Posts Tagged ‘Fr. Victor Badillo S.J.’
by Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ
1. Fr. Alfeo Nudas, SJ
Al recalls an unusual sight.
Alfeo Nudas lost his father when he was young. The Nudas were poor farmers
in the small mountainous town of Naguilian. Al recalls his mother in a
deadly tug-of-war with a group of Japanese soldiers over her only carabao,
her work carabao. His eldest brother, Hilario, abandoned his studies and
marriage plans to support his siblings. In this atmosphere Al developed the
spirit of caring for others. The seed of a vocation fell on fertile ground.
How he learned of the Jesuits, I do not know.
A year before he died, he lost his mind. He was helpless. At meals, Al
asked for fish. I heard him say, “I want a fish. This is not a fish.”
Caretakers had given him fish fillet, without head and tail. How Jesus must have smiled at At.
Behold Jesus beholding Al. Smiling.
God wants us to know that he is glorified by our illness and uselessness,
no less than by magnificent achievements.
2. Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ
De la Costa made a retreat in SHN to discern his career. He saw he was to
serve God as a writer. But he was told later that he could be a Jesuit and
3. Fr. Romeo Intengan, SJ
Dr Romeo Intengan organized religious activities for the staff and patients
of PGH. His companions called him Archbishop which was shortened to Archie. He was inspired to be a Jesuit from meeting the Jesuit chaplains.
4. Fr. Guido, SJ
Guido had one foot in the novitiate since he had some lingering doubts. One
day he watched the movie “The Little Women,” then in town. In one scene, Jo
sells her long hair to buy a birthday gift for her mother. Meg, her sister,
saw her shorn of her beautiful air and exclaimed, “Jo. What a mess.” Guido
reflected that her mother saw how beautiful Jo was.. He felt a warm
sensation and all his doubt vaporized. The scene had no connection with his
doubt. But in the warm glow of consolation, every thing was seen in the
light of God with eyes of God. When the sun is up all are seen. When water
rises all boats float.
5. Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ
Karel San Juan delayed being a Jesuit to be a lay apostle. After
graduation he gave of his time and even volunteered for Cambodia. There he
heard of what Richie Fernando did. That inspired him to delay no more his
entrance to tbe Jesuit novitiate.
6. Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ
I entered the novitiate to do my part about the shortage of
priests in the Philippines. I thought I was doing the church a favor, to do
a job that needed doing, that I was doing something noble. I did not know
Jesus was seducing me to loving him.
7. Fr. Jim Hennessey, SJ
Jim Hennessey visiting our Lord in the Georgetown University chapel , saw
in the dim light, a sight that warmed his heart, a Filipino Jesuit kneeling
some distance in front. It could not be anyone else but Sammy Dizon, by the
circular bare skin at the back of his head. Sammy was predestined to be a
priest. He was born with a tonsure.
8. Fr. Hilario Belardo, SJ
Hilario Belardo used to go to Baclaran church to get pamphlets for his
brother who was interested in becoming a Redemptorist. He too became
interested. But he dillydallied. While boating with friends, his girl
friend dropped her fan. He jumped into the bay to recover it. Then the
boat’s motor failed and the boat drifted away. H He vowed to be a priest if
he were saved.
9. Fr. Tony Olaguer, SJ
The father of Tony Olaguer traveled all the way from Bicol to Manila to see
off his sons Valdemar and Antonio off to America where they had
scholarships. The ship sailed off without Tony appearing. He had entered
the novitiate without telling anyone. When his mother was a student, she
and two friends prayed that their first son would be a priest. Toti’s
mother married a widower with several sons. Toti was her first.
10. Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ
Ben Nebres studied in the Vigan Seminary when it was run by the SVD
fathers. Earlier it had been the Jesuits. When these left, they left
behind books, some of which was the Tom Playfair series for boys. In
reading this series, Ben was influenced to join the Jesuits.*
11. Fr. Francisco Perez, SJ
Francisco Perez was a spy who reported Japanese movements during the
war. This resulted in his being alone in the mountains often and he enjoyed
contemplating God in nature. After the war he joined the Philippine Air
Force. In Fernando Air Base in Lipa, he read a pictorial supplement in the
Manila Times about the Jesuits. He said, “That is what I want to be.” He
took the bus and reached Novaliches in his uniform. Fr Master Lynch gave
the hungry man lunch before showing him around. He told Cisco to apply at
12. Fr. Francisco Arago, SJ.
It was in Sta Ana that Francisco Arago met his first Jesuit in Fr Cullum
who interviewed him and accepted him. He was the helped of the parish
priest in Samar and had read about the Jesuits in a magazine. Many
vocations are developed in men in close contact with our Lord in service the
13. Fr. Rudy Fernandez, SJ
During the Jap occupation, Japanese killed Rudy Fernandez’s, father. When
he became a Jesuit, he volunteered to be a missionary to Japan, to repay
the Japanese with goodness.
In Japan, one morning he overslept and hurried not to keep the sisters
waiting for mass. He entered a single lane road where the rule was first
come first served. He reached the road ahead of a car headed in the
opposite direction. But that car did not give way. Rudy let the other
ahead. When they were abreast, he greeted the driver “Ocage sawa,” which
means “I am in your shadow”. He made a friend.
14. Fr. Roberto Gana, SJ
After graduation from the Ateneo law school, Roberto Gana and some batch
mates made a retreat in SHN. There he saw Manny utterly helpless. He
reflected that he, Gana, was utterly dependent on God for existence itself.
He decided to devote the rest of his life to provide law services to those
who could not afford it. He founded the Gana Foundation, recruited, inspired
and formed young law gradates. When he died, the apostolate did not die
with him. Manny was God’s instrument.*
* ** *
Xavier an ambitious man, with world at his feet, was pestered by Ignatius:
what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
Dying on on Sancian Island at the doorstep to China, Jesus told him that had
gained a world greater than the world he had surrendered.*
God bless you and all your efforts. Victor Badillo SJ
This afternoon I visited Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ at the Jesuit Infirmary in Ateneo de Manila University. It has been more than a month or two since I visited him. I usually give him updates about the Manila Observatory. At 86, he cannot anymore walk. He needs a nurse to drive his wheelchair.
“Hi, Father.” I said as I entered his room.
“Hi, Pope,” he said as he signaled to the nurse to bring me a chair. “I learned about your Latin Mass Society.”
“Yes, Father.” I said. “Fr. Tim Ofrasio is our priest. He is a professor of Liturgy so he knows the old and new rites well.”
“Where do you get your vestments?” asked Fr. Badillo.
“Our sacristan trainor is Bro. Dave of the Liturgical Commission of Cubao. He is still designing our vestments.”
“So do you know the Confiteor, the prayers at the foot of the altar?”
“A little bit, Father. I still have to memorize it.”
And he prayed the Confiteor and I followed him. I know this prayer because I always use my Baronius 1962 missal even when I attend Novus Ordo masses.
“Do you know how to sing?” he asked. And he began to intone the Kyrie, the Sanctus, the Gloria, and the Pater Noster. I joined him in the singing. He is singing the songs in Missa de Angelis which we always use in our Latin masses. I joined the choir before when they practiced these songs. We bought our chant book from Our Lady of Victories, an SSPX church in Cubao, which has excellent resources on the Traditional Latin Mass. (May they be finally reconciled with the Catholic Church soon.)
“When I was young, I was also a sacristan,” said Fr. Badillo. “Whenever there are masses outside the school, we Ateneans always volunteer to serve in the masses, because there are very few who knows how to serve. We have this group called “Sanctuario”. We take turns in serving masses for a priest. We woke up at 4 am, because the priest says mass during that time.”
“Four o’clock in the morning?” I asked.
“Yes, 4 o’clock,” said Fr. Badillo. “Before we were that hard when it comes to serving masses. Now people are becoming soft, lax.”
“In the seminary, we learned about the mass. We were trained in Latin. But when we graduated, we were ordained in Vatican II.”
“So your training was to no avail, Father?” I asked.
“Not really,” he said.
And our conversation drifted to other things: about the ionosphere and magnetosphere project, about NASA and Dr. Lagrosas trip to Palawan, about our friend Genie Lorenzo who is back from a vacation in US, about Dr. Kendra Gotangco Castillo–our Valedictorian and Summa cum Laude–who is back from Purdue University and who now heads Klima Climate Change Center, and about the International Space Weather Conference in Nigeria which I am attending this October.
“Many things are now happening in Manila Observatory, Father.”
“It started when you came,” Fr. Badillo said.
And we both laughed. The first time I went to the Manila Observatory was in 2008. Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ asked me to stay in the Ionosphere Building, the building of Fr. Badillo, to write my dissertation. I lived a monastic life. But Fr. Badillo was not there when I came: he suffered several surgeries years before. The building was still dark and dusty then. Now, it is fully renovated and repainted. But I am still using his desk and his swivel chair.
Before I left, I took his hand to my forehead.
“Father, your skin is now soft unlike before.”
“Soft as woman’s skin.”
And we laughed again.
“How did that happen, Father?”
“Healthy diet. Just health diet.”
Finally, I said goodbye to Fr. Badillo. And he gave me his blessing.
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.
When the Jesuits returned to the Philippines in 1859, their mission was to work in Mindanao. They were persuaded by the City of Manila to run the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school. The school was renamed Ateneo when it began offering secondary education in 1865. Incidentally, they also started a second school, the Escuela Normal, to train teachers for the public schools.
In the beginning, the Ateneo accepted only Filipinos (Spaniards born in the Philippines). Later they accepted also Indios. One such was Jose Protacio Mercado. But he enrolled under the name Jose Protacio Rizal, at the advice of his family. He had to dissociate himself from his brother, Paciano Mercado, who had gained notoriety with the authorities with his links to priests who had been sentence to death as subversives.
1872, the year Jose Rizal enrolled when he was 11, was a fateful year. That year Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed for complicity in the Cavite mutiny. It so affected him that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit today, if I had not vowed to continue the fight of those priests.”
He was quite affected that he, an Indio, 11 years old was addressed
Usted (thou), and not tu (you), by older Spanish Jesuits. He and his elders had always been addressed by the degrading tu, In Tagalog, Ikaw (you singular). Ustedwas equivalent to kayo (you plural) or even siya or sila (he or they). No wonder he loved them. Today’s Filipino Jesuits do not know usted but they never time of praising Ateneans. And the poor boys believe them! Who can blame them? A little girl carried by her mother, on hearing a visitor say, ”What a beautiful girl.” beamed, “More. More.”
At first, he boarded in the houses in Intramuros or with relatives on his
mother’s side. He was free to do what he wanted, socializing etc. But he
decided to enroll as a boarder, knowing what this meant. A restricted life, regulated by bells, telling when to eat, when to rest, when to study. In the study room, he could get free help and individual tutoring from Jesuits prefects. He learned how to concentrate, to compete against himself.
Because knew how to utilize ad lib (free) time, he did not waste time. By
being bound, he became free, free of laziness, of bad habits. He became the Filipino he expected others to be before demanding independence. He lived it. By this he became free to free others. By living a disciplined life, he could do many things. He enrolled in two schools, even three schools in Spain, at one time and excelled in them.
As a sodalist he was expected to do mental prayer at least fifteen minute each day. Prayer was not just an exercise. It meant contact with the divine. It meant knowing Jesus and imitating him. It meant being challenged to fight for the King and not to count the cost. By his performance, he became a Prefect of the Sodality.
Jesuit pedagogy was pauca praecepta, multa exempla, plurima exercitation (few rules, many examples, numberless exercise). And cura personalis(individualized attention).
In liberal education, he met the best thinkers and was inspired to be like
them and even to be better them. That is the purpose of the classics. Not good speech and writing and oratory. The curriculum was graduated, step by step, according to the ability of the student. The Jesuits did not neglect competition, prizes and punishments (jug, the cane, etc).
RIZAL’S TRAVELLING STATUETTE
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.While a student at the Ateneo Municipal in Intramuros, Jose Rizal (14) made a small statue of the Sacred Heart, about nine inches in length. He carved the statuette in baticuling wood with a penknife at the request of his professor Fr Jose Leonardo S.J. Father intended to take it with him to Spain, but the domestic helper forgot to place it in his trunk. It was left behind and was taken by Rizal’s fellow students. It was placed on a shelf above the door of their study hall where it remained for twenty years.
In August 1887, Rizal (26) returned to the Philippines and stayed till early 1888. Now a liberal in matters political as well as religious, he visited his Jesuit friends at the Ateneo. On his way out, the Jesuit porter showed him the statuette. Rizal replied, “Other times, Brother, other times. I no longer believe in such things.”*
In December 1896, after Rizal (35) was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal which had tried him for treason, he asked for some Jesuit priests to visit him. Fr Miguel Saderra Mata, S.J., Rector of the Ateneo Municipal, together with Fr. Luis Viza, S. J., went in haste to Fort Santiago to the cell where Rizal was imprisoned. They were greeted warmly by Rizal.
