Welcome to Fraternal Conversations

In our pursuit to get-to-know each other well in community and in a way develop deeper knowledge of one another, FC: Fraternal Conversations is introduced as a venue where everyone can get an opportunity to know personal information about our confreres here in the community. FC: Fraternal Conversations is an experimental endeavor that would contribute in the SATMI blog interviews of confreres who are willing to share their stories and disclose data about themselves. Hopefully, these interviews would give the community the opportunity to know each other, especially the freshmen, those who rarely share and talk about personal information and those we hardly have the venue for fraternal sharing.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Boy!

For the month of August FC is featuring the most requested confrere in town—the person who both confreres and parishioners alike are interested to know up-close and personal. He is no other than Rev. Bro. Thanapoom Manamuti, C.Ss.R, from Thailand, known to us as “Boy.” Fr. Senen fondly calls him “silent boy” but mind you, during this conversation he was not silent at all. Boy bares things other people may have not known about him and shares details of what the mysterious world of Boy is like.

Born on the 23rd day of June 1981, Boy is now on his last level of formation and is preparing himself for sacerdotal ordination. His hobbies include sleeping, photography, guitar playing, internet surfing, tennis, basketball and movie watching. He likes the color red because he sees it as a color for passion but at the same time likes black, white, yellow and blue. His palate is for Thai food but he also loves Japanese cuisine. He enjoys watching the TV shows like Iron Chef because he considers it appetizing and also enjoys shows like the Biggest Loser and Night Talk Shows about celebrities and famous people being interviewed. His favorite sport is tennis but likes basketball, football and car racing. When asked about things/activities that he loves but have not done yet, he gave a variety of answers ranging from scuba diving and yachting to driving an F1 car and then travelling around the world and flying a jet.

Boy is the kind of person who does not have one answer to every question. Before this conversation happened he was given a questionnaire to fill-up. He was asked to write one favorite for each category (like food, movie, color, etc.) he cooperated by answering the questions but he never allowed the conversation to end without him expressing his feelings about it: “Why do you have to ask me to name one that I like the most because I have a lot of things that I like. I always wonder why people have to only choose one…” FC appreciated much his honesty and it painted a new picture about him. Life is indeed complex and for him you can never have one answer to every aspect of life. He is maybe a man of few words but he is not at all thrifty in sharing himself. If there is one word that could best describe the things that he likes it would be: variety.

FC: Who is Boy?
Boy: (smiles)Boy? (thinks) Human being?

FC: If you were to introduce Boy to someone, how would you introduce him?
Boy: eeehh… tough question.. well maybe it would be a short introduction, just to leave them thinking…
My name is Boy, I am from Thailand, I am a Redemptorist.. yeah! that’s it! (smiles)

FC: How would you describe a typical day for a Thanapoom Manamuti?
Boy: Sleeping! (pause) .. Typical day? Maybe studying, praying — short prayer from time to time and sleep (giggles)… Drink Coke!

FC: What is in Photography that you love the most?
Boy: Being part of that is the memories because when you take photo it’s as if you capture the memories that you cannot describe by words

FC: What’s you favorite subject Boy?
Boy: Nature…landscape

FC: When did you start to love photography?
Boy: I think it has to go back like six years ago when I had the chance to actually take a photo. So I borrowed a camera from my mother, at that time I really did not know how to shoot and later on I became interested in it.

FC: Who influenced you in your love for photography?
Boy: Actually none. I cannot think of anybody. It’s like the first time we went into a vacation with the seminarians and then I borrowed my mother’s camera and I started shooting and after I looked at the pictures I liked it. I felt it’s nice to have it—something to capture beautiful scenes, memories, stuff like that.

FC: You also love to play guitar, is guitar playing for you a past time or a passion?
Boy: Now it’s a past time before it was a passion

FC: What made it just a past time now?
Boy: Because I am more interested in something else—photography! And study too… less time for guitar and we don’t have like venue to perform I only practice hard when there is an event coming up.

FC: So if we will have venues where you could showcase your talent in music, can you say that your interest in guitar would resurface?
Boy: Yeah! Yeah! I am not a musician, unlike Fr. Cruz and Dennis they are musicians…

FC: How do you define a musician?
Boy: A person who really loves music! I don’t love music, I just play for performance..

