Sacrificing priesthood-A A +A
Saturday, August 4, 2012
SACRIFICING his vocation was never easy. But he believes his decision to leave the convent resulted to something much better, reaping good things not only for him but also for others.
Fr. Victorino Arendain, 56, was born to a family of missionaries and had no good source of living.
His father owned a 35-hectare land in a mountainous terrain property in Zamboanga del Sur with a few coconut trees. It was not earning well to sustain the family's needs.
Having no sustainable income, he said his life before was very tough that his parents could not even send him to school to earn him an educational advancement.
However, worst experiences did not trample his aspiration to be successful. It rather made him tougher to hurdle life's trials. At eight years old, he worked as a gardener, cutting and trimming grasses at the parish, and a school janitor in his hometown. This sustained him to send himself to school, until he completed his elementary education.
"For high school, the Claritian Missionaries conducted a vocation campaign in Zamboanga del Sur. Of all the examinees, I was the only one who passed," he said.
He played guitar during Sunday mass and maintained good grades in exchange for clothes and tuition. Right after finishing college, he studied at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) from 1973 to 1977. Then, he studied at Loyola School of Theology from 1977 to 1981. He also obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at the Ateneo de Manila University (Admu) in 1992.
Fr. Vic received the Sacrament of Holy Orders (priesthood) in 1981. As a Claritian missionary priest, he was assigned in war-torn areas of Lamitan and Lamuso in Basilan Province and Vitali in Zamboanga City for five years.
Due to financial constraints that beset his siblings, he gave up his priesthood in 1986 and joined the Zuellig Pharma Philippines as medical representative to support all his nephews and nieces.
The sacrificial decision was for the betterment of his relatives and less for himself.
"Pag-alis ko sa kumbento (When I left the convent), it was more of the monetary reasons," he said.
Even as he already left the convent, Fr. Vic still finds a way to serve God through other people, especially his own newphews and nieces.
"I'm the one who supported their finances in school because my siblings could not anymore send them to college," he said.
He said all his nephews and nieces now have sustainable careers, some even found greener pastures abroad. All the hardships paid off, he said.
Now family has two nurses, three engineers, two managers at Del Monte Philippines and Coca Cola Philippines, and an information technology (IT) graduate at San Miguel Corporation.
"Lahat ng naipon ko worth P250,000 ubos lahat sa kanila (were all spent for them)," he said.
After all these years of being an entrepreneur, Fr. Vic said he will plans to go back to being a priest beween the age of 60 to 65. After all, it is the vocation he once abandoned but, not his passion and title as a priest.
"When that time comes, sarili ko naman (I will give it all to myself). That's a promise to myself," he said, adding that he may be joining either the Archdioce of Tagum or the Archdioce of Davao City.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 04, 2012.