Sierra Leone is Ebola free!

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Bacolod City—Today Sierra Leone is declared Ebola-free. Thanks to the divine providence and endless supplications. The people on that part of the globe can continue to live a normal life.

Indeed the people of Sierra Leone have lost their loved ones, friends, or neighbors adding to the death toll of more than 10, 000. Africans from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone altogether suffered from that catastrophic outbreak.

As of November 6, 2015, World Health Organization (WHO) records 28,586 cases in three countries and deaths of about 11,299.

For many people, the Ebola virus has hugely changed them in the way they look at the danger of an outbreak, perhaps totally different from civil unrest due to the unseen yet fatal enemy-the virus.

Little did we know, however, about the freaking outbreak. We are relatively far from the actual scene. We depended so much on the images that have surfaced from all forms of media. The first hand information is always the most credible information that can best describe and narrate to us the situation. Now it is not going to be from anything else but from him who opted to stay there until such time that the Ebola was finally subdued.

His name is Bro. Jonathan Jamero, OAR from the Order of Augustinian Recollects. He’s a dauntless man from Nurala, South Cotabato, Phillipines. He volunteered to the African mission way back in 2007. His mission assignment is in the northern part of Sierra Leone the open gate to Guinea where the Ebola case was first ever recorded. His stay there as missionary is at times interrupted because of illness or needed trainings to be completed to be able to continue serving in the African mission.

I would like to share to you my interview with him.

Fray Abraham:

Fray Jamms, the moment you heard about the outbreak, what was your initial plan?

Fray Jammers:

“Actually, there was no plan. If ever there was, I would say, it’s off the record.” [Laughing]

Fray Abraham:

Tell me about the lock down. How did the government disseminate the information?

Fray Jammers:

“The President of Salon (Sierra Leone) sent the information through mobile phones. The lock down alert was to warn everyone of the dreaded disease and to stop wandering about unreasonably in the villages. We were also given a Pass ticket of a sort. It determines your health status. They would also check you if you got fever, like that. There were several check points. From Kamalu to Makeni at least there were four checkpoints and then another nine or more on the way to Freetown.

Fray Abraham:

What did you do? Did you panic?

Fray Jammers:

“We have agreed among ourselves that Fray Jose Luis Garayoa and Fray Rene Gonzales would be staying in Kamabai and Fray Dennis and I opted to go to Kamalu in our house in the north. We have literally locked down our gate bracing our walls against any possible intruders just in case the situation worsen. But again, I would say, in a way, that’s useless to the unseen virus. What we could do was to really pray.”

Fray Abraham:

What’s your daily routine inside our house? Did you have  enough provisions? Remember you couldn’t go anywhere.

Fray Jammers:

“Well, we have at least provisions good for a month. After a month we decided to go to the Capital, Freetown to secure what we need. We have to pay wages and also we have to buy food. Our cook from Kamakwe and a convent boy Francis Turay, James of Makale were with us then. At first we were not allowed to celebrate Mass. We prayed the Breviary everyday, something that at least we were so consistent of doing it. When Kamakwe was found to have Ebola case, we could not go up north to celebrate the Mass there. When in another village Kamaranka also got infected, we stopped going there too.

We had to communicate through mobile phones.

But do you remember the check point located at the crossroads of Kamalu and Kamabai near Makeni; with the local vendors who normally display their goods; vegetables, root crops, and many other supplies? They vacated the area because of the lock down. If they could not sell anything there what would happen to them? They would go hungry! We would go hungry.”

Fray Abraham:

I do remember that. The sweet potatoes and peanuts are their best harvest. Was there anyone from our parishioners who got infected by the Ebola?

Fray Jammers:

“There was none. There was one who had been reported that he had copious vomiting of blood and eventually he died. Accordingly he was just a visitor from Freetown. His entire family was quarantined. That was terrifying. Although there were doubts from among the locale that it’s not Ebola.”

Fray Abraham:

What was the Church’s measures during that ghastly months of July and August of 2014 in Salon?