FC: Aside from guitar is there any other musical instrument that you play?
Boy: Drums. Bass. You have a short memory, do you? Last year during our performance I played drums.. it’s a very interesting instrument.. very fun to play.. very fun!

FC: If given a chance to learn another musical instrument what would it be and why?
Boy: Piano. I love the sound. I have tried but I did not succeed. Maybe I don’t like it that much that’s why I did not have enough determination (giggles) to pursue.

FC: Everybody knows you love sports, among the two sports you love—tennis and basketball
Which do you prefer most?(tennis) And why?
Boy: At the moment I prefer tennis. Considering the age and also the size of the playground.. before I used to play soccer in a big field, then basketball which is smaller, tennis even smaller (giggles) there’s a lot of fun in tennis.. just two players trying to hit the ball to each other. There’s a nice feeling when you hit the sweet spot, it feels great!

FC: You love sports and also love to play guitar, do you consider yourself more athletic or artistic?
Boy: Both.

FC: What sort of movies do you watch?
Boy: I watch movies a lot, not just one type, because I think they are good in different ways.. I like comedy (specially Thai comedy), love story, war, action, and animations. I like inspiring movies the most- like the ones that make you wanna do something…

FC: You like love stories, do you consider yourself a loving person?
Boy: Yes. I am a loving person but I am not romantic. I haven’t been romantic.

FC: How would Boy express love?
Boy: …die for somebody.

FC: What makes Boy sad?
Boy: when my loved ones are sad…(smiles)

FC: What makes Boy angry?
Boy: …small stuffs, like when I do something and it doesn’t go my way.. I don’t know how to explain it… it’s like when I’m doing something and things just fall down.. very small stuff! I’m angry at small things but I’m not angry at big things.. like when you spill your coffee on the table I get very angry or when the internet connection is not working, I would really curse. But for big things, I kinda suppress my anger.

FC: What’s the joke the Boy would enjoy?
Boy: dirty jokes… (laughs) any kind of joke… I enjoy jokes…

FC: If somebody wants to engage in a conversation with you, what type of conversations do you enjoy?
Boy: …try to begin with something natural… don’t push it too hard like try talking with things that I’m interested in because I think I can sense that.. so don’t come to me and talk about photography if you’re not interested in photography… just be natural… I can engage in any conversation but I’m not the one who initiates the conversation. I’m not good at that.

FC: Scuba diving, flying a jet, travelling around the world, yachting, driving an F1 car, all these are very interesting… what’s in these activities that you long to experience?
Boy: Maybe the sensational aspects…like in travelling, the sight seeing… and driving the adrenalin (giggles) and flying a jet—that’s my favorite career…

FC: If there is one thing that you would reveal to the community, something that you want to tell them or things we do not know about you, what would it be?
Boy: I have always been honest to myself, I have been myself… (pause) maybe becoming a priest in a sense that we have to celebrate mass has never been my dream.. like to wear women’s clothing is something I never dreamt of…like celebrating mass in church is not my inspiration…

FC: What made you want to continue?
Boy: …the work… to live for others, the poor and the commitment

FC: What makes you SMILE?
Boy: good jokes… and just to be with the one , those whom I love..

FC: Love is Boy’s favorite word…
Boy: I’m a loving person maybe that’s what I would like to tell the community—loving in my own special way…

FC: Thank you Boy… Salamat
Boy: Yeah! Salamat… what do I say?

FC: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Boy: No. Oh by the way, why do you have to ask me to name one that I like the most because I have a lot of things that I like. I always wonder why people have to only choose one… because I have a lot… I cannot name one.

FC: (laughs out loud) I’m sorry! I thought you are a man of few words..
Boy: Like you asked me of my favorite food, I said I like Thai but you see I also like Japanese…

(and the conversation went on…)

(Here are some of Boy’s answers from the Proust Questionnaire)

Your favorite virtue: Perseverance

Your favorite quality
in man: Courage

Your favorite quality
in a woman: Tenderness

Your favorite
occupation: Fighting Jet Pilot

Your chief
characteristic: Silent

Your idea of
happiness: Happiness is a state of mind

Your idea of misery: a personal choice

Your favorite color: Red

If not yourself, who
would you be: another Jesus 

Where would you like
to live: anywhere with people I love and care

Your favorite heroes
now: Pope John XXIII

Your favorite heroine
in real life: Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Your favorite heroes
in fiction: Batman

Your favorite food
and drink: Coke

Your favorite names: Boy

Your pet peeve: punctuality

What is your present
state of mind: happy

For what fault
have you the most tolerance: I can tolerate all. I’m a very understanding person.

