Last Thursday afternoon, after seeing my cardiologist, I rode the Honday 125 XS motorbike all the way to Iligan to attend the golden anniversary of ordination of Fr. Ramon Fruto. It was an eight hour drive across the mountains of Davao and Bukidnon. Last December it took me 2 1/2 days of pedaling to cover this distance by mountain bike.
There were over five hundred guest for Fr. Ramon's jubilee celebration which was held last Friday evening. Two bishops (Cabajar and Galido) graced the occasion. I made it a point to attend this celebration because Fr. Ramon has been my mentor. He was the director of St. Alphonsus' Seminary when I entered in 1968. He was my novice-master in Lipa in 1976. He was our prefect when I was a theology student in Davao in 1977. After my pastoral year, he was my superior in Iligan in 1982. We were together in the missions in Jimenez and Hinatuan, Surigao. He was also my vice-provincial superior who sent me for higher studies in Berkely and Rome, in 1989-1995. We were together in Davao in 2004 - and I took over as parish priest when he was appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Iligan. Seeing him celebrate 50 years of ordination is very inspiring. I imagined myself celebrating my golden jubilee 24 years from now.
Last night, I also had dinner with my sisters (Noni, Inday, Mely) and their families to celebrate our late father's birthday and the 55th wedding anniversary of our parents.
I came back to Davao this afternoon. The first news that greeted mye was that my mountain bike had been stolen. It was the mountain bike that I used to bike around Mindanao last summer and the bike that I used when I went home to Iligan after Christmas 2006. I felt sad, but I took the news stoically. No need to get depressed over it. I hope I will get a new one this Christmas. Meanwhile, I will just run and train for the marathon. Actually, I still have a road bike that I can use - but I will miss biking in the mountains and rough trails. I need a mountain bike when I bike for peace around the Philippines in the near future.