Rizal asked them if the statuette of the Sacred Heart which he had carved as a boy was still at the Ateneo. Fr Viza, in reply, took the statuette out of the pocket of his soutane. He had guessed rightly. Rizal would remember it at the hour of his death. Rizal took it and kissed it in his hands and placed it on the table where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.
The statuette remained in the cell. On the night before his execution, it was to Fr Jose Vilaclara, S.J., his former Physics teacher, that Rizal made his sacramental confession and be reconciled to the Church.
The following day, 30 December, before leaving his cell to go to Bagumbayan, Rizal held the statuette to his lips for the last time. With two hands holding it close to his heart, he moved slowly to give it back to the Jesuits who were with him to the last day.
When the fire of 1932 engulfed the Ateneo, the principal concern of the Jesuits was the safety of the students. No one got hurt. Many valuable irreplaceable collections went up in smoke and presumably the statuette. The Ateneo resumed operations in Padre Faura. In 1945 the Ateneo was destroyed completely during the liberation of Manila.
Some time in 1952, when Ateneo was in the Loyola Campus, Q.C., the statue was returned, presumably by the student who saved it from the 1932 fire, and inadvertently from the 1945 fire as well.
Replicas made from ash from the bowels of the earth hurled into the sky by
After some twenty three years in the Board of Trustees room, Fr. Bienvenido
NotesRizal was condemned to death for the crime of treason. He advocated not revolution but evolution. He wished the Philippines to be independent when it was ready for it. Up to the time of his death, he thought the time had not come. For him, independence would happen like a fruit automatically falling from the tree when it was ripe.
He enrolled at the Ateneo in 1872, the year Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were garroted to death for treason. They were innocent of this crime. The event so moved Rizal that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit, but I had vowed to do something about their death.”
Baticuling is a hard wood used in carving, which now is not easily available. Without carving tools, Rizal carved an excellent statue using just a penknife.
When did Rizal carve this statue? He enrolled at the Ateneo when he was eleven. He lived at the Ateneo as a boarder. He got an AB degree at 16 in 1977. That year, he enrolled at the Ateneo and UST, both in Intramuros and a few blocks from each other. He left the Ateneo when he was 17, certified by the Ateneo as Agrimensor (Surveyor). I guess he carved the image when he was about 14. He still had to study anatomy.
Rizal carved the statue for Fr Leonardo. Did Fr need one for himself, or did he want Rizal to develop his talent? Why did he ask Rizal to carve an image of the Sacred Heart and not of someone else, like Our Lady? Did he specify whose statue he wanted? Rizal was the Prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady.
What thoughts passed through Rizal’s mind as he carved? Did he have lectures of the Sacred Heart in mind? Did he research his subject? What did he know of the devotion to the Sacred Heart? What did his devotion, if any, to the Sacred Heart consist of? What does the actual statue say? What was the state of the devotion at the Ateneo? How did he think of carving a statue with a hole in the chest?
Fr Leonardo’s sorrow on failing to bring the statuette that he could not bring the statue with him resulted in the statuette staying in the Ateneo.
It was painful for the nameless Brother that Rizal refused to even look at his statue. Would he have a statue if the houseboy had not forgotten? Would Rizal have thought of his statue in his cell if the Brother had not brought the statue as Rizal left? Did the Brother on his own or had someone asked him to show it to Rizal? How did Rizal feel when he gently rebuffed the gesture of the Brother? Did he feel sad? Was it like meeting a girl friend he had outgrown?
On leaving his death cell, Rizal held to his heart, the statue of Jesus holding his heart against his heart.
*When Rizal received the statuette, he kissed it and placed it on the table
For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
At the incarnation, God emptied himself. On the cross he emptied his body
On leaving his death cell, Rizal pressed the heart of the statuette against
But now, Rizal had no need for an image. For he had with him the Risen
Rizal’s request to be shot facing the firing squad was refused. But with a heroic effort, he turned his body after he was shot and he fell face forward. To kiss Filipinas, his heart against the land.
I Killed Fr Galdon
Fr. Victor L. Badillo, S.J.
