My status

Hello WordPress,

It has been a while since I wrote an entry here.

There’s a lot of happenings (I hate to use this expression) this past months and I have gone through a lot of transition and change of addresses since March. To paraphrase a tweet I saw on Twitter, is there a life outside my comfort zone?

Within the year, I applied for a Japanese visa. I tried both long term resident visa and missionary visa but it seems I need to use a missionary visa temporarily since I do not know how to speak, read, or write in Japanese language.

We have three Brothers there in Japan and they don’t get any financial subsidy from the Korea-Japan Sector or the Province. I only learned anout this when I visited Kobe community last June and I learned that it is only the pension that supports them in terms of daily finances such as food, transportation, medical expenses, clothing, grooming, toiletries, and other necessities. Because we had a house property and even a school, which we used to manage but no more due to lack of vocation, we look rich from without. Anyway, I do not really know how can I contribute financially if I am not allowed to work using a missionary visa. I might use Patreon, Soundcloud, or even Youtube if there is a need to earn some money.

I only applied for a certificate of eligibility last June and I will need to wait for at least a month or three month at most.

I want to study TESOL in Claret. I do not want to spend money in studying Japanese here in the Philippines so I will just rely on the internet and some friends who knows how to speak, read, and write Japanese.

I want to learn how to drive.

I might visit Japan Foundation in Makati tomorrow but there’s a super typhoon Gardo/Maria right now.

Waiting for a visa without doing any work might have been affecting my self-esteem. Last two years, I have been very important because I taught in school. Now, I just stay in the convent reading, playing sports, surfing the internet, washing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, using a stationary bicycle, watching NBA Finals (last month) and the World Cup 2018.

I feel very powerless, irrelevant, and not-so important.

I feel so irritatable this past few days. I cry sometimes inside my room. I drink beer almost every day. Maybe I am regressing a little bit. I am so down right now and I don’t want to confide it to anyone besides no one can understand me anyway. I feel now the pain of those suffering from Mental health problems; I feel now the sorrow of the psalmist. I did not chose to feel how I feel though. I am like in a state of sorrow. But as our Lord Jesus reminded me in the Gospel, I won’t let my heart be troubled. I won’t let this fox steal my joy. I might not be happy but I still have joy in my heart.

Now on my late 20s, I was like asking myself how did I end up choosing this life I am living right now. It is like I am going to a stage of purgation.

The readings for this Sunday inspired me that it’s not all about me. I feel these maybe because I am proud and egotistical. But just like Saint Paul said, the Lord’s grace is enough. It is when I am weak that I am strong because the Lord Himself is my Consolation. Christ said He has nowhere to rest His head; He who was rejected just because they know His parents and where they live. Christ had undergone through a lot of hardships and trials which compared to mine are nothing.

It is easier to see the things I am lacking and it takes silence and reflection to realize how God is so good to me in providing what I just need and not what I want.

For all the things I have and enjoy, thanks for it.

For the company of my fellow brothers in Marikina community, the brothers in different communities I visited who have been so accommodating and good to me, to my family, friends, fellow teachers, GIA scholars, and former students who have touched my life, thank you very much!

Whatever I say, feel, and do, let God’s name be glorified!



Hello. How are you? Me? A bit sad this day. Is this what they call separation anxiety? Maybe. Our young novice Br. Jay Jay went back to the novitiate as he now finished his apostolic exposure here in Cotabato community after three months of staying here. Br. Ador is in Bangkok until next week. Now, we’re only two brothers here in the convent as of the moment. Br. Oca also said that it feels sad now that we’re just two in the house. Absence of presence here now. The house is big but the occupants are few. That’s like a paraphrase of the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. At least we have the Real Presence in the chapel. Let’s pay a visit to Him later.

Life as a brother can be lonely sometimes. No girlfriend, no wife, no family, no children. This is the life I have chosen. Sometimes the road can be lonesome. I hope what I feel is in solidarity with what my mother and sister in Japan feels like being isolated with their loved ones. To all widows, brokenhearted, single, overseas Filipino workers, I feel you. I pray for all of you. I don’t like this feeling but, yeah, I will savor this moment too. There’s a time to be sad and a time to rejoice. I will feel it and pray for it. And now I wrote it. 

Cheers to life!

St. Francis of Assisi, who lead a life of solitude to follow our Lord, pray for us.

Is celibacy the cause of sexual abuse?

One of the take away lessons from our retreat is when we discussed about the problem of sexual abuses in the Roman Catholic Church. Though us Marist Brothers are not clerical, the discussion applies to us since we represent a different kind of “face” of the Church (in the words of our Superior General Br. Emili Turu, “a Marian face“). There had been a movement to remove celibacy as a requirement for Priesthood (on the other hand, that will never happen in religious orders since it’s our “sign” of consecration). But really, is celibacy the cause of the sexual abuse problem we have? I have a strong opinion on this one. It is not a problem of celibacy. As Fr. Roland said, it is a problem of commitment. If one is committed, then why a priest or a religious would be “full of himself” and abuse these little ones (one of the most horrible offense or “sin”)? He should not have been a priest in the first place! If us religious vowed celibate chastity, the secular priest promise celibacy. And regardless of the term, that is still synonymous to commitment. Like a counselor sister said to a priest who was once struggling, if you still want to become a Catholic priest use your ” creating energy”, be an Eastern Catholic priest. In truth, there are many many married clergy in the Catholic Church! I was even surprised when I learned about it at first. Any way, to prevent this problem, the Church, the people of God and not just the hierarchy, must be proactive. As Pope Francis once mentioned about the importance of initial formation of seminarians and novices in one of his sermons, hence they create “little monsters“.

I am writing this entry in a secluded area where there’s only three in the community (I, a brother and a lay mission partner). I am far away from my family. I have no girlfriend, no wife, and no children. Is it a lonely life? Yes. I remember my aunt’s reaction when she learned that I am still a Marist Brother. She said that I might have been living a sad life. (In Filipino, the word malungkot may mean alone or sad). But before I go out of the topic, yes I am living a lonely life now but it is not always like that. Yes, my life is becoming lonelier than ever. But that’s not all. Community living and the solidarity of the Brothers who have lived this kind of life is my source of consolation. If the burden of this commitment is becoming heavier, I must admit it though it may be seen as unmanly of me. Emotions must be expressed or else it might manifest somewhere else.

If the way I am (or the lack of my
character) is not anymore congruent to the commitment of being a Brother, then that’s the time to leave. I won’t be able to radiate the joy of the kingdom if that happens. I must not insist anymore if that happens since it is not God’s call that I am listening or responding into; it is myself calling me.

Strangely, I feel like it’s Good Friday on an Easter weekday. But remember, Resurrection is not possible without the Crucifixion. Besides, I’m just carrying the load of the cross. Yes, I feel some burden now but my head is still up. Carry on, Allen! You’ll see the Risen Lord.