Silang, Cavite - To mark the centenary of the Society of St. Paul, the alumni of St. Paul Seminary (SPS) held a grand Balik-Seminaryo at the SPS complex in Silang, Cavite on May 29-31, 2015. The homecoming was spearheaded by the officers and members of the St. Paul Seminary Alumni Association, Inc. (SPSAAI). The theme was Pusong Paulino—Paalabin, inspired by St. Paul’s reminder to his disciple to Timothy to “stir into flame the gift of God” he had received  through the imposition of Paul’s hands (2 Tim 1:6).

The alumni came either by private transport or by bus coming from SSP Makati. A big group from Iloilo took a Ro-Ro bus. They were happily surprised to see Bro. Adriano Banfi who had come for the occasion. Returning to Italy after many years in the Philippines managing the printing press, he is now based in the SSP motherhouse in Alba.

The alumni next settled down to rest or spent time conversing with old friends, taking photos, or signing their names at the signature wall. Common activity started in the afternoon in the auditorium where, guided by the emcee Egay Cantuba, the participants introduced themselves by groups. This was followed by the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel; the Chaplet to the Sacred Heart was used.

Supper at the seminary gym was immediately followed by an evening program. The Balik-Seminaryo 2011 was recalled through the AVP prepared by the St Pauls Audiovisuals. The core of the evening program was a Videoke Contest in two batches, followed by fellowship time.

The second day began with a concelebrated Mass presided by Fr. John Klen Malificiar with Fr. Paolo Asprer giving the homily. Breakfast was served “boodle fight” style. With the camaraderie, there was food for both the body and spirit.

The rest of the morning was programmed for the Pauline animation talk and the alumni reports from three groups. Fr. Gil Alinsangan explained what Pauline Spirituality means and involves. Fr. Joe Aripio presented the fresh draft of the SPSAAI vision-mission. Carlo Assin shared his experiences of contacting SPS alumni in the USA and Canada. Benonie de la Cruz and Jun Altura spoke of the Iloilo group and Alan Mercader of the core group in Manila that organized the homecoming and the two fund-raising projects for the SPS seminarians.

The afternoon was spent for various games. The alumni competed in different games: Going to the Market, Basagan ng Itlog, Talong at Itlog, and Message Relay. Competition got heated in the elimination and championship rounds of basketball.

For the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament, the Chaplet to Mary, Queen of Apostles was used.

Dinner was followed by the Victory Program. Led by the Rock ‘n Roll band “Chapter One,” the alumni partied the whole night long.

Breakfast on the last day was followed by group photo sessions and more fellowship. At 11 AM, Sunday Mass was celebrated with Fr. Joe Aripio as preside and Rev. Khris Llacer as homilist. Lunch and final assembly followed. Then the alumni left Silang for their different destinations, carrying with them precious memories to last a lifetime. They bade goodbyes... hoping to be together again at the next alumni homecoming.