Tag Archives: KATIPAN

From therapy to ministry: The wonders of blogging

Almost two years ago, I started my first blog, courtesy of a  pastor friend, Jonan Castillon.  He encouraged me to blog as part of my healing process. I was at the peak of leadership and  service  when attacked by chronic heart ailment, compounded by unusual nerve disorder. Such condition had constrained my active life of service. Most of my time was spent at home due to limited mobility, making me vulnerable to discouragement and depression.

Pastor Jonan’s  successful journey in on line niche was contagious that despite my skepticism, I  entertained the idea. However, I did not know how to start. Thus, despite his hectic schedule, Pastor Jonan took time to tutor me hands on blogging. Thereafter, I  experienced the gradual process of growth comparable to my healing process.

PadayonDubbed PADAYON: Our Life Journey, my first journal blog was an attempt  to inspire readers to continue the commitment in service, no matter what. PADAYON is an Ilonggo term which means continue. In deeper sense, it connotes moving/going on (or never give up) despite adversaries or adversities.

Social WorkMy friend’s advice worked. I found  joy in blogging. My interest in writing was revived. Rather than fretting over my limited mobility, I made use of my time in blogging. I poured out my thoughts and emotion into the blog and found relief.  Hence, I opened another blog to ventilate my suppressed commitment to the service of the people towards development. Its first name was  Networking-for-holistic-development. Later,  I changed the name to Development concepts, issues and concerns to broaden its coverage. Recently, however, it was renamed  Social Work and Development to give it a focus.

The inspiration continued. Hence, I created a sharing blog, Faith Journey,  serving  as forum for life and faith experiences of people who have survived the test of times and circumstances. Likewise, a venue for sharing and learning from one another  so that others would also find inspiration in their faith journey.

Faith Journey

Learning and enjoying the blogging world, I decided to maximize the beauty of web linkages and networking. Hence, another blog to provide an opportunity for others to share their resources. Dubbed Resource Sharing for Development, this blog is an attempt to widen my services to humanity through linkages and networking of developmental and service-oriented blogs and bloggers.

LarizaWith four blogs to maintain, my mind had been busy. Slowly, my focus was diverted. Instead of spending most of my time observing my seemingly deteriorating condition, I was obliged to give time to my blogs. My vulnerability to depression caused by the delay in healing process started to diminish. There was a paradigm shift in my mind and heart. The delay of complete healing became an opportunity to evaluate my life and faith. I have more time for self and family. More time to read the bible, pray, meditate, reflect, put faith into action in almost all aspects of life. All the wonderful things previously deprived of me due to very hectic schedule prior to ailment.

By  creating  a family blog i.e. Lariza. Website,  I tried to consolidate all my other blogs to continue my service and ministry. Hopefully,  to give  inspiration and restoration of self-confidence for those who are devastated by harsh realities of life in various forms.

NETS

But my blogging exodus did not end there. Before the resumption of my hectic schedule, I succeeded to create three more blogs.

Both are official web sites of the organizations my ICONwife and I helped put up. NETSnews  for   an independent inter-denominational  seminary based in Escalante City, Negros Occidental.   ICON Network, official website of the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs- a network of non-government Catalyzerorganizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) in Iloilo. And CPU Catalyzer, publication of the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University.

The development in blogging and subsequent inspiration to me has been reflective in my health condition. While I have not mastered yet all the blogging technology, I feel contented to see the progress. Likewise, although I have not fully recovered  as far as my health condition is concerned, I appreciate any progress big or small.

Padayon KatipanHowever, my hectic schedule, especially when I resumed my work,  constrained me to update all my blogs. It’s good that  Christmas break has given me time to visit my blogs, review and evaluate them. Subsequently, I have decided to give each blog a  focus or niche and transfer respective posts to where they belong.  More so, that the alarming trend in our religious organizations has inspired me to create another blog that will focus on the Convention Baptist Ministers Association and Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.  PADAYON KATIPAN  serves as reminder to  keep up the covenant, to continue the good things we have started, especially for the development of our pastors.

Henceforth, blogging will  be a ministry.

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PADAYON KATIPAN (Keep up the Covenant)

(Article first published as open letter for Baptist Pastors on Pahayag, official publication of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association, January- March 2011 edition)

Two words that capped my SONATA 2010 (State of the National Association Address) as a clincher to six years of service as your president. The best years I have ever given to a particular cause in my lifetime. Years that witness the commitment and dedication surpassing my other endeavors, paid or likewise voluntary in nature.

