I have just ended one month of solitude in my hermitage in the mountain of Busay and I am now back to civilization. I feel that one month was so short - but all the same, I am grateful for the opportunity to relax, reflect prayerfully, read, write, and run. I had a great time running the mountain trails. Last weekend, I ran down to the city in the morning to attend an ordination, and in the afternoon I ran up back to the mountain. It took me one hour and thirty minutes to ascend the steep mountain from the monastery. The last time I ran up this mountain was 18 years ago while preparing for the marathon - and it only took me an hour. Well, at least, I can still do it at the age of 52, although at a slower pace. I have decided to make a marathon comeback and to start my training program during my stay in Busay. I have 9 months of training for the Philippines International Marathon this February 24, 2008. The last time I ran a marathon was in 1995 - twelve years ago - in Rome.
Tomorrow, I will be travelling to Samar. I have been invited to give a one hour talk to the Diocesan BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities) congress in San Julian on May 26. They are expecting 250 delegates for the congress. In the evening I will give a 90 minutes speech during the Diocesan Pentecost Vigil. They are expecting six thousand people from all the parishes of the Borongan diocese. From there, I go back to Cebu and fly to Davao to give a seminar on Christology and Ecclesiology on May 29-31 in Tacurong.
This is going to be very busy school year. But my stay in Busay has recharged me to continue my mission.