Fr. Joseph Borreros and his Journey through Life

Fr. Joseph Borreros and his Journey through Life

…from a struggling student assistant

to an Orthodox priest, and educator with Divine guidance

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

As a youth, he was among the wave of adventurous migrants from Panay Island, particularly, Dao, Capiz who came to Cotabato. He found his place in the Tacurong Pilot School as a Grade Six pupil in 1961. His family lived in the market of the town which that time was just weaned as a barrio of Buluan. He continued his studies at the Magsaysay Memorial Colleges of the same town. In college, he took up a pre-Law course at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City but failed to pursue it when he succumbed to a sickness.

 

He went back to Tacurong and took up Bachelor of Arts in Notre Dame of Tacurong College. To support his studies, he worked as a janitor and later as Library Assistant in the same school. That was during the directorship of Fr. Robert Sullivan, OMI, a kind Irish priest. After his graduation, he taught at the Notre Dame of Lagao in General Santos, South Cotabato for three years.

 

In 1973 he got interned at the Marist Novitiate in Tamontaka, Cotabato City, and professed temporarily in 1975 during which he was assigned as a Marist Brother at the Notre Dame of Marbel Boys’ Department (Marbel is now known as Koronadal City). From Marbel, he was sent back to the Notre Dame of Lagao.

 

In 1976, he left the religious congregation of Marist Brothers, but was taken in by Bishop Reginald Artiss, CP, the bishop of Koronadal, to assist in the establishment of the Christian Formation Center which was located at the back of the cathedral. For two years, he went around the parishes and diocese covered by the authority of Bishop Artiss in training members of the Kriska Alagad, Lay Cooperatos, as well as, in establishing Basic Christian Communities.

 

As Bishop Artiss perceived his potential as a cleric, he was sent to the Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao in Catalunan Grande, Davao City. Fortunately, due to his extensive and intensive pastoral formation background, he was privileged to skip subjects related to it. After four years of theological studies at the said seminary, he was ordained as a priest on April 1, 1982 by Bishop Guttierez, DD, of Koronadal. His first assignment was the parish of Sta. Cruz , formerly politically under South Cotabato, but today, that of Sarangani Province.

 

In 1985, he was a “floating” priest, awaiting appointment as Superintendent of Diocesan schools and temporarily established his residency at Our Lady of Parish in Polomolok, South Cotabato with the late Fr. Godofredo Maghanoy. The following year, he was finally designated to the mentioned position which he held for three years.

 

In 1989, he went on a study leave to take up Masters of Science in Educational Management at the De La Salle University in Manila which he finished in 1991. Two years later, he was about to finish his Doctorate in Religious Education pending the completion of his dissertation under the guidance of Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, but failed to do so due to an important and life-turning decision….to have a family and develop a Non-Government Organization. Driven by his new-found advocacy in life, he worked as Coordinator of the Community Volunteers’ Program under the Council of People’s Development, a Pastoral NGO of Bishop Labayen for three years in Infanta, Quezon.

 

From 1995 to 2004, he was with the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) as a Monitoring Officer of the projects in governance. While with the said NGO, he studied Orthodoxy theology on his own, a week after which, he was consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew at the Orthodox Cathedral located at Sucat, Paraἧaque, Metro Manila.

 

He was inspired to bring along his former 61 parishioners in Maricaban, a depressed area in Pasay City when he presented himself and his family to Fr. Philemon Castro, parish priest of the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral in Paraἧaque. Like him, he found his former flock to be also journeying spiritually. After several months of catechism, they were accepted to the Orthodox Church. They were further accepted by the former Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias of Hongkong and Southeast Asia.  A little later, Fr. Joseph was ordained to the Minor Orders as “Reader”, for which he started to render regular duty at the Cathedral on Sundays which did not affect his NGO-related activities.

 

He was asked to leave his NGO responsibilities in 2004, in exchange for which he was sent to Greece to serve as a full worker in the Ministry – live with the monks of the Monastery of St. Nicholas of Barson in Tripoli, southern Greece. Afterwards he was sent back to the Philippines to do catechesis in different mission areas, particularly, in Laguna, Sorsogon and Masbate.

 

In 2006, he was ordained to the Orthodox priesthood and assigned under the Omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople which is presently headed by His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, Successor to the Apostolic Throne of St. Andre, the first-called apostle.

 

In 2009, he did mission work in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Until today, he carries the same responsibilities but the area expanded to include SOCSKSARGEN area (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos), as well as, Davao del Sur.

 

To date, he was able to firmly establish three communities, such as: Holy Resurrection Orthodox Community in Lake Sebu; St. Isidore of Chios Orthodox Community in San Guillermo, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur; and Apostles St. Andrew and James Orthodox Community in Kisulan, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.

