Wednesday, October 31, 2012

0 Cardinal reveals challenges to Calungsod’s sainthood

ROME, Italy - The path to sainthood is hardly lined with roses.

According to Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the case for St. Pedro Calungsod’s sainthood was beset by questions over his actual existence and motivation for martyrdom.

Was Calungsod real?

“Did he really exist? Because the Church does not beatify ghosts!” Cardinal Vidal said in an interview, quoting authorities from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints when presented with Calungsod’s case for the first time.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is directly under the Roman Curia, is the body that takes charge of the beatification and canonization of saints and all the steps in between.

The dearth of documents mentioning the young martyr created the burden of proving Calungsod’s factual existence since work on his beatification started in 1986.

For Jesus or for friendship?

Another point of contention was St. Pedro’s motivation for martyrdom.

“Did he die for the priest or for Jesus?” Cardinal Vidal recalled one more question posed against Calungsod.

According to Cardinal Vidal, expert advice from a psychologist who studied what little is known of Calungsod cleared the point, saying, “On pain of imminent death, the motivation is always Jesus, not friendship.”

Calungsod is probably most known for the circumstances of his death in 1672 when he was speared to death together with Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores who angered the native Chamorros of the Marianas because of infant baptisms.

“Tedious work”

Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, stressed how crucial documentation is to building up a cause for beatification and canonization.

“It’s not easy, it’s tedious work,” said Cardinal Vidal, whom former Vatican Ambassador Henrietta De Villa calls “Ama ni Pedro Calungsod” for taking up the cause of Calungsod when he was virtually unknown in the Philippines.

He also recounted how then Guam Archbishop Felixberto C. Flores, the first Chamorro bishop, invited Cardinal Vidal to Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores’ beatification in 1985.

“Come, so you will know who your candidates are,” Cardinal Vidal shared Abp. Flores’ words to him, referring to Calungsod whom Cardinal Vidal had never heard of before.

True enough, Cardinal Vidal would set the wheels of Calungsod’s beatification into motion the following year.

[Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

0 Saint Pedro’s image back in Philippines

MANILA - Despite heavy rains, Filipinos still gave a warm welcome as the official image of Saint Pedro Calungsod arrived in Manila Thursday.

Hundreds of people waving Calungsod and national flags welcomed the statue upon its arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 4 p.m. from Rome.

The three-foot tall wooden image of Calungsod was being carried by Fr. Charles Jayme, the official custodian of the statue.

The official pilgrim image was flown to the Vatican for the canonization of Calungsod, the second Filipino saint, last October 21.

From the airport, the image was brought via a motorcade to the University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila for an overnight stay at the UST’s Santisimo Rosario Parish Church.

The statue will then visit some dioceses in Metro Manila before it will visit other provinces in Northern Luzon down to the Bicol region.

From Luzon, the image will also visit different dioceses in Visayas and Mindanao.

On Nov. 27, the statue will be brought back to Cebu City from Bohol, the last stop of the “Duaw Nasud,” by sea in time for the Triduum Masses leading to the National Thanksgiving on Nov. 30.

Around a million bishops, priests, religious, government officials and pilgrims from different parts of the country are expected to participate in the event.

Patron saint of OFWs

Former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Henrietta de Villa expressed that Calungsod will become the patron saint of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

As a missionary, she said that the young Visayan martyr should not only serve as role model for the youth, but also of all Filipino migrants.

“We should not be confined to just welcoming our new saint. We should also pattern ourselves in the way Calungsod lived his life,” said De Villa of the National Commission for Calungsod’s canonization.

She also said that they will appeal on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to officially declare Calungsod as the patron saint of OFWs.

“We will write the CBCP and ask them to declare Saint Pedro Calungsod as patron saint of OFWs,” said De Villa.


Friday, October 26, 2012

0 TV personality challenges youth to emulate Calungsod

MANILA - A television personality has challenged every Filipino particularly the young to emulate the virtues of the 2nd Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod.

GMA 7 News Anchor Mike Enriquez in an interview with YouthPinoy! said that Calungsod’s sainthood invites every Filipino to emulate the martyrdom and the life of Saint Pedro Calungsod as a witness of Christ to the world.

GMA 7 News Anchor Mike Enriquez hosting the Calungsod simultaneous event in San Juan Arena. Organized by the Catholic Media Network (CMN) and GMA 7. Photo Courtesy: Yen Ocampo of CBCPNews.

“We must take this as a challenge especially to the youth to discern for their call and mission not just to the Church but to God Himself. And this historic event poses a challenge to each and every faithful to defend the Faith,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez mentioned that he get to know the life of Saint Pedro Calungsod through the media, while attending his obligations as a Catholic faithful and through a continuous dialogue with the members of the Catholic hierarchy; the bishops and priests.

Enriquez was one of the hosts at the joint live streaming coverage of Catholic Media Network and GMA 7’s at San Juan Arena, San Juan City of Saint Pedro Calungsod’s canonization in Rome last Sunday, October 21.

(Jandel Posion with reports from Guilian Geronimo)

0 Young people celebrate 2nd Filipino saint

MANILA - The canonization of Pedro Calungsod on October 21, was a very special day to all Filipinos around the world particularly the young Pinoys who joined the country in welcoming the new Filipino saint.

In Manila, thousands of faithful and young people gathered at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish covered court to witness the canonization rites at the Vatican through live streaming.

Aside from Saint Pedro Calungsod, 33 other young saints were introduced to the audience during the program, to make them understand that holiness is not only for priests or religious but for everyone, especially the youth, according to Fr. Bobby Dela Cruz, an attached priest in the parish.

“Presenting the teen saints makes young people see that even a child or a teenager can be holy like Pedro. So in their generation today, they can still be holy and can be a saint,” dela Cruz said.

The crowd cheered and applauded as Pope Benedict XVI declared Calungsod and six other blesseds as saints, and the tapestry of the new saints including Pedro Calungsod, was unveiled at the Church’s veranda.

Sto. Niño Parish youth director Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT said in his homily during the culminating Mass that even in simple ways, the youth can be missionaries and can imitate Saint Pedro Calungsod as a model missionary.

“We must make Saint Pedro an example by imitating his ways like being happy, energetic, obedient, faithful and most of all, Godly and devotional,” Gliponeo said.

In Malolos, Bulacan

Almost 1,000 youth from different parishes, schools and organizations in the diocese of Malolos gathered at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Bulacan to celebrate the event.

The diocesan Pilgrimage of Faith was also launched during the event where the images of Saint Pedro Calungsod, Taize Cross and Immaculate Conception, the patron of the Diocese of Malolos were presented.

Saint Pedro’s image will visit the different Vicariates of the diocese until November 24 which aims to promote Calungsod’s sainthood as a role model to the young people of the diocese.

In Makati City

The member-organizations of the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) celebrated the canonization rites of Saint Pedro Calungsod at the Savio Dome of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.

Themed “Pedro at Ako: Faith that is shared. Life that is offered,” the event serveds as the celebration of Filipino youth in the sainthood of Saint Pedro Calungsod and to affirm the federation’s 22 years of presence in the country.

A re-enactment and an MTV on the life of Calungsod were shown to the young people, after which, they were given a formation session on St. Pedro Calungsod in relationship with the goals and aims of FNYO.

The youth were able to follow the canonization rites in Rome through live streaming.

Fr. Favie Faldas, SDB, newly inducted chaplain of the federation, led the launching of St. Pedro Calungsod as Patron of FNYO. The activity ended with a praise concert led by the YFC.

Fr. Favie Faldas, SDB, during the mass at the Savio Hall of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati for the FNYO Day 'Pedro at Ako' last Oct. 21. Photo grabbed from Fr. Favie's facebook.

Citing the fact that there were no relics of Calungsod presented during the canonization rites, Faldas challenged the young people to be the relics of the saint.

He also explained that the theme “Pedro at Ako” means that a young person must become the extension of the missionary work of the saint in the present time.

Present during the event were the 21 member-organizations of FYNO: SYM-SDB & FMA, CFC-FFL, Chiro Youth Movement, CFC-YFC, SCAP, Franciscan Youth-Philippines (YouFra), Canossian Youth Movement (CYM), Christian Life Community of the Philippines (CLCP), Christ’s Youth in Action (CYA), Columbian Squires, CFC-Singles for Family and Life (CFC-SFL), CFC-Singles for Christ (CFC-SFC), Filipino Youth with a Mission (FYM), Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth (FCCY), Focolare Movement-Youth for a United World, Institucion Teresiana-Youth (IT-Youth), Junior Catholic Women’s League (Junior CWL), Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC), Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), Tarcisian Adorers and Youth for Mary and Christ (YMC).

Other youth celebrations

Meanwhile, more than 500 young people in the diocese of Novaliches gathered at the Good Shepherd Cathedral Covered Court on October 21 for the diocesan wide event Calungsod Youth Day.

