Year of Study: Theology II

Home Parish: St. Augustine's

Watch: ‘Do whatever he tells you’ — Our Lady’s intercessory role in vocation

  1. When did you first think about becoming a priest?

When I was in second grade, even though I didn’t understand the nature of the priesthood, I began to get interested in the seminary when my eldest brother and two cousins entered the minor seminary. Somehow it became part of our family tradition to enter the minor seminary, partly because I have an uncle who is a priest. At first, I just liked the seminary set up, like sleeping in a dormitory with friends and classmates, living with different people in a big community, living in a big facility with courts and gyms, and other things. However, later on, I fell in love with what priests do like giving sacraments and how they live with a community.

  1. Please tell a bit of your background before entering the seminary: did you enter from high school, working, college, etc.?

I was 12 yrs. old when I entered Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary in Makati, Philippines. I grew up in a Catholic family who actively served in our parish. I went to Catholic elementary school at Saint Anthony Mary Claret in Quezon City, Philippines. After eight years of seminary formation, I decided to take a break, and I became a senior high school teacher. After two years, I moved in California and decided to enter the seminary again.

  1. What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy during your free time?

I love traveling around the world, most especially around the Philippines. Experiencing other cultures, tasting local food, taking beautiful pictures, and doing extreme activities are the things that made me love travelling. I also love playing video games, either mobile or computer games. I love editing videos and pictures, especially those that I captured from my travels. And I love doing art like painting, drawing, and calligraphy. Sometimes I also read books, either fictional or philosophical books.

  1. Who is your favorite saint?

I have a lot of favorite saints, but I would say my most favorite one is Saint Peter the Apostle. Not only he is my favorite saint, but he is also my favorite biblical character. It started when our class in college seminary picked him as our patron saint so we could have multiple feast days that we could celebrate! As time has gone on, I have realized that there are some character traits of Saint Peter that I personally share with him. Saint Peter also helped me become closer to Jesus Christ when I took my 30-day Ignatian retreat. Saint Peter has helped accompany me during my journey with the Lord.

  1. What has been your favorite spiritual reading book?

One of my favorite spiritual reading books is The Restless Heart by Ronald Rolheiser. When I had my break from seminary, it helped me a lot in the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of my life. It guided me towards peace and joy in the middle of the pain of loneliness and while facing challenges and struggles outside of my comfort zone. It really helped me to endure and enjoy who I am in times of being alone.

  1. What part of priestly life do you feel most drawn toward?

Living in the Philippines as a seminarian, I had a lot of good apostolate experiences, for example, I enjoyed living a simple life in rural areas; without internet and gadgets, swimming in rivers, farming and harvesting. I also had a great experience with the urban living in the streets with the urban poor. I have also had apostolate experiences in jails, juvenile halls, hospitals, and orphanages. These experiences draw me more towards the life of a priest by being with the people, experiencing their life, and helping them be closer to Jesus Christ. Living with them is not just about experiencing their life but being one with them in Christ.

  1. What would you say to a man considering applying for seminary?

In our life, it is good to know more about ourselves. Knowing ourselves deeply is also knowing more about Jesus Christ. This knowledge helps us grow to be a better man and to be a better Christian. The seminary helped me to be a better person by helping me know myself and know my purpose.