Your favorite motto: where there is a will, there is a way

Boy has always been a man of few words. His words are what one can consider short and sweet-- short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover the essentials. His words are sweet because he speaks of caring and helping others, of being with those people he loves, of being like the historical Jesus who laid down his life for one’s friend. The name “Boy” is such a short and sweet name. And our very own Boy Manamuti here in SATMI lives to that name who speaks words short and sweet. And at the very core of his being, he speaks of the shortest and the sweetest word he knows: LOVE.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Have you ever met someone who could carry himself with such calm and gentle composure? Or do you have a friend who possessed such a good bearing? Or you may say that “This kind of stuff just doesn’t exist?” (taken from the movie “Twilight”). Well, I have encountered people like that who are very admirable. Here in our SAT-MI community, we have someone who is a quintessence of those qualities I have mentioned earlier. When I first met him, the impression that came into my mind was that this man is peaceable and gentle. True enough my impression is right as I slowly get acquainted with this person. Who am I referring to? I am proud to introduce to you- - - Fr. Efrem Bolly.

“Ikho”, as he is fondly called by his family and friends back home, is the eldest of the three male-children of Bernadus and Anna Missiati Bolly of Sumbawa Besar, Indonesia. Fr. Efrem, who still preferred to be named “Efrem”, was born on June 09, 1981 (I guess by this time, as you read this feature, you are already counting how old this priest is).

He finished his Kindergarten at SD 7 Sumbawa, his elementary education at SMPK Diponegoro and his secondary education at SMAK Diponegoro; in all these levels, he finished with flying colors. After his secondary education, he entered the minor seminary of the Redemptorist Congregation in Jogjakarta and completed his degree in Philosophy at Sanatha Darma University on August 31, 2006. Time did not stop him from his dream of becoming a priest; he pursued post-graduate studies in Theology in the same university before coming to the Philippines for some additional academic stints here in SAT-MI particularly. His continues studies did not allow him to have a work experience outside.

This time, we are about to peer into the very window of Fr. “Ikho” (wow, we’re very close! Hahahaha!) as he answers questions square-off. But to tell you, even before our interview commenced, he sat on the chair near his room with such ease and readiness. That’s truly a man of God! “Tara na!” join me as I interview him!

FC: Salamat Masam Fr. Efrem! Are you ready? (laughs)

Fr. Efrem: (laughs) Salamat Malam! Yes, I am!

FC: What do you feel this time? What are the prevailing feelings in your heart right now?

Fr. Efrem: Well, I’m excited because I feel very special today. . . I am happy and good also because I have just celebrated mass for the first time on a Friday evening!

FC: Well, congratulations because you are chosen to be the second person who will be featured in our FC column in our BlogSpot. You need not to worry because you are in the good hands! (smiling)

Fr. Efrem: (laughs!)

FC: Let’s shall begin! First question, what is/are your favorite hobby/ies? Something which you love to do or enjoy doing?

Fr. Efrem: I like playing Badminton and Soccer. . . I like playing music . . . playing musical instruments, singing . . . Oh I love to go to the beach!

FC: Do you have deep “longings”? Something which you like or love to do but you haven’t done yet?

Fr. Efrem: Oh I long to travel around the whole world. . . When I was told to go to Thailand to study English I was very happy because I realized that my longing was starting to come true. Then, when I was informed that I would be coming to the Philippines, oh how happy I was! (he speaks with passion!)

FC: Oh I see! Well, that’s pretty great Fr.! Now let’s proceed to the One Word Column. . . These are your likes and dislikes . . . Ready?!!!

Fr. Efrem: (laughs!)

Your favorite Food: Noodle. . . Tasty!

Your not-favorite food: Oily Food . . . cholesterol!

