Manila Observatory celebrates Fr. Victor Badillo’s 81st birthday at the Jesuit Residence

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

Yesterday, 24 January 2011, many of us from the Manila Observatory–administrators, scientists, and staff–went to Jesuit Residence at 2:30 p.m. to visit a good priest who once worked at the Solar and Upper Atmosphere Divisions and who also was once the Observatory’s Director.  Fr. Victor Badillo came in a wheelchair with white pajamas and red polo shirt, ready for St. Valentine’s day.

“Father,” Raul Manaligod said. “At 81 you are now turning a new chapter in your life.”

“Not a new chapter,” replied Fr. Badillo.  “It’s an epilogue.”

We smiled.

We brought some pansit and chicken lollipops.  And we settled down to eat.

This is the place where the Jesuits eat their meals.  Over a large glass window one can see a beautiful green lawn where the day before, according to Fr. Badillo, a priest was found lying unconscious after being missing for 30 hours.  He just pulled up some weeds, Fr. Badillo said.  And he fell.

Beyond the green grass is a sheer cliff overlooking the Marikina valley.

Mountaintops have always been the best place for contemplation and Jesuits chose their spot well.  At dawn, the mountaintop becomes the Temple of Jerusalem.  At 9:00 p.m., the Mt. Carmel.  At noon, Mt. Sinai.  At 3:00 p.m., Golgotha in Mt. Calvary.  At 6 p.m. Garden of Gethsemane.  This place hums in prayer as the old Jesuits feebly pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  As the generations of Jesuits prayed before them.  As the Church has always prayed.

Fr. Badillo could not stay for long.  He easily gets tired, though he looks healthier now than last year.  Before he left, we had our group picture with him.

Fr. Victor Badillo's 81st birthday with the Manila Observatory's staff at the Jesuit Residence (photo by Ron Ollina)


About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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