It will be recalled that PADAYON was the word used to close the successful conduct of our 68th National Assembly in 2009. Inspired by your overwhelming responses, I was looking for a punch line to sustain the momentum in delivering the concluding remarks. Then came the text message from my *Ihado when the worship leader innovatively asked us to write a message to a person of choice. All the notes coming to me have common message of encouragement to “keep up the good work.” My ihado gave me a note with one word which captured all other messages: PADAYON

KATIPAN, on the other hand, has become a symbol of our unity and success. It bespeaks of the realization of collective faith and action (Katumanan sang Tingob nga Pagtoo kag binuhatan). It sums up our victory in reclaiming the spiritual heritage of the Camp Higher Ground as icon of serenity, spirituality and renewal. Katipan has even galvanized our relationship bringing our association to the door step of the leadership and politics in Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.

KATIPAN was added during my swan song in SONATA 2010. Purposely as a recognition of our collective success, it also serve as reminder to stay true to our covenant. I thought that was the last time I would be using the two words, cognizant of the end of my term and my unstable health condition. Not until our CBMA Coordinator invited me to write an article for the Pahayag. I immediately said yes. For I want to use the opportunity to officially thank you for the support you have extended me and my family in the most trying moments in our life. Although not fully recovered yet, the delay has been compensated by the inner healing and renewal which strengthened my faith and determination.

Excited to communicate with you again, I found myself overwhelmed with all the journal, thoughts, insights which accumulated for more than a year of reflections. This is the second time it happened. The first was last February, while making reflections on the 25th Anniversary of EDSA Revolution. Extracting from aforementioned references, those two words dominantly flashed back in my mind.

The significance of EDSA has been carved in the innermost part of my soul. It was the turning point of my life. When I left seminary in 1984, one semester before graduation, I thought it was a goodbye. Aware of the risk of full time solidarity work during the intensification of the people’s struggle, I was not expecting to see the dawn of the new day. By God’s grace, I have seen it and more. After the historic EDSA ’86, I decided to go back to the seminary to resume my studies. Thereafter a paradigm shift in my direction took place. The rest is history

EDSA Revolution is a product of respective struggles participated in by the basic masses gaining support from various sectors of diverse orientation, status, political and ideological leanings, colors and shapes. Youth, professionals, church people, businessmen and women, government officials, military and others. All have contributed their share in shaping the Philippine history. Try to isolate one, and the beauty of the event is gone. Just like the rainbow. With only three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), a beautiful multiplication of colors takes place when they link, interact, and overlap. Try to separate one from the other, and the beauty of rainbow is gone.

Such is the message of PADAYON KATIPAN. The collective faith and action must be uphold in order to sustain the unprecedented success, the changes, the development in our association. The moment we cease to keep up the covenant, we will be condemned to repeat the past.

I decided to keep silent for a year, not just because of my health. But to give more time for my successor to establish his leadership. Although the last quarter of 2009 was a transitory period when my illness confined me to an electronic leadership through text and internet. At that time, Pastor Francis Neil G. Jalando-on and Rev. Rustom B. Ola were already taking the lead together with the CBMA Board.

Undeniably, however, my productive terms had embedded on the organizational culture. More so, with my closeness to him, being in the team leading the change. Hence, a year of rest and silence was the best option for a transition which became effective. For it was marked with the establishment of Pastor Jalando-on’s leadership. The only thing I contributed to him was the turn over of records and unfinished tasks and assurance of my prayer support.

My illness has given me sufficient time to rest, pray, meditate, read the bible, reflect and write. All the wonderful experience my previous hectic schedule deprived me. But it’s lingering effect exposes my vulnerability. There were times when I had already resolved to go to the beyond bringing with me thoughts of our collective success.

The only thing that holds back is the commitment made on that haunting day when I was about to respire my last breath: “Not now, Lord… for my family… the CBMA…there are still evil to fight and conquer.” I believe God took notice of that appeal and sincere desire as manifested in the extension and subsequently slow but sure healing process.

