Couple and le Couple and le Magis Deo

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Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                Magis            1
                                                                                         Formation for Mission
     Check out Sacred Space in

Official Publication of the Magis Deo Community
Vol. X • Issue No. 38                                                                                                   March 2009

         Ne Triangle:              echnology
     The New Triangle: Couple and Technology
     Fr. James Gascon, S.J. discussed            Fr. James cited instances
this topic during the community              encountered in his counseling experiences
celebration at Lay Force on February 6,      where technology created problems in the
2009. In order to maintain balance in        relationships between husbands and
our married life, we naturally create a      wives. Two of these instances are:
triangulated relationship. A third party     1. Internet – A happily married
helps distribute and ease the tension             husband has learned how to use
present in a relationship. For example, a         the chat room in the internet.
child who gets sick normally brings his/          When bored, he finds himself
her quarreling parents together and               in the chat room where he finds
relieves the tension created between his/         a female chat mate. One thing
her dad and mom. However, there is a              leads to another, and they
new triangle present in our modern day            eventually have an affair.
marital life that we are not aware of, or    2. Cell phone – A husband                              Fr. James Gascon, S.J.
take for granted. Fr. Gascon calls this           receives texts from friends
new triangle the couple and                                                              families. This is aggravated by the fact
                                                  which are quotations about love.
technology. In the past two years, Fr.                                                   that the couples and families concerned
                                                  The wife sees these texts and
Gascon counseled around thirty couples,                                                  do not pause to examine technology’s
                                                  begins to get jealous. They start
twenty-five of whom have this                                                            effects on them. They do not talk about
technology triangle directly or indirectly                                               the influence and impact of technology
                                                 Fr. Gascon further explained that the   in their lives. Technology is supposed to
affecting their relationship, hence          problem with technology is: it has taken
bringing them to marriage counseling.                                                    be a tool for couples and families. In
                                             charge of the lives of couples and
                                                                                                               Continued on page 6

                        Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord
                                  An LSS Experience
    Last February 21, 2009, the Magis            It was a one-day seminar entitled
Deo Community had 3 couples from ME          “Taste and See the Goodness of the
Class 92 and 2 singles who attended the      Lord.” Topics taken up were : 1) God’s
Life in the Spirit Seminar conducted by      Love, 2) Jesus, The Way, the Truth and
the God Loves Catholic Prayer                the Life, 3) Receiving God’s Gift/
Community. The attendees were Boyet          Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 4) Growing
& Rose Ambata, Ed & Jona delos               in our relationship with God, and 5)
Santos, Ian & Neth Alon, Joey                Transformation.
Lorenzana and Frances Zyra Mella.                Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP, officiated
    Shepherds for the seminar were Joy       the mass and commissioning rites.
Uy-Tioco, Rey Mella, Ted & Susan
Concepcion, Gene & Eve Bañez, Djarn                      By Pachot Abapo                    LSS attendees sing and praise the Lord.
                                                  LSS Coordinator, Jeremiah BCGG
Pestaño, Ferdie Cruz and Clyde &
                                                                                      Sharings of LSS participants are on page 2.
Pachot Abapo.
                                                                                                                        March 2009
  2       Magis

                            Suyuan in GK Batangas
                                                           By Djarn Pestaño
    Ano ang mga natutunan mo sa                  These are random feedback from the        photographers, was with us. Nina
Suyuan at ano ang naging epekto nito          Suyuan participants of Gawad Kalinga         Yuson and Harry and Helen Chua,
sa inyong mag-asawa?
     Bro. Roger/Sis. Endromida Reyes:
“Ang pagpapatawad sa isa’t isa….at doon
ko nakita ang pagmamahal ng aking
asawa sa aming pamilya…at doon ko din
nalaman kung paano ang pagdala ng
     Nilo/Judith Braga: “Maganda ang
aming pagsali sa Suyuan dahil lumawak
pa ang aming pag-unawa o pag-intindi
sa aming mga ugali. Ang aming
karanasan ay pangkaraniwan lang sa
mag-asawa. Dahil sa Suyuan lalo kaming
naging maunawain sa isa’t isa.”
     Ricky/Michelle Trinidad: “Maraming
pagbabago sa loob ng tatlong linggo na        (GK) Padre Garcia in Batangas, three         couldn’t make it and were our prayer
dumaan. Kung sa dati ay ako ang palagi        weeks after their seminar. What more         warriors.
sumusuyo sa mister ko, ngayon siya na ang     can we say?                                      Traveling via the Star Tollway, we
sumusuyo sa akin. Siya na din ang                 Magis Deo… moved to do more for          prayed the rosary for a safe trip and
nangangaral sa aming mga anak. Kaming         God, Danny and Charito Dimayuga,             for the success of the Suyuan. It was
mag-asawa        ay    buong     pusong       Sirach BCGG shepherds, members               worth the 3-hour drive to Padre Garcia.
nagpapasalamat sa Suyuan lalong-lalo na       Ronnie and Jean Ambe, Gen. Felix and         As we entered the gate, we saw wide
sa Itaas na nagbigay sa atin ng buhay.        Rita Brawner, Ferdie Joson, Mike and         smiles, bright-colored houses with
     Edwin/Jocelyn Carandang: “We have
                                              Celine Magpayo, Djarn Pestaño, and           beautiful blooming flowers, a big open
learned how to consult each other
properly when we have conflicts. It also
                                              Bong and Emma Punsalan, trooped to           kiosk which serves as a multi-purpose
helps our relationship grow – a better        Batangas in the early morning of             hall, and a small school. Tito Danny
interaction in our home. Now we are more      February 1, 2009. Of course the Suyuan       says there are 65 GK houses, with 35
open to each other and this makes our         wouldn’t be complete without Tita Cathy      more to be built. We expected 25
relationship stronger than before.”           Rafael and Pocholo and Merly Cea. As         couples; 29 registered (26 couples
                                              a bonus Ferdie Cruz, one of our reliable                       Continued on page 6

                                              husband and I were both hesitant to          though he lost his son, his faith is still
      Blessings of LSS                        attend, thinking that we were not            within him, he never lost hope, he still
Sharing by Neth Alon – ME Class 92            prepared, we were not able to                keeps on believing that God is always
     Before the day of our LSS came, I        accomplish the requirements before           in us!
was worried and nervous because I             attending the LSS - the confession and           LSS helped me in many ways….it
didn’t have any idea what would happen        the letter to God - due to our very busy     made me realize na madami akong
the whole day aside from what Ms. Joy         week at work. But still, God compelled       pagkukulang kay God, that I need to do
told us during the orientation. There         us to go there.                              my obligations. It helped me to be closer
were two things that came into my mind:            On the day of our LSS, I have           to God, it helped me on how to
first, I might be bored sitting for such a    proven that I was wrong. I was awake         communicate with God. It made me
long period, just listening to the speaker.   the whole time and attentive. I was very     feel that I am very much blessed.
And second, I was afraid I might spend        interested listening to the stories of the       I am most willing to share what I’ve
the whole time crying because I thought       speakers, and I learned a lot from them.     experienced in LSS with my friends and
we might be asked to share our                I most specially felt that the Holy Spirit   will surely recommend it.
experiences about our married life. And       was within me, that God really blessed           Thanks po for bringing us to LSS.
I don’t like that since I will just           me. I was very much inspired by the
remember the saddest moments,                 speakers specially by Mr. Jess, that even
problems and trials. Honestly, my                                                                    Continued on page 5
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                   Magis            3
Sunday Homily
February 22, 2009
Ruben M. Tanseco, S. J.