(13 Aug 2010)
One evening, Fr Asandas Balchand (Province Prefect of Health) came to me right after he had visited Joe Galdon across the corridor. He said, “Joe has been dying. He is just waiting for some one before he dies.” I had seen an ever increasing number of visitors and there was that feeling in the air when the end is near. No one wanted to come late. I remembered what our neighbor in Singalong, Dr Amparo Sanchez, told me. “I told my aunt. ‘Tia Cale, malaki na ang mga pamangkin ninyo. May mga asawa at anak na sila. Inalagaan ninyo ng mahusay. Maari na kayong magpahinga.’. (Aunt Cale. Your nephews and nieces are all grown up. They are married and have families. You brought them up good and responsible persons. It is alright to rest now.) In a short time she quietly passed away, though she was healthy. It was as if she had just willed to die.”
I thought of these coincidences: Balch coming to me. His message. What Amparo told me. Why me? Was Joe waiting for a close relative, a close friend? Was it I Joe is waiting for? I got the strength from the light to cross the corridor. I said to Joe, “Joe, I love you. I want you to live and get well. But you have suffered long and much. It is time to rest, to be with Jesus. Let me give you my blessing. May the almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you. Amen” Joe has not been able to communicate in any way. He could not have heard what I said.
Before dawn, the visitor Joe has been waiting for came. I came to nudge him to death. Jesus to bring everlasting life. No Alzheimer’s disease, nor thrones nor principalities, nor anything over the earth or under the earth, could prevent him from heeding . “Let us home, Joe. To my father and to your father.”
Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. on Bishop Francisco F. Claver: “He is an Igorot Jesuit bishop who build dikes”
Today is the 81st birthday of Fr. Badillo, so I visited him in the Jesuit Residence Infirmary. We were sitting as we customarily do, and chatted about many things: my talk on “Jesuits and Science” last Thursday at the School of Management building, my chat with Ambeth Ocampo and some faculty in the history department, Ambeth’s Secchi meteorograph, and Fr. Badillo’s missing articles on Jesuit scholastics and streets.
“Happy Birthday!” a voice shouted on the hallway outside the door of Fr. Badillo’s room. He was an old man with a four-cornered cane. Beside him is a male nurse helping him to walk.
Fr. Badillo waved his hand and said, “Thank you!”
When the old man turned to leave, Fr. Badillo cried out “Bishop! Bishop!” The old man stopped.
“Bishop,” Fr. Badillo said. “I want you to meet the Pope.”
I went to the old man and said, “Father, my name is Pope.” We shook hands.
Bishop Claver spoke nothing and turned a quizzical look at Fr. Badillo, as if saying, “Victor, you are joking again.” I went back to my chair.
“That was Bishop Claver,” Fr. Badillo said. “So you see that he has three legs. No, six legs.”
“Was he the one who built the pond near falls at the San Jose Seminary, Father? I asked. “I heard he made it as a place for retreats for the Jesuit seminarians.”
“Yes, he was the one,” Fr. Badillo said. “He knew how to build the dikes because he is an Igorot. The Igorots are really good at making dikes like those of the famous Rice Terraces in Ifugao. They build dikes without cement. What they do is that they carve the stones so that they snugly fit.”
“Just like the Incas of Peru,” I replied. I listened to the talk of Dr. Enzo de la Fuente yesterday at the Manila Observatory on cloud forests. He showed us some pictures of Inca ruins made of huge, irregularly carved rocks stacked on top of each other without cement. He also showed a picture of a llama behind him.
“You know, Bishop Claver’s father is the first Igorot with a surname of Claver. Igorots don’t have surnames. When Claver’s father became a convert to the Catholic Faith, he adopted the surname Claver.
“Bishop Claver was a Jesuit before he became a bishop. He also has a sister who became a founder of a religious congregation.”
“What congregation was it, Father?” I asked.
“I forgot the name,” Fr. Badillo said.
Bishop Claver was from the Bontoc Province, Philippines. He was ordained priest of the Society of Jesus in 1961 at the age of 32.4. He became a Prelate of Malaybalay (1969), a titular bishop of Nationa (1969), a bishop of Malaybalay (1962-1964), and the Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc (1995-2004). (catholic-hierarchy.org)
Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. sent us a poem for Christmas, saying:
May the burning Babe fill your heart with burning love and zeal. In lieu
of a Christmas card, here is the poem composed by Robert shivering and
hungry in a cold prison awaiting his life-giving death at the hands of the
executioner of Elizabeth.