 

Aside from taking care of the Sacramental life of the faithful, his mission work also includes values formation of students. Two particular schools that are benefiting from this are the Marvelous College of Technology, Inc. in Koronadal City, and Pag-asa Wisdom Institute in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat where he also serves as Principal. According to Fr. Joseph, the two institutions are community-centered, privately-owned, mission-oriented and most especially, cater to the less in life but with a strong desire to overcome their socio-economic barriers.

 

Fr. Joseph and his family live at the Theotokos Orthodox Mission Center in Surallah, and which also serves as the nucleus of his mission works. His life is typically austere as shown by the structure that accommodates his flock during worship days. The same character also defines the rest of the “chapels” throughout the areas that he covers. But since there are other things that his Mission needs, he unabashedly appeals to the “mission-minded souls to help in their capacity, sustain, strengthen, so that it will grow with flourish for the glory of God”.

 

Fr. Joseph, as an ordained Orthodox priest has been given the name, “Panharios”.

 

For those who are interested to reach out to Fr. Joseph, his address is at:

Theotokos Orthodox Mission Center

120 Dagohoy St., Zone 5

Surallah, South Cotabato

Philippines

 

Email: theotokos_mission@haoo.com

Cellphone: 09165433001

 

Lenny Robredo should stop being Tactless by Attacking the Campaign Style of Duterte

Lenny Robredo should Stop Being Tactless

By Attacking the Campaign Style of Duterte

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Lately, Duterte was practically forced to declare that if Lenny Robredo does not like him, she does not like her also. In the past, Duterte was mum about Robredo as the running mate of Roxas. Many are wondering what made her utter such unsavory remarks about Duterte which is more personal than political. First her ad lines, such as giving her all if voted to the position, gave her an ugly trapo image…and now she is personally attacking Duterte by saying that she does not like his campaign style. She has no business in saying that because they are vying for different national positions. It would be a pity if she did that to show Pnoy and the Liberal Party that she is worth the opportunity given to her despite the fact that she was the last choice. Clearly, she is showing a “sipsip” attitude, another mark of an ugly “trapo”.

 

She must remember that she is just a “beneficiary” of a grossly unfortunate circumstance – the death of her husband, Jess Robredo who, Filipinos know was not given much importance while still alive by the Aquino administration, as a “proposed cabinet official”, because until the time of his death, he was not confirmed as Secretary of DILG. In other words, I could surmise that had he not met the fatal accident, he would still be on acting capacity, knowing the attitude of the President. And, she would just be an obscure figure in their province. She also benefited from the culture of the Filipinos who “love” the downtrodden…the “inaapi”…the lowly “kasambahay”…and then she as the “widowed” helpless mother of female children whose father was an “inaapi” “acting secretary”.

 

If ever, she should present a personality that oozes with humility, and as an intelligent mother. She cannot show her worth by being feisty in attacking the person of those running against the candidates of “her” Liberal Party. As the Vice-President has no definite position in the government, she should instead, present her views on many issues that beset the country today, such as poverty, low wage, unemployment, influx of foreign exploiters of natural resources, the Lumads, street children, etc. With those, the voters will know that she is prepared for any position that will be given to her by the elected president, be it Roxas or somebody from the opposition.

 

If she is intelligent enough as what her followers are trying to project, she should think twice before doing the dirty trapo tricks because, even if she will be voted, especially, as the Filipinos deem that the administration is trying to move heaven and earth to save Aquino for being prosecuted if the opposition wins, the smear on her image will stay – as long as she lives…a taint on her late husband’s name…not hers.

Pag-asensong sa Statistics Lamang

Pag-asensong Nasa Statistics Lamang

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi nakakatuwa  ang  pinagyayabang  ng gobyerno na umaasenso na ang Pilipinas at ang patunay dito ay ang mga numero sa  istatistiko, mga report at mga resulta daw ng surveys na ginawa.  Kamangha-mangha ang mga report!

 

Kaylan lang ay may lumabas na ibang report naman na mahigit sampung porsiyento ang walang trabaho ngayon kung ihambing sa kaparehong panahon noong nakaraang taon. Bilang pagbawi sa kahihiyang tinamo, napagdiskitahan ng gobyerno ang tatlong kalamidad na magkasunod na humagupit  sa bansa. Hindi naman mangmang ang Pilipino para maunawaan na ang sitwasyon na may kalamidad man o wala, talagang walang mahanap na trabaho ang maraming mga Pilipino na ang hanay  ay nadadagdagan bawa’t taon ng mga bagong gradweyt ng mga kursong walang pakinabang.