                            EDSA 1, 2, 3
     In today’s Gospel reading (Mk. 2:         who cheats by having his homework done
1-12), we see how faith heals both body        by his mother, who consents to save time,
and spirit. This was how Jesus                 instead of tutoring the child. What about
responded to the faith of the paralytic.       this husband-and-father who womanizes
“My son, your sins are forgiven….Stand         behind his wife’s back, and even denies
up, pick up your mat, and go home” (vv.        it when confronted with evidence? And         likewise offers counseling services and
5, 11). And he did! But faith involves a       this wife-and-mother, who overspends          growth and healing seminar-workshops.
conversion of the heart, and it is faith-      beyond her budget, and keeps borrowing        All of these are centered on psycho-
in-action. “Unable to get near Jesus           money from friends without the intention      moral-spiritual formation.
because of the crowd, they opened up           of paying them back. We can go on and              Just yesterday, the Simbahang
the roof above him. After they had             on to show that cheating, the seed of big-    Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), a socio-
broken through, they let down the mat          time corruption, starts in the family. How,   political ministry of the Jesuits, launched
on which the paralytic was lying” (v. 4).      then, can we expect the children from         the Citizenship by Good Example (Cge!)
     This was how the Lord healed us as        such families to grow up with moral           Movement. This will create ways to
a nation at Edsa 1, back in February of        integrity as second nature to them? The       foster participation and vigilance among
1986. As a people of faith, through active     children and youth of today will be our       Filipino citizens in the socio-political and
non-violence, we ended a regime of             public leaders of tomorrow. What will         economic affairs of the state. It has a
moral corruption and went back to the          they do for our one and only country, the     special focus on our Filipino youth, and
ways of God. The ever-compassionate            Philippines?                                  one of its very challenging programs is
Lord healed us in body and spirit. But              Our challenge and mission today is       to be part of the National Secretariat of
weak humans that we are, we                    to be the role models of our Filipino         Task Force 2010 for clean, honest and
succumbed once again to moral                  children and youth, the only hope of our      peaceful elections.
corruption in the course of time. Again,       tomorrows. Yes, Edsa 3 as our ongoing,             A most heroic, single-handed effort
the ever-forgiving God intervened, and         lifelong moral revolution. More and more      in this moral revolution is that of Gov.
we courageously succeeded in driving           religious institutions, as well as NGOs       Ed Panlilio of Pampanga. His
away another corrupt regime. That was          and coalitions of organizations, are          courageous efforts in fighting moral
Edsa 2 in 2001.                                dedicating their efforts on this.             corruption are no less than God-inspired.
     It is now 2009, and where are we               The Marriage Encounter Foundation        Through our prayers and in whatever
as a nation? Almighty God, why are we          of the Philippines regularly conducts         ways we can, let us support him all the
so stubborn as a people? How shallow           renewal seminars for couples and              way.
is the Christianity that we claim to           families, including the Christian Parenting        All this is part of Edsa 3, and God
embrace. We need no less than another          for Peace and Justice. The latter focuses     calls all of us to be actively and
moral-spiritual revolution. This time, it      on challenging issues like moral integrity    courageously involved. No Filipino can
will have to be an on-going, prolonged,        and non-violence in the family; an            be truly a man or woman of God without
lifelong effort on the part of each one of     alternative lifestyle of Stewardship,         loving our country. To love God is to love
us to do our utmost within our sphere of       Simplicity, and Sharing; reaching out to      our country, for this is God’s country. To
moral influence - toward moral integrity       the poor and victims of social injustice;     love our country and our people with
that will stay and last and be an intrinsic    and ends with Christian nationalism and       deep passion and compassion ::orth living
part of our national lifestyle. This is Edsa   love of country.                              for, and dying for.
3.                                                  The Center for Family Ministries              Mga kapwa kong Pilipino: Sa harap
     Let us first focus on our families,       (CEFAM) offers professional programs          ng Panginoong Diyos at sa harap ng
for everything in human life starts there.     in pastoral care for persons engaged or       buong mundo - MABUHAY ANG
Forms of cheating are still done in many       to be engaged in the pastoral care of         PILIPINAS!
families. You have this grade school son       individuals, couples, and families. It
                                                                                                                  March 2009
  4       Magis

                                Who Am I? Who Are We?
                                What Do We Stand For?
      Sunday a week ago in Tagaytay,       further enrich what we both have
                                                                                      must learn to take a long-term view.
Aida and I joined others from Magis                                                   For the EDSAs of recent memory did
Deo at the harana for the new ME                As I write this, it is Feb. 25, Ash   not happen overnight. Nor did they
Class 96. We were unexpectedly             Wednesday. It is a time of preparation     establish a lasting cure. It has bred a
invited to welcome them to Magis Deo       for the coming of Easter, for revisiting   certain sense of “ennui,” of weariness,
on behalf of the Council. This led us to   WHO WE ARE and what GOD impels             about marching in the streets again.
introduce ourselves in the ME              us to BE. Perhaps this will also show          It is not enough to fight unjust
“endearing-qualities-way” and to           us how we may be able to DO MORE           regimes. We must help BUILD strong
acknowledge the great debt we owe          in realizing the THRUSTS of our            institutions manned by persons of
Magis Deo for the spiritual compass        Community discerned during our             integrity and competence. This means
and the company of similarly               recent Planning Session.                   we       must        START         WITH
encountered couples that has inspired           Our respective Ministries have        OURSELVES. In the spirit of Lent, let
our search for spiritual meaning over      submitted their proposed program. The      us ask forgiveness for the times we
the last 22 years.                         Magis Deo Council has reviewed             have stumbled and pray for the
    Tagaytay brought up reminders of       them. Council Chair Monchito               strength to resist the little compromises
our own ME: the magic of our               Mossesgeld observes that much good         that unwittingly lead us to a culture of
encounter, the realization that GOD        work has been done, but there appears      tolerance, if not of compliance, with
had come into our lives, the drive to      to have been little response to the        corruption. We also need to develop a
share our “couple power” with others,      challenging “Signs of the Times” posed     stronger sense of Community to help
and to become MEW team couple              by our Spiritual Director Fr. Ruben        us “WALK OUR TALK.” This is
sharers and shepherds.                     Tanseco, S.J. and Executive Director       what our Magis Chair Couple call for:
                                           Vincent Lazatin of the Coalition           to BE MORE and let DOING MORE
    Where have the intervening years
                                           Against Corruption (CAC). The              flow naturally from it. For this reason,
gone? They have brought many
                                           Ministries have thus been invited to       our Magis Council sees a deliberate
“consolations and desolations.” Aida
                                           express what might be their response       process of spiritual reaffirmation, of
and I have discovered that bringing
                                           in the context of their respective         community dialogue and discernment
GOD into the center of our lives is not
                                           programs.                                  and, with the inspiration of the Holy
a “one-time” thing but a continuing
                                                The challenges we collectively        Spirit, to let THIS shape our
process. It is a continuing struggle to
                                           perceive in the Signs of the Times are     Community Response.
live out the four “esses” of St.
Ignatius, viz., Simplicity, Stewardship,   perhaps most visible in the widespread         There are some among us who will
Sharing and Service, that is at the core   reports of corruption and the lack of      be impatient with the deliberate
of being MORE FOR GOD in MAGIS             responsible governance in our country.     approach. We must respect their
DEO.                                       Very deep roots underlie the evil we       “FIRE.” There are also some among
                                           instinctively perceive. At the risk of     us who may be sensitive to the
    On March 7, the new MEW
                                           repeating myself, this not likely to be    foregoing issues but have other more
graduates have been invited to join us
                                           eradicated overnight. We will need to      pressing priorities. We must respect
at our monthly ME Community
                                           educate ourselves. We will need to         their views too. So let us PRAY that
Celebration. We pray that the
                                           develop a common view of the issues        the Holy Spirit will guide us, and call
freshness of their “DISCOVERY” will
                                           and the problems they pose. We will        us, IN HIS TIME.
inspire us to recover the promise of
                                           need to develop a common response.
our own. We hope that walking with                                                    Tony del Rosario
                                           We may have to learn to draw some
us will also help them to sustain and                                                 Council Member / John BCGG
                                           comfort from little victories. But we
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                 Magis            5

                              Finding God in Community
    During one of our recent Magis Deo    Community Celebrations and may well              Community appears to be in need of a
Council meetings there was some           not be the last. I recently reread the           “burning platform.” What can
discussion about the relatively low       editorial I wrote in our Magis Deo               galvanize us to make our community life
attendance of our community in our        Newsletter of June 2008 entitled:                more relevant and meaningful? How do
monthly community gatherings. This led    “Rediscovering the Magis in Magis                we build up a heightened anticipation
our Council Chairman to restate an        Deo.” It was written last year shortly           for the monthly Community Celebration?
important objective of the Community      after we had gone through our Lenten             In our Community programs and
Services Ministry (CSM), viz., to         Season and Easter Week. And now, we              projects? How do we address competing
build community. Attendance in our        are revisiting the subject just as we begin      needs, priorities, and other impediments?
monthly Community Celebrations is an      this year’s preparation for Lent and
                                                                                               We know many of the reasons we
important indicator of the state of our   Easter Week. It touched upon the
                                                                                           resort to for NOT going to the
common search to bring GOD more           meaning of metanoia, our change of
                                                                                           Community Celebration. Do not have the
closely into our life. We need to         heart and mind….taking a look at where
                                                                                           time. It’s so far away. Can’t leave the
understand the reasons why for an         we are and trying to see where we ought
                                                                                           kids. I have another obligation. It’s so
effective response.                       to be….testing our values and discerning
                                                                                           boring. Etc., etc., etc. If it’s for praying
                                          how we measure up to the values of
    The Community Celebration is the                                                       together I can do it in my parish, with
principal venue for members to come                                                        my BCGG or at my Sector meeting.
together as a community. We do it once         For many of us, Magis Deo led us
                                                                                               There is a great sense of “family,”
a month. Its central activity is the Holy to our metanoia. It is in Magis Deo that
                                                                                           of belonging, in our “household” groups,
Sacrifice of the Mass, which may be we experienced our encounter with
                                                                                           the BCGGs. This is also beginning to be
accompanied by a “homily” of the priest- self and learned to experience the
                                                                                           seen in the geographic sectors of our
offeror or by a “teach-in” by someone encompassing Presence of GOD in all
                                                                                           community, which are made up of the
specially chosen to speak on a particular things. Perhaps there has been a waning
                                                                                           BCGGs. What does it take to extend
topic of his choice or area of expertise. of the magic we experienced for that
                                                                                           that sense of family to the wider
There used to be a particular theme or magic should impel us to revisit it and
                                                                                           membership of our community? The
themes that weave these topics together to share it with others. A first
                                                                                           answer is within us. Let it lead us to
over the course of a year and is/are response might then be to start with
                                                                                           attend our next community celebration.
inspired by the Council, the Formation ourselves and use this Lenten Season
                                                                                           When there, let us MAKE it NOT
and/or Praxis Ministries. In past years, to rekindle it again.
these were formulated and disseminated
                                               For Magis Deo as a Community,
in advance.                                                                                    Let us search for the GOD that
                                          perhaps there is also a need for its own
                                                                                           resides in one another in Community too.
    This is not the first time we are metanoia. As Ed and Claire Palma
focusing on attendance in our wrote in October 2006, our Sense of                             Tony del Rosario, John BCGG