Your favorite Color: White . . . fit with my personality!

Your not-favorite color: Bright color/s . . . don’t fit my personality!

Your Favorite TV Show (you can pick from your country): (scratching his forehead . . . thinking . . .) ah . . . ah I forget the name of that comedy show in Indonesia. . . it’s like what you have in the Philippines but I forget it . . . but I like comedy because I really enjoy and it relaxes me.

Your not-favorite TV Show: Horror . . . because I don’t like feeling tense!

Your Favorite Sports: Football and Badminton . . . our country’s favorite games!

Your not-favorite Sports: Cricket (I hope Surresh won’t get angry at me! laughs!). . . Not attractive to me!

Your Favorite Movie (now): AVATAR . . . it has a message and meaning . . . about respect to society and environment!

Your not-favorite Movie: (deep thinking, scratching again his head) . . . it’s in my head but I cannot name it! (laughs!)

You Favorite Book: Tarian Bumi. . . a nice novel about love overcoming cultural differences and traditions.

Your not-favorite Book: Canon Law . . . complicated and many things to memorize! (laughs!)

Your Favorite Author: Oka Rusmini . . . and I also like Karl Rahner!

Your not-favorite Author: uhhmm! Gladys Malvern

Your Favorite Icon: Tantowi Yahya- a TV host, a singer from Jakarta . . . very good speaker, entertainer and a good command in English!

Your not-favorite Icon: Osama Bin Laden . . . I don’t understand why they do terrorist activities and let other people die! (expression of his face is very serious and emphatic)

FC: Ok Fr. You have just successfully unloaded yourself by answering the first round of this interview. Now I will ensue to the second part of this interview which is based on the Proust Questionnaire . . . uhmm. . . Anyways, the questions are almost similar to the first set . . . ok here we go!

Fr. Efrem: ok! (smiles!)

Your Favorite Virtue: Discipline

Your Favorite Quality in man: Handsome and Responsible

Your Favorite quality in a woman: Caring

Your Favorite Occupation: Teacher

Your Chief Characteristic: Calm

Your Idea of Happiness: (tapping his forehead) is very complex! Happiness can be found in our heart especially being together with someone whom you love like family, friends or it could be God....

Your Idea of Misery: Failure and not in the mood!

Your Favorite Color: still white

Your Favorite Flower: Rose because the smell is very good and it symbolizes love and . . . romantic!
If not yourself, who would you be: (laughs! A bit perplexed!) uhmm . . . I couldn’t think of anything? . . . I still choose Efrem.
Where would you like to live: not in the main street of the city but near the city . . . where I can still gaze upon the beauty of verdant trees and nature....

Your Favorite Poet/s: Chairil Anwar

Your Favorite Composer/s: Ahmad Dany

Your Favorite Painter/s : Michaelangelo . . . very talented, smart and can create feelings through his paintings.

Your Favorite Heroes: R.A. Kartini, educator . . . because he is fighting the emancipation and status of women in Indonesia especially that Indonesia is still very much Paternalistic . . . (very passionate again, Very expressive in elaborating)

Your Favorite Heroine in real life: Mother Teresa . . . because of her strong belief in the power of prayer. . .

Your Favorite Heroes in Fiction: Naruto

Your Favorite Food and Drink: Noodle and Juice . . . Apple juice please . . . but please not ampalaya juice . . . although I haven’t tried it yet. (laughs)

Your Favorite Names: Efrem (FC: love your own ha?!!!), Fernando

Your pet peeve: Moody

What characters in history do you like and dislike the most: I like Mahatma Gandhi’s exemplary effort to promote peace and cultural respect . . . hmm . . . i don’t like David when he took Bathseba away from her husband Uriah . . . only that part that I dislike David because I could really see the influence of authority, money, power . . .

What is your present state of mind: fresh- not so occupied, not so pressured. . .
For what fault have the most tolerance: unconsciousness- because you cannot blame someone who is in that state. . .

Your Favorite Motto: I like what is written in Luke 11:9 “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

FC: Ok, Fr. Efrem our interview is finished! In behalf of the FC Editorial staff, let me say thank you very much

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FC with Jun Macasaet, C.Ss.R.

