Trinity Talk – Spiritual Nurturance: Strengthening Connection and Enhancing Communication with the Lord

by: Janelle Ruth Bagtang, Prince Vegetta Barroa, Karmela Elysa Castroverde, Kimberly KC Dawiguey, Feby Dungog, Ianah Marie Javier, Maricel Magan, and Ellaine Prado

Last February 18, Thursday, at 3:00 pm, an online panel discussion to talk about how one can strengthen connection and enhance communication with the Lord was held and sponsored by the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education by its dean, Dean Howell Ho, and the event spearheaded by Prof. Gracia DG. Sarao along with the student organizers of 2ENGL01, TUA Tech Team, and All4Christ Ministry Tech Team. It was attended by the different colleges, units, students, and offices of the university. The program was hosted by Prof. Caleb Donne Coniate and its guest speakers were Rev. Rolex M. Cailing PHD, Rev. Leonardo F. Galanza Jr. MDIV and Hon. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri with a special video message from Hon. Emmanuel Jose Joel Villanueva.

With the sharing of our guest speaker, Hon. Sen. Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri on his journey as a COVID-19 survivor and his time as a public servant, in connection with the event Spiritual Nurturance,Sen. Zubiri,  being the  142 patient among the first 150 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines and stayed in isolation for 36 days shared his experience stating,  “I worked against my own fears and anxieties, because I knew I would not get better if I let myself fall into negativity.” with the situation that he was in being the worst days of his life and even concluded, “That was it!.” However, he strengthened his faith and turned to God, who became his well of strength and hope together with his loving family. He also shared his heartwarming memories of when he was in isolation saying that he did not feel lonely because of his family’s support and because of their every 6 p.m. Zoom Rosary prayer that helped him to be positive despite the situation.  On the day of the Easter, he was blessed to know that his second test came out negative and thanked God for extending his hand and blessing him on his recovery. The situation awakened his spirituality being even more devoted to God and made him and his family to have a stronger faith. He ended his sharing with the words, “Faith always shines brighter in times of darkness and despair and much brighter if we all come together in faith and in prayer.”

In the open forum, Sen. Zubiri was asked about significant events in his career that deepened his communication with the Lord. According to him, first was when he resigned at the senate because of the protest on his winning as a senator way back 2011. It was a challenged for him to make that decision, that even his friends and the president opposed. He ended up kneeling and prayed to God for guidance. God made him realized and humbled him in front of his people and taught him valuable lessons in life. One of that is knowing that “Honor and dignity is the most important thing in life”. Some people thought of his decision as an unthinkable one but for him at that point in his life, it was the utmost thing to do with God’s guidance as he entrusted everything to the Almighty. Second, as mentioned above was when he was confirmed positive of COVID-19 that showed how serious the pandemic is, that no matter how wealthy or powerful one’s role is, virus is still a virus. Through medication and tight devotion to God, Sen. Zubiri was able to survive it. That experience of him battling against COVID-19 taught him the power of faith. He realized that not even money can save one. His experiences highlighted the power of prayer. At that moment of Sen. Zubiri’s life, God showed His immeasurable love not only when he was healed and survived from COVID-19 but also up until now, he knows that God is eternal. These experiences of him enlightens, “Faith is obedience and faith is a gift from God because He enabled us to believe.”

During the talk, the two pastors shared their individual framework through which they see the world from the perspective and connection of communication with God. According to Dr. Rolex M. Cailing, during this time of the pandemic, everyone is now relying on their faith. He also said that connectedness with God is humanity’s concern. It  basically means  that forgiveness, repentance, and having strong faith are important nowadays as everyone are experiencing pain brought by the crisis. On the other hand, Rev. Leonardo F. Galanza Jr., MDIV made mentioned that the more people pursue a connection, communication with God in the name of spirituality, the more they have drifted away from the real sense of it. Thus, restoring God’s connection should be depth sense and spiritual understanding.

It is like a whirlwind perspective knowing that strengthening the connection to God is an essential need as it empowers the spirit. Sometimes, people have turned away and felt worthless but if people stand to be connected with God, the power of faith restores. Therefore, to strengthen connection with God, there is a need to connect with God with His scriptures. One needs to explore the spiritual core by meditating, reading, and most importantly by praying at all times because the framework of strength, connection, and communication is prayer with faith.

The event ended at 5:00 p.m. filled with meaningful sharing from the distinguished guest speakers. Hon. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri was able to share his experiences about how he survived after he was tested positive of the corona virus. He mentioned that he was able to overcome those challenges through God’s grace that made him immovable and still. While the two pastors, Rev. Rolex M. Cailing. PHD together with Rev. Leonardo F. Galanza Jr., MDIV shared their thoughts as well as answered the questions of the viewers on “How to be a good follower of Christ amidst this pandemic”. The session leaves a message that we must always let the Lord lead us to the path He prepared for us. This pandemic is just one of the challenges that we have to conquer.