MY HIGH SCHOOL DAYS!
I spent my high school at the seminary of the Redemptorists -- Our Mother of Perpetual Help Juvenate -- at the boondocks of Antipolo, Rizal. this was during the 60s. I was barely 12 years old when I was admitted to the seminary. Fr. Edmund Ryan, a Redemptorist priest at Lipa City, recruited me from Bauan Central School. It turned out that they were opening the seminary at that year in Antipolo. I belong to the first batch of seminarians in the newly constructed building that became a landmark till it was demolished several years ago.
I was at Antipolo from 1963 to 1968. This is my most memorable years in my life -- years that left an indelible imprint in me. Up to now, I always go back to those fruitful formative years I spent in the hidden yet breath-taking place we called home away from home.
How can I forget Fr. Reginald Ahearn, from whom I got my British accent. It was also he who got me as his working assistant since my first year up to the day I left for good. I was his side-kick at the little store we had. I was his helper in caring for the sick Juvenist. Of course, I may not have been his most favored but definitely I was his Friday man during those days, having free access to his room, to clean up, to get the things needed in the store, to get medicines for a Juvenist in bed. How I adored the man! I even imitated his writing!
A special friendship I developed with Fr. Owen Ryan. He was something else. Fr. Ryan was our Latin professor. In Little time, Latin became my favorite subject. I even got a flat 99 in Latin so much so that I was the first medalist for Latin among the first year students. Fr. Ryan was also our basketball coach. it was he who encouraged me to learn how to coached. He put me in charge of the midgets when I met that tragic accident which dislocated my hips and frustrated me to no end. To compensate my loss in the Varsity, Fr. Ryan made me a coach.
Moreover, Fr. Owen became a family friend. Every summer vacation, he would spend at least a week in our place at San Roque. He would sleep over, bring me to LIpa monastery, and together we would go on "vocation campaign". One of the products of this sortee was Doroteo Manalo from Calaca. I was already in 4th year when we recruited Dort or Doro as he was then known in the Juvenate. Fr. Owen and I also visited Quezon, my first province outside Batangas (and Rizal) to really explore! So close were we that around the 70s, when Fr. Owen was provincial (stationed in Australia), he paid me a visit in Batangas City (where I was already managing the Church's radio station).
I will write about my co-Juvenists later.
Let me end my account by saying that before the 80s, our Juvenate was phased out. The building became first a formation house for brothers and college seminarians. Then it served as mission house until finally, the Redemptorists sold it to interested business firm, Moldex -- I am not too sure about who really bought it! However, it was only in 2004 that I saw for myself that the buidling which became home to many of us, the building which became a landmark at Sumulong Highway, was no longer there to give way to a subdivision. How I discovered that and how I felt when I found this out is again another story.#
personal but honestly real. Open for comments, questions, suggestions on what you want to know, clarify or for me to dwell more deeply.
- ► 2008 (32)