It was the 24th of July when I learned that we, together with the faculty and staff of Xavier School Nuvali, were given the opportunity to visit one of the nation’s most prominent universities which is the Ateneo de Manila University. From the moment I heard the news, I couldn’t help but feel unadulterated excitement owing to the fact that for the very first time in my entire life, I’ll be going there. In the beginning, I wondered why we would be visiting the said institution until our moderator, Ms. Ria Marifosque, told us that there will be a mass held in celebration of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Restoration of the Jesuits. Since XSN is also a Jesuit school, there has to be representatives from our institution.
Call me a shallow person, but I found ADMU to be one enchanting sight. Everything was seemingly attractive –from the range of trees surrounding you in the campus to the very urbanized buildings. One of the areas we went to was the Loyola House of Studies where you can find the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which contained relics from several saints. Another amazing place was the rooftop where you can catch a glimpse of Manila and — believe it or not — lets you be in two places at once.
After the tour given by our Campus Minister Fr. Xavier Olin, S.J. himself, we headed towards the high school covered courts for the highlight of our trip–the mass. It had not started yet so we roamed around the court. When the mass finally began, I was amazed that there were many Jesuits present and even international delegates. It truly was an important day not only for us but also for them. The Eucharist was presided by Fr. Antonio Moreno, S.J., the Philippine Jesuit Provincial, while the homilist was Fr. Robert Rivera, S.J. who discussed the lives of different Jesuits and how long the process of their restoration was. Before the mass ended, they gave recognition to those Jesuits who have been serving God for 50 years or more. That part made me admire how close their relationships are. It somehow inspires me in a way that no matter how harsh life can be, there is, and always will be, a way to make relationships stronger.
The visit was not only a trip of leisure for me because it also gave me time to reflect upon the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, making stronger my desire to continue my studies with Jesuits in the future. For now, I will continue to let my light shine. Luceat lux!