Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back to Davao as Visiting Professor, Dreaming of the Next Adventures

I've been here in Davao for 3 weeks and I will be around until the middle of January 2012. Well, this is part of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between my Redemptorist superior and the chairman of the CBCP-BEC committee - that I will be available to teach for 8 weeks every year at the St. Alphonsus' Theological and Mission Institute. So this agreement is good for the next four years while I work with the CBCP.

From 1995 up to March this year, I have been teaching full-time in Davao. Since I was appointed executive secretary of the CBCP-BEC committee, I am now only a visiting professor. I am teaching three courses: Theology of Religions/Interreligious Dialogue (2nd years), Ministry & Orders (4th years), and Pastoral Leadership & Management (4th & 5th years). My are students are Redemptorist seminarians coming from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. There are also students belonging to the Fransciscan TOR, Benedictine and also lay women.

I have a very hectic schedule - teaching 3-4 hours every morning from Tuesday to Saturday. The afternoons and evenings I spend either preparing for class or performing my task for the CBCP-BEC committee: updating the website, communicating and following-up the BEC directors, writing articles, and preparing BEC modules/manuals.

My running has been reduced to a minimum - 2 short barefoot runs and one long run. I also do some weight training. I still have to find time to go mountain biking and scuba diving.

I'd better start preparing for a marathon this June in Manila (Milo Marathon). Let's see if I can do it bafefoot with a faster time. My next goal after a barefoot marathon is to break 3:30 before I reach 60 years old. After running/walking across the Philippines, I've run out of more challenging running/walking adventure. The only remaining challenge is to beat my marathon PR which I set 30 years ago. Well, there's also another longer Camino de Santiago pilgrimage during the next Xacobeo in 2021 - the Via de La Plata (more than a thousand kilometers  from Southern Spain to the Northwest coast - Seville to Finisterre). That's still 9 years f rom now. Maybe,  I can do another bike-tour around the Philippines four years from now - this time including Zamboanga and Palawan and even Batanes. The last adventure before I reach 100 yrs old could be a wheel-chair  tour across the country (now that's a crazy idea). As I grow older I keep dreaming that I can still do these things. Yet, when I was 30 years younger I never thought that I can run/walk 400 km across Mindanao, 800 km across France-Spain barefoot, and across the Philippines. As I reach 57 years of existence, retiring is far from my mind.

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