September in Zamboanga

      Claret_welcome  VintaFort_pilar_13_shadows





It took three years, but our schedules finally meshed. The winning ways of good friend Fr. James Castro, cmf, patiently solved all the problems until  Joe Torres and I finally found ourselves in the well-equipped classrooms of Claret School of Zamboanga, sharing the joy of our vocation.

I was struck by the Fort Pilar shrine, which we visited late on our second night. It is a beautiful place, with the quiet but bustling air of a hideaway-in-plain-sight. I realize it is walled in now because of a bomb explosion a few years ago, and that of course it stands at the literal crossroads of Christian and Muslim communities, but the overwhelming sense I got, from our 30-minute visit, was one of peace. (Those three shadows in the Fort Pilar courtyard belong, respectively, to Fr. James, me, and Joe.)

Joe and I stayed at the Claretian fathers’ house; its refectory hosts an amazing mural of the Last Supper, painted in 1963 by the Spaniard Delimiro Ruiz when he was still a member of the order. I took a few pictures, none of which, I fear, does justice to the work.  (And, oh, Jove, if you’re reading this: I found this photocopied plea to support Arms, Zamboanga’s candidate in Philippine Idol, all over the city: outside the church, even on the faculty room bulletin board. A shame she was voted out last week.)



Filed under Spiral Notebook

2 responses to “September in Zamboanga

  1. sayang talaga si arms. tsk tsk tsk, this PI thing is my/our warm up for the 2007 elex, if ever matuloy. PI may be entertainment/showbiz, but it reveals a lot about our voting pysche.

  2. Interesting. I never thought of it in those political/election terms before!

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