Over in Cebu, hundreds of young people attended the Barkadahay ni Pedro Live event organized by the Commission on Youth of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, together with the City Government to celebrate  the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod.

(Jandel Posion with reports from Mark Vertido and Ryan Rayos)

0 Youth can be saints like Pedro - priest

MANILA - A Catholic priest from Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish encouraged young people to imitate the values of the newly canonized Saint Pedro Calungsod.

“Young people will see that even a child or a teenager can be holy like Pedro. So they can see that in their generation today, they can still be holy and be a saint,” Fr. Bobby de la Cruz said.

He added that holiness is not reserved only for priests or nuns, but everyone can be holy by following God’s way.

“By making Pedro a model of holiness, young people can think of following his way because it is the way to a closer relationship with God,” dela Cruz furthered.

Meanwhile, Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT, the parish youth director expressed hopes that celebration of St. Pedro’s canonization may leave an impact on the youth that they learn from the examples of the second Filipino saint.

The Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish celebrated simultaneous events on the canonization of the 2nd Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod at the Church premises where more than a thousand young people attended.

(Jandel Posion)

0 Young people can be missionaries like San Pedro Calungsod—priest

MANILA - A Catholic priest commented that young people can be missionaries like Saint Pedro Calungsod by doing simple ways in their day to day life.

Sto. Niño Parish youth director Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT said in his homily in the culminating mass on Calungsod day in Tondo that in simple ways, the youth can be missionaries and can imitate Saint Pedro Calungsod as a model missionary.

“We must make Saint Pedro an example by imitating his ways like being happy, energetic, obedient, faithful and most of all, Godly and devotional,” Gliponeo said.

He added that the youth may really be the hope not only of the people but by the Church and everyone is called to become a missionary like Saint Pedro.

The priest also mentioned that God’s manifestation continues to bless the Filipino faithful by giving a new saint.

He emphasized that before Dr. Jose Rizal said that “the young people are the future of our Fatherland” and before the late Senator Ninoy Aquino realized that the Filipino people are worth fighting for, Pedro Calungsod was the first to make a statement by sacrificing himself as a martyr in Tumhon, Guam on April 2, 1672, together with Father Diego Luis de San Vitores.

“He was 17 years old. A young brave who faced death because of faith in God. And the young must follow his ways by becoming strong like Pedro, in his faith and devotion to God,” Gliponeo furthered.

(Jandel Posion/CBCPNews with reports from Jeric San Antonio)

0 Priest advocates ongoing program for Calungsod awareness

MANILA - With the canonization of the 2nd Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod, a Catholic priest has suggested ways to continue raising the awareness of Filipinos, particularly the youth on the life and works of Calungsod.

In an interview, Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT, said simple catechism in schools is one way of making the saint known especially to Filipino kids and students.

But for the out-of-school youth, the priest said, the Church must have concrete programs not just pamphlets or books.

“This way, we can reach many Filipinos, particularly the youth and those who are un-Churched. And the youth ministry in every parish can be the prime movers of this concrete plan,” Gliponeo said.

Aside from catechism, pamphlets and books, the youth director of Sto. Niño Parish in Tondo mentioned that youth ministries in every parish can also establish groups, clubs or associations attributed to the saint.

On his part, Gliponeo said he is planning to establish a San Pedro Youth Club in the parish with the aim of deepening the experience of youth members in relation with fellow young people, their own self, with the environment and their relationship with God by imitating San Pedro Calungsod.

“The canonization is timely because Pedro is reminding the youth to meditate on their relationship with their own self, fellow young people, environment and God. These kinds of concrete actions will justify the continuing awareness especially for devotees of San Pedro Calungsod,” he furthered.

(Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

0 Pedrito dolls meant to inspire kids to sainthood

ROME, Italy, Oct 23, 2012 - Aside from aiming to trigger a social media maelstrom and drum up interest in the canonization, St. Pedro Calungsod’s mini version, Pedrito, is intended to inspire kids to sainthood.

Kids may soon be wanting to be the next St. Pedro because of his little version, Pedrito. (New Media Team)

According to Eilleen Esteban, head of the New Media team under the National Commission for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, who thought up and brought Pedrito to life, she hoped that through the Pedrito dolls, “[kids would] rather someday dream of becoming a saint than a super hero.”

“Because there are no real super heroes, just like those comic books show, but everyone can be a saint,” she explained further.

Esteban explained, the official page of St. Pedro Calungsod has been receiving more requests for information and orders for the doll than the team members can actually respond to.

The high interest generated by the chub-faced Pedrito is also the reason for making more Pedritos available to the general public.

As Esteban explained, the original purpose for coming up with the Pedrito doll was to aid the online geo-tagging scheme that would track the itinerary of Calungsod’s official image around Rome, specifically during the Triduum masses, the canonization and eventually, when it flies back to the Philippines for the Duaw Nasudor to “visit different places”, when St. Pedro’s statue visits different dioceses in the country.

But she cautioned that the dolls are not to be mistaken for religious images that can be venerated on altars.

Pedrito is, for the most part, a new evangelization tool or a way of promoting St. Pedro “in a non-traditional way”.

Inquiries about Pedrito are available on his official page at

[Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz/CBCPNews]

0 INFOGRAPHIC: Who is Pedro Calungsod?

An infographic on the Philippines' second saint.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

0 Filipinos all-out at Calungsod canonization

For thousands of Filipinos, distance was not a hindrance for them to be present at the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod yesterday.

VATICAN City, Oct. 22, 2012 - Aside from demonstrating the strongest presence at St. Peter’s Square yesterday, Filipinos —from the religious to the laity—gave all out support for the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod and even during the pre-canonization liturgical services.

Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, and Agana Archbishop Anthony Apuron concelebrated with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI at yesterday’s mass.

Monsignor Ildebrando Jesus Leyson (Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Blessed Pedro Calungsod), Fr. Robert Prevost, OSA (Superior General of the Order of Saint Augustine), and Fr. Miguel Angel Orcasitas, OSA (Assistant Superior General) also concelebrated with the pope.

A good number of Filipinos also took part in the liturgical celebration yesterday. Seminarians studying in Rome, for example, assisted in the Eucharistic celebration while a Filipina, Mary Rose Maghuyop, read one of the Prayers for the Faithful in Cebuano.

Days before the canonization, the University of Visayas Chorale flew in from Cebu to sing at the Triduum masses to celebrate the event.

For the thanksgiving mass this morning, the Mandaue Children and Youth Choir also came all the way from the Philippines to sing at the Eucharistic celebration, which was held in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The canonization rite was a brief ceremony within the Eucharistic celebration which started at 10 a.m. (Rome time).

After the canonization, the Filipino community participated as well in the praying of vespers and in a procession at the Church of Santa Pudenziana, which is the Filipino National Church in Rome.

[Aaron James R. Veloso/CBCPNews]

0 Filipinos dominate St. Peter’s Square for canonization

VATICAN CITY, Oct 22, 2012 - Despite no available official crowd estimates for the Filipino pilgrims present at the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod, it can be safely said that there were more Filipinos in St. Peter’s Square yesterday than any other nationality.

Daniela Petroff of the Associated Press said, most of the hordes of people who attended the canonization rites yesterday were Filipino.

According to Petroff, a ballpark figure of 12,000 could be pegged for the number of people gathered for the canonization yesterday of seven new saints coming rom various countries like the US, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

She added, the large Filipino delegation could be attributed to the large attendance of Filipino OFWs in Italy.

Filipinos flew in for the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod yesterday, from the Philippines and other parts of the world, with Italy-based OFWs contributing a large number.

There are an estimated 131, 000 Filipinos currently living in Italy.

In an interview, Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason said she believed as well that most of the attendees at yesterday’s canonization were Filipino.

According to Amb. Tuason, the Italian Embassy in the Philippines issued 4,000 visas for Filipino pilgrims living in the country.

One thousand pilgrims also flew in from Paris, France alone.

She pegged the Filipino crowd at the canonization to be at least 7,000 people.

In a previous interview with Fr. Jan Limchua, a member of the Rome Commission for the canonization, a large Filipino delegation from the US also attended the event.

Even with these figures, it is still difficult to approximate the number of Filipinos living in nearby European countries and even from the Middle east who were at the Vatican yesterday to witness the event.

Yesterday, the Philippines received its second saint, St. Pedro Calungsod in a brief ceremony headed by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.

[Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

Monday, October 22, 2012

0 Stamps serve as ‘mobile’ promotion of Calungsod’s sainthood

MANILA - The historical canonization of Pedro Calungsod today will not only be imprinted in textbooks, newspapers or in the web. It will also be featured in a limited edition of postal stamps, which will serve as a “mobile” promotion of this young Filipino’s martyrdom.

The Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamps were launched during a Mass sponsored by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) at the historic Mary Queen of Peace Shrine along EDSA in Mandaluyong, this noon.

Priests and officials of the Philippine Postal Corporation unveil the samples of the limited edition Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamps in a Mass held at EDSA Shrine earlier today. (YouthPinoy)

Fr. Gregorio Bañaga, C.M. of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and Fr. Eduardo Corosa of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sta. Mesa, Manila led the blessing of the frame containing the limited edition of the special stamps and official first day cover envelopes.

The 40×30 millimeter special “stamp within a stamp” features the original Pedro Calungsod stamp issued during his 330th death anniversary on April 2, 2002. Beside the photo of Calungsod is a map of the island of Guam where the young Filipino went for a missionary work with the Jesuits.

In an interview with YouthPinoy, Luis Carlos, deputy postmaster general for operations, said the Philippine Postal Corporation only produced 50,000 pieces of the limited edition Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamps. Each Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamp costs P9 only while the envelope with stamp costs P17.

“Stamps are reflective of a nation’s culture, history and values. We produced these stamps in honor of Pedro Calungsod as our second Filipino saint. His faithfulness and perseverance are very symbolic of our values as Filipinos,” Carlos said.

Carlos added that not everyone has the honor of being featured in a stamp but the Philippine Postal Corporation featured Calungsod because of his values and service that are “worthy of emulation.”

“When these stamps are used for mailing, they go all over the country and even overseas. It stirs question and intrigue to those who do not know Pedro Calungsod and his life. In a way, these stamps serve as a mobile promotion of his martyrdom and sainthood,” Carlos added.

Stamp collector Benjamin Respicio said attending the Mass as EDSA shrine was hitting two birds with one stone for him. Aside from hearing the Sunday Mass, Respicio was one of the very few who were able to buy the limited edition Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamps, ahead of its official selling period on Monday.

“It is very significant for stamp collectors to have a Pedro Calungsod Canonization stamp because it is very limited. Besides, it’s not every day that we have a Filipino named a saint,” he said. (YouthPinoy)

0 Faith is the door to a whole new ‘dimension’ - bishop

ROME, Italy, Oct 21, 2012 - In an apparent effort to reach out to the younger generation, Bishop Patricio Buzon used pop culture references to describe how the “door of faith” is a portal to the mystery and life of God Himself.

“Back to the Future”, back to faith

Speaking during the second Triduum mass to celebrate the canonization of Bl. Pedro Calungsod, Buzon said faith is similar to the DMC-12, the time machine Michael J. Fox’s character used to travel back in time in the movie “Back to the Future”.

Borrowing the imagery of the door used by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, Buzon said believers are also like Thor, who comes from the home of the Norse gods, Asgard, in the movie “Thor” and who is able travel to earth through the Bifrost Portal.

Catholics, on the other hand, are also called to cross over from an ordinary human existence to a life lived with God through the portal of faith.

Holiness, an amazing possibility

Buzon added in amazement, “And [faith] does not only bring us into the divine presence but immerses us into the life of communion with God. Like a tiny drop we are united and absorbed in the infinite ocean of divinity. Isn’t that amazing?”

Instead of a celluloid fantasy, Buzon points to the even more dazzling destiny of everyone who has faith—holiness or wholeness.

He then went on to outline three ways believers can strive to live holy lives: 1) conversion; 2) union or friendship with Jesus and 3) love.

Steps to wholeness in Christ

“But if Christ is to live in me, if he is to enter into my life, I must give him space…To live God’s own life, I must die to myself,” he said, explaining why conversion or committing to turn to God as the most important person in your life is the first step to wholeness.

Buzon, who is also a member-bishop of the Episcopal Commission on Youth, said to be a friend of Christ means to nurture the friendship with learning more about the faith, reading Scripture and receiving the sacraments.

The last step to holiness is to love others, even the lowliest people or those difficult to love.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo celebrated the second Triduum mass at the Jesuit church of Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina or the Church of the Gesù in Rome, Italy.

Over a thousand pilgrims attended the mass.

[Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz]

0 Calungsod inspires Filipino art

ROME, Italy - When Pampanga ecclesiastical artist Willy Layug talks about Calungsod with an irrepressible energy one instantly knows the young martyr is an inspiration – not just spiritually, but artistically as well.

Unmistakably Filipino

Layug has just finished work on a new retablo or a tableau depicting the martyrdoms of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Saint Pedro Calungsod.

Pampanga artist Willy Layug is at work
on a relief of Bl. Pedro Calungsod in Rome as Pedrito looks on.

It will be installed next week at the crypt chapel in the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, the residence of Filipino priests who undergo further studies in Rome.

In an interview, he explained how he wanted the retablo to be a visual feast of uniquely Filipino elements and materials like bamboo, pine wood and gold leaf.

“Even the angels wear Filipino costumes,” Layug said, describing an angel with very Filipino features in the retablo, garbed in the traditional baro’t saya.

Giving back

The retablo, which is a gift from acclaimed Presidential Merit Awardee Willy Layug, depicts in two large bas relief panels the death scenes of the two Filipino saints.

The story of the project began when Layug was introduced to Fr. Greg Gaston, Rector of Collegio Filippino, earlier this year. Layug said he was really interested in donating the retablo to the Collegio Filippino, saying that besides the prestige this project will bring to him, Layug honestly feels the desire to give back to the Church which has patronized his works over the years.

“I really dreamt about donating to Collegio,” Layug added.

On the spot conversion

An interesting trivia about the retablo is that the artist, like many of the great European masters before him, modelled one of the persons in the relleve after himself. If people look closely at the figure of Hirao, who was one of the two men who killed Calungsod, it should not be surprising that he uncannily resembles Layug himself, since this was intentional. “Even my son teases me, saying that I killed Pedro Calunsgod,” Layug said jokingly. Layug explained that a possible behind-the-scenes explanation is that one of the killers got converted on the spot and repented from killing Calungsod.

The retablo will be officially installed and blessed in a liturgical celebration presided over by Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, the retired Archbishop of Cebu, on Monday, October 22.

This will be after the thanksgiving mass for the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, which will be held in the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Besides this commission, Layug is also currently making another bas relief of Blessed Pedro, which will most likely be given to the Holy Father as a gift.

[Aaron James R. Veloso/Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz]


(Titik ni Timoteo M. Ofrasio, SJ – Musika ni Arnel Aquino, SJ)

 Sa ‘yo’y pagpupúgay handóg nami’t álay

Sántong kaláhì at aming kabánay[1],

Huwárang tángì ng mga kabatáan,

Magíting na anák ng kabísayáan.

Pagsisilbíng ganáp ang tánging hangád,

Átas ni Cristo’y tapát na tinupád,

Maáyong Balitâ[2] ay ipínamanság,

Kaháyag[3] ni Cristo ay iyong pinasínag.


San Pedro Calúngsod, túnay na huwáran

San Pedro Calúngsod, angay pagasúndon[4]

sa mga kabatáan.

Nahímong katábang[5] ng páring butíhin

Na si Diego Luís, sa kanyang gawáin

Sa maláyong dapít[6] piníli n’yang itanghál

Kaligtásan ng táong sa Diyos ay mahál.

Hindi ka nasindák sa lupít at dahás

Na dúlot ng bangís ng imbíng kaáway

Sa baybáyin ng Tumhón sa pulóng Mariánas

Gawásnon n’yang gihálad[7] ang sarili n’yang búhay. (Koro)


Pedro Calúngsod, isa kang huwáran

Ng mga kabatáan sa panínindígan

Panig-íngnan[8] ikaw sa ‘yong katátagán

Sa ‘yo nawa’y matúlad ang aming kabatáan! (Koro)

(Note: Numbered Words in italics are in Cebuano-Visayan)

[1] Kabánay – kapamilya, member of the same family (or race).

[2] Maayong Balitâ – Mabúting Balità, Good News (Gospel)

[3] Kaháyag – Liwánag, light

[4] Ángay pagasúndon – nararápat sundín, worthy to be emulated.

[5] Nahímong katábang – Nagíng katúlong, became the assistant or aide

[6] Dapít – Lugár, poók, place

[7] Gawásnong gihálad – malayang inihandóg, freely offered

[8] Panig-íngnan – halimbáwà, good example


0 New teen saint a reminder of laity’s role in Pacific evangelization

AGANA, Guam, October 20, 2012 - While little is known about the life of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, his canonization brings to light the role of the laity in the evangelization of the Pacific in the 17th century.

Blessed Calungsod, among the seven people to be declared saints by Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 21, came to the Mariana Islands in 1668 and was one of a group of lay catechists who assisted the Jesuit missionaries in their Pacific mission.

“The importance of San Pedro is, at 18 years he became a saint, which means he is an example for youth,” said Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron of Agana. The archbishop was among a contingent of clergy and laypeople traveling from Guam to Rome for the canonization.

A Filipino native from the Visayas Islands, Calungsod was in his early teens when he arrived in Guam with Jesuit Father Diego Luis de San Vitores.

“We think that there were about 30 or 35 laypeople altogether,” said Jesuit Father Francis X. Hezel, priest in residence at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and author of several publications on the Jesuit missions in the Pacific. “These people were handpicked. They had a personal association with the Jesuits that they were coming to serve.”

In those days, it was common for young people who were not studying for the priesthood to travel with the missionaries as they contemplated entering consecrated life, he said.

“Most of these people are nameless,” said Father Hezel. “Pedro is known because he had the good fortune to be with San Vitores at his death, but he represents another 20 or 25 nameless catechists, most of them Filipinos, who were killed during that turbulent time.”

On April 2, 1672, Calungsod was martyred alongside Father San Vitores after the Jesuit baptized the infant daughter of Chamorro Chief Mata’pang. While Father San Vitores baptized the girl in her mother’s presence, it was without the consent of the chief. After learning of the baptism, Mata’pang enlisted the assistance of Chamorro warrior Hirao, and together they attacked and killed Father San Vitores and Calungsod. Their deaths occurred on the Saturday before Passion Sunday.

Today, a monument depicting the baptism stands just off the coast of Tumon, Guam, near the site where the two were martyred.

While Father San Vitores was beatified in 1985, the cause for the canonization of Blessed Calungsod was not initiated until 1994, after the Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines, rediscovered documentation in the 1980s that associated the young teen with Father San Vitores’ martyrdom. Calungsod was beatified March 5, 2000, by Pope John Paul II.

Blessed Calungsod’s cause represents the move by Pope John Paul to “raise up new models of holiness for the people of our time,” Father Hezel said. As a lay catechist who died for the faith, Blessed Calungsod fit that model.

The canonization is also a reminder of the role of the laity and of the Asia-Pacific people in the spreading of Catholicism in the Pacific islands, he said.

“These catechists that came here with the missionaries were the people who made possible the planning of the faith here. (Calungsod) also represents the contribution of the Philippines and Mexico to this island group. After all, they suffered greatly, too, in planting the faith here.

“It wasn’t just the European Jesuits who gave their lives for the faith,” Father Hezel said. “If Pedro Calungsod stands for anything, in my view, it is the important role that others from the outside had in nurturing the faith and in channeling the Spanish culture into these islands.”

Catholics make up 85 percent of the population of Guam, which was ceded to the U.S. from Spain in 1898. Chamorros, the island’s indigenous inhabitants, constitute 37 percent of the population, while Filipinos make up 26 percent.

Guam is the largest island in the Mariana Island archipelago.  (Gina E. Taitano  /
Catholic News Service)

(Gina E. Taitano is editor of U Matuna Si Yu’os, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Agana.)

0 Philpost issues Calungsod stamps

MANILA - A limited edition of “Calungsod stamps” will be issued on Sunday in honor of soon-to-be second Filipino saint Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) will launch the postage stamp at the historic EDSA Shrine on October 21, coinciding with the canonization of Calungsod in Rome.

The single stamp design illustrates Calungsod holding a palm leaf on his left hand and his right hand at the chest signifying his deep Catholic faith.

Also within the stamp is an image of the missionary’s route to the Marianas Island where Calungsod was killed.

Philpost is issuing limited edition of 50,000 stamps with denomination of P9.00, which will be available starting October 22, 2012 up to October 20, 2013 at selected post offices nationwide.

Interested clients may also call the postage and philatelic departments at (02) 527-0132..

Philpost urged the faithful especially the youth to participate in activities commemorating the life and sacrifice of Calungsod, “a young layman who have given his life to serve God.”

Calungsod was a 17-year old Visayan martyr who was killed while doing missionary work in the Marianas Island in Guam in 1672. He was beatified on March 5, 2000, by Pope John Paul II.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

0 More aggressive faith education in media, please ―bishop

ROME, Italy, Oct 19, 2012―Faith should be broadcast, not just from the pulpit, but on TV, over the radio and online, according to Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, who gave the homily at the first of the Triduum masses for Bl. Pedro Calungsod’s canonization.

Massive and aggressive evangelization

Speaking at the Basilica of ‘Sant Agostino this afternoon, Cantillas called for “more aggressive mass media faith education”, stressing the importance of learning about the content of faith.

Talking in the packed 'Sant Agostino church, Bp. Precioso Cantillas said mass media should be maximized to spread the richness of the faith among Filipinos.

Talking in the packed ‘Sant Agostino church, Bp. Precioso Cantillas said mass media should be maximized to spread the richness of the faith among Filipinos.

He called attention to the fact that many Christian churches invest in radio and TV programs that are designed for the instruction and formation of their members ―something the Catholic Church could intensify in her ranks.

In a YouthPinoy! interview, he explained, “We, Catholics, I feel, have not done enough in this area, so I was calling for a massive and aggressive program for evangelization.”

Little or no formation

Cantillas, who is a member of the National Commission for the canonization of Calungsod, also pointed out the pronounced need of young people for faith formation.

“Children grow undernourished in the faith,” he added, saying they become more and more prone to spiritual deadness because of little or no formation.

He also cited the priests’ lack of support for catechetical work done in their parishes as a reality to be addressed.

“When will the Philippine Church be ready to [give its] blood, meaning money or financial resources for the Catholic faith campaign?” Cantillas asked in rhetoric.

More money into faith

“Considering the number of Catholics in the [Philippines], we are more.. It means that we could have more and spend more if we really are serious about knowing the faith,” he added.

Citing the coming celebration of the 5th centenary of the Christian faith in the country in 2021, Cantillas said this seriousness about growing in faith could be a very concrete preparation for the next 9 years.

An estimated 1,000 people attended the first of the Triduum masses to be celebrated before Bl. Pedro Calungsod’s canonization.

The main celebrant was Palo Archbishop John Du, with 9 other bishops and 38 priests concelebrating.

Also present were Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu.

[Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

Friday, October 19, 2012

0 Factors to sainthood in Filipino OFW experience

DUBAI, UAE―As it turns out, certain aspects of the Filipino OFW’s experience like loyalty and sacrifice may be keys to a saintly life like that of soon-to-be St. Pedro Calungsod.

During a long stop-over in Dubai on the way to the Rome canonization of Bl. Pedro Calungsod, Archbishop John Du shared that he thinks Filipinos’ innate loyalty could lead to sainthood.

Palo Archbishop John F. Du being interviewed by CBCPNews Reporter Nirva'ana Delacruz at the Dubai International Airport during a stop over to Rome for the Canonization of Bl. Pedro Calungsod on October 21 at St. Peter's Basilica.

Drawing from the life of Bl. Pedro himself, Du talked about the young martyr’s loyalty to Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores, whom he did not leave even in the face of imminent danger and inescapable death.

For the modern working Filipino, this is manifested through the millions of Filipino OFWs who have gained the trust and confidence of employers and colleagues because of an excellent work ethic and a personal warmth that is an all too familiar Filipino signature.

“I know some Filipinos, when their amo (boss) died, they inherited some of their wealth,” Du added, explaining how employers are ‘inspired’ by Filipino workers’ loyalty.

Upon his touchdown in Rome, Italy, Fr. Salvador Agualada, Jr. talked about how Filipino OFWs’ capacity to sacrifice ―being away from family, enduring loneliness abroad ― is already a “natural ground” for sainthood.

Agualada also explained that this willingness to give up comforts for the sake of loved ones, which is almost a reflex in many Filipino families, is also purified by the Christian faith and it’s teachings.

Bl. Pedro Calungsod will be canonized on October 21 in Rome, Italy. [Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz]

0 Novaliches to celebrate youth day in honor of Calungsod

QUEZON City, October 18, 2012—With the initiative of the Commission on Youth of the Diocese of Novaliches, a diocesan youth day will be held in honor of the soon-to-be 2nd Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod.

In line with the nationwide celebration on the occasion of Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s canonization, the youth day titled “Amigo: Calungsod Youth Day” will be celebrated at the Good Shepherd Cathedral Covered Court on the same day of his canonization, October 21.

The event will feature a festive and youthful celebration of the young Filipino saint that will start at 2:00 in the afternoon with the presence of the Diocesan Youth Cross and the image of Calungsod which has been on a pilgrimage around the diocese since May of this year.

Activities during the event are the inter-parish Pedro henyo showdown on the young people’s knowledge on the life of Calungsod, an inter-vicariate Sabayang Pagbigkas that will showcase creative talents of vicariate representatives as inspired by the song for Pedro Calungsod, a session on ‘I Am Pedro’ will feature young people who will speak about their faith and share their experiences on how to become a modern day Pedro and a youth jam that will set tone for the faith sharing.

