Friday, August 31, 2007

Fr. Chito: A Portrait of Superman, Harry Potter and Don Bosco Rolled into One

Here's a speech I culled from my hard disk. I wrote this piece five years ago as a salute to Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, the then rector of Don Bosco College Seminary who was finishing his term.

I am publishing this as I greet him and pray for him in the occasion of his birthday today.

Like everybody else, I feel that this is the day we have not been wanting to come. But ironically, as one song rightly puts it…some good things never last. Today, another chapter of our lives closes. The atmosphere of good bye is brewing in the air.

Lest I allow my real emotions to surface, allow me to deliver just a few words to the father of this institution who brought a lot of inspiration to me and continuously push me to do things beyond my ability.

I'd like to share with you three personalities whom I associate with the name Fr. Chito.

Fr. Chito is a Superman to me.
He is a man of courage and strength. I think this is very obvious of him.

In a paternalistic society, like ours, where men are discouraged to reveal their true emotions, Fr. Chito He is happy when he is happy and he is mad when he is mad. He doesn't mince his words and he is not afraid in revealing his feelings.

I have seen him many times shedding his tears in the middle of his talks and homilies, and these made me love him even more. In fact he taught me to be aware of my feelings. And yes, I learned how to cry because of him.

He is the man of steel personified. Ten years is but a short period for him to improve on so many things: the repair and construction of many buildings, the fence, the parking area, the swimming pool.

But I guess, I think, he doesn't own these infrastructures as his legacy to us Bosconians.

He is a superman to us because he shook up the system. He showed us that there is no excellence in being a mediocre. That something could be done more.

Fr. Chito is a Harry Potter to me. He is a magical being to me not because he could make his dogs vanish from somewhere and transport to another place. I guess similar to the mighty character of Harry Potter, he inspires us to quest for the truth we ought to define for ourselves.

Harry Potter, being a magical creature himself, did not rest complacently and just relied in the powers of his magic wand, he does things in his own 'human' means.

Actually, being aware of the humungous duties and responsibilities a rector needs to accomplish, we didn't expect Fr. Chito to go as far as handling teaching load in the college department. He could just stay inside his comfy air conditioned office or to just recreate together with his dogs. But he went as far as accompanying us in trekking Mt. Makulot a few weeks back.

How I wish we could experience it once more with him.

He is a Don Bosco in our midst. Well, it's pretty obvious that like what Don Bosco did during his time, he allotted a convenient space for the young and he safeguarded them against the evils of the society.

I guess Fr. Chito is exactly like that. He may not always be with us during break times, but I guess his loving presence is always felt with all the developments he has introduced to Don Bosco College Canlubang, Laguna.

His triumph is exceptional in terms of both infrastructures and human technology he breathed into each one of us.

Father Rector has done so much for all of us. His goodness is beyond words; we, along with our families, and other church-goers from nearby towns flock to Don Bosco to benefit from father's homilies.

There is only one Father Chito. Though he leaves Don Bosco Canlubang today, he will always remain in our hearts and in others' whose lives he has touched.

I wish him much well-deserved happiness in his next journey. I am sure that he will have the satisfaction and the memories of a job that he has done outstandingly well.