Catanduanes, Philippines, Vacation, Virac
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Hello Pinas

It’s been a week since my arrival in pinas, spent two sulit days in Manila before heading to Virac, my hometown. Noticeably, it has grown a lot (something relative though) at least since my last visit which was, a little over a year ago. Businesses have increased in number and people, too…motorcyles doubled, perhaps tripled. Talk about weekdays,  7am-6pm, my location (my version of miracle mile) is like a parking lot and super busy intersection. Yesterday, while crossing the pedestrian right across my place, I was almost hit by a motocycle, the driver cussed in my face for getting his way. When I was walking the street from the fountain to the market, it’s very telling I’ve become a stranger.
I look forward to Eastern’s mini-Fiesta and that’s practically the reason why I got here earlier than usual. Fr. Popong presided over the Mass in honor of St. Anthony of Padua. Despite his insistence at concelebrating, I stayed at the back with more than a dozen recognizable faces. In the afternoon, after a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament, I climbed upstairs and had a very substantial (informative) conversation with Fr. Bhem Reyes, long hair and always online, Fr. Popong, a great leader, mentor and pastor, and a few come and go. Fiesta night, gradeschool classmates came in and shared some laughs over a few familiar spirits which knowing their capacities disappeared quickly. Over anything else, what I like most was the conversation. I didn’t realize until then I had a knack at making people crack coz uhm I’ve always thought I had no personality, not at all.
The following evening, Fr. Chanox, a good buddy and classmate for better for worse (Sipi and Naga days) graciously arrived after sunset and was happy to see me again.  Erning, an ex-seminarian left after 3rd year theology with dignity and just married, joined us. Videoke kept us alive. Laughter never ran short especially as we reminisced the old days. I was particularly impressed with Fr. Chanox’ voice and demeanor. I can vouch we were on the same level that is, (unable to handle even a melody) back then but now, I’m way behind. Don’t know why maybe, I needed to pick up the MagicSing quite often.
By the way, on my arrival, Fr. Didoy, a childhood friend and classmate eversince the world began, by all means, needing no introduction, met me at the airport and as has always been the case for years, gave me a welcome party in a place with great entertainment. Supposedly, it was afforaboyz but didn’t work out as planned obviously because of job related commitments. Eric, still the bigboy and big time phoned me later part of the afternoon letting me know he might not make it in the prayer meeting considering the distance and added I’m not vip (ghee!) but opened his doors anytime. Not a problem.

I have tons of unfinished business left on my desk in St. James. Wished it was done before taking off but what can I do, I’m halfway around the globe. For now, unless it’s necessary, I’ll put it off and worry about it when I come back. I’ll spend the remaining days with my family and friends, play with nephews and niece, shoot some hoops, pray often, Love God and neighbor rain or shine, smell the air, watch people in the veranda, go online once in a while, take time eating and no rush, visit places, hit the beach and yep, enjoy the rain, lots of it. With my current lifestyle, I can’t promise to lose weight. Amen. 

This entry was posted in: Catanduanes, Philippines, Vacation, Virac


A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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