Continued from page 2                               At first, I was a bit nervous, not     lucky because we were able to stand up
Sharing by Rose Ambata – ME Class              knowing what’s in store for me and for      from our mistakes, make up for our
92                                             us. I admired those speakers for sharing    shortcomings. With God’s grace and
    I have no clue what LSS is all about,      with us their lives, knowing that in my     guidance we’ll make it through
besides the fact that it has some similarity   own life there are many struggles, many     everything in our everyday lives. We
with charismatic movements and the             turning points. But still, I choose to be   know that we can inspire others, just by
“Slain” thing, as mentioned to us during       where I am right now.                       simply being a couple of Magis Deo, a
orientation. During my childhood years I            Being married at an early age, was     couple for others.
remembered my mother bringing me to            tough.. With all the problems we’ve been
such gathering.                                through, with all the sorrow and pain, in
                                               the end we realized that we were still
                                                                                                                      March 2009
  6      Magis
completed the Suyuan). Because of their      couples in Montalban, and GK Aya
number, the participants were divided        couples). Ferdie Joson and I assisted
into two groups, with Ronnie and Jean        Ronnie and Jean by handling the talk on
handling the other group.                    “Infidelity,” drawing out sharings from
                                             the participants. The participants knew
                                             Ferdie and I were not a couple, and we
                                             skipped the “lip to lip” portion. (At the
                                             Feb. 22 reunion they were glad to see
                                             Sheila Joson who did the “lip to lip” with
                                             Ferdie.)                                     for their warm welcome and gave tips
                                                 At 5 PM we gathered in the               like “say ‘I love you’, one for the mind,
                                             function hall for the graduation. Tito       one for the heart and one for the soul.”
                                             Danny had to rush to a hospital a woman      The couples’ renewal of vows and red
    Tita Charito and househelp had to        who fainted while listening to the           long-stemmed roses from Tita Cathy
sleep Saturday evening in their beautiful    sharings on death, thus he was not able      highlighted the graduation.
house in Lipa to prepare food for the        to witness the joyful graduation. Gen.            To end the day, our shepherds
event. Everybody ate well - we had           Felix and Rita serenaded the couples         invited us to their Lipa home for a
yummy bibingka and suman for snacks                                                       sumptuous dinner of crispy tawilis,
and luscious adobo for lunch.                                                             ginataang langka, chicken and turon. We
    From time to time, I would peep                                                       went home tired but happy, and most of
through the window of the classroom                                                       all grateful to God for giving us this
where veteran facilitators Pocholo and                                                    chance to serve Him.
Merly handled one group. I spent more
time listening to Ronnie and Jean while
holding a baby (born Aug. 5, reminding
me of Egay’s death anniversary). Indeed
in every Suyuan, the facilitators are
instruments of the Lord. Ronnie and          with love songs. The participants’
Jean confidently handled the seminar         children joined Pocholo in cheering “1,
(they have conducted Suyuans for             2, 3” while the couples kissed. Mike, in
Marsman employees in Davao, Payatas          his pink Croc shoes, thanked the couples

Continued from page 1                            In counseling, Fr. Gascon provides 5.         When it comes to cell phones and
reality, it has become the other way         a way out from the hurtful effects of             computers, be parents, not peers,
around – couples and families have           technology. He outlined seven                     to your children. Kids become
become tools for technology, they have       suggestions:                                      more savvy than their parents in
become slaves of technology. For             1. Discuss the use of technology. It              the use of cell phones and
example, when the cell phone rings, it            has to be clear why technology is            computers. However, this does not
has to be answered at said instance. It           introduced to, and used by couples           mean that mom and dad give up
is taken for granted that cell phone              and families.                                their parenting roles in favor of
technology provides features so that you     2. Set up boundaries. Assess how                  technology.
need NOT answer the call or text back             much technology has taken away 6.            Ask about and educate yourself on
immediately. Calls can be forwarded,              from personal relationships with             technology so you can use it instead
put on hold, or through technology advise         your spouse and family.                      of it using you.
the caller that the called party cannot      3. Rule technology rather than have 7.            Make conscious and informed
be reached or has turned the cell                 technology rule you.                         decisions on the desired role of
phone off. Even the SILENT MODE              4. Faster is not necessarily better. Fr.          technology in your life as a couple.
feature of the cell phone has been taken          Gascon encouraged everyone to                Don’t let technology encroach on
for granted. Technology has even                  count the blessings that come                your relationship as a couple.
dictated that ETHICS in the use of                because of being “low tech.” He
technology favor it rather than its users.        added that patience is still a virtue.            Continued on page 10
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                           Magis            7
                                        World Marriage Day
                                                           Deacon Neil Smoyak

     If there is an appointed time for          love. Those afflicted are apt to be told,          and that no one loved anyone, at least not
everything (Ecc. 3:1-4), then today is a time   perhaps in the form of a song, “You’re not         romantically. Then one day, an angry god
for joy and laughter. People all over the       sick; you’re just in love.” This is meant to       divided humans into two, creating one-half
world and in all ages of history have enjoyed   comfort them. The same kind of theory              male and the other half female. Ever since,
marriage as the ultimate consummation of        suggests that a person with severe abdominal       people have felt incomplete. Therefore,
love, as a sign of life, and as the assurance   pains should be glad to learn it’s just            when someone finds another love, the
of the continuation of the species. Today       gallstones.                                        ecstasy, bordering on torture, is romantic
we have all these reasons for joy.                    In a more serious vein, it was Jesus’        love.
     The Book of Genesis tells us many          teachings about the mutuality of man and                 Some psychologists even suggest that
things. The climax of creation is reached       woman that ultimately made possible the            the head-over-heels kind of love is a form
in humankind; Genesis shows this by             modern version of love, called “romantic.”         of addiction. Addicts, or people in love,
pointing out the divine consultation with the   Romantic love has three dimensions:                display two principal characteristics of
heavenly court concerning God’s creation        intimacy, passion and commitment. When             addiction: tolerance and withdrawal. At first,
of humankind. Humankind is not God, so          all three come together in a relationship, one     lovers are satisfied with brief togetherness,
the word “image” is softened by “likeness”      can get complete, or consummate, love.             but tolerance builds and the dosage must be
to show that there’s only a resemblance         This is the state toward which married             increased. Often you hear lovers say, “I
between the two.                                people should strive.                              can’t get enough of you.”
     Genesis also points out that the                 Intimacy is one term for the emotional             More seriously, love is the key to
distinction of the sexes is of divine origin    aspects of romantic love. It includes              everything. St. Paul’s hymn reminds us that
and therefore good. The full meaning of         closeness, sharing, communication, and             love is invisible and immaterial, yet as real
“humankind” is realized only when there is      support. Intimacy increases steadily in the        as steel. It is as elusive as smoke in the
a man and woman. This makes possible a          beginning of relationships, then slows, then       wind, yet stronger than death. Paul tells us
special kind of love – a love that is a         eventually levels off. Communicating inner         that love is other-centered and big-hearted.
necessity, not a luxury. It’s the only          feelings; sharing possessions, time and self;      If nurtured, love will continue to build in
ingredient capable of welding together          offering emotional support – are ways it is        strength and beauty, despite advancing age.
husband, wife, and children. It’s the only      expressed.                                               Paul’s message is that love is patient,
cement strong enough to unite into a nation           Passion is the motivational side, leading    the product of strength, not weakness. It
the poor and the rich, the strong and the       to physiological arousal and an intense desire     can be heroic. Love is kind. A young child
weak, the employer and the employee. If         to be united with the loved one. It develops       in a family asked, “Mommy, what do people
we don’t have love within the home, then        quickly, and married people quickly adjust         say when they get married?” Not sure about
we won’t have it elsewhere. No human            and get used to it. Hugging, kissing,              this question, the mother answered: “They
relationships will ever be satisfying if not    touching and making love are how it is             promise to love and be kind to each other.”
inspired by love that is learned and            expressed.                                         The child looked puzzled and said, “Oh,
experienced in the home. In the context of            Commitment is the cognitive side. In         you’re not always married then, are you,
love, our procreative power is the result of    the short term, it is a decision to love another   Mommy?”
a special divine blessing; by using it, we      person, and in the long term, it is a pledge to          Love is not jealous, which is a kind of
fulfill a divine precept.                       maintain that love. It is expressed by fidelity,   meanness of soul. It does not put on airs,
     The trouble with love today is that        and by staying in the relationship through         yet is not self-effacing. Lovers marvel at
people think mostly of romantic love. There     hard times as well as good.                        being loved, and are in awe and wonderment
are many humorous aspects of that. For                The importance of a relationship is          about the mutual good feelings. Love is
instance, young people think of being head      increased when there is a willingness to           never rude; it is gracious, courteous, tactful,
over heels in that kind of love – but head      change in response to each other and to            polite. Lovers do not take each other for
over heels is an uncomfortable position to      tolerate each other’s imperfections. In the        granted.
be in. And it’s no coincidence that we          beginning, some of the other’s flaws might               Love is not self-seeking, offering more
celebrate romantic love on the feast of St.     seem unimportant, or even cute. After a            than what is returned. Love does not brood
Valentine, a martyr. Who better to be a         while, those imperfections might grate. Both       over injuries, having learned the great lesson
patron saint of lovers than someone             parties have to be willing to adjust and to        of forgetting. Love is not gleeful over
acquainted with pain? Palpitations,             change.                                            wrongs, but weeps with those who mourn.
sleeplessness, loss of appetite, mood                 Why people should be afflicted with love     Love is pleased with the truth, even at times
swings, constant sighing, and obsessional       is a mystery. An ancient Greek legend said         when we don’t necessarily want to hear the
thinking are common symptoms of romantic        that humans were originally hermaphroditic,        truth. (continued on p. 10)
                                                                                                                          March 2009
  8       Magis

