January 23-24 is a day to remember. Close to one hundred and fifty registered alumni bishops and priests came to this homecoming, after missing one whole year of such activity. In the 2005 November homecoming, it was decided to bring back this gathering to its original date, i.e, the Tuesday and Wednesday nearest to the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of this one and only royal and pontifical university in the Philippines.
Batches 81 and 82 are hosts batches. We are to honor Batch 80 and the other jubilarians. Among our batch(81) present were Fr. Boyet Montalbo (Diocese of Paranaque), Msgr. Nestor Cerbo (Archdiocese of Manila, Fr. Ananias Merida (guest priest in Cubao), Fr. Bonifacio Alcantara (Diocese of Dipolog), Msgr. Ed Pangan (Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga). Msgr. Elmer Abacahin (Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro), though our classmate for only a year, also showed up during the first day. Prominent among the Batch 82 were Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. (Rector Magnificus of UST), Fr. Antonio Aureada, O.P. (Dean of Theology), Msgr. Mario Martinez (Diocese of Paranaque), Fr. Rene Vigilia (Diocese of Cabanatuan), among others.
Leading the honorees (batch 80) were Bishop Antonietto Cabajog, Bishop Jose Rojas, Fr. Onette Mangahas, among others; while Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, Archbishop Pedro Dean, Bishop Cirilo Almario were among the golden jubilarians.
The UST Tigers, UAAP basketball champs, were guests during the sports spectacular. They were even divided and mixed with the alumni basketeers, who gamely mixed it up to the delight of a full-packed gallery at the Seminary Gym. The Hall of Fame awardee in cheer competitions, the renowned Salinggawi, provided the intermission number at half time. Msgr. Salve Quizon enjoyed the game so much.
Newly-ordained Bishop Beltran, a classmate of Fr. Dado Castillo and Fr. Edd Pagcaliuangan, was the main celebrant in the opening mass at the Sto. Rosario Parish. He was accompanied by another newly-installed prelate, Bishop Jack Jose of Urdaneta Diocese. Both of them are my good friends, as we often meet during alumni gatherings. Bishop Jack used to handle their mass media in Laoag city. He was the main celebrant during the closing Mass at the seminary chapel. It was he who addressed me during his homily as "Fr. Nonie Dolor, O.P. that is Outstanding President" to the applause of everyone.
This homecoming was sort of a record. We had the most number of attendees so far. The alumni bishops and priests who registered total to almost 150. the Central Seminary staff said this is the highest so far in any alumni homecoming. And as last year, this is the only second alumni homecoming that did not operate on deficit.
personal but honestly real. Open for comments, questions, suggestions on what you want to know, clarify or for me to dwell more deeply.
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