The highlight of the youth day will be a Calunsod play on the life of the young saint which will be presented by the San Isidro Labrador Parish Youth Ministry.

A youth mass will be celebrated by the diocesan youth director, Fr. Roland Jaluag to culminate the event.

Meanwhile, with opening of the Year of Faith last October 11, the youth day will also be the official launching of the Year of Faith.

Organizers are expecting 600 youth attended from different parishes and youth groups within the diocese.

“It is the hope of the Commission on Youth that the Calungsod Youth Day will be a meaningful celebration for all young people as they become inspired by the life of Saint Pedro Calungsod and become living witnesses to their faith,” organizers furthered.

(Roy Villafania/Jandel Posion)

0 Catholics to hold real-time events on Calungsod canonization

MANILA, October 17, 2012—In celebration with the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Rome on October 21, a ‘simultaneous’ big event will be held at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish in Manila from 2:30 pm to 7pm.

Dubbed as ‘The Canonization of Bl. Pedro Calungsod’, organizers are expecting more than 1,000 young people from all over Metro Manila including the youth of the Archdiocese.

A live telecast of the canonization rite direct from the Vatican will also be aired during the program.

A closing mass will be celebrated by Fr. Tirso Gliponeo, SOLT, the parish youth minister and Fr. Jacinto Rey Padua, the parish priest of Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish, Manila.

Other local celebration will take place in different venues such as in the diocese of Novaliches where  a Calungsod Youth Day will be held.

To be held at the Good Shepherd Cathedral Covered Court, CYD Nova is expecting 600 young people in this diocesan wide event that will start at 2:00 in the afternoon.

In Makati City, the Federation of National Youth Organization (FNYO) will also celebrate their FNYO Day by celebrating the canonization of the soon-to-be saint Pedro.

Entitled ‘Pedro at Ako’, the event will be held at the Savio Dome of Don Bosco Technical Institute-Makati from 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening.

The Catholic Media Network will also lead a celebration of Pedro Calungsod’s canonization in Mandaluyong where nationwide radio and TV networks will simultaneously broadcast the canonizations rites in Rome via EWTN downlink.

In Cebu, the Commission on Youth of the Archdiocese and the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue, together with the City Government are inviting every Sugbuanon to watch “Barkada ni Pedro Live”, a live telecast of the canonization in Rome from 12 noon to 6:30 in the evening.

The event, which includes a drama on the life of the 2nd Filipino saint, talks and trivia games, will be held at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.

(Jandel Posion)

0 Calungsod on his way to Rome

Thousands of people line the road to see the official image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod during a motorcade from Cebu City to the Mactan Airport for a flight to Rome, 16 October 2012. Calungsod, a Visayan martyr, will be canonized at the Vatican this coming Sunday.

(Sammy Navaja)

0 Blessed Pedro Calungsod

Photo shows Fr. Charles Jayme of the Archdiocese of Cebu with the official statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the soon-to-be second Filipino saint. On Oct. 16, the statue will be flown to the Vatican with Fr. Jayme for the Visayan martyr’s canonization on Oct. 21.  (Sammy Navaja / Lungsoranon)

0 Calungsod musicale to go on campus tour

MANILA, Oct. 16, 2012—The successful premiere showing of the Pedro Calungsod musical at the culmination of National Laity Week has inspired organizers to plan for a campus tour to introduce the soon-to-be saint Pedro Calungsod to the young.

In a media forum today, Teen Saint Pedro Musicale Producer Bob Serrano said the focus of the musicale is for Pedro to be introduced to the young and be a model to them.

“We want the young to know Calungsod’s faithfulness, purity, being able to serve without counting the cost and making sacrifice for a greater good. Those qualities of the teen saint will be acquired by the youth and made him their model,” Serrano said.

Serrano added that through the musicale, people will know Calungsod’s life and works and his contribution to the Church and faith.

When asked about the songs used in the musicale, Serrano mentioned most of the songs come from the original musical ‘Scenes of Martyrdom’ written by Msgr. Rudy Villanueva of Cebu.

“We have adopted some of the songs but we also contributed some songs composed by me and my partner Nonong Sampang. This is really a refreshed version of the original musical in Cebu and it is versed in English so that it can be shown not just in the country, but around the world,” Serrano furthered.

TV actor Makisig Morales portrays Pedro Calungsod in the musicale. They will have a public show tomorrow evening at the Meralco Theater.

(Jandel Posion)

0 Simultaneous events to be held on Calungsod’s canonization

MANILA, Oct. 15, 2012—Parishes, youth organizations and religious groups will hold activities during the canonization day of Blessed Pedro Calungsod on October 21.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), the Archdiocese of Manila is gathering its faithful, particularly the young at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish for a program on the canonization of Pedro Calungsod which will be held from 2:30-7:00 p.m. followed by a youth mass at 8:00 o’clock in the evening.

Another group will also organize an event titled “San Pedro 10.21” at the San Juan Arena in San Juan City from 1:30-6:00 p.m. bringing the canonization rite in Rome to the Philippines via satellite feed in real time.

The activity will include a Holy Mass celebration followed by songs and praises, dance and other presentations. It will be hosted by News Anchor Mike Enriquez and Former athlete and TV host Christine Jacobs.

Meanwhile in Cebu, the Commission on Youth of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the National Shrine of St. Jospeh in Mandaue City, together with the City Governmentare inviting every Sugbuanon to watch “Barkada ni Pedro Live”, a live telecast of the canonization from 12 in the afternoon to 6:30 in the evening.

The event, which includes drama on the life of the 2nd Filipino saint, talk, trivia games with prizes and praise and worship, will be held at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex . 

(Jandel Posion)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 Beato Pedro Calungsod Primer now available on ebook

Here's your free copy of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod ebook (in both mobi and epub formats) which you can download and read using your Kindle or iPad or Android and other ebook readers.

If you don't have an ebook reader yet, you can read this book on your desktop or laptop by using Calibre (which you can download here).

For android devices, try using Zo Reader.

For Kindle, just transfer the mobi file to your Kindle documents folder using the usb/charger.


0 Calungsod Icon Flown To Rome

Thousands of Cebuanos sent off the official pilgrim image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod to Rome, Italy on Tuesday, October 16, less than a week before Pope Benedict XVI declares the 17th-century martyr a saint.

The police in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu estimated the crowd at around 13,000.

"Blessed Calungsod was received warmly by the entire community. The experience was very overwhelming because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the entire Church," said Fr Charles Jayme, the official custodian of the pilgrim image of Calungsod.

Calungsod's image was transported from its home at the Cebu Archbishop's Palace for the send-off Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Monsignor Marnell Mejia, member of the special commission for the devotion to Blessed Pedro Calungsod, said devotees and onlookers flocked to the streets as early as 8 am, immediately after the send-off Mass.

They all hoped to catch a glimpse of the three-foot-long image of the Visayan martyr, carved in Paete, Laguna and chosen by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

Cebuanos find a special connection with Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
Photo by Ryan Christopher J Sorote

Mejia said the image was accompanied by at least 100 vehicles to the Mactan International Airport for the 12:30 pm Cathay Pacific flight to Rome via Hong Kong.

The three-hour motorcade, through the main thoroughfares of the 3 cities, caused heavy traffic and the postponement of several classes and business activities.

A short prayer was made inside the airport chapel before the image was taken inside the plane together with 200 official delegates from Cebu.

The pilgrim image will be used in the Triduum Masses at the Vatican and other liturgical activities in connection to Calungsod's canonization on Sunday, October 21.

Over 2,000 Filipino pilgrims will likely attend Calungsod's canonization, according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. In the Philippines, the nation will mark a day of celebration on Sunday as announced by President Benigno Aquino III.

A fluvial procession and a National Thanksgiving Mass is scheduled on November 30 at the Cebu City South Road Properties.

Jayme hopes for the same "overwhelming response" from when they return to Manila on October 25.

0 Cathay Pacific Carries Image As Passenger, Calungsod First To Enter Plane

CEBU, Philippines - With ticket number 30-D, Pedro Calungsod took a step closer to his sainthood by riding a plane for the first time in his life.
He was the flight’s first passenger, bound for the Vatican City where the ultimate prize of canonization awaits his catechistic journey that spanned four centuries.

Before the historic flight, thousands lined up the streets to witness the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod as it passed through the streets of Cebu City and Mandaue City all the way to the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

From the Pedro Calungsod Shrine at the Archbishop’s Palace, the image was transferred to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at 4:50 a.m. with thousands of devotees joining the motorcade.

In his homily at the cathedral, Fr. Charles Jayme, the image’s official custodian, told the faithful to live according to challenge of becoming complete.

