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A Journey of Many, Many Years

Agustin L. Sollano, Jr. (The Freeman) - November 14, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – I turned 76 on October 14. Msgr. Alfeo Manalili celebrated the Mass for the occasion. The monsignor and I had the same childhood dream – to become a priest. Which we both did.

We both hailed from a place some 76 kilometers from the city, the town of Borbon. He was a year and a half older than me, and although we were administered the Sacrament of Holy Orders by the late Archbishop Julio R. Cardinal Rosales, Msgr. Alfeo was ordained way ahead of me.

Msgr. Alfeo immediately entered the Seminario Menor de San Carlos in Mabolo, Cebu City, after graduating from elementary school. He had three uncles who were priests. Whereas, my own journey towards the fulfillment of my dream was a circuitous one.

My parents were simply public school teachers, whose salaries mainly went to the schooling of my three older siblings who were taking up expensive courses – Medicine at UST, Agriculture at Los Baños, Education at USC. I could not enter the Seminario Menor immediately after Grade Six. I enrolled, instead, at USC Boys’ High which at that time, 1951, was located at the corner beside Sto. Rosario Church along P. del Rosario Street.

It was my acquaintance with the Vocation Director of the Divine Word Missionaries, Rev. Fr. Bernard Wrocklage, SVD – via the Altar Boys’ Club – that led to my entrance into the minor seminary in Quezon City, the Christ the King Mission Seminary. I was soon assigned a German benefactor and, upon earning my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, I went to Rome, Italy as a scholar to finish theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

God had other plans for me. In 1964 I found myself in the U.S. teaching Latin subjects at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Mississippi and Spanish at Bishop Montgomery High School California. In due time, I got my “green card,” but decided to come back to the Philippines to finish my theology at the Seminario Mayor in Cebu City and was ordained in 1968.

I served as Assistant Parish Priest of Msgr. Jose Alojipan in Mandaue, and then was assigned as a Chaplain of St. Catherine’s School in Carcar. When the San Carlos Seminary College opened in 1971, Msgr. Alfeo was appointed Rector. I taught Philosophy subjects and was Prefect of Discipline at the seminary and then Spiritual Director.

In 1975 the Archdiocese of Cebu sent me to take up Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures at the Biblicum, Rome, Italy. It was then that Msgr. Pio Manalili and I parted ways – until the next 40 years. On October 14 his year, we met again. We concelebrated at the Holy Mass on my 76th birth anniversary.

“Suite Paradise”

Great memories are more likely to happen with a little advance planning. From now until the first quarter of next year, there are good opportunities to rest, relax and go on an island getaway.

A beach-perfect vacation awaits everyone at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu. The hotel offers a book-and-buy special dubbed as “Suite Paradise.” The five-star Mediterranean-inspired beachfront property is the choice accommodation of today’s savvy travellers and even celebrities. Aside from the fun, comfort and ambiance, the hotel is the home of Ibiza Beach Club, Cebu’s premier party, dining and entertainment venue.

The “Suite Paradise” promo offers a special overnight accommodation for two in a Deluxe Room, inclusive of breakfast. There are other price deals to choose from – Deluxe Ocean View, Suite King, and Two-Bedroom Suite Ocean View. The “Suite Paradise” book-and-buy special is packaged with breakfast for two adults and two children (11 years old and below), a 30 percent discount on all treatments (excluding hand and foot relaxation packages) at Spa del Mar, a 15 percent discount on all water sporting activities (except for the jet ski), a 10 percent discount at The Sails restaurant, Lobby Lounge and The Forum, and complimentary glass of red or white Manny O. wine for each diner during lunch or dinner buffet at The Sails restaurant or Ibiza Beach Club. 

The room promotion is applicable for stays from November 9 to December 20, 2015; January 4 to February 4, 2016; and from February 23 to March 23, 2016. Booking period is until November 19, 2015. Bookings may be made through hotel.cebu@moevenpick.com or by calling +63 32 492 7777.

ACIRC ALFEO ALFEO MANALILI ALTAR BOYS ARCHBISHOP JULIO R ARCHDIOCESE OF CEBU CEBU CITY IBIZA BEACH CLUB MSGR SEMINARIO MENOR SUITE PARADISE
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