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"When I arrived I only knew how to say three words: 'yes', 'no' and 'good'."

Testimonial by Dennis Ordillos, from Tuguegarao, Philippines

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Dennis Ordillos finishes Theology this year. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
07/05/14 16:31 Fina Trèmols

Dennis Ordillos was born on May 4, 1989 in Luzon, the largest and most important island of the Philippines. He is the youngest of three siblings and the only boy. He speaks three dialects - his father's, his mother's and the one spoken in the city - and three languages: Tagalog, English and now Spanish.

Since he was a child he received a Christian training ; "my parents were my first catechists and the seed of my vocation to the priesthood was born in my family", he assures. Although he also has a special memory for his parish priest, Father Franklin.

When he wanted to go to study at seminar his father was against it because he had high hopes for his only son: "Who will propagate our surname?", he told him. He waited and at the age of 16 he began his programs of study at the seminar of St. Thomas Aquinas, in the archdiocese of Tuguegarao. Two professors teach there, alumni of the School of Theology of the University of Navarre. One of them told him: "We do not need priests who know many things, we need priests who follow Jesus Christ and who are saints".

Upon completion of the programs of study at , his trainer suggested that he also do this and that of the university administrator. high school diploma at Philosophy, his formator suggested that he also do this work and that of the University administrator. In 2009 he began to teach basic theology classes and Philosophy to 110 students of high school diploma.

A year later, the President of seminar offered him the possibility of studying theology at a university run by the Jesuits, but he forgot to send the letter of reference that Dennis needed. Days went by and all the ecclesiastical Schools or theological programs of study seminaries had already closed the deadlines for enrollment. His Bishop heard about it and spoke to the President and Father Franklin. "Fortunately there was a place for me at the University of Navarra and I managed to get all the papers ready... in three days: the certificate of Degree, the passport, the visa and the recommendations of the Bishop and President of seminar", Dennis recalls.

He arrived in Pamplona in July 2010 and only knew how to say three words: "sí", "no" and "bien"... Now Dennis already speaks with subjunctives. "For Filipinos it's the measure of knowing how to speak Spanish well," he jokes.

During these four years he has lived in the high school International Ecclesiastical Bidaosa. "I have never felt lonely and I have been a real foreigner, with a culture and a climate completely different from my own. I am impressed by the family life there," he says.

Dennis received the order of the diaconate on March 22, 2014. He was accompanied by his parents and Father Franklin. He returns to his country next June, before the feast of St. Peter. "I do not know when I will be ordained a priest: I put myself at the entire availability of my bishop. I really like doing pastoral work with young people and visiting the sick. From the University of Navarra I take with me the humility of the professors and the sense of work, which is done out of love for God and as an engine of service to the Church and the Pope," he concludes.