Three Priors meet Senator Villar

Towards the end of February Prior General Fray Miguel Miró, Prior Provincial Fray Dionisio Selma and outgoing San Sebastian Convent Prior Fray René Paglinawan paid a visit to Senator Cynthia A. Villar in the historic city of Las Piñas in Metro Manila. Today Las Piñas is synonymous with its world-famous Bamboo Organ inside its parish church.

The historic visit was planned at the provincial curia in Quezon City a couple of days before the three Capitular Fathers took the plane for the Visayas. They were to join the 24 religious in the two-week 7th Provincial Chapter of the Province of Saint Ezekiel Moreno at the Talavera House of Prayer in Barangay Quiot, Cebu City.

Despite the traffic mess apparently common in Manila, they reached Las Piñas in less than an hour, thanks to the expert driver Monching. At the church patio of Saint Joseph parish church, the concrete statue of the iconic friar Padre Diego Cera de la Virgen del Carmen silently greeted them.

At once the newly re-elected prior provincial noticed and lamented the absence at the metal marker of the statue’s foot of anything that identified the confrere Fray Diego as Augustinian Recollect. Even the metal historical landmark at the façade of the Temple of God, now 243 years old, dedicated to the foster father of Jesus, was likewise bereft of the acronyms OAR, ORSA nor of Agustino Recoleto, Augustinian Recollect.

Father Selma asked aloud: “Why is there nothing indicative of the ecclesiastical affiliation, religious provenance of the church and organ builder and nor of the 200-year presence of the religious order that administered Saint Joseph Parish?”

There is nary a hint of grateful mention of the Spanish friar’s religious order. Its illustrious member Padre Diego Cera of Aragon, Spain, and his handcrafted Bamboo Organ had placed Las Piñas in the cultural map of the world. Bereft further of religious affiliation too is the Diego Cera Avenue that separates the Church of the Bamboo Organ from Saint Ezekiel Moreno Hall. But then, this is pursuant to provisions of a Philippine law prohibiting any professional title or religious affiliation in street names.

The three priors knelt down and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament inside the stone house of God where the hardworking Padre Diego and the exemplary Padre Ezekiel Moreno, parish priest in 1876-1879, prayed as well decades before. They all looked up at the choirloft and marveled at the iconic Bamboo Organ, hand-crafted in 1819-1825.

The parish museum beside the divine temple was filled with noisy high school students from nearby Saint Joseph’s Academy. The museum has a large framed photo of Padre Diego, a metal bust of bearded Saint Ezekiel, paintings and pictures of old Las Piñas town and church, and a small pipe organ. Near the exit were a showcase of souvenir items, religious articles and copies of Helen Samson-Lauterwald’s Bamboo Organ book. Fr. Selma carefully sat on a sturdy antique chair. The curator’s assistant was informed that the visiting priests were senior citizens and confreres of Saint Ezekiel and Padre Diego and no museum entrance fee was charged.

The San Sebastian van proceeded to Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno, ten minutes away. Architect Claude Edwin Andrews had designed it. The church is the biggest ever constructed by Vista Land, a corporation owned by the Villar family. For four decades, the family is known to be builder of residences and memorial homes and developer of subdivisions. At present, they have constructed houses of God in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Alabang, Tagaytay, etc.

The construction of Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno commenced in May 2011. It is located in the compound of the headquarters of Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) Center, Barangay Pulanglupa Uno, C5 Extension Road in Las Piñas City. The bright interior of the Santuario without columns was the work of Architect Joey Amistoso. The gilt retablo was a fine sight to behold with the sacred images and that of Lady of Buen Suceso, patroness of the Diocese of Parañaque-Las Piñas, at the apex. At the lateral wings, the stained glass rosettes depict the Saint on one side and on the other the episcopal coat-of-arms of Saint Ezekiel in Pasto, Colombia, depicting the pierced heart on a book with the text Fortitudo mea et refugium meum es tu (You are my strength and my refuge). The rosette of the coat-of-arms of Saint Ezekiel Moreno Province is prominent at the church façade.

The Santuario was inaugurated by the local Ordinary Jesse Mercado on 19 August 2014. The diocesan rector, Recollect priests from Manila and Cavite and ex-provincial Father Regino Bangcaya concelebrated the holy Mass with the bishop. Las Piñas residents, Secular Augustinian Recollects from Cavite City and devotees of Saint Ezekiel occupied the 700-seater temple with countless parishioners standing at the aisles, huge frontal and lateral doors. Bishop Mercado blest the Museo de San Ezekiel after the Mass.

At her speech during the lunch tendered for the guests at the nearby Villar SIPAG Center, Senator Cynthia A. Villar could never forget how in 2011 her family was given a special guided tour by no less than the former prior general Father Javier Pipaón at Monteagudo, Navarra, Spain. It was a guided tour of the Recollect convent where Bishop Ezekiel spent his last days on earth and passed away on !9 August 1906 in the odor of sanctity.

