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Pililla, Rizal

September 30 - October 1, 2016

Finally, the long awaited Father & Son Men’s Ministry overnight bonding activity was pushed through. Escaping the busy & hustling life in the city, the weather is favorable to a two hour drive to Dcn. Pepito’s farm, located in the southeast of Metro Manila with an approximated -------- above sea level. Approaching to this place with the smell of the trees, the mud on the road, the purity of the blowing wind, the humming of the birds, and the clear sky, a nostalgic feeling emanates for those who spent their younger days in the province.  You could sense from the behavior of each of the father attendees that they are the one who is most excited from this activity.   At dinner we are treated with a sumptuous meal, “kalderetang baka”, courtesy of Dcn. Pepito.

It was a light moment for every one of us in that evening; everyone was thinking about what would transpire for the next day activity. For those who brought their tent, together with their sons they set them up around the house.

The next morning at around 6 am we began our day worshiping and singing to the Lord and hearing the Word of God. Father Roberto Jorvina gave an inspirational message encouraging the participants to have an intimate conversation, a heart-to-heart talk with their son. There were pairs where you could sense that this was the first time they had this moment, talking and outpouring their feelings toward each other.  And after this, Father Roberto, together with other priests, anointed us with the Holy Oil.

The fathers were instructed to bring something that can be cooked together with their son for breakfast. Some find a place to prepare and cook their food, others brought ready-to-eat food and pre-cooked meal, but no matter how their food was prepared, it was their togetherness and their bonding moments that count the most.

After breakfast, we trek to the place where our next activity would be. Seeing the marvelous place and the beauty, we could sense the nearness and presence of God. Wherever we looked around, there are the imprints of God’s hand. Oh how beautiful are Thy creations.

Dcn. Romy Consunji announced to everyone that we will have a kite-making and flying contest.  The first team to finish their kite and make it flying steadily would get a prize. Everyone was rushing to get the materials needed to make a kite, which were prepared for each team.

Some fathers are proudly demonstrating their ability to their son on how to construct the kite.  The Mallari tandem managed to take their kite first flying in the blue sky. It was a beautiful site where you can see everyone being busy and some are struggling to finish their kite. I remembered that during my childhood days this was one of my favorite “laro” during summer time.

After a few minutes, the kites are one by one taking off the ground. There are some who could not finish their kites—they struggled, but what is so special is their effort, their developing and growing relationship with each other.

I would say that it was a successful activity and some were even clamoring to do it again. I know things happen for a reason and remember that it is not by chance but it was God who made it happen. To all the fathers and sons out there, see you next time. To God be the Glory. DCN. FRANCIS SOTALBO

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