chosen to settle here), Augusto Evangelista (who has converted to Islam). Also my seniors were Oscar Tence (based now in the USA), Joselito Palapal (still the quiet one), Fr. Ernie Garcia (who is presently rector of Lipa -- that made our R&R easier to host), JOe de Mesa (yes, the lay theologian), Dodo Elefano (who was just widowed two weeks before this R&R, and Fr. Manny Thomas (who is now with Redemptorists of the Province of Cebu).
The rest of the REDs who came were my juniors: Bernie Justimbaste (now with DST), Jose Padilla (AVP of Insular Life), Robert Castro (fertilizer and insecticide magnate), Roberto Demegillo (now a lawyer but still his humble and simple self), Jack Dumaup (one of my favorite basketball players when I was coaching the midgets), Errol Collado (again, one of my favorites), Rouan Opeda (wow, he's got a Ford Expedition), Dr. Jorge Emmanuel (now a brillinat scientist and works for the UN-WHO, which means he travels a lot. He is BRILLIANT!), Anthony "Tom" Borja (now based in Canada), Gerry Luistro (kababayan from Lipa City), and Emmanuel "Basing" Basabas.
Those remaining were the REDs who entered the Juvenate when we were novices already or when we were no longer novices. The Juvenate in Antipolo started in 1963 and was phased out in 1975. After that it became the College, then Mission house, then was temporarily abandoned and then finally sold out in 1993(?). Now it is an exclusive subdivision.
Who could not be impressed with Ted James Mendoza? He was the one whom I left to coordinate all these things. Indeed he was the event manager: hosting, etc. He even came up with a Souvenir book, took care of the program, took a video of what was formerly our HOME (there was an eerie silence when the video was being shown. Did I see people misty-eyed afterwards?). DO-IT-ALL GUY! This is TJ. His sidekick (one who took care of the registration, running after those who forgot to pay, distributing the kits, the T-shirts) was balikbayan Edwin Guevarra!
We have to thank Tito Alcala for the ID with our pictures from way-back-when! The irrepressible Atty. Vic Verdadero, the silent, impish but very principled military Pompeo Limbo, the serious Tony Luistro, chubby Ching Uy(?), the silent Ricky Gonzales, The Katigbak cousins (Fr. Pete, Jing of the Hampas Lupa group and Elmo, who provided us with pan de sal and kalihim), the late (very much alive; he arrived Saturday) Resti Reyes, the ever dancing Henry Natundan (who was the sound master during the evening programs). I hope I did not miss any of these very much juniors to me.
Of our formators we had Fr. Regs Ahearn, who flew all the way from Sydney; Fr. Ron Murray (who is still very much around and part of the formation team), and Mr. Clemente Bautista (who was with us since 1963 till it was phased out, as a Pilipino teacher. I learnt later on he also taught Spanish.) We paid tribute to them.
This is one re-union that I would not exchange for anything. I hope we can come up with another one with a bigger attendance-- or probably much longer time spent together.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Surprise, Surprise

I got the surprise of all surprises when I opened my blog and found this comment from Eric Cristal y Castillo. I remember this young teener during my stay at UST Central Seminary, when once in a while I would drop by their Sampaloc residence. I had lost contact with them ever since they migrated to the States.
Eric's mother Tessie is my first cousin. Tessie's father and my mother are siblings. Tio Abling (Pablo) was the only boy among my mother's six other siblings. We are the closest cousins, i.e., Tio Abling's children and we, my mother's offsprings. In fact, even though it was my Ate Coring and Tessie who were of the same age, it was Tessie and I who hit it off quiet well as we shared some common passion -- dancing and music! It was Tessie who taught me how to rock and roll, dance the boogie. It was Ermie and Marison, Danny and Ferdinand who were not only of the same age, but were quiet close. Of course, the "manong" of San Roque, Arthur was always around during occasions at our house. The younger ones like Junjun, Fatima, Abet and the rest of their brood would come and visit Inay when they happen to go to San Roque.
Tio Abling was a veteran of the Phil. Scouts. I recalled those days -- I was a kid of about three or four -- when he would show me off to his companions (barkadas). Even if I was already asleep, he would wake me up and make me stand on their drinking table. He would bark his commands: 'tenshun! (Attention!) I would then stand in attention even if I was hardly awake. then the next order, hand salute, or march time march 1-2, 1-2, etc. Of course, like a machine I would execute the commands to the delight of Tio abling and his visitors but to the consternation of my mother and Inang (grandmother).
When he got widowed, I was one of those who persuaded him to marry Tita Herminia, instead of just having her as his mere companion. We had a simple but very meaningful wedding at our barrio chapel. Tita Herminia took good care of Tio Abling till his last breath.
Back to Tessie and her kids. Ryan was my inaanak. I don't even remember the last time they were at San Roque. However, I think he was already a chubby teen-ager when they left for the States. I am looking forward to see Eric when he comes to visit the Philippines. I did not even know that he was in New Zealand.
To Eric, make good you're stay. I am glad that you have grown to be a good family man. Ipakilala mo ako sa iyong asawa at mga anak. I am still learning how to post pictures in my blog so that you could see how pogi your Tito is, even at 55 ... Beatles pa rin, kasi Beatles forever tayo!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fr. Lou