                                        Sharing, Receiving
                                     Reflection on ME Weekend February 13-15, 2009
                                                   Ramie & Mimi Santos

     The ME Valentine Weekend at the La help in recruiting couples. Ed/Sol Macalalad,          The gift of membership in the ME
Verna House of Prayer was a realization of Rey/Lucy Mella and Boyet Ambata sent 4 Ministry. We have been with the ME
the blessings the good Lord has bestowed couples from Sunpower, Jojo and Jane Ministry for some time, and we are witness
on us.                                         Aldeguer sent a couple from Tangent to the dedication of Ministry Head Ike and
     First and foremost is the gift of ME Solutions. ME 90 (Mon/Ting Yupangco and Josie Llamas. Their dedication is something
Class 93 for us to shepherd. Of the original Dodo Sta. Maria) sent 2 couples. Willie/ many of us in the community can emulate.
18 couples, 7 couples and 2 better halves Nora Melaya of ME 14, Myr/Joe Seranilla of The generosity of Cesar/Marivic Pareja in
untiringly served during the weekend. The Mustard Seed sent a couple each. A couple sharing their lives once again with a new
class was led by Ricky and Trixie Sun who was sent by Art/Grace Santos and Rufo/ set of strangers is truly heartwarming. Eli/
guided the flow of the weekend. It was also Louren Dacanay. This is not to discount Edith Prieto are so kindhearted that they
the Sun couple who designed and the efforts of other Magis Deo members who offer their time and talent, among the other
spearheaded the making of the directory endorsed couples who failed to make it to things they do for the community, to serve
which was amazingly completed by the weekend.                                              as guitarist/prayer warrior for couples in
Saturday night. Assisting Fr. Allan in the          ME 92 under Rey/Lucy Mella every ME weekend. Being in the Ministry
conference room were Trixie Sun, Vangie and sponsored one couple; Art/Grace Santos also allows us new insights every time we
Archie Lazaro and Marge Yambao. Paola also sponsored another. Ed/Sol Macalalad serve on weekends, especially from the ME
Llorando (husband Ronnie is in Australia), partly sponsored a couple, while the spiritual director. For this weekend we had
Issa Tongol, Rose                                                                                                  Fr. Allan Abuan
Ilagan and the                                                                                                     who was able to
pregnant Lyn                                                                                                       reach out to the
Salazar manned                                                                                                     candidates who
the registration                                                                                                   were all ears to his
while Margie                                                                                                       interesting
Yambao handled                                                                                                     delivery of his
the finance side.                                                                                                  talk.
Arvin and Jo                                                                                                             The gift of
Santos made sure                                                                                                   service        and
the vigil room                                                                                                     sharing. Serving
was       always                                                                                                   in     any      ME
occupied, while                                                                                                    weekend always
Rene and Bing                                                                                                      leaves us with a
Viernes made sure                                                                                                  sense of joy and
the food was               ME Class 96 with Fr. Allan Abuan and couple sharers Cesar and Marivic Pareja.           fulfillment.
available on time.                                                                                                 Moreso         this
Arvin and Rene                                 Tandang Sora group pooled funds for a 50% weekend when, of all days, a severe anxiety
were also our bell ringers. Victor Tongol sponsorship of a couple. Leony/Mia Parada attack chose to visit me. Being both a team
served as one of the guitarists as well as the of Psalm 46/Samaritans provided chocolates sharer and the shepherd of the auxiliaries, I
official photographer. His wife Issa sang for the wives of ME 96 during the renewal of became anxious that I would not be able to
beautifully during the reconciliation service. vows. Edwin/Lulu Monzon of ME donated serve properly during the weekend. I was
Mike Yambao, our mascot and famous lead Coffeehaus drinks. Ricky/Trixie Sun proven wrong as my dear ME 93 ably took
dancer, handled the logistics and provided provided everyone with boxes of Summit over and conducted the weekend with
the comic breaks, and Randy Ilagan set up drinking water and flavored drinks.              utmost efficiency. The attack was also a
the sound system. Although the auxies were          The community came in full support for blessing as Ramie and I were left
assigned specific tasks, each was always the harana. ME 93 commented that there emotionally vulnerable by my anxiety
ready to help and assist the others. The were few haranistas at their weekend. At attack, allowing us to share our experience
weekend gave the class the opportunity to the ME 96 harana, we had representatives with more sensitivity.
bond closer.                                   from ME 92, ME 95, John, Psalm 46,              The gift of fun and camaraderie. The
     The gift of community was very evident Samaritans, Jeremiah, Micah 6.8, Beatitudes, design of La Verna is a cardio challenge as
during the weekend. We were blessed with Mustard Seed, Emmanuel, Mt. Olivet, the auxies needed to go up and down
20 couples, a priest, and a CEFAM student. Genesis, Exodus, Magnificat ,Archangel several flights of stairs from the refectory
The community responded to the appeal of Gabriel, and House of David. The Music and chapel at the top floor to the conference
Ike and Josie Llamas, ME Ministry Head, for Ministry provided the music for the Mass.
                                                                                                                   Continued on page 9
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                          Magis            9

