Posted by: junjeesj | August 22, 2008

BAHAY NA BATO

1 Every time I see a “bahay na bato,” I could not help but appreciate the history of my country. It symbolizes our being a Filipino. We are built with a strong foundation that at times of adversities, we still remain cheerful. Our windows are big enough to tell the whole world that we welcome people with warmth and great hospitality. We know what is beautiful and we strive to be one and remain as one.

2 Our first stop was the museum at La Salle, Dasmariñas. I was astounded by the collections that were displayed there. From the clothes, furniture, decors, memorabilia, paintings, everything was fantastic. Any where I look was a touch of exquisiteness. The floor was made from expensive wood. The ceiling was a steel stamp painted intricately. The draperies are elegant. The walls are decorated magnificently. The chandeliers are wow.

3 Each re-created room displays certain drama in line with the Philippine history. Mr. Joey mentioned that they use the museum as they teach the students there Filipino history and literature. They teach Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo to students there. Thus, the student can have a sense of what the scenes look like in the said novels.

4 Touring the museum was an opportunity for me to have a glimpse of my past and appreciated it.

5 Our next stop was Café Gourmet. Again, it was an experience of hospitality. We enjoyed the place and food for free.

6 Finally, we visited Indang. We went to an old church built by Jesuits. It was not as elaborate as the other churches in the Philippines that I had been to. It was very simple. It was created for Jesuit apostolicity. I came to appreciate the early Jesuit missionaries; they did not just build a church for the sake of the arts and beauty but for the salvation of souls.

7 The field trip was a reminder of my calling to be a Jesuit Filipino priest. I am called to live a Jesuit life but not forgetting my roots as a Filipino. I realized that as a Jesuit, I am called to “indifference,” but not mistaking it as being indifferent to the arts and beauty, but using the arts and beauty in so far as salvation is concerned, tantum quantum.

8 The “bahay na bato” as an example, I am challenge as a Jesuit formandee to build my foundation on solid stones so that when storm of loneliness comes, I can still remain faithful and strong. More so, I am invited to continue embracing the “beauty Divine” so that I and my fruits may continue to be witnesses of God’s magnificence and grandeur.

– Jun-G Bargayo –

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Responses

  1. G,

    Like you, I am fascinated too with old things, old houses, etc. When we were in bohol last summer, we visited one old museum, the one across the loboc river. I found out that it was a Jesuit church. Inside the museum, which I believe was the house of the priests then, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the big statues of Jesus, Mary and the other saints, as well as old tabernacles. I couldn’t help but be in awe to think that these articles are holy even if they are now kept inside the museum, because once upon a time, they held the body and blood of Jesus. I was just struck by your entry because I resonated with it. Now, can they say that these are just stones? they may appear stone physically, devoid of life, but somehow, I know and I have felt a transcendent presence. It is amazing to think that these things had witnessed over the course of history the faith that had been handed over from generations to generations. Tradition should really be lived and be made fresh for every generation.


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