I met Br. Lonxs nine years ago in Bansud, Mindoro during our vocation camp. Both of us were part of a 20-something or so group bound to enter the seminary. We were relatively young then. Both of us were in our early 20's, while most of our companions were fresh out of high school, in their late teenage years, perhaps.
He was unassuming (humble at many times!), naive (almost childlike), funny (he is always ready with some dose of banter), friendly (a real people-magnet), helpful (most of the time, people take advantage of his goodness), hardworking (I ran out of ideas here J).
These were true then and they are still valid up to this point.
But more than these, he has this profound sense of people skills he could rightfully call his, and his alone. He has a compassionate heart. Always willing to set aside everything just so he is able to help. He’s considered as the elder brother of the batch because he seemed to have taken upon himself to be responsible for each one. Once, I was surprised knowing that he tasked himself to wake up a classmate whenever the latter falls into sleep in the wrong time and in the wrong place.
When were supposed to fly to Cebu five years ago as a novices, I backed out, leaving all of them--Lonxs included. But it's funny that it was providential then since the person (I don’t know who he/she is) who booked the tickets for all of us got tickets for everyone—me included—excluding him. It was a blessing in disguise since he eventually used mine.
Whenever reunions among the members of the batch is held, that anecdote would find into the scheme of things.
We were not close then. We were friends, we belonged to the same batch, but we belonged to different worlds. He had his circle of friends, while I had mine. Now, despite being advanced in formation, he seems to be the closest to me. We grab the chance to keep up with each other. Some quick exchange of banter precedes an intimate dosage of what's been happening to us .
I'm a batch collector. And in my process of collecting individuals in various seminary batches I've had over a span of nearly a decade, I could easily say that he's a precious catch I'm not willing to let go.