Cagayan de Oro City: In Search of the Old

Cagayan de Oro today is not anymore the city I knew in the late ‘80s. So, I thought I should go around and look for landmarks that reminded me of the past. In the ‘80s, Plaza Divisoria was the centre of the city. It was the place where people would usually meet and congregate. AlsoContinue reading “Cagayan de Oro City: In Search of the Old”

Rate this:

Homecoming

“What I love about homecomings is this, friends,” said Gertie Duran-Batocabe when asked about why she keeps on being part of St. Agnes Academy’s Grand Homecoming. Gertie and I were classmates since grade school in 1974-75. Now that we are in our late 40s, returning to our beloved alma mater is not just a matterContinue reading “Homecoming”

Rate this:

Brown at the Borders

Note: This is a personal experience of a Filipino volunteering for a month at the Kino Border Initiative feeding center for deported migrants in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. I temporarily stay at the Jesuit community in Nogales, Arizona. The one-month experience is part of Tertianship, a formation stage in the life of Jesuits. Crossing a borderContinue reading “Brown at the Borders”

Rate this:

Death and Dreams in the Desert

It was different not to see Alejandro and Jeremias* at the Comedor. They had gone to another part of Mexico, and would be crossing the dangerous border as I write this. The wind was unusually cold in the past two nights they headed there. And I could not imagine them ravaged by the cold nightsContinue reading “Death and Dreams in the Desert”

Rate this:

And He Said Goodbye

And he says goodbye. Alejandro’s* plan is to return to the United States, taking off somewhere in Mexico and then walk across the Cerro Pinacate desert, a hostile, black, and barren landscape. It is a long stretch of inhospitality, little surface water and heat, with temperatures as high as 120° F. He cannot settle inContinue reading “And He Said Goodbye”

Rate this:

Christ dies in a Kitchen in Mexico

I write this at the very hour of Christ’s death. The difference is that I am not in church. I will not be able to celebrate the Good Friday service because at 3:30 PM, I will return to my work at the kitchen. At 4PM, I will assist feeding a hundred migrants for their eveningContinue reading “Christ dies in a Kitchen in Mexico”

Rate this:

Discovering a Deep River in the Desert

They come in droves. Every day migrants deported from the United States are brought by bus to the Deconcini gate in Nogales, Sonora. And just as the US close their gates on them, we open our doors twice a day to provide them meals, clothing, and basic medical care as they journey home. The CasaContinue reading “Discovering a Deep River in the Desert”

Rate this:

When Migrants Die in the Desert, Who Cares?

Forcing his luck by taking the dangerous trek through the Sonora desert, Jose and companions Pedro and Francisco* had been rounded and beaten up by gangs on their way back to the United States. They are illegal or unauthorized immigrants and have been deported at the Arizona-Mexican border. They tried their luck again because allContinue reading “When Migrants Die in the Desert, Who Cares?”

Rate this:

What’s the difference between a tour and a pilgrimage?

Some years ago, a fellow Jesuit gave me a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a gift from his visit to Mexico City. He knew of this personal devotion and a reproduction would be the closest I could get to the dream of visiting the shrine. I could not imagine that in a shortContinue reading “What’s the difference between a tour and a pilgrimage?”

Rate this:

Jesuits at the Cutting Edge

On a newly constructed wall at the Nogales part of Mexico marking the US border hung white crosses with the names of those who died crossing and braving the vast unforgiving Sonora desert. Fr. Peter Neeley SJ said that he had performed several blessings of headless bodies or bones found scattered in the wasteland. They said thatContinue reading “Jesuits at the Cutting Edge”

Rate this: