June 12, 2010

After spending four weeks as a hermit in the mountain of Busay overlooking the city of Cebu, I finally descended the other day. My journey as a pilgrim is about to start. I will be leaving for the airport a few minutes from now. In a couple of hours I will be taking the flight to Rome, Italy.

It’s been 15 years since I left Rome after finishing my doctorate at the Gregorian University in 1995 . I will be returning as a pilgrim to the city which I love so much – bella Roma! I will also attend a summer workshop on Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue.

From Rome, I fly to Madrid on July 10 and from there find my way to the French village of St. Jean Pied a Port at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains where I will begin my 800 km running/walking pilgrimage across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I’m excited and also filled with anxiety, wondering if I can – like Francis of Assisi- do the pilgrimage barefoot. I brought my pair sandals, in case the temperature rises over 35*C and the road becomes scorching hot and I will have to use it until it is safe to walk barefoot again. But definitely no shoes. I am relying on Divine Providence to enable me to complete my journey safely. I am also bringing my ultralight tent so that I can sleep under the stars.

Rome and Santiago de Compostela – here I come! Buen Camino!

May 28, 2010

I’ve been living as a hermit for almost three weeks on top of this mountain overlooking the city of Cebu. I spend most of my time relaxing, reflecting about my life, praying, fasting, reading, editing my book project, playing the flute and violin, practicing Spanish, performing taichi, and finalizing my itinerary for the Camino de Santiago. Of course, I also run/walk barefoot 2-3 hours a day. There is a mini-forest nearby that I love to explore.

I am reading three books: To Care for the Earth (Sean McDonagh), God’s Fool: Life & Times of Francis of Assisi (Julien Green), and Wildmen, Warriors & Kings: Masculine Spirituality & the Bible (Patrick Arnold).

According to Arnold there are 2 archetypes that symbolize the male drive for freedom and can be the basis for masculine spirituality: the Wildman & the Pilgrim. The most ancient male paradigm is the Wildman which represents man’s primordial connections with nature. “He represents male earthiness, that grubby and gritty manly energy radically free.”

The Pilgrim acts out the “sacred ritual over many days and across numerous miles … recreating the essentials of his own hero journey. He has become the image in the psyche for all the leavings we must do in life, all the detaching and separation we must undergo in order to find our way again to new life, new challenges, and higher danger.”

According to Arnold, Jesus integrated in his life the Wildman & the Pigrim besides other other male archetypes. St. Francis of Assisi also exemplified the Wildman & the Pilgrim.

As I reflect on my own life I realize that I am a Wildman  and a Pilgrim at heart.

As a Wildman I have regularly set aside time to live as a part time hermit on top of this mountain for the last 30 years. I have climbed Mt. Apo (the highest mountain in the Philippines) seven times. I occasionally run/walk around Samal Island and sleep under the stars on the beach. When running/walking barefoot, I like the feel of the earth, rocks and grass which energize me. It is when I am close to nature that I can truly sense the Divine Presence.

I am also a Pilgrim at heart. I love to go on long journeys on foot or by bicycle. In 1994, I walked alone from Rome to Assisi for six days, sleeping under the stars at night. I biked for peace across the Philippines in 2000, around Israel in 2005, around Mindanao in 2006, and around the Philippines in 2008, covering over 5000 km in 56 days. A few months ago, I ran/ walked across the mountains of Mindanao, covering 390 km in 9 days. I can truly sense the Divine Presence in my long journeys.

The following months, I will once again live the life of the Pilgrim & Wildman. I am leaving for Rome two weeks from now, after a month I go to the shrine of Our Lady Lourdes in France and then do my running/walking pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, starting at the foothills o the Pyrenees mountains, across Northern Spain, and ending in Santiago de Compostela. Like St. Francis of Assisi, I would like to do it barefoot. I will also be sleeping under the stars most of the time. After the pilgrimage I will come back here on this mountain and live as a hermit for two months before going back to Davao and resume my life as a professor, and a warrior for peace, life & the environment.

February 22, 1986

We were in Cebu when Enrile and Ramos staged their mutiny in Camp Aguinaldo. I addressed the “Doctors for Democracy” and CA talked to the Cebu lawyers. Then the rally at 4 PM. After the rally after having dinner at a restaurant, a foreign correspondent told me JPE and Ramos had barricaded themselves in Camp Aguinaldo. I Told CCA to go to the Good Shepherds for security. I cancelled Davao and arranged to take a private plane to Manila via Calatagan.

November 7-8, 1972

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1:45 AM Nov 9th

Nov. 7, 1972

Nov 8, 1972

Malacañan Palace


Have been busy the whole day of the 7th on the amendments to the Constitution draft of the Concon.

And the first two chapters of the book (sequel to Today’s Revolution–)

Worked until 2 AM

Met no visitors on the 7th.

