The room is quaint. A laminated complete guidelines has all the details for you to read. They encourage visitors to observe 'deeper silence' after 7:00 pm. I hope they remind the kuligligs around. At night, the place is a full utopian blank space. The monastery is almost 50 hectares of coffee plantations, pinewood nursery, mini-falls, and hilly grasslands. Pretty big.
On a separate occasion, there was novice Brother Jerome, only six months in the Monastery.
Me: What do you do inside in the Monastery?
Bro. Jerome: After a day's work, we pray in silence and read.
Me: Will you have a chance to go outside?
Bro. Jerome: Pag kailangan. Last time, I asked permission because I needed to visit my mother.
Me: How many years before you become a monk?
Bro. Jerome: Six years.
Me: Good luck Bro. Jerome. Six year is short if you like what you do (hashtag counselor)
I have my full admiration on these people. I am never a stranger to any religious orders - the Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, and even Pink Sisters. Unfortunately, I never have a close friend from any religious order who can enlighten me further of what they do. For some strange reasons, I spent some nights 'you tubing' and 'googling' what it is like to be Benedictine in the guest house. I felt I had a crash course on St. Benedict.
During my last night, I felt the serenity of the place. I got the 'discernment' and the 'resolve' that I needed to. It was rather inexplicable. All throughout my stay, to my mind and heart, I kept praising God and asking him to always take good care of me, my family, and friends. A fitting end before my birthday.
On my birthday, I was commuting for a five-hour ride to Davao City to visit my friends. The Bukidnon-Davao road is so scenic. The pines, the plains, the rough hills, and the Mt. Apo mountain ranges in the backdrop complete the Mindanao landscape. Plus some thoughts on Mamasapano (but it is far from the place)! Char. I just learned last week that on the same road, a bus was stopped over and burned down by the NPA! No one was hurt because they let the commuters out of the bus and are left to waiting on the next bus while seeing their supposed bus burning. Crap. Rule no. 1. Do not travel by night. Always in the bright light of the day.