When I was a Jesuit and assigned to the Ateneo Christian Life Community in Ateneo de Manila, I directed a first year college student named Robbie Paraan for his first 5 Day Retreat. We became good friends afterwards. He eventually became OAC (Over All Coordinator/President) of the organization, graduated from college, and worked in HSBC.

In Cebu where I was assigned as Director of the Jesuit Prenovitiate, I met Eric Esteba. Eric is a very talented young man with a gift for the visual arts. Give him a concept, a computer with photoshop and some time, and he will create something wonderful out of that. A civil engineer, Eric helped in building the new Sacred Heart School-Jesuits/Ateneo de Cebu Campus in Cebu City.

I have left the Jesuits. But Robbie and Eric are entering the Jesuit Novitiate fifteen days from now, on May 30.

This is a poem I wrote about all this.

Bread and Fish

I look at the five thousand before me
Hungry for more than bread and fish.
But hardheaded me,
I persist
To break bread
And give fish
And wait
And hope
That that would be enough.

I could not bake bigger loaves
And catch bigger fish
To feed
And fill.

But here I am
With my bread
And my fish
And my Hope.


Days and weeks and months
And years later,
I am amazed
To see bushel baskets
Filled to brimming.

About Eric Santillan

AngPeregrino is Eric Santillan. He is a management consultant for two firms specializing in sustainable business, competitiveness and risk management, cost control and culture management. He is also a writer for The Mindanao Current. At one time or another, he has taught, moderated college organizations, done organizational development work for BPOs, been a Jesuit, mentored people and given retreats.

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