 The first ever recorded fraternal conversation was done a few hours after Benigno Aquino III took oath as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines. For FC’s maiden issue, Jun- a sophomore student was the one placed on the hot seat. This was timely because Jun Macasaet is the Caput of the student community who made history as the first caput to have a formal inaugural last Sunday, June 29, 2010.

Born on August 16, 1979, Rufino Mea Macasaet Jr. is the fourth child, in a brood of eight. His parents:  Rufino(+) and Laurea (+)  Macasaet raised them in  Pulan, Lipa City, Batangas. He spent his childhood education in FAB Nursery School and Pulan Elementary School. He finished his secondary education at De La Salle-Lipa and Graduate studies from the University of Santo Tomas. After graduation he worked as an instructor in SSCR de Cavite and also had a work experience as Finance Manager of PIL Summer Program.

Jun is a man of many names. At home he is Jun, JR and Bunso. While his friends fondly call him Jun Jun, Vince and Macky, in the seminary he is known as Jun, JM or Vince. Jun sees himself as a simple person and loves to be remembered as a brother who is always available for everybody. His hobbies include reading, jogging, cooking, writing, surfing the net, watching TV, eating and trekking. He also says that if given the chance he would love to try bungee jumping and visit Batanes someday. 

FC: Good afternoon Jun! You have the honor to be the first to sit on FC’s hot seat.

Jun:(laughs) Yes, I do not have the choice but it’s alright.

FC: Let us enjoy this conversation and have fun.

Jun: (laughs) of course!

FC: Ok, let’s start…The first set of questions are from the Proust Questionnaire:

Based on the Proust Questionnaire

Your favorite virtue:  Simplicity

Your favorite quality in man:  Simplicity

Your favorite quality in a woman: Simplicity

Your favorite occupation: Teacher

Your chief characteristic: Adventurous 

Your idea of happiness: Simple Meals

Your idea of misery: Death

Your favorite color: Blue

Your favorite flower: Rose

If not yourself, who would you be:  John, the Beloved Disciple

Where would you like to live: Lipa City

Your favorite poet/s: Emily Dickinson

Your favorite composer/s: Ryan Cayabyab

Your favorite painter/s: Vincent Van Gogh

Your favorite heroes now:  Efren Florida

Your favorite heroine in real life:  Mother Teresa

Your favorite heroes in fiction:  AstroBoy

Your favorite food and drink:  Pasta and wine

Your favorite names: Cedrick, Jun,Vince

Your favorite TV Show: Scrubs

Your favorite Sports: Soccer

Your favorite Movie: Love so Divine 

Your favorite Book: Percy Jackson

Your pet peeve: Plastic (Pretentious) 

What characters in history do you dislike most:  Nero

What is your present state of mind: Calm  

For what fault have you the most tolerance: Inefficiency

Your favorite motto: Big things come from small beginnings

FC: What was one of your greatest experiences?

Jun: hhmmmnn… (thinks) Maybe my profession, graduation, mission.

FC: What is common in all these experiences?

Jun: I feel there is affirmation of myself.. of what I can do. I consider it a great experience if I am     affirmed.

FC: What was one of your worst?

Jun: The Death of my parents.

FC: How old were you when your parents passed away?

Jun: I was 12 when my mother died and I was 26 when my father died.
FC: What do you consider as your most memorable experience here in Davao?

Jun: Hala! (laughs) Seems everyday!.. (laughs) Memorable? Maybe the Holy Week of this Year because during the Way of the Cross I experienced walking for 4 hrs.

FC: What is your greatest fear?

Jun: That I could do nothing.. (pause) or that I am useless

FC: What do you consider as the greatest challenge you have ever conquered?

Jun: The challenge of becoming a leader 

FC: What makes you smile? 

Jun: The thought that every day is an opportunity for growth and that there will always be a new moment to live by… (laughs out loud)

FC: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

Jun: Last summer during my home vacation. It gave me the opportunity to visit some friends.

FC: When was the last time you felt you were a true-blooded Redemptorist?

Jun: Everyday! I feel like a true-blooded Redemptorist Hmmmnnn (thinks) maybe when I was a postulant and was working in the missions.

FC: How do you cope with stress?