                                                    Ricky & Trixie Sun, ME Class 93

     Time indeed flies so swiftly. We            candidate couples were not able to make it
reminisce the time we were candidates            to the MEW, we had a total of 20 couples
attending the MEW at the BLD Convent             and 2 students. We were relieved and
House in Cavite in June 2008. We remember        excited at the outcome of participants.
the feelings of joy, hope and excitement at           Next came the daunting challenge of
the end of the weekend. We recall the            making sure the weekend would go
eagerness of wanting to reach out to other       smoothly, that the couples would be
couples that they may undergo similar            comfortable, that all necessary activities be
experiences and acquire the knowledge we         done satisfactorily and on time. The
just had.                                        weekend was run on adrenaline, caffeine,         brought to us a “natural high.” As Tita Josie
     Our first reunion was two weeks after       sugar, and most importantly, commitment to       put it, “I know you’re all tired but think of
that weekend. Half of the couples had            God.                                             how many couples you’ve touched.” We
dropped out by then. In the succeeding                Hours lapsed into days and before we        know that much is in store for us, and even
months, other commitments and concerns           knew it, the weekend was over. Everyone          much more is expected of us. We know now
conflicted with scheduled reunions that we       worked efficiently, everything fell into place   that we need not be anxious. We find
oftentimes had to reset the dates. We grew       properly. If facial expressions, smiles,         comfort in the thought that if we give of
anxious that only a handful would remain to      laughter and tears are signs to gauge the        ourselves, God will work miracles. Crucibles
plan and work for the MEW where we were          success of an MEW in terms of touching           may come our way, but knowing that God
to be auxiliaries. After five reunions, it was   the couples, then this weekend was               always watches over us enables us to
evident that 5 to 7 couples in our batch would   resoundingly so. For how can an                  conjure whatever it takes to endure them.
be at the February 2009 MEW. As                  outpouring of emotions concur with                    We are very grateful for the blessings
assignments were divided among us, our           insouciance? We were moved and affected          God has showered upon us and continually
anxiety about not being able to accomplish       by the talks of Fr. Abuan and the sharing of     pray that He guides us to be the persons He
all that had to be done abated.                  our team couples. The participants’ letters      wants us to be. We humbly ask Him to bless
     Our efforts then shifted to recruitment.    to God were letters of gratitude for having      us with wisdom, enduring love and patience
Our anxiety about being undermanned was          been called to the MEW and for having been       that we may be the parents our children
immediately replaced with a new one: how         given the chance to start improving              deserve. We beseech Him to show us how
many couples would we be able to convince        relationships with their spouses, families       to help our children grow spiritually. We are
to attend? Two weeks before the MEW, we          and God. The exhilaration was palpable.          much more deeply in love with each other
only had seven. Tita Josie advised us to              Were we tired? Yes. Was it worth it?        than we were 17 years ago.
pray simultaneously at 9PM every night. A        Definitely! All the auxiliaries felt contented        Time indeed flies so swiftly. Are we
week later, the number rose to 16. Then more     and jubilant at having been emissaries,          heeding the call to attain Holiness? Are we
couples confirmed their attendance during        albeit minor, in making God’s plans known.       giving back? We hope we have started to
the next four days. Although three               Having been able to start “giving back”          do so.

Continued from page 8
room located 4 floors down. It was taxing
for those who are of age hence it was a good
thing that majority of the auxies are young.
Despite all these, the auxies sang and danced
for their candidates with so much energy
and fun. Camaraderie among them was
evident as they went though their tasks with
     The gift of new insights. Every time we
serve in an ME weekend, we are delighted
to always learn something new. We may
hear the same things, but there are always
fresh realizations.
                                                      Auxies (ME 93) with Fr. Allan, shepherds and couple sharers Ramie & Mimi Santos, couple
     Yes, we went to serve in the weekend.            sharers Cesar and Marivic Pareja. Auxies Arvin and Jo Santos were in the vigil room (they
But with these gifts, we received more than           made sure someone was in the vigil room 24-7) hence they are not in the picture.
what we gave.
                                                                                                                                      March 2009
 10       Magis

                               The Answer is in our Hands
                                                                  Willie Melaya
      More than twenty years under a             than a passive one, more proactive rather than     should do some more discerning. Maybe
dictator, and four presidents taking their       reactive.                                          God is telling us something else. Maybe God
turns running the country, our people are             It was after the dictatorship that the        wants us to be more proactive, such as
still suffering. Day by day our people’s lives   Church started coming out with pastoral            selecting and fielding our own candidates.
and living conditions are getting harder. It     letters to guide the Laity in choosing             We believe there are still a lot of honest,
seems like a hopeless case.                      candidates to vote for. The PPCRV was              God-fearing and competent people who can
      We are constantly praying to God.          also organized in order to help in the             run our country. Why don’t we choose
People who are suffering pray the most and       election process. Guided by the pastoral           them ourselves, starting from the local level
more fervently. We pray for deliverance from     letter and granting that we all voted              up to the national level? We can field our
the corrupt governments and politicians          according to our conscience, we cannot             own candidates instead on relying on
who have taken control or are fighting over      guarantee that the person we voted for will        corrupt politicians, political families and
the control of our land. Yet, nothing            perform well, or will not be corrupt and will      clans who want to perpetrate themselves in
happens!                                         not steal public funds. Simply, because in         power.
      Could it be that God has already           the first place, we are limited in our                  This may sound drastic or radical. But
forsaken us? Could it be that God has turned     choices. Limited by the power play, limited        given our national situation or rather, the
His ears away from us? I don’t believe so.       by the compromise-controlled dynamics of           national disaster that we are in now, we need
But why have we not seen any improvement         stupid political parties. We also have             very urgent and radical measures. With so
in our lives despite our collective prayers?     political dynasties wanting to perpetuate          much poverty, hopelessness and apathy
That’s the big question especially among         their stay in power in order to protect their      around us, we have no other choice but to
our poor. Why?                                   vested interests. It is just like picking good     be radical and aggressive.
      Could it be possible that God is telling   eggs from a rotten batch. That is a futile              Finally, I would like to quote what
us something else? Maybe we have not             exercise. And this is what happens all the         George Bernard Shaw said: Some men see
discerned carefully what God is trying to        time!                                              things as they are and ask “Why?” But I
say to us. Maybe God is telling us to take a          Why don’t we Catholics be more                imagine things that never were and ask
different approach to our problems. Maybe        proactive in dealing with the never-ending         “Why not?”
He wants us to take a more active role rather    political turmoil in our country? Maybe we              May God bless us all!

Continued from page 6                            World ... continued from p. 7                      serious that God gives the grace of a special
       The basic drawback of technology               There is no limit to love’s forbearance; it   Sacrament, so that they can be fulfilled.
between couples and among family members         can handle any disappointment. Love is                   All of us are called to love. We are in the
is: it has taken away what Jesus of Nazareth     always ready to trust; it believes the best        world not to compete with one another, or to
has shown us in His lifetime, namely, the        about people. Love is ready to hope,               fight with one another, but to love one another.
personal touch in communicating.                 remembering Jesus’ example, and teaching that      Lest Jesus be accused of demanding of others
Technology has provided efficiency, but not      no human being is hopeless. Love has the           what he did not do himself, be reminded that
necessarily effectiveness. It has increased      power to endure, not just to passively put up      he adds to his commandments that we love
quantity through speed (and even through         with the status quo. Love conquers and             one another, as he has loved us. When we
multi-tasking), but it has never assured         changes things. Love lasts. When all things        remember that no one has greater love than
quality. We are always reminded that with        in which people take pride have passed away,       to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, we are
technology, “garbage in” results in “garbage     love is still there.                               humbled and inspired to greater love, both
out.” Effectiveness and quality still reside          Jesus referred to himself as the vine, and    within and outside of marriage.
with the users of technology. We are             we, as his branches. The vine image is part of           The words of an old poem are appropriate
thankful that technology and its                 our Judaic heritage. The vine is a symbol of       for all of us:
development have had a significant impact        Israel; it can be found as emblems on temples        I want to love you without clutching,
in our lives. They are God’s gifts to us.        and on the coins of the Maccabees. A living              appreciate you without judging,
However, we have to come to terms with the       relationship with Jesus, the vine, will spare us         join you without invading,
fact that communication through the              from a fate of being non-bearing branches. To            invite you without demanding,
internet or text can never replace the love,     live in his love, we have to keep his                    leave you without guilt,
affection and human touch displayed in           commandments. Everyone must obey God’s                   criticize you without blaming,
face-to-face conversation and interaction.       commandments, regardless of where we find                and help you without insulting.
                                                 ourselves in our lives. Marriage, which              If I can have the same from you,
                                                 symbolizes the close and holy union of Christ           then we can truly meet and enrich
             Eli & Edith Prieto
                                                 and his church, brings serious obligations, so           each other.
           Council Members / MEM
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                        Magis           11
                                        Angels in my midst
                                                   Anne Yared-Naldo, Psalm 46 BCGG