Consider this: We are two priests in the family. Fr. Romulo “Lou” Dolor is my brother. He is presently assigned as pastor at San Isidro Labrador Parish at San Isidro, Batangas City. But my relatives abound in the ranks of Lipa Clergy. Fr. Juan Nepomuceno D. Fruto is my nephew. His mother is my second cousin. The D in his middle initial stands for “Dolor”. His maternal grandfather was a former seminarian – already in Theology, I believe. In Fr. Nepo’s family, another brother entered the SFS Minor. Among his first cousins (my nephews), the Medranos: Monching, Tadeo, Jojo and Double were former seminarians. Another of Fr. Nepo’s first cousin – Ariel Mercado – also finished at SFS Minor.
If you think, I am through with that list, you’re dead wrong. Fr. Conrado Castillo is a relative on my mother’s side, who is a Castillo. That is why many priests are curious if I am also related to Fr. Eyong C. Ramos, whose “C” also stands for Castillo. But I can’t quite establish the relations even after much research from my old folks – as San Roque and Inicbulan are really neighbors (if we use the backdoor and the short-cut trails). But I am digressing! Fr. Dado and I call each other “pinsan”.

Fr. Daks
One of the newly-ordained priests, Fr. Dakila Ramos – who graduated from the Minor Seminary during my short stint as its rector, one of the unfortunate ones he he he – has discovered from his sleuthing that we are related. I have known this for quite sometime already, although I did not tell him at that time. His mother’s grandmother is very closely related to my mother’s family. Fr. Daks’ mother comes from Talaga, Mabini where the Castillos are a dime a dozen.
That’s the Castillo side of the story. Let’s go back to the Dolor side, as it is this clan that produced a lot of would-have-been priests but the Lord’s call to be “in the world” dawned on them to be their calling.
The Dimalibot Brothers – Dodi and Rado – are my nephews in the same vein as Fr. Nepo. Their mother, Ate Nene Dolor, is my second cousin. Our fathers were first cousins. In fact, the relations were so close: my father’s godfather in baptism was the grandfather (Ate Nene’s father) of Dodi and Rado.
Another set of brothers (SFS Minor has a lot of these brothers and cousins entering its venerable gates) August and Claudio de Joya are also my relatives. Their maternal grandmother (our Kakang Maria Contreras) and my father are first cousins. I leave it to you to decide our close relationship, so close that even now, August lives just adjacent to our house in San Roque; so close that Claudie asked me to stand as one of his wedding sponsors when he got married in Davao City, with his classmates Fr. Mike Samaniego and Fr. Glen Cantos officiating at the wedding. Of couse, it was Fr. Totit, Fr. Eyong, his classmate Fr. Ilde, and I who concelebrated when August finally decided to settle down! Incidentally, I also stood as wedding sponsor or “ninong” to Double Medrano when he got hitched in St. Philip Neri Church in Mandaluyong City.
Let’s talk about relation by marriages.
Well, Fr. Jing Buensalida’s auntie married my uncle, the brother of my father! And once upon a time, both Fr. Jing and I used to visit the same seminarian at SFS Minor: Manuel B. Dolor -- his nephew (son of her sister) and also my nephew (son of my second cousin).
My second cousin (on my mother's side), who happens to be my baptismal godfather, married a Lopez, who had two of her nephews as former seminarians also. Their names: Louie and Larry Lopez. You see, I have not run out of relatives, he he he! #

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Family

I was born to a couple named Genaro T. Dolor and Juana Castillo, of lower middle class. My father comes from a fishing and farming village of San Andres, Bauan, Batangas. My mother came from San Roque of the same municipality. It was from my father that we all took our love and dedication to education.
It was from my mother that we took our determination and love for household chores. It was indeed a very good combination. My father was honed in ecclesiastical chores, having been a household help/sacristan major/a jack-of-all-trades to some of his relatives who were priests. My mother comes from a very religious family.

We were eight siblings. However, the seventh died at the age of 3, of leukemia! Jim was born when I was at the Juvenate. He died when I was a Novice in the Redemptorists. Ate Coring is our eldest.
I came in second -- the oldest among the five boys, and by Filipino culture the "heir" to my father's patriarchal role in the family! After me came Ermie, then Danny, El, and Fr. Lou. Jim was in between him and Mayet, our youngest.
My father died on October 24, 1975. Of him, I will write later and much more! That left me, Ate Coring and Inay to fend for the others who at that time were not yet through with their formal education. It was providence that kept the boys and Mayet in school. Ermie finished in about a year and was soon employed as teacher at St. Bridget's where she is now the College registrar. It could be said that we were never been in want since Tatay's death and my eventual (re)entry to the Seminary. By the grace of God, Danny and El got through with their studies and landing on decent employments. Then Lou decided to leave his engineering course to enter the seminary. How we financed his priestly formation, that itself is another story.
All the girls are now married. Ate Coring has two girls; Ermie has three boys; Danny has a boy (out of wedlock but not necessarily without love); El has a boy and a girl. It is only Mayet who did not have her children -- however, she is mother and provider to our nieces and nephews that keep her company.

We still gather for a family get-together at least once a month. Together with Inay, we go out to eat, to take a sight-seeing tour, or simply to gather at the house to have informal programs and prayers. This is what that saying goes "the family that prays together stays together!" We are not materially rich; it is our sense of family that is our treasure!
I love my family!

About Me

a priest who's passion is social communications (broadcast, press et al), youth formation. Adaptable and tolerant. Want to please everybody; work-addicted and adventurous; easy to please and eager to learn.