This is the commitment that keeps me going despite the pain and vulnerability experience for more than a year now. It is in this context that I now view your decision to bestow on me the title of President Emeritus. A providential niche for my lifetime commitment to CBMA. As long as I live, you can assure of my service to the CBMA. Let us continue our collective faith and action. PADAYON KATIPAN, ANO MAN ANG ATON MADANGATAN. (Keep up the covenant, no matter what.)

*Wedding godson

Breakthroughs(Part II): Twin stories of Endless Possibilities

After successful advocacies in social work and non-government organizations (NGOs), I realized how far have I been away from my first love – the pastoral ministry. However, the desire to return to full time pastorate seemed to be next to impossible considering my status. Yet, the recurring thought kept on nagging me: If other loves have maximized my knowledge, attitude and skills, how much more my first love?

Returning to my first love was not that easy. A family man, I could not just leave my employment in the University. As a transition, a week-end work in a local church in Iloilo City became an alternative. In the process, I realized I could no longer recover the lost time and opportunities in working with churches. Hence, the decision to focus on pastors, guided by the belief that whatever developments in their lives will trickle down to the churches.

However, my intention was not taken, without question and reservation. I failed to get the confidence of majority in my first attempt, no matter how clear my platform was. Some were honest enough to express their suspicion on my political leanings. My independent and principled stance also did not get the backing of veteran power brokers in the Convention whose candidate was miserably junked by majority of the pastors in a three-cornered fight in 2001.

The experience did not dampen my spirit. My second attempt was wholeheartedly welcomed by the pastors. In an unprecedented event, I ran unopposed and served as national president of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA) for two consecutive terms in six years. As such, I applied all my past learnings in the context of the CBMA. The best years I have ever given to a particular cause in my lifetime. Years that witness the commitment and dedication surpassing my other endeavors, paid or likewise voluntary in nature.

Subsequently, we made breakthroughs. But I want to focus on the landmarks that are replicable and may interest the readers. The twin stories of KATIPAN Hall and Master of Socio Pastoral Ministries with some elements of the biblical account on the miraculous feeding of the 5,000+. Aware of the needs of the time, a boy offered whatever he has to respond to the call for service. He was not disturbed by overwhelming discrepancies and limitations, even criticisms. His voluntary spirit made a difference. Amidst reservations, if not downgrading of the modest offering, Jesus made use of what was available and another miracle happened.But unlike the miracle which has been associated with extraordinary sudden/quick change, the twin stories underwent gradual process.

KATIPAN is an Ilonggo term for Covenant. In the CBMA context it sums up the phrase Katuman sang Tingob nga Pagsalig kag Binuhatan. In English, this means “realization of collective faith and action.” True to its meaning, KATIPAN Hall has become a symbol of solidarity among pastors. Katipan has galvanized our relationship. It even boasted the morale of pastors who have been stereotyped to be always in the receiving end. Of course, not a few had raised their eyebrows questioning our capacity to sustain the project. Even engineers who volunteered their labor could not help but smile upon learning our start up budget.

The movement started as fund-raising campaign of the CBMA to construct a modest Session Hall at Camp Higher Ground to accommodate the participants for their National Assembly in January 2006. Soon, the design has been improved to accommodate 1,000 people and keep abreast with the development of the Camp as planned by the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches

In the process of campaign and construction, the participants have experienced God’s power and provision as church leaders, members and even the public gave their support. Also they realized the beauty of restoring trust and confidence and the power and strength in unity. Moreover, the project has become an opportunity to meet friends and partners in service both local and international. Funds surplus even completed the construction of basketball court beside the edifice. But the bulk of the donation came from pastors.

On the other hand, the Master of Socio Pastoral Ministries (MSPM) is a combination of Master of Science in Social Work program offered in CPU and pastoral ministry courses. The mission of the MSPM program is to prepare graduate students for leadership roles in church, church-related institutions and community. Specifically, it is geared towards a healthy and balanced pastoral leadership, church administration and social/community services.

Modular Classes are conducted by volunteer faculty in provincial centers. Certificates are issued upon completion of each subject with corresponding grade. This is used for official enrolment in the participating theological institutions. The enrolment can be done simultaneously while the students are taking up modular classes. Or may be enrolled later. Three years after the program was implemented, it has produced 23 pioneering graduates from Panay and Negros. They were conferred their degree on May 1, 2010 at Ajuy Christian Development Academy, Ajuy, Iloilo.

(More on twin stories in the succeeding posts)