Baptism on Mindanao

The baptism of a mother with a child at the Intercession parish in the village of Polomolok, South Cotabato. The sacrament was performed by Priest Roman Buniel.

Transfiguration of the Lord

The Feast in Christ the Saviour parish, Tagaytay

St. Gregory Palamas writes that it were the apostles who were actually transformed – because the Lord always possesses uncreated light, and on Mount Tabor it became possible for the apostles to see it “as much as they could”. The spiritual way of doing things is often the exact opposite of the usual. One of the most striking examples is given by Christ Himself in the Gospel: “But Jesus, calling them, said: you know that the princes of the nations rule over them, and the nobles rule over them; but let it not be so among you: but whoever wants to be great among you, let him be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you, let him be your servant…” (Matthew 20:25-27). Spiritual knowledge is also different from worldly knowledge. An experimenter in the natural sciences is constantly changing the world around him in order to learn about it. Previously, for example, they threw balls off towers to study gravity, now they collide protons to try to understand elementary particles. At the same time, as a result of the experiment, the source material is often destroyed. It is obvious that God cannot be known in this way. You can’t change Him, you can’t catch Him in a microscope or telescope. Yes, even a human cannot be known like that. You’re not going to experiment with friendship or love. So how can you know God? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8) That is, to see God, you don’t need to change the world around you, but yourself! We need to transform ourselves, purify ourselves from sin and unrighteousness. It is necessary to make yourself “as much as we can” to be worthy of God. And then you can not only see His light, but also say, like Peter, “it’s good for us to be here.”

Feast of St Anna

August 7, 2023 is Dormition of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Most Holy Theotokos. This is a Patronal feast at the Parish of Righteous Anna, Malibatuan, Cotabato.

Divine Liturgy was held by priests Moses Cahilig, Nicholas Salgado, Ambrose Sumagaysay, deacons Anthony Aranco and Raphael Frajillo.

Feast of St Seraphim

August 1, 2023, feast of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov, is the patronal feast at the Parish of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Makalangot, Cotabato. Divine Liturgy with priests Moses Cahilig, Nicholas Salgado, Ambrose Sumagaysay, deacons Raphael Frajillo, Anthony Aranco, and Juventinus Bulaqueña.

Youth camp

For the first time since the pandemic, an annual Orthodox youth camp was held on Mindanao Island, where more than 40 participants gathered. This time the camping was done in an elementary school in Salasang. The main feature of this place is that there is no mobile signal. So the youth had to disconnect from the phone and start communicating in the real world. It is also quite cold there at night (+22 °), which for many participants was the first experience of cold weather. The experience of such camps is always extremely positive, young people learn more about Orthodoxy, learn to help in worship, and get to know each other, which is very important in a non-Orthodox environment. Everyone parted with sadness and with tears in their eyes, even though they froze at night.

The camp program included not only lectures about faith, but was also filled with activities like sports and talent presentations. Throughout the week-long camp the youths not only broadened their knowledge about faith and the Church, but also deepened their connection and camaraderie. On Saturday night and Sunday morning the youths participated in the services, during which they chanted, read, and assisted the clergy.The camp concluded with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy led by the Diocesan secretary – hieromonk Korniliy (Molev) and was assisted by deacon Anthony Aranco and deacon Juventinus Bulaqueña. We send our heartfelt gratitude to those who supported the endeavors of the event especially to the faithful of Apostles Peter and Paul Parish, Salasang, Cotabato and also to the head and staff of Salasang Elementary School, which served as the camp venue.