Fray Jammers:

“Ah, there was no mass to be celebrated in our Catholic Churches. The Diocese has extended help of food supplies to families being quarantined. We also gave bags of rice. The dead were taken cared of by the team from the government and World Health Organization’s response team. People were not allowed to touch the dead corpse which is part of their ritual to wash the body before burying it.”

Fray Abraham:

Knowing the threat of virus, were you not afraid to die? It was like a suicide on your part to prefer to stay in Salon considering the danger?

Fray Jammers:

“Ah, [Laughing], I thought that was my point of being martyred… I opted to stay because I knew it would give hope to the people. We are their shepherd we could not abandon them. I see in their eyes the spirit of appreciation…With that it  has also supplied my courage. There was one time, our duck got bitten by a Cobra. Fray Dennis love to eat fried chicken or any sort of fowl especially duck. I told the cook to fry it. Afterwards I started to eat it. Fray Dennis was just looking at me while I was eating the deep-fried fowl. Later on he told me, perhaps jokingly, ‘if Brother Jammers would die I would be taking care of everything. Aha! so he said: “Give me my portion of that sweet smelling fowl  Fray Jams. Let’s eat together and die together.”

[Laughing].

Fray Abraham:

Oh, my! You could have survived the Ebola but probably not the venum from the mamba. [Laughing].

Some media men were looking after you, in fact Fray Dominador Mercado a.k.a. “Patik ” went live on National TV about the Ebola. Did you receive a call from any of those media men? Did you receive a message from our Priors and brethren?

Fray Jammers:

Apparently yes! The Press tried to wire my aunt in General Santos inquiring about my current situation.

From the Priors? Ah, [Laughing]! I think yes, the message was more of an assurance that they were praying for our safety, for all of us. I am so grateful to them.”

Fray Abraham:

Is there anything you want to say which I have not asked?

Fray Jammers:

“I have already shared to our young seminarians and professed brothers. They were all enthusiastic to go to Sierra Leone. The reality remains. After ordination, nobody seems to be so excited. If they go, they would spend only a few months. I still encourage them to try, to dream, to beat the unbeatable foe, going through hardships. I’m going back. I hope some will join us there.

Fray Abraham:

Thank you Brother Jammers!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2020 >
July
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   1
  • All day
    July 1, 2020

     

    START OF CURSO DE PREPARACIÓN FOR SOLEMN PROFESSION OF FRAY RAMON BITANCOR III (Antipolo)

    BIRTHDAY
    Br. John Arnold Lozada (prenovice)
    Rakyla Nadine Samuel (RAY-Cavite)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2017-2020)
    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Fray Ivan Cuison
    Fray Jhyryx Vincent Gamulo
    Fray James Erold Gatinao

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Benedicta Marco, AR

2
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    July 2, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2020)
    +Fray Delfin Castillo

3
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    July 3, 2020

    ST. THOMAS, APOSTLE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Merriam Capellan, AR

4
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    July 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2016-2020)
    +Fray Loreto Ceasar Dacanay
    +Sr. Martina de la Santisima Trinidad, AR

5
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    July 5, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Filomena Castaño, AR Sr. Jeraldine Hernandez, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1961-2020)
    Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr.

    (1981-2020)
    Fray Dionisio Selma

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Margarita de la Paz, AR

6
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    July 6, 2020

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    July 6-10 / Rome

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian
    Sr. Ma. Alma Alaras, AR
    Lalaine Karylle Ramos (RAY-San Carlos)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Vicenta Cutanda, AR

7
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    July 7, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Radni Caparas
    Angela Palen (RAY-Provincialate)

8
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    July 8, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marcelina Diaz, AR
    Mary Ann Nuñez (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Juliana Mandia, AR

9
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    July 9, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cirilo Andan
    Sr. Ma. Alma Limotlimot, AR
    Shiena Mae Quimada (RAY-Laray)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1960-2020: 60TH ANNIVERSARY)
    Fray Walthrode Conde

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (RELIGIOUS BROTHER)
    (2005-2020)
    Fray Teodulo Hayahay

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Lourdes Tinoy, AR

10
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    July 10, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (RELIGIOUS BROTHERS)
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Rey Tripulca
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes, Jr.
    Fray Jonathan Jamero