 

Ang palaging sinasabi ng gobyerno, maraming trabaho hindi lang tugma sa mga kurso. Siguro ang tinutukoy ng mga magagaling na nagpapatakbo ng gobyerno ay mga trabaho sa export processing zones – mga factories na ang tinatanggap  ay puro kontrakwal na panglimang buwan lamang. Tinutukoy din siguro nila ang mga call centers na ganoon din ang patakaran sa pagtanggap – kontrakwal. Kung meron man, bibihirang mga kumpanya na ang tumatanggap ng mga empleyadong gagawing regular. Marami akong nakausap na nursing ang tinapos, ang trabaho kung hindi sales girl sa mall, ay bilang drug store attendant. Mayroon  pa ngang Medtech ang tinapos pero ang trabaho, announcer sa bingo parlor o delivery agent ng pizza parlors. Matindi ang mga graduate ng management course na bumagsak sa pagwi-weyter. Yong isa, BS Tourism ang natapos, ang trabaho ngayon, nagtitinda ng mga cellphone cards sa labas ng mall. Sabagay bilib ako sa mga taong nakausap ko, dahil nagsisikaps ila at hindi nahihiyang bumanat ng buto – mga dapat tularan.  Kung pagtugma ng kurso satrabaho ang gusto ng gobyerno, bakit hindi nito kausapin ang mga nagpapatakbo ng mga eskwelahan upang matigil o di man kaya ay mapalitan ng mga angkop na kurso ang mga walang pakinabang?

 

May TESDA nga at maganda ang layunin, subali’t ganoon din ang nangyari – binaha ng mga kursong pang-abroad tulad ng pagwi-weyter, bartendering, hotel management at housekeeping, pati pang-construction tulad ng pag-welding,  paghalo ng semento at pangangarpintero, subali’t ilan ang nakaalis?  Ang problema kasi, walang pambili man lang ng passport ang mga manggagawa! Kaya ayon, ang mga certificate, nakasabit sa dingding.

 

May mga desperado na umutang sa “mobile banks” – mga Bombay,  20% interest sa loob ng 35 days. Pinamuhunan sa negosyong pambangketa dahil ito lang ang kaya ng inutang na pinakamalaki na ang 5 thousand pesos. Yong iba, sa bilao nilagay ang mga kalakal. Pero, nangawala din dahil sa mga habulan tuwing may sidewalk clearing operation ng MMDA!

 

Sa istatistika, ang tinitingnan lang yata ng gobyerno ay ang pumasok na puhunan mula sa mga dayuhan– malaki nga, pero tinitingnan din kaya nila ang kinita ng mga ito na  kanilang inilalabas ng bansa upang ilagak o ipamuhunan sakani-kanilang bansa? Paano kung biglang nag-alsa balutan ang mga  namumuhan at nag-goodbye sa Pilipinas? Kawawa  naman ang Pilipinong maiiwang nakanganga!

 

May mga natural resources ang Pilipinas, pero sino ang mga nakikinabang? Iilang opisyal sa gobyerno, ang iba mga mambabatas pa na umaming may mga logging concessions maski ipinagbabawal na ang mga ito. Nitong huling mga araw, pumasok ang  mga   nagmimina ng itim  na  buhangin sa hilagang panig ng Pilipinas at hayagan kung sirain nila ang mga dalampasigan makakuha lang ng itim  na buhangin na hinahakot ng mga naghihintay na mga barge o barko nila. Ang matindi, ang dating pinagkukunan ng lamang dagat ng mga kababayan natin na ilang oras lang ang layo mula sa kanilang bayan ay inaangkin na rin ng isang makapangyarihang bansa, ang Tsina, at sa harap nitong problema, walang magawa ang ating gobyerno.

 

Nakaka-high blood ang katotohanang pumunta sa mga bulsa ng mga tiwaling may  katungkulan sa gobyerno ang mga pondong dapat ay magamit para sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipino. Ang mga magsasaka na dapat kumita ay nasasapawan ng mga nagpupuslit ng bigas. Ang pondo ng Malampaya na pwede sanang magamit upang maisulong ang paggawa ng mga paraang pagkukunan ng alternatibong power supply ay nakukurakot. Ang perang dapat sana ay magamit para sa pagpapatayo ng mga  kooperatiba at pagsasanay ng ilan nating kababayan ay pinaghahatian ng mga sindikatong nagpapatakbo ng mga pekeng NGO at ilang mambabatas.

 

Di  hamak na mas angkop marahil kung ang i-report ng gobyerno ay ang                           istatistika ng mga nagugutom at walang trabahong Pilipino para kapani-paniwala, o para lahat ng Pilipino ay maniwala – wala nang magtataas ng kilay dahil talagang totoo naman!