Nov. 8th I spent meeting the new Sec Gen of Seato Thai Minister of Economic Affairs and Ambassador to the US before his new assignment. Mr. Sunthorn Hongladarom.

And the President and Vice President of American Express James Robinson and Schumer as well as the new QSI head BGen. Temple.

Started the local support for the Reform Movement meeting the Governors and Congressmen, City Mayors & Municipal mayors of the Bicol United Bloc, Cebu, Bulacan and Benguet.


Nov. 7th & 8th

Malacañan Palace


Nixon has won by a landslide in the Tuesday elections winning in all states except Massachusetts and the District of Columbia where he lost 2-1. He even won in the state of his opponent, McGovern, South Dakota.

But the Democrats retain their majority in the Senate and the House.

Met Dr. Roy Presterman, the American governments most outstanding expert in land tenure has been here advising Sec. Estrella on the rules and regulations.

He recommends zero retention for or by the landowners –even the small ones.

And says he feels that we can get a hundred million dollars of aid from the US Congress for land reform.

Our SoSec secretarys son, Roland Villacorta, was arrested for possessing new copies of Ang Tao.

And Delegate Cesar Serapio of Bulacan was arresed in a gambling raid of the house of the House of Representatives cashier, Aldaba. I was asked to have him released. But to teach him a lesson he is being kept up to 5 AM.

October 25, 1972

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9:40 PM

Oct. 25, 1972


Malacañan Palace


145,000 guns have been surrendered as of this noon. 70,000 of this came from III PC Zone, 30,000 of which is good foreign make.

We lost three men in Lanao del Sur when an armored car was ambushed 20 kms northeast of Marawi. The men are now cleaning up the areas outside that city.

So we need the APC’s but the one at Balabayan cannot be moved because of mechanical trouble and there does not seem to be any trailers or prime movers.

Our maintenance must be improved.

Have ordered the arrest of the more highranking Customs men headed by Dizon because the extortion syndicate is still active. Mel Varono who claims relationship to me is still included among those to be apprehended tonight.

Cebu will be reorganized and the notorious smugglers detained.



Oct. 25th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace


I have appointed Commodore Romulo Espaldon as my representative and as Acting Supervisor of the Bureau of Customs in accordance with the policy that officers in the civil government that are critical and affect the security of the state be placed under direct supervision.

October 24, 1972

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11:40 PM

Oct. 24, 1972


Malacañan Palace


There is still sporadic firing in Marawi but the two additional companies including our PSC Special Forces company formerly assigned to Salvador and Malabang, Lanao del Norte are there. Even the two APC’s in the last two towns have been ordered moved to Lanao del Sur but the two half-tracks armored cars taken from Cebu (Lulu’s farm) are being sent to replace them.

Frankie Teodoro reported tonight that a son of one of his executives was asked to participate in another assassination plot against me by a group of six students from PCC, UP and MLQ who were showing off their firearms in a safehouse in Project 4.

I have assigned Gen. Ver to look into it.

This confirms the report of students preparing to show off during the period from the 25th to the 30th.

I have alerted Sec. Ponce Enrile, Gene


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Oct. 24th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace


Received information on Customs anomalies from Antonio Marcos, my second cousin who is a superviser in the Bonded Warehouse Division of the Bureau.

We must arrest some of the leaders of the syndicate in the Bureau and the big-time smugglers in Cebu.

Amb. Farolan wired that Pres. Suharto and Minister Adam Malik are happy about martial law as it assures their northern boundary (of Indonesia) of a strong bastion.

Directed the trial by military tribunal of dollar blackmarketeers today.

Cong. Ali Dimpaporo arrived from the Middle East and report the initial adverse reaction to martial law changed to a favorable one. We need him to help stabilize the two Lanaos.

Ex-Gov. Udtog Matalam sent word he does not want to surrender through Cong. Pendatun. So I am sending Gen. Ver alone with Gen. Cajelo.

21st March 1945

The Times today carried two remarkable stories, both hand-outs of the military press corps.

The first comes from Yiojima. “With the fighting on Yiojima reaching a state of ever-increasing bitterness,” it states, “Unit Commander Masuo Ikeda decided to ‘win by dying’. His determination was carried through completely to each of his men. So many volunteered for his close-quarters combat force that he was hard put to select his men. When the force was picked each man was given a mark with the word, ‘flesh’ written in red in the center of the cherry blossom. The conversation of the men in this force dealt mostly with the ideas on how to kill the greatest possible number of the enemy. That each would die himself was a foregone conclusion. The training was furious; it was simultaneously training to kill one’s self. Supreme commander Kuribayashi and his staff expressed amazement at the furor of the training. They said they had nothing more to ask nor did they see any necessary revision in their scheme of training. Standing by his men practicing to die, Unit Commander Ikeda felt a pain in his heart.

“Whenever I give the command, these men will die, and willingly,” he used to say, pointing to his force….

