Deify: God Born in our Songs



Last December 9, 2017, the Redemptorist Parish in Davao held a Christmas Concert in CAP auditorium. It was a fund-raising concert for the procurement of a new sound-system for the parish church. The main participants of the concert are the church choir groups. Other church volunteers and devotees also participated.

Redemptorist Priests and Seminarians in Davao also participated in the concert. Some seminarians were part of the production team of the concert.

The concert was called Deify: God born in our songs.




Joint Recollection



We, the Redemptorist Formation Community (RFC students) and the Seniors Community had our first joint Recollection this year with a theme: Reconciliation. It was held on November 13 in GAP Farming Resort located in the Diversion Road in Davao City. The place was very conducive for our personal reflection and sharing for it is a park with various fruit trees, farm animals and displays on a Filipino culture. The morning was spent for personal reflection followed by a “by-pair” sharing. In the afternoon, we concluded our recollection with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We had a rather creative way of giving of the Kiss of Peace. We had a giving of letters to those whom we are grateful for, whom we have hurt, and those we want to know more. After the Mass, some went home while others went for a swim in the pool to enjoy the resort. Overall, it was a very fitting time for us to listen to ourselves as well as to listen to each other.


About the Author:

Bro. Philip Portillo, C.Ss.R. is from the Redemptorist Province of Cebu. he is 2nd year theology student of SATMI here in Davao.

Redemptorist Vocation Day



In commemoration of the 285th foundation anniversary of the Redemptorist Congregation, the Vocation team, together with Redemptorist students of Asia-Oceania, organised an exhibition to promote vocations on Sunday November 12, 2017 in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Davao City. The confreres and students attracted people to the booth by singing songs and hymns. People took photos in the designated area with the background of Redemptorist Logo. This was indeed a good venue to encourage young men to join the Redemptorists and to serve the poor and abandoned in society. MPS sisters welcomed young single women to join and help the Redemptorists in their mission through active participation in missionary activities.



About the Author:

Bro. Jude Perera, C.Ss.R. is from the Redemptorist Region of Colombo (Sri Lanka). 4th year theology student here in Davao.

Practice what you Preach


Last November 3, 2017, Redemptorist Formation Community celebrated with joy the ordination of six of our brothers to the order of the diaconate. Brothers Mark Anthony Benedicto, Allan Edward Pandaan, Christopher L. Sta. Ana from the Redemptorist Vice- Province of Manila and Brothers Yusuf Frenademetz ‘Rafi’ Uran, Yohanis Umbu ‘Oan’ Rebu and Firminus ‘Allan’ Aloy Kuda Hewen from the Redemptorist Province of Indonesia received the gift of ordination. The Archbishop of Davao Romulo Valles, DD graced the celebration. It is always an annual momentous event here in the formation community wherein we are reminded that, indeed, the challenges we faced are not put to vain. The archbishop, in his homily, stressed the challenging lifestyle of choosing the religious and priestly vocation not only for those who are aspiring but together with those who shared in such journey, the formators, family and friends.

The celebration was themed ‘to live in a manner worthy of the call we received from Jesus Christ, the Redeemer’ drawing from Ephesians 4:1. This beautifully responded to the admonition of the bishop during the rite which is ‘to believe what they read, teach what they believe and practice what they preach.’ The bishop implored that diaconate is not simply a stepping stone to priesthood but it has a distinct and important role in the Church. He urge that the best way to live out such ministry is through the example of their lives. Thus, he added the importance of praying for the newly ordained deacons with their significant role in the growth of Christian faith.

Thus, we pray that our six new deacons be ever blessed by God who in our unworthiness made us worthy. There is a prayer within the rite which goes ‘may God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.’ The prayer looks forward to the years that lie ahead. This is our prayer for them and also for all of us that everyday we may practice what we believe in.


About the Author:

Brother Ronald “Nosi” Balgado, C.Ss.R. (Vice-Province of Manila)

A Hundred Years of Gratitude




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Photo Credit: EJ Frenandez


      I have often said at a few events where my books were launched that I write primarily for my family, confreres, and friends. This is even more true with A HUNDRED YEARS OF GRATITUDE.  Like the winner of  Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, while I write, I have the faces of those I have a deep affection for in my mind.  This has made it far easier for me to commit words to paper when I find myself in the mood to textualize deep thoughts, feelings, and reflections.

      I am turning 70 years old in June 2017,  This year, I also celebrate my 30th year as a Redemptorist brother (I entered the postulancy program in 1985, had my first profession in 1987 and my final profession in 1990). That explains the number one hundred in the book’s title. For this double celebration, I thought I would come up with a book that will express my deep gratitude to God, to my family,  the congregation and my friends. For it has been only through the Lord’s blessings and compassion and the love showered on me by family, confreres, and friends that I have survived the various vicissitudes of life, whether tragic or comic, desperate and frustrating, pleasurable or miserable, delightful or sorrowful.

        Truly I have been blessed with precious treasures which are kinships, friendships, and confrereships. In celebrating all these, I thought it would be best to tell stories and having lived a full life, there are a lot of narratives to share. Some of the essays that are compiled in this anthology are articles I have written through the years. Some were published in the online news agency known as Mindanews, a few in my journals (which I keep intermittently especially when I am in the missions) and a few more written for this anthology.