Jun: I jog, sleep and eat a lot (laughs)

FC: In your profile you made mention that you love to cook, what do you cook?

Jun: I usually bake cake and make pasta. But I love to prepare Filipino dish, especially Chicken pork Adobo

FC: Have you tried baking here for the community?

Jun: Not yet… (laughs)

FC: Do you intend to bake in the future?

Jun: (laughs) Actually I intended to cook but I do not have the time. Maybe in the future. 

FC: In cooking, you said you love to bake cake and prepare pasta, but what is your specialty?

Jun: for pasta, the three-layered cheese pasta and leche flan

FC: You also made mention that you love to write, what do you write?

Jun: I write essays, sometimes poems 

FC: What is the general theme of your writings, let’s say your poems?

Jun: All about Life, Perseverance and Journey

FC: Have you ever tried publishing your writings or sharing your poems with someone?

Jun: Not yet (laughs) and I do not have plans!

FC: You made mention that you love to have a vacation in Batanes, what’s in Batanes?

Jun: The place itself- the environment. I have already heard a lot of stories that Batanes is a wonderful place that’s why I love to go and visit the place. 

FC: And what about Bungee Jumping? Why do you want to try it?

Jun: the thrill of it! (laughs)

FC: And what about the danger?

Jun: I do not think it’s dangerous! I wanted to try new things.

FC: From your answer from the Proust Questionnaire, you said you love the movie LOVE is Divine. What is    the movie all about?

Jun: it is a Korean Film that tells a story about a seminarian falling in love. I love it because it tells of a story of how a seminarian can be so human.

FC: How have you been since you assumed the role of being Caput?

Jun: In a way stress but so far I am coping well.

FC: Do you consider that what happened to you, the “collapsed” is part of this so called stress that you are experiencing?

Jun: hhmmmnnn… not really… It was maybe because I was thinking much of my family and my body was so haggard. And maybe because I was still adjusting to my new role as Caput. Being a Caput is a         tough challenge so far.

FC: If given the chance to articulate how the student community would be able to support you, what would you tell them?

Jun: hmmnn… I hope that the community would be more understanding of me, that they would be more open and also available. 

FC: What do you foresee would be major difficulty for you this semester?

Jun: My being a Caput. Because of the role it entails. My personality never really wants to be at the center of the lime light. I usually want to be working at the backstage. If it is a play, I would love to take a supporting role rather than the lead roles. But, maybe this is a new role so I have to do my best.

FC: How do you want to be remembered as a Caput?

Jun: .. as a brother who has always been there

FC: Is there anything else that you would like to disclose about yourself that I haven’t asked?

Jun: I’d like to let the community know that I am the person who is not too serious at times, I could always be a joker. Although I have tendencies to be more comfortable to close friends, but, I hope to          be comfortable with everybody so I could be transparent as I could be. The way people see in me, is the way I am. People always get the wrong impression that I am snob.  But the reason for it is, I           am just sometimes too shy to greet people. 

FC: The part of this conversations is what I call TOUGH TEN Questions.. I would mention a word or phrase and you are expected to describe it in ONE WORD.










YOUR RECTOR: Challenging
Editor's note: Formatting and editing of this page is still ongoing. Thank you for your patience

Fraternal Conversations is an initiative of some Redemptorist Students and does not in anyway represents the institution/s where they belonged to. The contents, views, opinions, and perspectives expressed in this site is the sole responsibility of its author/s and of the blog editor. Any comments whatsoever being posted in the comments space or part of this blog or in any Fraternal Conversations blog/ page/ site are the sole responsibility of its author/s or writer/s. Fraternal Conversations does not in any means, whether direct or indirect, endorse, support, and promote certain views, values, ideas, propositions, theories, belief system, and principles. Books, Magazines, published or unpublished materials, websites, webpages links, electronic materials, fictional or real characters and persons, News articles, Commercial products, Advertisements, television shows and channels, movies, and institutions (private, commercial, economic, political, social, public, and government institutions) that are being mentioned or referred to in this blog are in no way nor circumstances are being related to, endorsed, supported, recommended, and advertised by Fraternal Conversations. 
Fraternal Conversations is not also responsible for the reader's reactions, views, and interpretations with regards to the materials being posted in this blog/page/site.