It’s early morning of September 8. I woke up early because we have had to take the first trip to Basilan. I was so excited since it would be my very first time to be there. I have had the chance to go there when I was a novice but in the end it had not been granted.
While we were in the fast craft, I was wondering why the dominant emotion was that of excitement rather than fear. I have heard a lot of stories of ambushes by the rebels, deaths, kidnappings, and yet here I am setting aside these known facts, very eager to see my brother who is to be ordained that day. I was suppose to take a long vacation after my three long years of stay in Spain, but in the end, it ended up as the shortest vacation that I have ever had in my entire seminary life. I just realized that I should be saying right now “its unfair.” But I guess it was worth sacrificing for the sake of my brother and for the new mission being given in this island. And it was in deed!
At first I thought of it as death: of my personal desires, of my dreams, of glorious days, of security, of leisure, of privileges, death of the physical body. But I realized and thought of it again, I guess it would be better to start with a different perspective: A New Birth. The first time I stepped into this island brought me a new beginning, a new life, a birth of another stage in my life.
The first thing I found on the people is their simplicity, their joy in the face, their laughter and their simple stories in life. I guess I finally found the place where I really wanted to be. The first thing I found in the place is peace rather than chaos. I am pretty sure that I will cherish my stay here. I was assigned originally to Tumahubong. But for reasons of security and for the unprecedented changes in the community, the Provincial told me that I am being reassigned to another area: Maluso. But still, I belong to the same Basilan community.
To all of you who had been worried and have had prayed hard, be still for God is always with us. I have given my “Yes” to God when he called me the second time. And so before this mission was given, and before I have accepted it, I have already accepted all the consequences of the “Yes” that I have given Him long time ago. May His blessings be shared also to you through this simple and small witnessing of mine. God bless you all!