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1982-2020)
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

11
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    July 11, 2020

    RCI BOT MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gerarda de la Riarte, AR
    Sr. Anacleta Berino, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1976-2020)
    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sen. Marcelo Fernan (Brother-General of the Order)
    +Sr. Trinidad de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

12
  • All day
    July 12, 2020

    SEA SUNDAY
    “During this Sea Sunday, we are invited to become aware of the hardships and difficulties that seafarers face daily and of the valuable service provided by the Apostleship of the Sea in being Church who bears witness of the Lord’s mercy and tenderness in order to preach the Gospel in the ports of the whole world.”

    (Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People)

13
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    July 13, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)
    Elyssa Santos (RAY-Cavite)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1975-2020)
    Fray Regino Bangcaya

14
  • All day
    July 14, 2020

    450TH ANNIVERSARY – APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION, QUO PRIMUM
    (Promulgating the Tridentine Liturgy / Pius V / 1570)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Griselda Gruba, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1974-2020)
    Fray Dionisio Cachero

15
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    July 15, 2020

    ATTENTION LOCAL PRIORS: DEADLINE TODAY OF SUBMITTING THE ONLINE ASSESSMENT SENT BY THE PRIOR GENERAL (cf. Prot. CG 100/2020)

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL FINANCIAL COUNCIL
    July 15-20 / [No venue yet]

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1973-2020)
    Fray Hernando Coja

16
  • All day
    July 16, 2020

    49TH PATRONAL FIESTA
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos / Cebu City
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    14TH PATRONAL FIESTA
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish / Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    *Special intention for those who perished in the July 16, 1990 earthquake (particularly in Baguio).

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Carmencita Indolos, AR
    Mo. Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1978-2020)
    Fray Enrico Peter Silab

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Mo. Ma. del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

17
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    4TH PATRONAL FIESTA
    Quasi Parish of Nuestra Señora del Carmen / Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
    Fiesta Mass: (Time and Presider—to be communicated later)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Sr. Ma. Soledad Torres, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Martina de San Miguel, AR
    +Sr. Martha Llanes, AR

18
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    July 18, 2020

    150TH ANNIVERSARY –DECLARATION OF PAPAL INFALLIBILITY BY THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1870)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresa Bautista, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1965-2020)
    Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr.

    (1981-2020)
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

19
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    July 19, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Cordero Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1964-2020)
    Fray Walthrode Conde

20
  • All day
    July 20, 2020

    50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST HUMAN PERSON ON THE MOON (1969)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Gaudencio Geronimo de Mesa
    Sr. Ma. Nita Atencio, AR
    Sr. Geronima Primor, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Vicenta de San Agustin, AR

21
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ginger Acosta, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Edwin Ilagan, AR

2223
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    ENCOUNTER OF OAR PRENOVICES FOR MONTEAGUDO
    July 23-25 / Spain

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Rouel Sia

24
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    BIRTHDAY
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25
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    ST. JAMES, APOSTLE

    GRADUATION CEREMONY OF ST. RITA KINDERGARTEN
    Linyuan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo
    Fray James Esplanada (simply prof.)
    Sr. Ma. Gorreti Cui, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

26
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    July 26, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joaquin Jamelo
    Sr. Ma. Olympia Bolatete, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Prudencia de la Virgen del Pilar, AR

27
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    July 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jorge Peligro
    Sr. Ma. Eulalia Magquilat, AR

28
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    July 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Irma Castrodes, AR
    Sr. Ma. Ligaya Satur, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Patrocinio Cabanlet, AR

29
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    July 29, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Gertrudes del Espiritu Santo, AR

30
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    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Cecilia Rosa de Jesus Talangpaz, AR
    +Sr. Asuncion de San Jose, AR
    +Sr. Magdalena del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sr. Magdalena Sabano, AR
    +Mo. Ma. Nicolasa de San Jose, AR
    +Sr. Vicenta de San Agustin, AR
    +Sr. Esmeralda Mantalaba, AR

31
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    July 31, 2020

    END OF THE CURSO DE PREPARACIÓN (Antipolo)

 

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