“In a few hours we will be going to Rome bringing the challenge stated in the Bible that God made us all to become complete when we followed Jesus Christ,” Jayme said.

He stressed that even if the young Calungsod was not the main catechist, he was able to prove his strong faith to God.

At exactly 8 a.m., Calungsod’s image was transported to the airport for the Cathay Pacific flight.

The CX920 flight carrying the image of Calungsod, Jayme and other devotees took off at exactly 12:56 p.m.

Before their departure, Jayme told reporters that Cathay Pacific offered to carry the statue as a passenger not as an ordinary cargo.

Bishop Emilio Bataclan officiated a short ceremony at a chapel inside the airport before the flight.

The image was placed inside a case made of Styrofoam.

Honored and blessed

The other day, the image was moved from the Archbishop’s Palace to the Pedro Calungsod Shrine, wherein a rosary, a novena and a Mass were held.

Jayme said he felt honored and blessed despite the big responsibility being chosen as the image’s custodian.

He considered as once-in-a-lifetime experience traveling with a soon-to-be-saint. They are expected to arrive in Rome at 8 a.m. today.

Jayme is grateful to Sun Travel for offering buses to ferry the image from the airport to the Colegio Filipino in Rome, where the image will be enshrined.

From October 18 to 20, a “triduum” or a three-day period of prayer will be held at the different churches in Rome.

After the canonization, the image will return to the country with a grand reception at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on the October 25.

The image will then make a tour for the “Duaw Nasud,” an activity in which Calungsod’s official image will travel across the country after the canonization.

The image will be brought to Visayas and Mindanao until November 27.

On November 30, a fluvial parade and a foot procession will take place before the image is brought to the South Road Properties for the National Thanksgiving.

Security measures

The Cebu Provincial Police Office has assured security on Sunday in Ginatilan, where many claimed Calungsod came from.

Anticipating the influx of visitors, the CPPO will increase the police force to augment the three-day celebration of the town starting Friday.

Sr. Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, CPPO director, said they do not have any idea how many devotees will troop to the town for the celebration.

“We have 50 police personnel available and we continue the Integrated Police Night Watch Patrol,” Comendador said.

Comendador directed Supt. Julian Entoma, deputy provincial director for operation, as the security supervisor during the celebration.

Insp. Christopher Castro, Ginatilan police chief, said they are closely coordinating with the Parish Pastoral Council for the security preparation.

by By Marigold P. Lebumfacil, Jose P. Sollano and Ria Mae Y. Booc

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

0 A musical play on St. Pedro Calungsod at Meralco Theater

MANILA, Philippines – Teen St. Pedro, the Musical is a stage play on the young life of St. Pedro Calungsod of Cebu, the second Filipino saint to be canonized on Oct. 21 at the Vatican City.

Calungsod’s life is an example of what faith in the Lord can do, of how one life can move others and of how the glory of God can be honored. He was a young migrant, student, catechist, missionary, faithful friend and martyr rolled into one. He was killed on April 2, 1672 by two unfaithful Chamorro natives in the island of Guam, formerly Marianas.

The two-acts inspiration-filled musical play will have its public performance on Oct. 17, Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Meralco Theater.

The play features young TV actor Makisig Morales as teen St. Pedro, with Bubi Camus as Padre Diego, Emer Greengon as Choco, Dayloe Ranario as Upe, Panyong Umaguing as Matapang and the 29 AD Musicionaries. Music and lyrics by Bob Serrano and Nonong Sampang, and most of the songs are from the musical Scenes From a Martyrdom by Msgr. Rudy Villanueva.

TSP musical is commissioned by the National Commission on the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. A video of the musical will be shared in Rome during the canonization of Calungsod. The mission is to share the musical with theater groups of schools, organizations and parishes.

(The Philippine Star)

0 Mandaue choir prepares for ‘performance of a lifetime’

Angelic voices of young Cebuanos will be heard singing during the canonization rites in Rome for Visayan teenage martyr Pedro Calungsod.

A total of  30 singers of the multi-awarded  Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus will leave for Rome on Wednesday for the “performance of a lifetime.”

“We feel that heaven is with us,” said Dennis Sugarol, conductor and musical director, as he rehearsed yesterday with the children a mixture of songs in Cebuano, English and Latin that will be heard during liturgical celebrations on the eve of the canonization, the day itself, and a thanksgiving Mass the next day.

Since its birth in 2004, the group, formerly called the Mandaue School for the Arts Children’s Choir, has continually volunteered to sing in the Pedro Calungsod Shrine in D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City.

“We’ve been singing in his shrine for eight years. We’ve been praying for eight years for him to be recognized as a saint,” Sugarol said.

He said blessings from their devotion to the teenage martyr have materialized in awards and public acclaim for the choir in local and international competitions.

For Oct. 21′s canonization, Sugarol said their performance will not center on asking for more blessings, but  will emphasize thanksgiving and praise for the Visayan martyr.

Daily rehearsals started in late August.

“Compared to the competitions we joined before, this is more meaningful because it speaks of our faith, our being Christians,” said Sugarol.

The delegation of 30 singers and 18 accompanying adults will be staying in apartments of benefactors and  a convent as they travel.

They will be singing on the eve of the canonization, during vespers or evening prayers on Oct. 21, and at the thanksgiving Mass the next day.

After that, they will hold concerts in Rome and Austria. They  return to Cebu on November 2.

The group has traveled before to different parts of Asia and the United States for competitions but it’s their first time to sing in Europe.

From a repertoire of 30 songs, the children yesterday rehearsed emoting – not just singing –  “O Bulahang Pedro Calungsod”, “Saint Pedro Calungsod”, “Mga Pangamuyo” and “Suluguon ni Hesus” in Sugarol’s Music House in barangay  Basak, Mandaue City.

The director said he discussed the song list with Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, the choir’s spiritual adviser, who wrote some of the songs, like “O Bulahang Pedro Calungsod.”

But most of the songs, including the most popular hymn or gozos of Calungsod “Way Sukod” are by Msgr. Rudy Villanueva, a Cebu diocesan priest known for his award-winning literature and liturgical compositions.

There was some uncertainty a few months back that the choir would have the opportunity to sing in Rome due to financial constraints.

In fact, they still need financial assistance.

“We still lack around half a million pesos. Our budget is P3.7 million. We did fund-raising activities, concerts and sent solicitation letters to friends. Some of the children will also be paying for their own trip,”  said Sugarol.

An album of songs he arranged is also being sold to raise funds. They have received donations from priests, businessmen and public oficials. In gratitude, the choir will bring their prayer petitions to Rome.

Choir member 8-year-old Cher Lozada  said she was excited about her first time to see the Eternal City and sing for Calungsod. “Thank you for the talent and the blessings,” she said, addressing her young patron.

The oldest singer, John Manatad, a 20-year-old college senior in Business Administration, said he was inspired by the  martyrdom of Calungsod, a teenage mission helper who didn’t leave the side of Jesuit priest Fr. Diego de San Vitores when two natives of the Ladrones Island attacked them with spears and a cutlass in 1672.

“I was struck by his faith, especially his sacrificing his life for God. Faith jud ang dapat naa sa amo nga mga youth(We youths should maintain our faith),” he said to achieve their goals stay on the right track.

The Mandaue Children and Youth Choir received the Ani ng Dangal award last February from the National Commission on Culture and the  Arts (NCCA). It won the same award in  2008 and 2011.

The choir first came to prominence after winning the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the Province of Cebu’s Garbo Sa Sugbo Award in 2004.

The group later won three gold medals in the First Asian Choir Games in Indonesia in 2007 and moved up to the Grand Prix of World Choir Championships in South Korea in 2009 where they won first prize.

The children have also performed in Hongkong, Taiwan, and the USA.

By Sean Timothy Salvador
Cebu Daily News

Saturday, October 13, 2012

0 Binay to represent Noy in Calungsod canonization

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay will represent President Aquino at the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod on Oct. 21 at the Vatican.

Aquino has designated Binay, also presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) concerns, to witness Pope Benedict XVI install the country’s second saint.

“It is an honor to lead my fellow Filipino Catholics in witnessing this historic event. Blessed Pedro Calungsod’s life was one of service and I pray that his dedication and sacrifice will inspire the Filipino youth to live their lives in service of their fellowmen,” Binay said.

The first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, was canonized on Oct. 18, 1987.

“I join the people of Cebu and the entire nation in this most joyous occasion and pray that the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will further strengthen our faith in the Almighty and our unity as a people,” Binay said.

Calungsod was a teenage Cebuano catechist who accompanied Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Tumhon village in Guan, Marianas, where they were killed on April 2, 1672.

Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod in March 2000.

The canonization rites for Blessed Calungsod and six others will begin with a Mass at Saint Peter’s Square.