“Holes were dug in the ground and empty drums lowered into each. A man with a land-mine entered each drum. The drums were covered with earth and the surface made to appear natural. The man in each can sat in the cramped space with his mine, listening intently for the approach of the enemy. One enemy soldier was allowed to pass — or two, small prey. When a 40- or 50-man force came overhead the Japanese soldier inside the drum seized his chance. Now was the time to die. He set off his mine and blew himself and the enemy force to bits….

“This was a new method of attack which the enemy could not have thought of. It was a method of attack which only the Japanese could carry out. The will of the Ikeda death band to die in order to win was more fiery than the boiling sulphuric water which shoots up from. Yiojima.”

The second story would be of particular interest in the Philippines. It follows the adventures of Yokohama-born 18-year-old Miss Komaji Okada who is said to have escaped from Saipan three days after the invasion. “As one of the escaping party she was helped by natives who provided food and a simple dug-out boat which they rowed down a small river. For two days and two nights they drifted in the open sea when suddenly an enemy plane appeared and rained a hail of machine-gun bullets on the poor defenseless party. There was no recourse but to jump into the water to protect themselves from the deadly missiles. Miss Okada was hit in the thigh and though the surrounding water was reddened with blood that was oozing out, she never lost consciousness, and ever driven by the thought that no enemy should dare kill her, she applied a tourniquet with a towel as she precariously clung to the side of the capsized boat. The eight hours that ensued as she swam or floated around until she was picked up by a Japanese warship were a nightmarish inferno of anguish and torture.”

Miss Okada was taken to a “certain island” (apparently in the western Visayas) where she was receiving medical treatment when she had once more to flee. “This time the boat she was fleeing on was attacked by enemy submarines. Swimming about in the water she was sure that luck would not desert her. The bodies of many of her dead companions came floating by and bumped against her. As she saw these poor victims, she could not help but renew her determination to live.” By means unrevealed, Miss Okada turned up in Cebu. For a third time she had to flee. And again the vessel on which she was escaping was sunk, this time by planes. But she reached Luzon by lifeboat only to find that fighting there had already begun. For the fourth time Miss Okada fled. She is now in Taiwan and the people in Taiwan must be feeling a little apprehensive.

These two stories should be material for historians of propaganda and students of national psychology. Miss Okada seems to flee right out of Hollywood, via Ferry and the Pirates, Wild West Magazine, and possibly C.W.L. unit Commander Ikeda has more the tragic dignity of the insane.

December 18, 1944

The alarm sounded yesterday, but the skies of Manila were clear of planes. The raids were made over Clark Field and Legazpi. However, we were kept alert by the raid today from 8:00 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon. In the morning a plane was shot down and the pilot parachuted down. A short raid was made in the afternoon over Manila Bay. Official sources said that Clark Field was raided anew, simultaneously with Aparri, Cebu and Leyte, although the press reported very light damage.

A new reporter wrote: “Our first impulse upon learning about the destructive attacks of the immense enemy forces was to be thankful we are spared from the air attack. At least for this year.” But we knew that the American Fleet was still afloat and continues to inch in, entering by the Lingayen Gulf from where it pounds on the coastal defenses.

October 21, 1944

I did not sleep well last night in spite of the Luminal, and I felt somewhat drowsy this morning, but no chance to sleep. Since before daylight the Japanese planes have been flying over us on the way to their bases. About 3:30 a.m. we heard a heavy drone, and we knew they must be American planes. In the early morning light, we could see three formations flying very high towards Iloilo. At that moment we heard the Japanese ring their bell to take cover. We all went downstairs to the shelter, but we watched from a window. The planes circled and headed north. According to eyewitnesses a Japanese plane was flying very low. Our planes saw it and dove toward it. We could hear them open fire. When all was quiet we went out and looked and saw columns of black smoke. We did not know at the time that it was a plane, but thought it was a gasoline depot. The planes also bombed other places as we could hear the concussion.

Later on during the day while we were eating lunch, we heard the sound of a plane. We all looked out, and there was a beautiful four-motor resembling a huge, silver bird. As we looked, there was a big puff of smoke coming out of its engine. Dorothy and I were a little frightened for fear it had engine trouble. But Meñing said, “That’s not smoke, but leaflets!” Sure enough, we could see little white pieces of paper floating gently downwards. How thrilled we were to know that the message on those pamphlets were for us!

The rest of the day was quiet, but we never found out the message on the leaflets as none fell near us.

As I mentioned before, the Japanese have left the garrisons (including the one across from us) and are now living in private homes which the civilians had vacated. We have some living near us and they have a lookout posted on the roof. Every sound he hears, whether it be a plane or a car, he calls out identifying it. If he sees a plane, he rings a bell to warn the Japanese to go to their fox holes, then he leaves the roof for his fox hole. No soldier is allowed to shoot at a plane under penalty of death. Japanese soldiers shooting at planes was the cause of so many civilian deaths in Cebu.