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San Carlos Seminary’s suumer community apostolate for Philosophy seminarians this year was in the Diocese of Tarlac from Apr. 6-19, 2010. My bukluran was assigned to Pura, Tarlac. The parish there is St. Antoninus Parish, and Fr. Arturo “Art” Eduarte is the parish priest since 2006. Concurrently, Fr. Art is the director of the Diocesan Commission on Indigenous People, which best explains how our main course for the apostolate was to live among the Aeta people, beginning April 7 until the last hour of April 16 (11 PM).

We started ten: six from Bukluran Four (me, Niku, Joe Mac, Joe Val, Jared, Paolo) and four from Bukluran Seven (Jov, Mike, Jon, Jeff). Our Aeta mission was at SITIO FLORA in Barangay Maruglo, Capas, Tarlac. The roads leading to this place are totally wrecked, rocky, uncemented, sand-casted. Along the way are series of river passages. So definitely, the vehicle would be a 4 by 4 “hummer,” synonymous to a military jeep, capable enough to travel that long. From Barangay Patling (O’Donell) to Flora, it would take 3-5 hours of walk, and 6 hrs. of transport with the help of a carabao. Thanks to Fr. Art, we travelled using the two bulky vehicles that he have in the parish. Aside from us and our baggages, the priest brought with him some men in the parish and some construction materials. They would be used for helping in the chapel construction, which would be our primary task in Flora then.

Joining us Karlistas is a college seminarian from Tarlac who is also a parishioner in Pura, Erich Primero. Joe Mac shortly withdrew from the assignment after complaints of skin irritation and severe rashes. Now the ten became nine.

The river is where we take a bath and wash our clothes. There has already been a small hut with bowel cubicle constructed last year. My fellows steadily managed to have their bath in the river everyday, while mine was at the cubicle. Que lastima!

While we focused on our main course which is chapel construction, we took our part in forming the youth through various team building exercises facilitated by the seminarians at night time. In the afternoon, catechism and music lessons were held for the children. On the last day were the parlor games for the children and basketball-volleyball games.

Among our past time is preparing “linupak.” It is a kind of native cake made from banana pudded into a “bayo” (like wooden pestle and mortar). We tried mixing linupak with coco milk extract (“gata”) and powdered milk. Whatever the case, it’s still yummy.

Last April 16, Saturday, the first Mass in the history of Flora was held. Shortly before the end of the mass, each one of us seminarians gave their thanksgiving messages. After the Mass was the awarding ceremonies for the teams in basketball and volleyball, plus the giving out of tokens to the sitio council and the elders of the community.

Below, pala, is our timetable of activities

April 6 Tuesday
AM
10    arrival at St. Antoninus Parish
lunch with Mrs. Joyce De Pano and Fr. Art Duarte
brief overview of the program, the DCIP, and Flora Village
PM
2    siesta
4    departure for Paidyanan
stopover and dinner
rest

April 7 Wednesday
AM
7    departure for Flora Village
8:30    arrival at Sitio Flora, Brgy. Maruglo, Capas, Tarlac
breakfast-picnic at river
PM
lunch, then siesta
house visitation
brief meeting with Fr. Art
dinner
meeting with the sitio council and the elders
planning of activities for youth

April 8 Thursday
AM
7    breakfast
morning prayers
tour around Kawayan
PM
lunch, then siesta
children’s catechism (c/o Jon and Jeff)
house visit
dinner
acquaintance with youth (ice breaker)

April 9 Friday
AM
7    breakfast
helped in the setting up of the tent for construction supplies
others taught catechism
PM
lunch, then siesta
teaching catechism
4    departure for Pura (Fr. Art, Niku, Pao, Jared, JoMac – transfer to Victoria)
6    small group chat with Andrew
arrival of Madame Marlene (teacher)

April 10 Saturday
AM
breakfast
practice linupak banana native cake (w/ coco)
PM
lunch, then siesta
river bath

April 11 Sunday
AM
breakfast
linupak w/o coco
teach children “Ang Panginoon ang Aking Pastol” (c/o Dan)
PM
lunch + mami, then siesta
ate lupak
dinner – fried camote with corned beef and egg, dine with us Andrew

April 12 Monday
AM
8    breakfast
arrival of Fr. Art and others (with Karen, Lala, Ryan)
continuation of practice of Mass songs
PM
lunch, then siesta
helped in construction of chapel
played cards
dinner
team building – Spider Web (c/o JoVal) *Niku NFW of clogged nose

April 13 Tuesday
AM
“pagpapatag ng lupa” for the site of basketball and volleyball grounds
breakfast
baraha
PM
lunch, then siesta
catechism, others free time
5    some left for Pura (JoVal, Pao, Ja, Nik) to buy awards and trophies
6    dinner
team building – Strongest Building using straw (c/o Mike)

April 14 Wednesday
AM
breakfast
baraha
PM
lunch, then siesta
prepare lupak (w. powder milk)
teach songs (Kordero)
baraha
dinner – tinola
team building – Heads & Tails

April 15 Thursday
AM
breakfast
catechism, others construction help
PM
lunch, siesta
2    teach mass songs and sesponses
7    Dan, Jeff, Jon ate supper with Ate Eden and Mang Dan
team building – sharing

April 16 Friday
AM
breakfast
8:30    start of parlor games for kids
10    basketball games
PM
lunch, siesta
2    volleyball games
preparation for night activity
dinner
8    Mass
11    short program
12am    departure for Paidyanan (goodbye Flora)

April 17 Saturday
AM
1    arrival at Paidyanan; rest
7    breakfast
7.30    departure for Pinatubo Crater
10    arrival at site
10.30    at the Crater
PM
lunch-picnic at lakeshore
departure for hot spring
4.30    from hotspring back to Paidyanan (to carry things)
6    last words and evaluation from Fr. Art to the group
dinner
departure for Pura

April 18 Sunday
AM
7    Mass (by Fr. Jonas Agustin)
breakfast
8.30    Mass – Fr. Art
10    stay with Mrs. Joyce De Pano’s house (ice cream)
11    Fr. Rey An came to visit us
PM
1    lunch (Fr. RY left)
2    departure for SM City Rosales in Pangasinan (thanks to Mommy Joyce)
treat at Greenwich
return, dinner
8    night swimming
10    rest

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