Skip to main content

Orchids

"Yes, I grew these orchids. No, I did not plant them, but when I came, they were already here, although no one had been tending to them. They were neglected, unwatered, the fence was falling down, and weeds were about to choke them." The Bishop, my childhood friend, proudly explained.

I looked around and drank in the beauty of the garden of orchids -- pink, yellow, white in their tender strength and with just a whiff of fragrance. I remembered a friend who told me orchids are costly. They last longer than ordinary flowers, and do not easily wilt.

"I use them for the altar," the Bishop continued, "during feasts. And I send some to the priests around the province. People appreciate them."

"They are indeed beautiful," I said. "A high school teacher quit teaching to raise orchids, and was soon grossing one million pesos annually."

They are expensive, but I don’t sell them," the Bishop remarked when he saw I was about to suggest something. "Sometimes, I send them to Rome. They do not find orchids there so easily."

"How long did it take to re-grow these orchids? The garden has improved."

"Orchids are native to Catanduanes, you perhaps know -- in the mountains, in the edges of the towns, in distant fields. Despite frequent typhoons, nature has been lavish to our province, people do not realize that."

"Yes, the potential is there, waiting to be tapped."

A hand shook my shoulder, and I woke up. The lights had been switched on to signal that the plane was soon to descend, a warning to straighten up our seats and fasten the safety belt.

I had been dreaming. I had been away and was flying back to Manila after a visit to my home province. After more than 50 years, I spent Holy Week there. This time I had gone back as a priest, and saw things differently. I believe I understood my people better now.

There is so much good in Catanduanes, I realized gratefully. The Catholic Faith has remained deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. Religion is not a mere cloak or blanket against the cold, but pervades every aspect of their life.

Of course, only a few can explain their Faith like theologians; but they will all die for their Faith. How else explain why many hiked under the sun to attend to the Holy Week ceremonies twenty, fifteen, ten, or five kilometers away -- mainly because of the dire lack of priests! What made them bring offerings in cash and kind to the church? I knew sacks of rice had been donated, not for the priests, but for a house of homeless and undernourished children under the care of Sisters. I was greatly impressed.

That was why I was dreaming in the plane. My people are still Catholics, just as I had known them in my childhood. Now, however, some non-Catholic churches have appeared, but few, built far apart.

And they are like the gumamelas, attractively red. They grow easily, the buds open easily. They grow, even when hedges are unkept and neglected. Under the sun, they fade quickly.

But the Catholics are like the orchids. And we must care for them; otherwise, weeds will choke them out, or they will wither away. And we must help so that their colors may explode in all their beauty and richness. We must fertilize them, clean and prune them of dead and dried leaves. And we, too, can send some of them to Rome, people there will certainly appreciate them. The Pope will be glad to receive them.

Posted on 10:04 PM, April 11, 2010
Roots -- By José S. Arcilla S.J.
Source: Business World Online

Popular posts from this blog

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Churches in Catanduanes

Catanduanes is composed of 11 municipalities, but there are 18 parishes distributed island wide. There are 3 parishes in the capital town Virac, 3 in Viga, 3 in Bato and 2 in San Andres. Although radical architectural changes have been made in many of the centuries old churches. From baroque to contemporary architecture and basic structural changes from coral stones to cement. Still many of the old practices and traditions are revered and observed up to this day. Happy Easter! Vicariate of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Vicar Forane: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Virac Cathedral (F-1755), Virac 4800 Catanduanes Population: 42,045; Catholics: 41,204 Titular: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 Parish Priest: Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Parochial Vicars: Fr. Allan Martin Basilio, Fr. Joseph Saratan, Fr. Pascual Macuja (Retired, In Residence), Fr. Sid Jose Sanchez, Fr. Paul I. Isorena Cabugao (F-1911), Bato 4801 Catanduanes Population: 9,288; Catholics…

Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve

Site description: Catanduanes is an island of 182,300 ha which lies about 10 km off the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula in southern Luzon. The terrain on the island is hilly, particularly in the central portion, but the highest point only reaches just over 800 m. The substantial forests which remain in central Catanduanes are therefore all lowland dipterocarp in type, and are the largest remaining forest block in the whole of the Bicol Region. Forest is found above 490 m, and is estimated to cover a total of about 69,770 ha. It includes considerable areas of old growth dipterocarp forest (reported in 1997 to cover 5,876 ha), and closed-canopy forest in areas that show evidence of having been logged. These forest areas are the source of water for Catanduanes Province. One hydropower project is currently operational, that supplies power to urban areas of the island. The forest areas was proclaimed as a Watershed Reserve in 1987 because of these important function, the whole area is sta…

Wildlife in Catanduanes

Moving around the island, particularly in the remote barangays located in the hinterlands, one can find unusual pets and not often seen animals, some were hunted down to near extinction. Philippine long-tailed macaque or "ukay" are teeming in some parts of the island, often a menace to small farmers' crops. Wild chicken or "abukid" are at times sold as pets by ambulant vendors. The look is no different from a domesticated chicken but I think its smaller and lighter. Long ago wild deers or "usa" can be found in the lowlands and some even tried domesticating this wild animal. But in later years their population had drastically diminished. Same with the wild pig or "opon", a delicacy for many because of less fat and tastier compared to hybrids. The look is very much different from domesticated pigs, mean looking, small and hairy. A dreaded species of Philippine cobra or "haras" as the locals calls it, is found also in the island…