Sunday, May 22, 2011

PADAYON KATIPAN (Keep up the Covenant)

(Article first published as open letter for Baptist Pastors on Pahayag, official publication of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association.)

Two words that capped my SONATA 2010 (State of the Association Address) as a clincher to six years of service as your president. The best years I have ever given to a particular cause in my lifetime. Years that witness the commitment and dedication surpassing my other endeavors, paid or likewise voluntary in nature.

It will be recalled that PADAYON was the word used to close the successful conduct of our 68th National Assembly in 2009. Inspired by your overwhelming responses, I was looking for a punch line to sustain the momentum in delivering the concluding remarks. Then came the text message from my *Ihado when the worship leader innovatively asked us to write a message to a person of choice. All the notes coming to me have common message of encouragement to “keep up the good work.” My ihado gave me a note with one word which captured all other messages: PADAYON

KATIPAN, on the other hand, has become a symbol of our unity and success. It bespeaks of the realization of collective faith and action (Katumanan sang Tingob nga Pagtoo kag binuhatan). It sums up our victory in reclaiming the spiritual heritage of the Camp Higher Ground as icon of serenity, spirituality and renewal. Katipan has even galvanized our relationship bringing our association to the door step of the leadership and politics in Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.

KATIPAN was added during my swan song in SONATA 2010. Purposely as a recognition of our collective success, it also serve as reminder to stay true to our covenant. I thought that was the last time I would be using the two words, cognizant of the end of my term and my unstable health condition. Not until our CBMA Coordinator invited me to write an article for the Pahayag. I immediately said yes. For I want to use the opportunity to officially thank you for the support you have extended me and my family in the most trying moments in our life. Although not fully recovered yet, the delay has been compensated by the inner healing and renewal which strengthened my faith and determination.

Excited to communicate with you again, I found myself overwhelmed with all the journal, thoughts, insights which accumulated for more than a year of reflections. This is the second time it happened. The first was last February, while making reflections on the 25th Anniversary of EDSA Revolution. Extracting from aforementioned references, those two words dominantly flashed back in my mind.

The significance of EDSA has been carved in the innermost part of my soul. It was the turning point of my life. When I left seminary in 1984, one semester before graduation, I thought it was a goodbye. Aware of the risk of full time solidarity work during the intensification of the people’s struggle, I was not expecting to see the dawn of the new day. By God’s grace, I have seen it and more. After the historic EDSA '86, I decided to go back to the seminary to resume my studies. Thereafter a paradigm shift in my direction took place. The rest is history

*Wedding godson
(To be continued)

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