THE BURNING BABE.
By Robert Southwell, sj
As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As tho his floods should quench his flames which w his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I !
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns ;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defilëd souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I callëd unto mind that it was Christmas day.
Yesterday, Genie accompanied me to Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. in the Jesuit Residence. It has been a long time since she visited Fr. Badillo. And besides she is on her way to Miriam College to meet somebody. Genie works at the Urban Air Quality project of the Observatory. She knows Fr. Badillo longer than I do.
Fr. Badillo asked us to sit down and showed us two envelopes. The first envelope contains his old brown pictures of him and his sister who recently died. One picture showed Fr. Badillo with other Jesuits: they wear either black or white habits. That was still in 1957. The other pictures are more recent: it is with her sisters when they visited him at the Infirmary.
Fr. Badillo is more joyful than before, even after his operation two weeks ago: a cyst was removed from his lower right abdomen. Even he notices the change, because he is now cracking more jokes. Below is one of them, which I copied verbatim from the Silent Dewdrops blog by Jomari Manzano S.J.
The Mystery Box
There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of
her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.
For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s
bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he
opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.
“When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy
marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”
The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.
“Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”
“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling all the dolls.
Yesterday I visited Fr. Badillo in the Jesuit Residence. He stays at the infirmary there. The porter already knows my name and the nurses’ faces are becoming familiar. I usually visit him every Thursday, between 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. I don’t know if there is a significance to this. But Thursday is the day for priests and 2:00-3:00 is the last hour of Jesus’s agony on the cross. I was not able to visit him for two weeks because of it was the first weeks of the semester: i have to prepare for my classes among other things. I tried to visit him last Thursday, but the porter said he is asleep.
I dragged a chair from the nurses’ station and walked towards Fr. Badillo’s room. The comfort room is immediately at the right side of the door. Straight ahead is Fr. Badillo sitting on a chair. He wears a white T-shirt and pajamas.
“You’re done with your snacks, Father?” I asked.
“Yes, I idid,” he said. “I did not left anything for you.” And he laughed. His usual snacks are two slices of wheat bread and one glass of milk.
“My condolence, Father, for your sister.”
“Yes, please pray for her. She passed at the age of 86.” Fr. Badillo is 79 years old.
. . .
“I don’t know why is my computer slow. Do I need more RAM? Can you check my computer?”
I looked at the computer and paused. I am not a computer geek. Where do I find the RAM? The ram caught its horns among the thorns and Abraham sacrificed it in place of his son Isaac.
“Turn the little switch on,” Fr. Badillo said.
It was a little metal stick shaped like an exclamation mark. It was hidden at the back part of one the computer table posts. I turned it on. The computer is still black.
“Turn the other switch on,” he said. It was the power supply. I turned it on and and the computer.
I do not anymore remember what I did. I think I looked at the properties of his computer.
“The RAM is 240 MB, Father.” I said.
“That is weird,” Fr. Badillo said. “The number should be 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB. The 512 MB is now the standard.”
When I was still teach back in Bacolod about seven years ago, the RAM in our computer was 16 MB.
“Do you have a Facebook account?” Fr. Badillo asked.
“There is something there that says ‘What’s on your mind?’ What do I do with it?”
“I think you just type whatever you feel like writing and all your friends can read it, Father.”
“I don’t know why I don’t receive anything. I have all these questions: Please confirm if you and such and such are friends. What do I do with it?”
“Just click confirm, Father. And you will receive news about them.”
. . ..
“Genie said that she wants to visit you, Father.”
“Genie Lorenzo. She wants to come with me today but no one responded in her room when I phoned there.” Genie is a friend of mine at the Observatory. She works on Air Quality. She worked at the Observatory longer than I. She knows Fr. Badillo.
“Ah, Genie,” he said. “Please tell Genie that I will have a cyst operation next Wednesday.”
“You have a cyst, Father?”
” I have a cyst here,” Fr. Badillo said and pointed to his left abdomen. “If Genie comes, it must be on the day before that.”
. . .
“I am sorry, Father. I think I shall cough.”
“You have cold?”
“You have to stay awy,” he said.
“I’ll go now, Father.”
“Ok. Thank you for praying for my sister.”