Senator Villar met with the three priors who had earlier viewed and admired the interior of the 200-million-peso Santuario. They did not visit the Museo de San Ezekiel which was closed for renovation. The lady senator had rushed from the Senate in Manila where her Agriculture Committee had conducted in the morning a hearing on the National Food Administration (NFA) rice shortage. Days later the hardworking senator flew to Boracay for an ocular inspection of the world-renowned beach resort and her Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources conducted a hearing on the ecological woes of the primary tourist destination.

The senator conversed with the prior general from Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain, through Fr. Rene Paglinawan’s help as interpreter. Fr. Miró then gave various medals with relics of Saint Ezekiel to the senator who said she would share them with her husband ex-Senator Manny Villar and children. After the native snacks, they all proceeded to view handcrafted artifacts made from water lilies and labelled photos at the Villar Legacy Museum inside the Center. She gave the visiting priests a bag each of native products and publications on her cherished advocacies, poverty-reduction programs, farm schools and other pro-poor projects in Las Piñas, Manila, and other parts of the Philippines.

On the way to the shop where strips of plastic waste were transformed into 20-kg. school armchairs, the visiting priests observed the incredibly clean water of Las Piñas River, another favorite eco waste-management project of Villar SIPAG Center. Their last stop was spent at the coffee shop inside the family-owned commercial center where over cups of cappuccino and brewed black coffee. Senator Villar got to know the Augustinian Recollects better. She rued that the Santuario de San Ezekiel could not be handed over to the Recollects. Father Miró then invited her to visit the general curia in a future visit to Rome.

It was past 7:00 PM when the prior general checked in at Terminal One of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a twenty-minute drive. The Qatar Airlines flight was scheduled at 12:01 AM.

It was a historic visit of sorts and the good senator got to know and appreciate the charism and mission of the Augustinian Recollects whose sons Padre Diego Cera and Saint Ezekiel had bequeathed the intangible heritage of faith and spread the Good News of Jesus to her forbears. Furthermore, the iconic Recollect friar brought worldwide fame and tangible cultural legacy to the Filipino people and to Senator Cynthia A. Villar’s native Las Piñas as the City of the Bamboo Organ.

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Prof. Emmanuel Luis Romanillos

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< 2019 >
June
SMTuWThFS
      1
  • All day
    June 1, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO ROMANIA
    (May 31-June 2, 2019)

    Day 2: Bucarest-Bacau-Sumuleu-Ciuc-Iasi-Bucarest

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Russell Lapidez

     

2
  • All day
    June 2, 2019

    ASCENSION OF THE LORD
    WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO ROMANIA
    (May 31-June 2, 2019)

    Day 3: Bucarest-Sibiu-Blaj-Sibiu-Rome

    148th ANNIVERSARY (1871- 2019) OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO’S PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES & TRANSITIO ET FORMATIO
    Venue: Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary Baguio City / Time: 2:00PM

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Constantino Real

3
  • All day
    June 3, 2019

    NATIONWIDE OPENING OF S.Y. 2019-2020
    (cf. DepEd Order No. 007 series of 2019, dated April 22, 2019)

    CSNT-R SCHOOL OPENING
    SPA-R SCHOOL OPENING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III (simple prof.)

4
  • All day
    June 4, 2019

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

5
  • All day
    June 5, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION (1985-2019)
    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

6
  • All day
    June 6, 2019

    148th ANNIVERSARY (1871-2019) OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO’S ARRIVAL IN [CALAPAN] MINDORO

    17th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

7
  • All day
    June 7, 2019

    MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – SPA-R

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresita Aurigue, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL & EPISCOPAL ORDINATIONS
    Most Rev. Raul Dael (Diocese of Tandag)

8
  • All day
    June 8, 2019

    OAR FORMANDS CONVENTION
    Venue: RFC, Miranila, Quezon City Inclusive Dates: June 8 -12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Joy Dula, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Diocese of Chalan Kanoa [Saipan])

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Amparo del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

9
  • All day
    June 9, 2019

    PENTECOST SUNDAY

    398th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF RECOLETOS DE CEBU

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Purificacion Glimada, AR Sr. Ma. Lea Eseo, AR
    Sr. Evangeline Pejano, AR

10
  • All day
    June 10, 2019

    CST-R SCHOOL OPENING

    USJ-R BALAMBAN CAMPUS SCHOOL OPENING (JHS and SHS)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joel Villaruel

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1984-2019)
    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmela Garcia, AR
    Sr. Soledad Cañete, AR

11
  • All day
    June 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY:
    Most Rev. Francisco M. de Leon, D.D. (Diocese of Antipolo)
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos
    Fray Joshua Olaivar (simple prof.)
    Sr. Ma. Divina Caabay, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1983-2018)
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Jorge Peligro

12
  • All day
    June 12, 2019

    ST. JOHN OF SAHAGUN

    Philippines’ 121st INDEPENDENCE DAY

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Micaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR

13
  • All day
    June 13, 2019

    BOT MEETING – SSC-R MANILA
    Venue: SSC-R Manila / 9:00 AM

    USJ-R BALAMBAN CAMPUS SCHOOL OPENING (Elementary)

    BIRTHDAY:

    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias (Diocese of Novaliches)
    Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR (General Superior of the CARS)
    Sr. Antonia Pono, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (Religious Brother):
    (1998-2019)
    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fe de la Sgda. Familia, AR

14
  • All day
    June 14, 2019

    BOT MEETING – SSC-R CAVITE
    Venue: SSC-R Manila / 2:00 PM

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1972-2019)
    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Michaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    Mo. Maria Josefa Borces, AR

15
  • All day
    June 15, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Sr. Ma. Clotilde Edora, AR
    Sr. Adoracion Pagsisihan, AR
    Sr. Isis Vita Villagonzalo, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Manuela de San Agustin, AR

16
  • All day
    June 16, 2019

    HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY

    PAPAL VISIT TO CAMERINO – SAN SEVERINO MARCHE

    BIRTHDAY:
    Sr. Aurelia Pastidio, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1974-2019)
    Fray Enrico Peter Silab

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Encarnacion Hynson, AR

17
  • All day
    June 17, 2019

    UNO-R SCHOOL OPENING

    BOT MEETING – UNO-R BACOLOD
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    BOT MEETING – SPA VALENCIA & SPA-R CAIDIOCAN
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 2:00 PM

18
  • All day
    June 18, 2019

    BOT MEETING – CST-R SAN CARLOS
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    BOT MEETING – CSNT-R TALISAY
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 2:00 PM

    BOT MEETING – RESOURCE HANDUMANAN INC.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Irenea Vergara, AR
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Barroca, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1978-2019)
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, DD (Diocese of Cubao)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Victor Lluch (2004-2019 / 15th)

19
  • All day
    June 19, 2019

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

    BOT MEETING – USJ-R MAIN, CEBU
    Venue: USJ-R Main, Cebu / 9:00 AM

    BOT MEETING – USJ-R BALAMBAN
    Venue: USJ-R Main, Cebu / 2:00 PM

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, DD (Diocese of Imus)

    (2010-2019)
    Fray Leo Alaras
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda Fray James Dexter Tanquis

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1977-2019)
    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Rosa de Padua, AR

20
  • All day
    June 20, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Enrico Nacorda

21
  • All day
    June 21, 2019

    MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – CSNT-R
    *tentative schedule

    BIRTHDAY
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Archdiocese of Manila)
    Sr. Ma. Luisa Borces, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2005-2019)
    Jaime Cardinal Sin (Brother General of the Order)

22
  • All day
    June 22, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Paulino Dacanay

23
  • All day
    June 23, 2019

    CORPUS [ET SANGUIS] CHRISTI

    78th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF RECOLETOS DE SAN CARLOS (Negros Occidental)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Geronima Ruiz, AR
    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR
    Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR

24
  • All day
    June 24, 2019

    NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    CURSO DE PREPARACION 2019
    Venue: Madrid, Spain
    Inclusive Dates: June 24- August 3, 2019

    USJ-R MAIN/BASAK CAMPUS SCHOOL OPENING

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Geronima Ruiz, AR
    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR
    Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Presentacion Ramirez, AR

25
  • All day
    June 25, 2019

    SSC-R MANILA SCHOOL OPENING (Basic Education)

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Bp.-elect Cosme Damian Almedilla (Bishop of Butuan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Luisa Padilla, AR

26
  • All day
    June 26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Julius Marcos
    Fray Virgilio Calalang, Jr (simple prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, DD (Bishop Emeritus of Bacolod)

27
  • All day
    June 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Elvira Vergara, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Catalina del Amor Misericordioso, AR

28
  • All day
    June 28, 2019

    SACRED HEART OF JESUS

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

    MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – USJ-R BALAMBAN CAMPUS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Enrico Peter Silab
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1990-2019)
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco M. de Leon, D.D. (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita de Lumbania, AR

29
  • All day
    June 29, 2019

    STS. PETER AND PAUL
    10th ANNIVERSARY FO THE ENCYCLICAL, CARITAS IN VERITATE (2009)

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS
    Venue: SEMONORE, Antipolo City / 9:00 A.M.

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2018-2019)
    Fray Helfrid D. Palmis
    Fray Nero F. Bautista
    Fray Jose Enrico V. Gallego
    Fray Rey Jay Y. Quevedo
    Fray Renz Calex C. Soriano
    Fray Jhoben M. Rodriguez

    ANNIVERSARY OF RELIGIOUS PROFESSION
    (1967-2019)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1971-2019)
    Fray Rafael Cabarles

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Rosario Alvero, AR

30
  • All day
    June 30, 2019

    13th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

      

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