      I’m sure you and I have been taught at explained to us everything we needed to know       the whole Psalm 46 BCGG who were with me
home and in school that angels are celestial about CIN including the options for treatment,     all the way to a point that the nurses
beings with long flowing white robes and performed the necessary confirmatory tests,            commented I was having a party in my room
wings who form our Lord’s entourage in and harassed the laboratory staff to process             every night because there were so any visitors
heaven. They carry trumpets and provide my biopsy ASAP. It was finally decided that I           all the time! To Mimi and Mia who
music to a magnificent heavenly vision. We had no other option but to undergo                   accompanied me to all my consultations and
pray for their protection before sleeping at hysterectomy to hopefully prevent the sick         who had the tenacity to ask my doctors
night. We always believed that each of us has cells from progressing to a cancerous stage.      questions I hadn’t thought of so that my
his/her own guardian angel to safeguard us My post operation biopsy showed that                 cardiologist called them my chuwaruwap girls.
from harm and the evils of Satan. My life                                                             Mimi was also instrumental in linking
in Dumaguete City, though filled with                                                                 me with Dr. Trixie and was also my
happy moments, also has its share of                                                                  emergency medicine source as she
trials which have tested my belief in the                                                             virtually had a rolling pharmacy in her
ability of my guardian angel to keep me                                                               handbag! To Leony Parada who stayed
safe from evil and injury.                                                                            at Lito’s side to allay his fears while I
      One such trial came last July 12,                                                               was in the operating/recovery room. To
2008. That day I went for my routine pap                                                              Tito Ramie Santos who generously
smear. The doctor’s secretary took my                                                                 donated blood for my cause and for
blood pressure and was shocked to note                                                                providing us with endless supply of
it was abnormally high. After my pap                                                                  mami and siopao! To the Samaritans
smear I was brought to the Emergency                                                                  BCGG and other Magis members who
Room and was given first aid for what                                                                 offered prayers and encouraging text
turned out to be the start of my Anne with her treasures: her family. From left - Michelle (11), messages for my recovery, my sincerest
hypertension (as the saying goes, “Life                  Lito, Manuel (7), and Miguel (17).           gratitude.
begins at 40; so does hypertension”).                                                                      My doctors were truly miracle
      Two weeks later, my ob-gyne called and although I really had CIN stage III, Dr. Trixie    workers. Dr. Ricky Choa (my cardiologist),
asked me to come to her clinic early. As told me that I was truly lucky my condition            Dr. Marmie Llaguno (my anesthesiologist)
woman’s intuition goes, I had an inkling that had not progressed to cancer yet.                 and Dr. Trixie Sun (my ob-gyne oncologist)
something was not right with my results. I             It was a truly an emotional and          who, simply put, saved my life from
rushed to her clinic where she informed me overwhelming experience for me. Amazingly, I         hypertension, possible cancer and a life
that the tests show I had CIN (cervical remained calm and accepting of what I was               threatening post operative bleeding. Had I
intraepithelial neoplasia) Stage II-III. I didn’t going through mostly because I had Lito       not been guided by some unexplainable
know what CIN meant, though I remember a beside me all the time. My recuperation period         power to go for a pap smear when I
friend having the same condition some years was long and painful but it afforded me the         consciously had no plans to do it, and had it
ago. The doctor continued to explain that CIN time to think and reflect on how I have been      not been for family and friends who somehow
is the abnormal growth of cervical cells which taking my countless blessings for granted.       connected me to all those who helped save
is quite not cancer yet, but can develop into This experience has brought me closer to Lito     my life, I would possibly have cervical cancer
cervical cancer. She advised me to seek and children Miguel, Michelle and Manuel,               by now.
immediate medical attention in Cebu or Manila. who have been the greatest source of my                Since I have returned to my life in
      As I walked out of my doctor’s room, I strength. This experience has proven to me         Dumaguete, I have tried to be an advocate
tried to stay calm though inwardly I was in beyond any doubt that Lito truly loved me for       for the fight against cervical cancer in my
denial. I believed I was too young to be so he was there when I needed him the most. I          own little way. I remind all women I meet of
sick. The word pre-cancer alone chilled my soul have also come to realize how blessed I am for  the need to go for regular pap smear and
with thoughts of death. In a dazed state, I the love and support of family and friends.         mammography once a year for early detection
began texting family and friends in Manila, and They took turns watching me in the hospital,    of cancer. This is my way of giving back what
be it perfect timing or divine intervention, Tita made sure I was comfortable despite the pain, others have done to save my life. But I am
Mimi Santos knew of an ob-gyne oncologist and most of all, they all prayed for my safety        grateful the most to everyone who have
at Cardinal Santos who recently joined the and recovery. In fact, it became a standing          helped me in the fight for life. I have
Marriage Encounter Weekend. We were even joke among us that with so many people                 unknowingly been living with so many
able to arrange for an appointment with Dr. praying in my behalf, it was simply impossible      angels in my midst. Angels with neither white
Trixie Luna-Sun right away. My husband Lito for me not to have a successful operation.          robes, wings nor trumpets, but who have been
and I flew to Manila Aug 4. Mimi and Mia               And I have never been so grateful for my with me always to keep me from harm and
Parada accompanied us for our appointment Magis Deo family who played major roles in            evil. Thank you Lord, YOU are truly great!
with Dr. Trixie the next day. Dr. Trixie patiently my struggle with my medical predicament. To
                                                                                                                         March 2009
 12       Magis
Clyde Abapo, Jeremiah BCGG

                      Rediscovering God: A Dual Existence
    We believers know who God is but          and non-Christians call this oneness as      her siblings, while she scraped the peeling
knowledge is not enough. We have to           enlightenment, eternal presence,             for her own consumption.
experience God in our lives. God said,        unifying force, etc. Whatever it is, God
                                                                                                Here is Sheila in our faith-sharing
“Don’t be afraid. I will always be with       has His own way of revealing Himself
                                                                                           last February 8. A week before, she and
you till the fullness of time.” God is so     to us. For me, He is the inner voice that
                                                                                           her teammates made some location shots
powerful that He can be present               tells me to stay away from temptation
                                                                                           in Intramuros as back-up photo material
everywhere. Nothing is impossible with        and go on. He is the moving spirit that
                                                                                           for their Thursday presentation on value
Him. I have great admiration for people       inspires me to do good, to be honest and
                                                                                           formation, with credibility as the topic.
who share their experience of how God         true to myself. I believe God is present
                                                                                           Their approach was something like
revealed Himself to them.                     in each one of us. Contemplation in the
                                                                                           treasure-hunting a la Indiana Jones.
     Sometime late December I                 Awareness Portion of the Sacred Space
                                                                                           Accordingly the videos had to be edited
happened to watch a TV program about          will bear this out. Let me share this
                                                                                           and arranged to come out as a movie
a religious community and its outreach        experience and see how God exists.
                                                                                           with sound effects. The whole thing
activities. Towards the end of the                One Sunday afternoon, Rey and his        would be processed in the computer. On
program, I was struck by a question the       wife came to our house to buy some           Wednesday, she brought 3 DVDs to
host asked the panel head, “Who is God        shells. Months earlier, I met him as a       make sure everything would be okay.
to you?” I didn’t care much about the         co-supplier to an exporter. As he was        She burned the first disc in the evening
reply because my mind was focused             selecting the different shell materials in   after dinner and came out unsuccessful.
more on the question. The following day       our factory, a heavy downpour caused         She made some adjustments and burned
I opened the Sacred Space for my daily        him to be wet down to his shirt. My wife     on the 2 nd DVD. Again, it was
readings. And for the first time, the         knew he had to go home to Cavite, quite      unsuccessful but she couldn’t
mystery of God’s existence lingered in        a distance, and offered to give him a        understand why. It was deep into the
my mind. I want to believe that He exists     clean, dry and unused shirt. At first he     night already when she tried burning the
not only outside our sphere but also within   was hesitant, but was later convinced to     last disc. This time she prayed over the
us.                                           change, after acknowledging the risk of      whole process for more than 30 minutes,
     God as Outsider - From a prayer          getting sick. The scene is very ordinary     for God’s intervention. “Kinikilabutan
workshop I attended, a similar question       but unfolds the spirit of God’s              ako. When I opened my eyes, parang
was asked about our concept of God. I         compassion and concern.                      nakikita ko ang mukha ng Diyos, at the
remember everybody seeing God as an                 Here is a moving story as told by a    same time I read the word ‘successful’
outsider, a Supreme Being who touched         photojournalist assigned in a remote area    in the computer,” she said. She then
our lives through the working of the Holy     somewhere in South America, in a third-      narrated how the readings in the Sacred
Trinity. We made prayer petitions and         world country where extreme poverty,         Space were connected to her
asked for healing and guidance so that        oppression and injustice reign. Dole-out     experience.
God intervenes and makes way for the          was a common scene and the queue was              The late bishop Benny Tudtud was
right path to salvation. Of course, the       long. Among those in the last line was a     asked by a student, “Where and when
common belief is that God is real and         girl of 10 who kept on glancing at her       can I see God?” His reply, “I can see
alive. He is a compassionate and              siblings who were waiting under the          God now in you.” I cannot forget him
forgiving God.                                shade of a tree 15 meters away. Her          as my teacher in Catechism II, on the
     God Within Us - God can also be          little brother must have been 3 years old    subject of sacraments. He made a
within us. The Bible says our body is         and the sister around 5. When her turn       lasting impression on me about focusing
the temple of the Holy Spirit. The more       came, she was handed only a banana.          on God instead of our problems. He
we provide a space for the Spirit, the        She flashed a big smile upon receiving it    cited the example of Peter walking on
more sacred we are, the more we               and zoomed away toward her brother           the water and began to sing when
become one with God. Non-believers            and sister. She opened the banana and        distracted by waves and strong winds.
                                              split it into two. She gave each half to
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                       Magis           13
Zarah Gagatiga, Mt. Olivet BCGG