Vespers and a procession of the new saints’ icons will be held at the Chiesa di Santa Pudenziana later in the evening.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expects over a thousand Filipinos to fly to the Vatican to witness the canonization rites.

After the canonization, Binay will meet members of the Filipino community in Italy at the Pontifico Collegio Filipino.

“In all my trips abroad, I always make it a point to meet with our countrymen to personally hear from them their concerns and to assure them that our government is always looking after their welfare,” Binay said.

By Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star)

0 Calungsod’s official image ready for Rome

CEBU, Philippines – Four days from now, the official image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be transported to Rome in time for the Canonization rites of the second Filipino saint on October 21.

In a press conference yesterday, church officials led by the Duaw Lungsod committee showed the image of Blessed Calungsod which will be used for the Canonization as well the celebrations after in the Philippines.

Duaw Lungsod Chairman Msgr. Marnell Mejia said that the image will first be taken from the Pedro Calungsod Shrine in the Archbishop Palace compound on October 16 to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral through a motorcade at 4:30 in the morning. It will be followed by a holy mass at 5:30, and finally a parade from the Cathedral to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The image will be transported through a Cathay Pacific flight with image’s official custodian, Fr. Charles Jayme. Jayme and the official image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will both be “passengers” of Cathay Pacific. The image will be placed in a polystyrene case and will be seated next to Jayme. More than 200 other pilgrims will also be travelling with them on the said date.

Church officials are reminding those who would want to send-off the image on Oct. 16 to fall in line at the side of the streets along MJ Cuenco Avenue, going to Subangdaku, Tipolo, Mantayong then to Mandaue City. It will also pass through St. Joseph Shrine, Plaridel Street, then to the first Mactan bridge, turning left to MCIA. There will be a short send-off ceremony before taking the image onboard the plane.

A “triduum”, or a three-day period of prayer from October 18 to 20, will take place in various churches in Rome prior the Canonization rites at the Vatican.

On October 25, at 4:40 in the afternoon, the image of Saint Pedro Calungsod will be welcomed with a grand reception at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The image will then be brought to major cities in Luzon, starting in Manila then to Vigan going to Naga and other overnight stops in some archdioceses and dioceses.  After Luzon, the image will be traveled around Visayas and Mindanao, all within October 25- November 27.

On November 27, the image will be brought back to Cebu City where another triduum will follow before the National Thanksgiving Mass on November 30 at the South Road Properties. A fluvial parade and a foot procession will simultaneously take place as well on November 30 before the National Thanksgiving.

Church officials are asking the public to attend in the different activities prepared by the parishes prior the canonization and to continue absorbing oneself in prayer and contemplation.

FREEMAN - By AJ de la Torre/JPM

0 Cebu lector claims Calungsod apparition

MANILA, Philippines – A lector in a parish in Toledo City, Cebu claimed that Blessed Pedro Calungsod made an apparition on Thursday noon.

Rose Camomot, lector at the San Pedro Calungsod Parish Barangay Cantabaco, said Calungsod appeared to her at noon yesterday inside the church.

Camomot said she saw Calungsod arranging some flowers inside the church. She noted that it was the second time that Calungsod appeared to her.

The alleged apparition comes amid preparations of the entire Cebu province for the canonization of Calungsod in Vatican City on October 21.

Calungsod will be the Philippines’ second saint after Saint Lorenzo Ruiz.

Meanwhile, the same parish is also set to begin today the nine-day novena masses leading to the day of Calungsod’s canonization.

To start off the novena masses, a provincial caravan was held on Thursday where devotees and pilgrims participated.

The caravan toured the towns of southern Cebu, including Calungsod’s hometown in Ginatilan.

Father Russel Sungcad said the activity was a success despite the rains. The caravan ended in Cantabaco past 8 p.m. with a fireworks display.

By Edgar Escalante, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

0 Mandaue resident to head to Rome for rites

SHE never dreamed it was possible.

But 74-year-old Chari Gerinea could only thank Divine Providence for the money given to her by a friend to buy a roundtrip ticket to Rome, Italy for the Oct. 21 canonization of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

“It’s a provision from the Lord. It’s unbelievable. I don’t have enough budget. (But) God arranges everything,” Gerinea told Cebu Daily News.

Gerinea, a mother of three children and resident of barangay Guizo, Mandaue City, got her visa last July 31.

All she needs is to pay 110 euros or about P5,700 for her daily accommodation in a Franciscan convent in Rome.

She said she doesn’t want to miss Calungsod’s canonization as she credited him for several answered prayers.

Gerinea will leave for Rome on Oct. 16 with her daughter and son-in-law.

“I’m very excited. My purpose of going to Rome is to praise and thank God for recognizing Pedro as a saint. My desire is really for Pedro to intercede to the Lord that I will be given his youth so that I can continue to serve the Lord,” she said.

Gerinea calls Calungsod “dodong (boy).” “I consider myself his (Blessed Pedro) grandmother. We should take refuge in him because he knows how to speak Bisaya, our language. We should be proud ,” she said.

Gerinea, an executive committee member of the Blessed Pedro Shrine in Cebu City, said one should emulate the virtues lived by Calungsod.

“Calungsod forgot about himself. Whatever we do should be in accordance to God’s will. We will soon receive our reward, maybe not in this lifetime. How beautiful it is to live a Christian way of life,” she said.

Over a thousand people from Cebu are expected to travel to Rome for the canonization rites, said Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Msgr. Achilles Dakay.

Dakay, who heads the committee on pilgrims to Rome, said a group of 10 priests, 10 nuns, and six catechists are being sponsored by the Archdiocese and they need not pay for their travel or visa fees.

Dakay said among those ready to travel to Rome is Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who finished processing visa requirements.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she won’t attend the canonization rites due to a hold departure order against her.

Garcia and seven other Capitol officials face charges before the Sandiganbayan in relation to the Capitol’s purchase of the Balili property in barangay Tina-an, Naga City.

Though she could ask for a leave, Governor Garcia said she decided to stay especially since it is also her eldest child’s birthday on Oct. 21.

“Still I would look for a way to express my solidarity for the canonization of Calungsod,” Garcia said.

Binghay said they are reminding pilgrims that they need to return to the Philippines after the canonization.

As part of visa requirements of the embassy, pilgrims have to submit financial statements and other documents to show they have the capacity to travel abroad and return to the country.

Second, as a condition of the Archdiocese, they need a certification from their parish priest to vouch that they are Catholics.

Dakay said priests should be held responsible for their return.

He said applicants should also undergo a catechism lecture on the the life of Calungsod.

The rites will be aired live through the Eternal Word Television Network and the Cebu Catholic Television Network.

A national Thanksgiving Mass will also be held at the South Reclamation Project in Cebu City on Nov. 30.

Last Friday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma left for Rome to attend the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops from Oct. 7 to 28.

He will stay there also for the canonization rites of Blessed Pedro on Oct. 21. With a report from Contributor Joy Cherry Quito.

By Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News

0 Demand for Calungsod icons go up ahead of canonization

WITH a chisel on his left hand and a hammer on the other, 52-year-old wood carver Ramon Gillangao began pounding on a tree log in front of him.

Ten minutes after, Gillango managed to carve out the face of the Blessed Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.

“Dose na kabuok ang akong nabuhat nga ingon ani. (I was already able to carve 12 images of Blessed Pedro),” Gillangao said.

With 30 years of experience, Gillangao is among the workers of a carving shop in barangay Basak, Cebu City who are kept busy sculpting images of Calungsod in various sizes ahead of the Oct. 21 canonization of the Visayan martyr.

Since September 2012, the shop owned by 94-year-old Francisco dela Victoria received 25 orders of Calungsod’s image—most of whom came from various parishes in Cebu and Leyte.

Dela Victoria is presently confined in a Cebu City hospital after he suffered a stroke last Sept. 21. His shop is being managed by his grandson Gerber Cabañero.

Prices of the images ranged from P8,000 to P35,000 depending on their sizes. Small images of Calungsod are also sold at P300 to P650 at the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Shoppe beside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City.

At a shop in barangay Duljo Fatima, Cebu City stood a four-foot wooden image of Calungsod clad in an all-white camisa de chino.

Sculptor Loloy Ebdalin said the image will undergo several repairs within the week.

While most of the images carved in the shop are made out of mahogany, others were produced from fiberglass and plaster of Paris mixed with cement.

He said a few devotees who commission image sculptures add their own personal requests even if it doesn’t conform to the Church sanctioned look of Calungsod.

One such image is a three foot tall wooden image of Calungsod which holds a rosary and has blood stains covering part of the body.

“It’s one of their requests, it is said to demonstrate Calungsod’s martyrdom,” Ebdalin said.

For his part, Cabañero said Cebu Archbishiop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal personally gave an image of Calungsod to his grandfather during the latter’s birthday last August 21.

