MI RETIRO: Experiences and Insights of a RetreatantA TESTIMONY TO THE RETREAT OF IV-ST. ANDREW AND IV-ST. PHILIP AT THE CARMELITE MISSIONARIESCENTER OF SPIRITUALITY, TAGAYTAY CITYAlbert Benedict B. Soliman IV
St. AndrewWhat do people say
when the word “retreat” means? Vacation, peace
and quiet, tears. But if you ask me, it is different.
It is where one “retreats” from the world to help his/her soul to return even
better than before. Read this article, and I will tell you of what happened to, as
a title of Rizal’s poemgoes, “mi retiro,” my r
etreat.DAY 1: Arrival
I went to UA at about 6:10 am (Excited much) to catch the bus going to McDo GO Rd to fetch therest, student and faculty member alike. As we entered the NLEX at about 7:30 am, we prayed for a safe
journey to Tagaytay and for the retreat’s success.
After the Rosary, we stopped over for our necessities,and yet a few felt that they to urinate at the middle of the SLEX (Ngek!) When we found a good SLEXstopover, we really rushed to t
he CR. It’s funny
seeing us searching frantically for the CR, as though wewere participants in the Amazing Race. Well anyway, we
happy when we arrived at Tagaytay City,seeing the majesty of the Taal Volcano at a distance. We were most delighted when we saw ourdestination: the Carmelite Missionaries Center of Spirituality, a retreat house being administrated byDiscalced Carmelite Missionary Nuns. It has a simple five-floor hotel (hotel?!), a chapel and severalmulti-purpose halls, gazebos, gardens and oratories.When we descended from the bus, we all went to the multi-purpose building, where we wereoriented. Next, we went to the ground floor, the refectory or dining hall. After our lunch, we went to ourrespective rooms, the girls being on the second floor and the boys on the last. It is good to be at thefourth floor because it has a wide sala and a large veranda. (Kaburi da reng lalaki king kwartu a nung nuku makatuknang. Balamu suki mi la.) The boys stayed at my room until 4 pm, where we went down tothe refectory for some snacks. At 4:30, we had our first session. Our retreat master got late because of an emergency meeting at the Seminary, and so Sir Romy Ignacio of the College Department (the onewho plays the organ during our Council Masses) was entrusted with this session. At 6:30, we hadVespers and after that, we went to the refectory for dinner and roamed around the gardens until Fr.Aljim Tuazon, when our retreat master arrived. He showed us a clip about two kids with progeria,reminding us of how short is our life. After our session, we all went back to our own rooms to take ashower. All of us boys had a problem with how to use the water heater and so we braved the chillywater. After everything, including a little visit by an angry nun, we slept at 11 pm.DAY 2: Retreat ProperI woke up at 4 am
(when it’s supposed to be
at 6) and goofed around until 5, when some of uswent down to the gardens for a stroll. At about 6:30, we had Lauds, after which we all went down forour breakfast. At 8, we had our session until 10, when had our snacks and after that, we returned for