                                      E-mail Technology: Rated PG
     Nico, our eldest, got an email account      and model the correct ways of using them.         7. Tell mama and/or
last year when he turned eleven years old.       Parenting is not a walk in the park. And               papa if there are problems
     I helped him get an email account after     with the evolution of digital technology               encountered when using email.
months of endless badgering. His father          having a powerful effect in our children’s        8. No online bullying.
gave him consent weeks before his 11th           lives, parenting in this day and age is more      9. No online games unless allowed.
birthday and since I am the teacher in the       like a careful and watchful journey on a          10. Respect other people when using
family, it was my task to facilitate this rite   road less traveled (at least for us).                  email.
of passage for our eldest. Nico wanted an             We sat down together the evening he             This is only the beginning of our son’s
email account because his friends have           was to apply for an email account. The         online journey. His ten reminders will
them too. Thank God he did not ask for a         typical teacher, I asked him questions on      change as he grows and develops. It is not
top of the line cell phone, an iPod or a PS2.    using email and his answers were put           a set of static guidelines. Children and teens
More than anything, we believe that our          down as his ten reminders. It’s important      are very dynamic. The technology they use
kids must be responsible when using              that the input came from him and not           in their daily lives is in rapid progress as
technology for pleasure or perfunctory           imposed by the parent or the adult. This       well. It would be difficult to catch up, but
purpose.                                         way, he claims ownership and responsibility    establishing a formation of values at each
RUFO the environment of a growing
     Indeed,                                     on the reminders as well as the actions        stage of a child’s development can make
child these days is more complicated. Back       expected of him.                               a difference.
in the 70’s, we only had TV and radio to              So, for starters, allow me to share             Very soon, he will be entering the
fill our leisure time. Then came the             Nico’s Ten Email Reminders with you.           tollgates of cyberspace more
betamax and the game-and-watch of the              1. Use email to communicate with             independently. His teachers will ask him
80’s. Our kids these days, on the other hand,           family and friends.                     to search and research using online
are exposed to multi-media technology that         2. Email time is limited to 30 minutes       resources. He will be forced to learn,
amaze, dazzle and stimulate their many                  only.                                   relearn and unlearn skills to understand this
senses. On top of that, there is a great           3. No joining (yet) of social networking     digital environment better. That’s a big task,
influx of information seen, heard, created              sites like Friendster, Multiply, etc.   I tell you! And it is highly cognitive too! As
and communicated from the variety of               4. Avoid spamming and flame wars.            much as we’re compelled to guide him
media and formats available for their              5. Send good and proper information          through these changes and challenges,
perusal. That is why, as parents, we make               via email.                              values like trust, patience, discipline and
sure that our kids grow up appreciating the        6. Inform mama and/or papa when              responsibility must be integrated in the
many advantages these technological                     encountering information that makes     experience of guiding and facilitating a
wonders can offer. At the same time,                    me (Nico) feel uncomfortable.           young global netizen.
we’re also aware of the necessity to teach

                              E-mail from Fr. Simon Kewandi to Ike Llamas

Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 00:59:07 -0800            couples. I would say it is super, and more     effect on those new comers. I want to
Subject: Marriage Encounter Weekend              than a marriage encounter. I personally        express my deepest words of
Feb 13-15 La Verna Retreat House                 felt that those who attended the seminar       appreciation and I promise to remember
Tagaytay City                                    must have gone home with renewed               you all in my daily mass and prayers.
                                                 hearts and minds. It’s super, I must say       Thanks and may God bless you all.
Dear Ike,
                                                 it again.
Hello and regards to you and Josie.                                                                                Fr. Simon Kewandi
                                                 Your efforts, time, personal sharing and
It took me some time to say thank you            overall the couple-power were clearly          Fr. Kewandi is a priest at the Catholic
for the wonderful weekend we had                 demonstrated by the Magis Deo                  Diocese of Kundiawa in Papua New
together at Tagaytay City. I was deeply          Community. Your love and concern for           Guinea. He is currently taking higher
touched in the way the Magis Deo                 others were clearly shown in your              theological courses at CEFAM. He took the
Community arranged this seminar for              organization and this has a tremendous         MEW as part of his curriculum. – RCD
                                                                                                                                      March 2009
 14        Magis
Rey Mella, Cana BCGG

                                         Listen as God speaks to us
     During those days when I wasn’t really        surely, it gave me a shoulder to cry on, gave members of the family and I have more
touched nor inspired and my prayer life was        me comfort and showed me how to count fun trying to be healthy. For free.
stale and unexciting and there wasn’t much         my blessings. In our prayer meetings, I am             “Everything about the future is
to think or worry about, God sent someone.         always able to hold my head high, to stay uncertain but, one thing is for sure… God
At the annual audit of our SPC (statistical                                                         has already arranged all our tomorrows; we
process control) and continuous                                                                      just have to trust Him as He leads.”
improvement teams, Jake Sredni, a Jew and                                                                 On Ash Wednesday, after mass and ash
our global SPC guru, spoke of the plight of                                                          imposition at lunch time, I had a profound
the Israelites at Mt. Sinai and of the Ten                                                           experience in the afternoon. I talked to a
Commandments, in relation to following rules                                                         resigning employee, who happens to be the
in our process. What a beautiful reminder.                                                           daughter of a colleague and friend (from
Sometimes it is not easy to comprehend                                                               two previous companies) who had died 9
how God speaks to me through other people                                                            years earlier. I did not know whether to
and in varying situations. I conclude He does                                                        feel happy I finally met her, or sad knowing
love me.                                                                                             my friend Marlon is gone. I had a weird
     Fr. Tanseco continues to harp and                                                               feeling it was all in God’s plan for me to
remind us about family. I just finished                                                              stay connected with my past. In the
reading The Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell,             ME Class 92 at Amadeo Eco Park in            evening, I found time to buy a bible for my
                                                       Cavite. Rey and Lucy find friendship with
a book about stories of success. Amongst               this class who finished LSS last Feb. 21.    eldest daughter who had a great experience
many things, it discusses research on the                                                           at the LSS and had been bugging me to buy
differences in performance of various              confident that all is well and to breathe God’s her a bible. What better gift could I give
(supposedly) geniuses. In one chapter, the         air of hope.                                     someone I love than a bible? I feel so
author proves with facts and figures that                The        opening         prayer       in blessed and happy that another loved one is
family background and family support at a reads: “Lord, remind trying to be nearer to God. That same
young age is one key ingredient in a person’s      me that the best things in life are free. Love, evening, my wife and I met with our old
success. While I have no reason not to             laughter, caring and sharing.”                   prayer group after several months of simply
expect such conclusion, I am amazed that                 I used to think leisure and family texting and emailing. All in one day. What a
Malcolm Gladwell and Fr. Tanseco are on            activities have to be expensive or that you way to start the Lenten season.
the same page on family.                           have to spend to do it. And we had to spend            “Fasting is something we do religiously.
     These days, people are losing their jobs.     money to eat out, go to places and go            We eat what we want and pray we don’t
While tough and difficult, people can try to       malling. I discovered it did not have to be a gain weight.”
count their blessings. In an article in Business   long time ago. And yet, from time to time,             A Jewish couple had a son who was .
Week, “people who lost jobs have found             we succumb to the temptation to spend in         . . well . . . a holy terror. By the time for his
some upsides and bittersweet upsides. The          order to have fun. I keep on re-discovering bar mitzvah, he’d been kicked out of every
unemployed are stressed out about unpaid           inexpensive ways of having fun being with school they put him in. Desperate, the
bills, dashed retirement plans and the loss        the family. We would go on picnics and parents went to the rabbi for advice. The
of workplace camaraderie. But many say             breakfast after walking together as we good rabbi stroked his beard and meditated.
life minus work also has its bittersweet           exercise and talk – all 5 of us – in the Finally, he told them to enroll the boy in a
upsides, including more time with family           memorial park. Recently, I had a pingpong Catholic school.
and friends, learning new skills, focusing         table (bought 10 years ago) repaired and               The shocked parents did as their rabbi
on their health and pursuing hobbies.”             repainted. I dug up somewhere in the house       directed and took their son to the nuns at
     In a crisis, I found out from my own          several rackets and bought a box of balls. St. Jude’s and left him.
past experiences that being with the               Every other day, for an hour, I sweat it out           After school, the son came home and
community at a time of many challenges -           with my son and daughter and even with said, “Good afternoon, Papa. Good
financial, health, my children’s accidents,        my wife over a game of table tennis, right afternoon, Mama.”
dealing with my teenagers, job-related issues      in the comfort of our home. So, now                    The young man went to the table and
- has had its merits. While the community          instead of my regular 1-hour walk alone,         did his homework. The parents looked at
does not necessarily provide all the answers,      my regular cardiac exercise involves each other in amazement, afraid to speak.
                                                                                                                             Continued on page 15
Issue No. 38
                                                                                                                         Magis             15

