D earest Ms. Patti,
Greetings from the Prelature Island of Batanes!
I have been a member of the ULRA for 23 or 24 years now. I have been faithfully
praying my assigned Decade. When in the seminary, I had recruited people in my
area of exposure and other seminarians too. I was ordained on May 7, 2007 and,
since then, I was assigned here in this very isolated Island of Batanes. We are actually
nearest to Taiwan than mainland Philippines. I lost contact with the ULRA since,
during that time, internet was not available. Internet connection came in 2013
and it was lost again for 3 years after we were devastated by the super typhoon in
2016. It was restored in 2019.
I have been promoting the Holy Rosary as well as devotion to St. Philomena in
every place I visited, and the devotion to St. Philomena has become so intense
here. We had celebrated her annual feast with great solemnity. I am offering the
Tridentine Rite also. Though we are always visited by typhoons, it never stops the
people from being faithful. We can only be reached by plane, two hours from
Manila. There are cargo ships coming from time to time. Since the pandemic
started, it is almost a year and we have had no flight come in.
In this time of pandemic, I use a borrowed tricycle as mobile confessional and I
go around the neighborhood to hear the confessions of my people, especially the
children, elderly and sick who cannot go to church because of the protocols. I am
very happy that many are availing this beautiful Sacrament.
I assure you that you will be remembered in my daily Holy Masses.
Fr. Ronaldo Zenki Manabat, Rector
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Batanes Island - PHILIPPINES