It was truly an outpouring of God’s favor for us to have this school year started with a courtesy visit to His Excellency, Most Reverend Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, D.D., STL, Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, where ESM-Manila resides. for websiteThere’s no better way to start a school year than this! 9th September 2013, Monday, really left a mark in our lives for having this chance to hear enlightening and uplifting messages and stories from Him, very humble servant of Christ.

Filled with joy and excitement, all students and team members took jeepneys going to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Cubao. Out of the comfort zones from private vehicles, we took jeepneys (one of the public transportations that is only in the Philippines) as one of the simple ways wherein we can embrace this beautiful life of simplicity. And of course, this is quite an experience for my classmates since all them came from different countries!

Upon arrival at the Cathedral, we first visited the Adoration Chapel, (as we arrived earlier than the expected time of meeting the Bishop) to spend time to adore Christ. And after that, was the moment we have been all waiting for! Meeting in person our beloved Bishop, Most Reverend Honesto. Oh what a blessing from above!

His affable and gentle character took away all the tension and nervousness that we felt. He made it easy for us to loosen up and feel free to ask any questions. Thus, there was a wide variety of topics that were raised during our discussion such as the Church’s stand regarding poverty and politics, challenges of the Church at present time, important character of a missionary and even His Excellency’s personal life testimony.

With so much wisdom that comes from above, he answered all our questions with clarity and made it easy for us to understand all these things. He used a very simple and clear method in answering our questions by means of sharing his personal stories and quoting beautiful passages and stories from the Bible. We were really flooded with so much enlightenment and wisdom through his words.

I was deeply moved as he shared that the most important character we must possess to be an effective and fruitful missionary is to be a man and woman of prayer. He made us realize that we must first be with the KING, before serving His kingdom. He said that it is in prayer that we were able to receive the grace that we need to speak out God’s Words effectively. And it is through prayer that we were able to experience God’s abundant gift of Love and mercy which we can then share to others.

Praise the Lord for making use of the life of this humble servant of Christ to be an inspiration to all young people.


SAMSUNG CSCJM (Philippines)

Pharmacist, ESM-Manila Batch 5 student

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