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 >
October
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  • All day
    October 1, 2020

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

2
  • All day
    October 2, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Leo Alaras

3
  • All day
    October 3, 2020

    START OF THE NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED (Valencia) / OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (Baguio)

    POPE FRANCIS’ PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Baco, AR
    Sr. Elyn Joy Olmedo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1987-2020)
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Jorge Peligro

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ramona Plaza, AR

4
  • All day
    October 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Roberto Gaa (Diocese of Novaliches)
    Fray Joffrey Casusa (novice)
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2003-2020)
    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
  • All day
    October 5, 2020

    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Miguela Obera, AR

6
  • All day
    October 6, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Primitiva Berdejo, AR
    Sr. Noemi Mapa, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR

7
  • All day
    October 7, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin (simply prof.)
    Sr. Juliet Natinga, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2006-2020)
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Fray Russell Lapidez
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Miranda de Santa Monica, AR

8
  • All day
    October 8, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Neil Ryan Jarumay
    Ms. Nestoria “Inday” Bad-an (Sister General of the Order)

9
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    October 9, 2020

    3rd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO (Pangasinan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Angelo Diaz (novice)
    John Leonard Cabling (RAY-Canlubang)
    Glorie Lynn Sorgon (RAY-Bacolod)

10
  • All day
    October 10, 2020

    ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA,
    Bishop and Patron of Studies

    PRIOR GENERAL LAUNCHES THE BOOK:
    “VIVIR LA POBREZA: GRACIA Y RETO”
    (Note: Title and cover are not yet finalized)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Raul Dael, DD [Bishop of Tandag]
    Sr. Ofelia Laspobres, AR

11
  • All day
    October 11, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN XIII

    PARISH FIESTA OF NSTRA. SNRA. BIRHEN DE LOS REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)
    Time: 9:00 A.M. (Saipan Time)
    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Samuel Eyas

12
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    October 12, 2020

    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
    Time: 9:00 A.M. / CARES, Baguio City
    Presider & Homilist: Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR (Provincial Councilor)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
    Valencia, Negros Oriental
    Time: 10:00 A.M. (cf. FB Live Streaming)
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Seiji Ishii (novice)
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
    Sr. Bernarditha Barnido, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Dionisia Mitas de Santa Maria Talangpaz

13
  • All day
    October 13, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

14
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    October 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Laura Cabanacan, AR
    Sr. Rhena Sherra Caranzo, AR

15
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    October 15, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renz Calex Soriano (simply prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2020)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Monica de Espiritu Santo, AR

16
  • All day
    October 16, 2020

    WORLD FOOD DAY 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Pia Pineda, AR
    Sr. Ma. Linda Peña, AR
    Jhon Paul Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2020)
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

17
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    October 17, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. [Bishop of Cubao]
    Sr. Ma. Cirila Uy, AR
    Shiela Mae Labadia (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Visitacion de San Miguel, AR
    Sr. Gabriela Garcines, AR
    Sr. Jacinta Mandia Robin, AR

18
  • All day
    October 18, 2020

    WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
    (Pope Francis’ Message:http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions /documents/papa-francesco_20200531_giornata-missionaria2020.html

    25th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1995-2020) SARF- VALENCIA CHAPTER

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Jonel Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

19
  • All day
    October 19, 2020

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

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn Sarmiento, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Virginia Acha, AR

20
  • All day
    October 20, 2020

    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI,
    Patroness of the Secular Augustinian Recollects

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

21
  • All day
    October 21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ursulina Balading, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lutgarda Cañete, AR

22
  • All day
    October 22, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Agustinus Agus, DD (Archdiocese of Pontianak, Indonesia)
    Fray Edgar Tubio
    Sr. Teresita Diana, AR

23
  • All day
    October 23, 2020

    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Hernando Coja
    Sr. Herminia Catindig, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2020)
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

24
  • All day
    October 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rafael Cabarles
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1996-2020)
    Fray Glynn Ortega

25
  • All day
    October 25, 2020

    ST. JOHN STONE, Priest & Martyr

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Veronica Purto, AR
    Simon Kurt Casupanan (RAY-Cavite)
    Nestor Tala (RAY-Miranila)

    25th ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1995-2020)
    Fray Joel Dequilla

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1983-2020)
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

26
  • All day
    October 26, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dionisio Selma
    Fray Renie Villalino
    Sr. Rosalie Ubo, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Leonora Mercado, AR

27
  • All day
    October 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Limchaypo

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Presentacion de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Martina Labao, AR

28
  • All day
    October 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jeana Abejuela, AR

29
  • All day
    October 29, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Catherine Ildefonso (RAY-Urbiztondo)
    Kristine Ruelo (RAY-Provincialate)

30
  • All day
    October 30, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    MOST. REV. NATALE PAGANELLI, SX, Bishop of Makeni, Sierra Leone

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Dominador Mercado Jr.
    Sr. Lorlie Decir, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1999-2020)
    Fray Joel Alve

31
  • All day
    October 31, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Albina de la Virgen de Soledad, AR

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