                         Magis Deo Community                                                    Summary of Donations per BCGG
                                                                                                    as of February 19, 2009
                                                                                                             Amount                      Total
                                                                               Date             Donor                     Balance
                                                                                                              Paid                      Pledged

                                                                                         JOHN                 350,000                    350,000
    Update: 20 Years of Magis Fund Raising Project
                                                                                           Aurotech &
                                                                            23-Sep-08                          50,000                     50,000
                                                                                           E Meralco
                                                                            25-Nov-08                          50,000                     50,000
                                                                                           Ventures, Inc.
     In celebrating its 20 th anniversary last year, the Magis Deo                         CIS Bayad
                                                                            26-Nov-08                          50,000                     50,000
Community launched the “20 Years of Magis Fund Raising Project” to                         Center
raise funds to support the Marriage Encounter and Outreach Ministries’                     Phinma
                                                                             17-Jan-09                        100,000                    100,000
Projects of the Community as a way of “Reaching Out to the Filipino
                                                                                           Magis Deo
Family.”                                                                     17-Jan-09                        100,000                    100,000

    One of the objectives of the Fund Raising Project is to Promote                      CANA                  25,000                     25,000
Social Responsibility wherein we will target and involve our Corporate                     Magis Deo
                                                                             27-Oct-08                         25,000                     25,000
Partners through your personal solicitation.                                               Member

     In several meetings with the Sector and BCGG Heads, the Fund                 BEATITUDES                  230,800         390,000    620,800
Raising Committee offered to prepare solicitation letters to be                            Arsebel
                                                                             8-Nov-08                          10,000          20,000     30,000
addressed to prospective corporate sponsors, benefactors and donors                        Foods Corp.
for the Fund Raising Project.                                                              Belares
                                                                             8-Nov-08                          10,000          20,000     30,000
                                                                                           Foods Corp.
     As of February 19, 2009 we have distributed a total of 124              8-Nov-08
                                                                                                               25,000          50,000     75,000
                                                                                           Foods Corp.
solicitation letters addressed to prospective corporate sponsors,
benefactors and donors. We have received a total of Six Hundred Ten         22-Dec-08      Datem, Inc.        100,000         200,000    300,000
Thousand Eight Hundred Pesos (P610,800.00) from seventeen (17)                             Mark Dexter
                                                                             17-Jan-09                          5,000                      5,000
sponsors/donors, with pledges for the next two (2) years amounting to                      Koo
Three Hundred Ninety Thousand Pesos (P390,000.00).                                         Filipinas
                                                                             30-Jan-09     Teknomed             5,000                      5,000
    Only four (4) BCGGs out of a total of 24 BCGGs have actively                                  C
                                                                             30-Jan-09     Janet Malaya           300                        300
participated in soliciting sponsors/donors and these are John,
Beatitudes, Cana and CIA/Wisdom.                                                           Nanette
                                                                             30-Jan-09                            500                        500
      Inasmuch as this fundraising project will benefit the whole Magis      5-Feb-09
                                                                                           Magis Deo
                                                                                                               25,000                     25,000
Deo Community, we would like to remind all of you to lend a hand in
this important undertaking. This 2009 we are targeting a total ACTUAL       10-Feb-09
                                                                                                               50,000         100,000    150,000
collection of at least P2,000,000 which will enable us to attain our
                                                                                   CIA/WISDOM                   5,000                      5,000
noble objective of reaching out to the Filipino Family.
                                                                                           Roxas Food
    How can you help?                                                        31-Jan-09                          5,000                      5,000

     First, for those BCGGs who have not yet submitted their prospective           Grand Totals               610,800         390,000   1,000,800
sponsors, donors and benefactors, please submit the complete name,
designation, company and address to the Secretariat c/o Jane at
telephone number 426-7191 and/or Levy Espiritu at telephone number         Continued from page 14
923-2836 on or before March 31, 2009.
                                                                           The mother wrung her hands and the father twisted his
     Second, for those BCGGs who were already given solicitation
letters, please follow up on your solicitation letters.
                                                                           beard all the while their boy helped serve the evening meal,
                                                                           bowed his head for prayers of thanks, and even helped
    We thank you for your utmost support and cooperation and we            with the dishes.
hope to receive a favorable response soon as this will be crucial in the
funding requirements of our Outreach and MEW activities for 2009.               No longer able to contain himself, the father asked,
                                                                           “We’re ever so grateful, my son, but what in Moses’ name
    All for Magis.
                                                                           did they do to you?”
                                                                                “Papa, when you left, the nun took me from class to
                                                                           class all day, each time saying they knew how to deal with
                                                                           rowdy boys. Those Catholics mean business! They got
                     Levy & Roxanne Espiritu                               some Jewish-looking guy nailed up on boards in every
                Fund Raising Committee Chaircouple                         room!”
                                                                                “Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for
                                                                           God’s sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God.” ~
                                                                           Thomas a Kempis
                                                                                                                                March 2009
16      Magis

                                             Calendar of Activities
                                              March to May 2009
03      Shepherds & Ministry Heads Meeting-1      Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish Office Magis Deo 426-7191
07 Sat. Community Celebration - 4:00-7:30 pm      San Carlos Lay Formation Center (MPH) CSM
                                                                                          John & House of David
                                                                                          NORTH SECTOR
11       Council Meeting                          Magis Deo Office                        Magis Deo 426-7191
13-15    Annual Ignatian Retreat (AIR)            Sacred Heart Novitiate                  Joy Uy-Tioco 0917-8166745
14-15    Shepherding Seminar-1 (Free)             CEFAM                                   MEFP 426-4206
28-29    Shepherding Seminar-2 (Free)             CEFAM                                   MEFP 426-4206
31       Sector & Ministry Heads Meeting-2        Magis Deo Office                        Magis Deo 426-7191
03       Community Celebration                    San Carlos Lay Formation Center (MPH)               SSFM
                                                                                                      SOUTH SECTOR
08       Council Meeting                          Magis Deo Office                                    Magis Deo 426-7191
09       Lenten Recollection                      AFP Theater, Camp Aguinaldo                         MEFP 426-4206
05       Sector & Ministry Heads Meeting-3        Magis Deo Office                                    Magis Deo 426-7191
08       Community Celebration                    San Carlos Lay Formation Center (MPH)               CENTRAL SECTOR
13       Council Meeting                          Magis Deo Office                                    Magis Deo 426-7191

     March Birthday Celebrants                                     March Wedding Anniversaries
3     Nitz Eslava        Micah 6:8           3       Allan & Edna Pestaño                                   Psalm 46-Samaritans
8     Marivic Pareja     Agnus Dei           5       Mike & Celine Magpayo                                  Sirach
10    Lou Sta. Maria     Magnificat          12      Jo & Lucy Almodovar                                    Mt. Olivet
12    Greg Dizon         Arch. Gabriel       13      Ricardo & Carmelita Yumol                              ME Class 81
      Elvira Lubguban    Magnificat          15      Pocholo & Merly Cea                                    Isaiah 66
      Lucy Almodovar     Mt. Olivet          16      George & Beng Pascual                                  Corinthians
      Chet Lok           ME Class 91         18      Francis & Dolly Llamas                                 Philippians
13    Dennis Rago        Agnus Dei           25      Monchet & Mary-Lou Albert                              Isaiah 66
      Ising Cordero      Music Ministry      26      Ciel & Manette Yap                                     Corinthians
      Mon Yupangco       ME Class 90
14    Rolly Macabuag     ME Class 91
16    Dodo Sta. Maria    ME Class 90
17    Shane Pangilinan   Mustard Seed
18    Philip Panlilio    Mustard Seed

19    Josephus Jimenez   Cana
      Jojo Sarigumba     Emmanuel
22    Laura Cayabyab     Philippians
23    Shari Consulta     Mustard Seed                          Official Publication of the Magis Deo Community

24    Gene Bañez         Agnus Dei                                        Council Chaircouple
                                                                       Monchito and Tina Mossesgeld
      Jane Fernandez     Admin. Asst.
                                                Managing Editors                                                   Photographers
26    Mely Peralta       ME Class 90         Rufo and Louren Dacanay                                                 Ferdie Cruz
27    Tatic Castillo     Cana                                                 Editorial Board                     Anchit Chua Chiaco
                                                  Staff Writers               Tina Mossesgeld                         Lito Quimel
28    Glo Dumlao         Ignatians                   Rey Mella                Tony del Rosario
      Siony Martinez     Magnificat                Clyde Abapo                  Tony Narciso
                                                  Zarah Gagatiga                                                     Publication
      Nita Monte         ME Class 90                Kimi Abapo                                                    Ramie and Mimi Santos
29    Celso Martinez     Magnificat
                                                                   Please send articles, reactions, feedback to
30    Chit Garcia        Mt. Olivet                          

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