Cabañero said the cardinal asked them to add a carved Doctrina Cristiana or Book of Christian Doctrines on the image.

He said Vidal has been visiting his grandfather who used to be one of the altar servers of the late Cebu Archbishop Julio Cardinal Rosales.

The image of Calungsod given by Vidal to Cabañero measures two feet.

It holds a huge palm leaf and the Book of Christian Doctrines.

Cabañero said the images of Calungsod which they carved are based on the official image made in Paete, Laguna which was handpicked by Vidal.

“Recently, we only receive orders of Pedro Calungsod images,” he said.

An image which measures two feet is worth P8,000 while a life-sized image, usually six feet in height, amounts to P35,000, Cabañero said.

He said the images are carved out from mahogany trees which lasts for a long time.

As of yesterday, at least five images of Calungsod that were made in dela Victoria’s shop are still unclaimed.

On the base of the images were etched the words “San Pedro Calungsod.”

Some of Calungsod’s images already have a golden “halo” to signify the Visayan martyr’s looming induction into the pantheon of saints.

Cabañero said it took them two weeks to one month to finish one image of Calungsod.

“Carving images of Blessed Pedro has been seemingly a blessing to us,” he said in Cebuano.

Cabañero is hoping Calungsod will help them in praying before the Lord for the fast recovery of his grandfather. “I hope my grandfather will be discharged from the hospital,” he said.

Cabañero’s wife Josephine said Calungsod’s images may not have exactly the same forms.

But she said there is nothing wrong about it as long as the salient features of the Visayan martyr are present.

By Ador Vincent Mayol

0 Monumental service

A three-foot image of the Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod will be brought to Rome as a “passenger” for the Oct. 21 canonization rites.

The wooden sculpture of the soon-to-be declared saint will leave Cebu at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 16, said Fr. Charles Jayme, official custodian of the Calungsod image.

The honor accorded to Pedro through the veneration of his statue should speak to our political leaders, who are now examining their war chests to allocate money for, among other things, campaign materials that will bear their names and images.

No one has a picture of Pedro, who was killed by Chamorro natives in what is now Guam back in the 17th century for his defense of the faith. Yet his legacy of dedication to a worthy cause will shine for all generations to see.

Certainly Pedro did not help Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores in the mission of evangelization just so he would not be forgotten. His motivations were far nobler. But his story reverberates so much so that people want to see him if only through an artist’s vision.

In any case Pedro was already in the people’s hearts long before any image of him was made, because his goodness, as the faithful would understand, could not be kept permanently in oblivion.

Politicos, take heed. It is up to the people to remember you. Do not be overly concerned, nay, obsessed with making sure that your names and images are pasted on every available space, whether for you to be eternally remembered or remembered at the ballot this May 2013.

If you insist on foisting your names and faces on the public you will suffer a backlash. The people are sick and tired of you. They are likely to heed Chairman Sixto Brilliantes of the Commission on Elections: Remember the epals, forget them on election day.

Do not continue insulting the electorate’s intelligence or overestimating your own by entertaining the assumption that you will become worthy of a vote the more posters, streamers, flyers and whatever print material you have. You will not only prove yourselves satisfied with a false democracy, you will also make our locales uglier.

It is futile to make monuments of yourselves, really. Learn from the destruction of the bust of Ferdinand Marcos on Mount Pugo, La Union province; the statue of Joseph Stalin in Budapest, Hungary or of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square in Bagdhad Iraq.

If you insist on being remembered, for an election or forever, you will become an object of scorn and you will be remembered for the day your avatars are torn down or sent to the dumps.

In contrast, if you learn from Pedro, hundreds of years may pass and your physical features may be forgotten, but your goodness and genuine service will eventually break the barriers of silence and forgetfulness because a wise people cannot for long stay ungrateful.

Cebu Daily News

0 Saint

It is only right that we should shape our new saint, St. Pedro Calungsod, in the colors of our own culture. As when Juan L. Mercado calls him an overseas Filipino worker or OFW. He is really telling us that we should come to “own” him as a Filipino in the most profound sense of the word. We could go one step further. We should also “own” the very concept of sainthood itself.

This act is important. Around the time the “boy” saint was martyred, we ourselves were also the target of a comprehensive program of conversion. This program was at the heart of a greater program of colonization. We were converted and colonized for better AND worse. Unless one were a fanatical colonial believer, this fact should not be glossed over. The enlightened faithful ought to include this in the appreciation of our new saint.

Some of the literature on the boy-saint has him studying by the banks of the Loboc River in Bohol. There you might still find the decaying remains of a many storied convent behind the church which used to be a Jesuit seminary. It was here where he allegedly studied.

The church convents always provided some amount of education for some of the young that were favored by the clergy. In tracing the growth of art in the Philippines, part of the narrative recalls how priests often taught young boys how to read, write and draw. In the absence of regular schools, the churches were always places where a young person might find a modicum of education while they assisted priests in their work.

And so the sight of a young person accompanying an old priest wherever he went would not have been strange. In fact, it is even now a common sight in the countryside. This young boy is never given much attention. He is only co-star to the priest. But he gets to eat what the priest eats. He is accorded the same hospitality. He is called either culitos or sacristan. He is always the carrier of the priest’s things.

St. Calungsod must have been only a little older than a boy when he accompanied his priest all over Guam. What was he doing there? He was going about his life. He would not have shared the same religious background by way of training as the older priest. Did he share the same evangelical convictions? Surely only in his own peculiar way.

We Filipinos are a traveling culture. Even now, it is not strange for a young country boy to go off away from home ostensibly to live with another family in the city to find work and education. It is common practice even now. He might have looked forward to coming home from time to time. He would have saved what little pay he received. He would have been proudly happy to bring it home to share with his parents and siblings. In this sense, little has changed since then. Most likely, as with other saints the young St. Calungsod grew up as a typical young boy.

Part of the St. Calungsod narrative has him leading his priest tied to a rope to that fateful place of their martyrdom. But who was leading whom? For while the priest might have been too blind to see where he was going, it must have been he who told the young boy where to go. In the poetic sense, notwithstanding our converted-colonized past, they were both equal, their fates inexorably tied together.

Did they try to run away? Or did they stand their ground instead, raising their holy books as their last defense against Chamorro spears and bolos? This part we can only imagine in our heads and hearts the same way an artist might picture them now.

Only little that is exact is ever left for posterity. Which is just as well. For we might as well finally realize it is not ever the exact truth of the saint which is important, now as in the future. Does it matter what this boy-saint actually looked like? Does it even matter what they looked like the short time before and after they were hacked and stabbed until they fell? Does it matter who was to blame for all these?

We are better off to picture them, silhouetted on a grassy hill against the deep blue of the Pacific heaving in the distance unmindful of ordinary men and boys following the God of their faith. Does the ocean care what they are doing there? If it had a mind to could it intervene? The young boy is about to die for something he cannot possibly fully understand. For who can understand it even now? This thing called life. Country. Nation. Religion. Conversion. Martyrdom. Sainthood. Faith. God?

It is enough to believe that while they stood walking on that hill a cool ocean breeze blew their way caressing their skin warmed and sweaty under the tropical sun. It was here their God had placed them on this particular fateful day. They will soon die as we all will in our own place and time. But for now, they bask inside a warm soothing grace. They smile, each happily remembering his own home, and what it feels like to come there once again.

By Raymund Fernandez
Cebu Daily News

0 Calungsod image to be flown to Rome Oct. 16

A three-foot-tall statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be flown from Cebu to Rome for his canonization as the Philippines’ second saint on October 21.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the statue will be flown on October 16 as a “passenger” along with a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Cebu.

In a news release, Fr. Charles Jayme, who CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma designated as the image’s official custodian, said, “I really take it as a blessing and gift from God being chosen for this. This is a humbling experience for me.”

Jayme said the experience “challenges me more to live up to the virtues of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.”
He explained that Cathay Pacific had offered to carry the statue as a passenger instead of just an ordinary hand baggage or cargo.

The image will be placed inside an encasement made of Styrofoam.

Farewell activities

The CBCP also said several activities will be held before the image is flown to Rome on October 16 at 12:30 p.m.

On October 15, the day before the flight, the image will be brought from the archbishop’s residence in Cebu City to the shrine named after Calungsod for a Mass at 6:30 p.m.

On October 16, the image will be carried from the shrine to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for another liturgical celebration at 4:30 a.m.

A motorcade will follow at around 8 a.m. sending off the image from the cathedral to Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.

After canonization

After the canonization, the image will be flown back to the Philippines for the “Duaw Nasud” to major cities in Luzon,  Visayas and Mindanao from October 25 to November 27.

The image is expected to be returned to Cebu City before the November 30 thanksgiving Mass for Pedro Calungsod’s sainthood.