This week was the first visit of a Russian Orthodox bishop to the Philippines since Saint John was in this country with his refugee flock over sixty years ago. Bishop Sergey of Solnechnogorsk, together with missionary clergy from Russia and many Orthodox faithful from Mindanao, today visited Protection of the Theotokos parish in Polomolok, St Isidore of Rostov parish in Alabel, St John Maximovitch parish in Santa Maria, and Sts Peter and Paul mission in Kiblawan. In each parish he served a moleben and encouraged the faithful.
Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk visits the Philippines
Original in Russian at Patriarhiya.ru. Translation by Google.
From 10-13 August 2015 with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, the head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Sergius of Solnechnogorsk, visited the Republic of the Philippines. On this trip the archbishop was accompanied by the chief priest of the Assumption parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Singapore, monk Pitirim (Dondenko), a member of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate DI Peter and the secretary of Bishop Sergius, NF Sokolov. On August 10, at the airport in the capital, Manila, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church met the second secretary of the Russian Embassy in Manila, MA Ananyin. On August 11, Bishop Sergius and his entourage, with Hieromonk Philip (Balingit), administrator of the Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and MA Ananyin, member of Russian diplomatic mission in the Philippines, flew from Manila to General Santos City, located on Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippine archipelago.
The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visited Orthodox communities located in the region of General Santos – the parishes of the Protection of the Mother of God in Polomolok, St. Isidore of Rostov in Alabel, and Sts. Peter and Paul in Kiblawan. At the temple of St. John of Shanghai (Russian Church Abroad) in Santa Maria, with the blessing of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, in response to the request of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York and First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Bishop Sergius tonsured John Julito Gabutero Mahinay to the rank of Reader and ordained him Subdeacon. Visiting communities Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk led moleben together with Priest Pitirim (Dondenko), Priest Kirill Chkarboul, rector of Holy Cross community in Taipei, Priest George Maximov from the city of Moscow, as well as clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Hieromonk Philip (Balingit) and Priest Silouan Thompson. On August 12, the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church returned to Manila, where Bishop Sergius met with Russian nationals temporarily or permanently residing in the Philippines, as well as with the leadership of the Foundation named after the sixth Philippine President Quirino, dedicated to preserving the memory of the significant community of Russian emigrants from China who stayed on the Philippine island of Tubabao in 1949-1951, led by St. John of Shanghai. On August 13, Bishop Sergius and members of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation met with the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas. The meeting was also attended the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia in Manila, IA Hove. During the meeting, Bishop Sergius recalled that from 1934-1946 in the capital of the Philippines there existed the Russian Orthodox Church of the Iberian Mother of God, a member of the Hong Kong deanery Beijing diocese. He expressed his hope for the restoration of the Russian Church presence in the Philippines, which was fully supported by the representative of the Roman Catholic Church. The two sides have witnessed the importance of common witness of Christians on the conservation of traditional Christian values in the face of a rapidly secularizing world. On the same day Bishop Sergius discussed with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Republic of the Philippines, IA Khovaeva, the organization of the pastoral care of the Russian Orthodox Church on compatriots in the Philippines and the revival of the historic presence of Russian Orthodoxy in this Asian country. On the evening of August 13, the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church flew to Moscow.
Ready to welcome the bishop at Holy Protection parish, Polomolok.
The bishop was presented with a garland of Sampaguita (Jasmine flowers), national flower of the Philippines.
Bishop Sergey speaks Russian; the priest at his right translates to English; Bro. Alphaeus translates to Cebuano; then Aglipayan Bishop Valmera speaks in Cebuano and the translation runs the other direction.
Bishop and faithful at Polomolok.
With the faithful at Alabel
With the faithful at Kiblawan