         There are four sections in this anthology including 1) Biographical Sketches (or those that help to chronicle my inter-action with family, engagements before I joined the Redemptorists, and my life as a Redemptorist Brother, 2) People who mattered to me (from congregations like the Jesuits and Claretians, to those I idolized in my youth such as Bishop Federico Escaler, former classmates and co-workers (there is an essay on PRRD) and friends, 3) Advocacies that I consider my passions in terms of engagement with social and ecological concerns (mainly solidarity work with Lumad, inter-faith dialogue in the context of peacebuilding, climate justice, and disaster response), and 4) Reviews of films, books and art exhibits by mainly Mindanawon artists and cultural workers.

          There is the last section of the book which allows the voices of confreres and friends to critique the anthology as well as reveal how our friendships arose and have been sustained through the years.  There are those who I knew since way back my college years, my childhood friends and school chums, my co-workers in CSOs where I worked before joining the congregation, former students, surrogate children and confreres (I am truly grateful that ex-seminarians Belindo Aguilar, Pals Padilla and Danilo Agustin Jr. as well as confreres like Fr. Picx Picardal, Fr. Jun Butlig and Fr. Richie Cuaton  also contributed pieces). Interspersed with the texts are artworks of artist friends.  I also appreciate very much the work of the editors (Ms. Carol Arguilas and Ms. Pam del Rosario-Castrillo), the book cover design and lay-out (Abe Garcia Jr) and the publisher (Peter Paul Elicor of the Alithea Publications).

            The books has been  launched at various sites: at  the Urios University in Butuan City on January 26, 2017, at ADDU during the Abdon Josol Lecture Series last February 4, at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City on Feb. 8, at MSU-IIT in Iligan City and  on Feb. 9 (thanks to Fr. Nono Reiteracion and Fr. Oming Oback who provided backup support). A future book launch will be in Malaybalay City, Zamboanga City and Metro Manila.  Copies are available for sale at the Daughters of St. Paul Sisters Bookstore in front of UM in Davao City and at SATMI.

Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

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Photo Credit: Ariel Lumaad



About the Author:

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Brother Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR is currently the Dean of Studies at St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI) in Davao City and a professor of Anthropology at the Ateneo de Davao University. A prolific writer who authored several books including, “Desperately Seeking God’s Saving Action: Yolanda Survivors’ Hope Beyond Heartbreaking Lamentations” and two books on Davao history launched in December 2015.

New Year! New Day! New Hope!


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The last year 2016 there were many circumstances that had happened in my life.  Some were good memories that I want to keep in my mind, at the same time, there were some memories that I want to erase and pray that it will never happen again. Every year, I am growing and learning more about myself together with other people whom I journeyed with. There are many things that I now realize and there are some that I understand by the help of others. This New Year is a good year, with the hope that there will be many good things that will happen and I look forward to exploring more about the world in which I need to see.

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     Every day is a new day.  I am learning every day with my life in order to understand myself more. Normally I will not let any bad attitude to disturb my thoughts because yesterday is already done. I cannot go back and fix it bearing in mind that I still have today and tomorrow. I see my yesterday as my big library that every time I have problems in my life I will go back to some shelf and look for the book of experience that I can use in order to understand the many challenges that I have to face.

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     I strongly hope to know and understand more this year 2017. Life is a long process; I don’t see myself as an expert at some particular aspects of life. Every day is a new beginning for me. Life is full of surprises, no one knows, only God knows everything that will happen with me. All I have to do is to believe and trust that He will guide and protect me in every step of the way.

Happy New Year!



In this photo: Banky (Right), Fr. Prud (Center), James (Right)



About the Author:

Thanapong Sawangtummakul, CSsR is a Redemptorist Missionary from the Province of Thailand. He is now in his 2nd year Theological Studies. “Banky” as he is fondly called in the community is a multi-talented brother who loves music. He is also a superb cook best known for his signature Thai dishes.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the Year..!”



“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” as the popular christmas song goes.It is indeed the most wonderful time since it is only during Christmas that everyone is very generous to give something to his or her loved ones. The downpour of gifts and of hosting parties are almost everyhwere that you cannot help but count when will be the next reunion or gathering one will attend to. It is also the busiest time in the Church’s calendar since every faithful is preparing internally/externally for this season. It kicked off wth the preparation during Advent – wherein every faithful’s mood is also attuned with the lighting of candle – Waiting is the key term during this season.

RFC joins this celebration within the calendar of our Church. After the school break from SATMI, our brothers from different units of the Asia-Oceania spend their precious Christmas vacation across local houses of VP-Manila. Our Thai brothers took this opportune time to be immersed with the different apostolic engagements of the unit. Some were sent to the National Shrine in Baclaran others were engaged in the mission teams of Legaspi, Ilocos Region and Palawan areas. In the south our brothers from Cebu, Indonesia, Sri-Lanka and Vietnam also took this moment to nourish their pastoral formation  in the different apostolic engagements of Davao Mission and Formation Community. Our Cebu brothers joined the Mission team in Bukidnon while the rest were engaged in parish activities of Redemptorist Davao.

Christmas won’t be the same if one does spend it in a meaningful way. And for us in RFC celebrating Christmas will always have a touch of Missionary spirit!