by Fr. Arnold Zamora
What a journey it has been! I just came back from vacation or should I say “work-cation”. A red wavy line appeared underneath the word indicating that work-cation is not recognized in the dictionary. But that’s how I describe the month that I have been away from the parish. Although it is always a choice to just sit and relax by the beach and take a quite moment of rest or to be more fruitful for others, I always take the latter option.
So one day after I arrived in my beautiful island of Bohol, Philippines, I was doing a weekend music workshop for a university choir. It was a work related to Holy Name, although not to our parish but to Holy Name University, which is the name of the school run by the SVD fathers.
The next weekend was spent on a workshop-seminar for the music ministers of my home Diocese of Tagbilaran. Then another weekend spent, for another choir of the same university. My weekdays were spent flying back and forth to Manila doing my music CD album project.
As for my priestly ministry, a young adult charismatic group had scheduled me, even before I arrived, for their first Friday Mass. I also officiated at the mass for the 10th year death anniversary of my father, whose funeral I was unable to attend. I also administered the Sacrament of Baptism to my first grandnephew, the son of my sister’s daughter.
Then came the moment of glory. The official release of my new CD album was passionately marked by a colorful launching at the luxurious Bohol’s Peacock Garden. Aptly entitled “My Life in You”, the album contains 12 songs that I wrote and subtitled “Psalm of Psalms”, revealing their biblical inspiration from the Book of Psalms and providing the great opportunity to express a heartfelt message of hope, love, faith, praise and inspiration.
Every three years our province of Bohol gives an award to Ten Outstanding Boholanos Around the World (TOBAW). I felt humbled to be included in the line-up as I accepted the award for the Arts-Music category.
Bohol is a prime tourist destination in the Philippines and is famous for its Chocolate Hills, thousands of cone-shaped hills. But “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” Every time a priest sings in the US, people always asked me, “Is he from Bohol too?” When I ask why, the response is: “Because he sings well.” My reply is: “Oh, I thought it is because he is good looking too.”
Now after those glorious moments, like in the Transfiguration scene, I have to come down from that mountain. Perhaps in my case, from those hills, and face the world again and continue my ministry. I’M BACK!