Some Updates

==November 4. End of CPE Celebration for Batch 2 and 3A in La Union.
==November 12. Bukal Life-Manila Launching and Graduation for Batch 3B. Quezon City. Diocesan Center Episcopal Church. 9AM. Speaker. Rev. Joel Aguirre… Executive Director of Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center.
==December 17. Dental Mission, Santa Rosa, Nueva Viscaya.
==BBEG meetings Nov 4, Dec 1, Dec 8, and Feb 17.
==Additionally, CPE Batch 4 as well as CPO at PCM will begin in Mid-November. Partnering visit to Cagayan de Oro will also happen in the next few weeks.


Dinner for a Cause-A Serenade (Report)

What a great night we had. Approximately 120 people joined us at the Sangkabalayan Center at Baguio Cathedral for good food, good music, and good fellowship. Several provided music for this event.

UCCP Christian Couples Choir

1. UCCP (Baguio) Christian Couples Choir. They sang opening and closing songs as well as a primary presentation of 5 popular hymns/Christian songs.
2. Brevarian Singers. A trio of young ladies and guitarist that provided two country gospel songs.
3. Singing Priests. Several Catholic priests sang Christian songs that they have been performing together since seminary, including one song written by a classmate who (sadly) died too young.
4. Jeffrey Linang. Local seminarian and pastor who sang two songs, one to start and and one to end the main performances.

The evening ended with handing out certificates of completion for CPE batches 2 and 3A. Batch 3B (Manila) will have their graduation and certificates on November 12 in Manila.

We are thankful to them. We are also thankful to the Sangkabalayan Center for allowing us to use their facilities for free (and to Rev. Fr. German Legaspi in helping us with these arrangements).

We are also appreciative of all who gave generously of their time and money. The Dinner was to raise awareness and money for CPE scholarships for clergy and layleaders seeking to serve God through pastoral care and counseling. If you are interested in supporting some CPE students, please contact us at

Bukal Life-Manila

Dr. Sim Dang-Awan, president of the Board of Trustees of Bukal Life (and head of Bukal Life-Manila) has had successful negotiations with Philippines Children Medical Center in Quezon City.

Bukal Life-Manila will work with and through PCMC (pending memorandum of agreement) providing a primary ministry and training point for our CPE program. We believe this will be a great learning opportunity for us, and a valuable service for the patients and family at PCMC.

Their website is:

Testimony: Jehny Pedazo

There are a lot of needy people with troubled souls who need to be actively reached. This became clearer to me once I started pastoral or spiritual counseling in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE); and through my affiliation with BUKAL Life Care and Counseling Center (BLCCC), serving in jail, hospital, school, church and community. Yes, counseling needs a missionary approach for its value to be fully acknowledged by the public as an indispensable resource. In the Philippine setting the term “counseling” still has a slight stigma attached to it because people have the idea that one goes for counseling only for mental and emotional disturbances. In order for the negative connotation to be dismantled, counselors ought to engage the general population and dispel these notions. I, for one, committed myself to pastoral counseling because I know what it feels like to be in great need of guidance yet ignorant and fearful about who to approach and trust. The times I faced crises, especially in my younger years, helped me know how helpful it would have been to receive counseling from someone who had dedication, sense of mission and good training.

It’s vital that counseling is delivered as a service accessible throughout the human lifespan because it is not only school-age children who need to be guided. At all phases of life, assistance in reflection; encouragement, and; informational services related to the counselee’s issues is essential to selecting best options in life. It is better if counseling is recognized as a lifelong resource, not merely “kid’s stuff.” Even adults and the elderly should feel comfortable to seek such help when necessary.

Healthcare services are trending towards the emphasis on prevention, including in counseling. It may be cliché to state that: “Prevention is better than cure,” but it holds true in any case. Soul ailments are not unimportant occurrences that we can be set aside without significant consequences. They must be addressed along with physical health. Through prevention we mitigate avoidable crises and the toll it takes on the individual, his family and others .

Now, in the Philippines, with licensure implemented, counseling has become a regulated profession. That is good in the sense that those who practice it can gain standard, credible qualifications. Counselees ought to receive the most professional and ethical guidance available. But passing licensure exams, getting continuing education, and having credentials does not guarantee that the counselor has therapeutic impact. In like manner, becoming a licensed physician does not assure that one is caring and beneficent to patients. I believe the competent counselor is one who applies wisdom in his own life, although not perfect, and utilizes his own challenges to minister to others’ needs. However, it’s also vital to the counselor to be part of an organization that continually motivates him to upgrade his counseling know-how.

It’s now 2011. I bet counseling still has a long way to go in the improvement of its services and delivery. I’m glad to be part of a counseling center, BLCCC caters locally to my own countrymen and is affiliated internationally with a larger organization, the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP). I actually shifted my studies to prioritize counseling subjects although my MA in teaching major is in psychology and my BS degree is in nursing. This is because I strongly believe in the great value of encouraging words, and moral support, to a person’s being. Calling and self-actualization trumps monetary gain. I can bear with material limitations for now, but self-fulfillment is a constant longing and it must be appeased before practical living concerns.

When I was deciding on a Masteral course, I chose my major because I wanted to specialize in my own passion, psychology, since from a young age I’ve always wanted to know how the mind works. My plan was to merge my undergraduate degree with my Masteral degree and become a psychiatric nurse. Now, however, I feel called to pastoral counseling in this season of my life. I’m enjoying the fulfillment and “sense of this is me” despite challenges at home, at work and in me. I don’t know what my future in counseling entails. I leave my fate in the all-encompassing protection, responsibility and love of God; although uncertainties can be troubling if I let them worry me. But as for the future of counseling in general, I’m optimistic that its positive developments and influences shall be far-reaching.

<Jehny is a CPE trainee with Bukal Life, Master’s student at University of the Cordilleras, and our Ministry Coordinator>

October 2011 Updates

1. The latest version of our CPE brochure is at
2. Our Dinner for a Cause has been moved to October 20th, 6pm at the Sangkabalayan Center (Baguio). Contact us if you have any questions.
3. Graduation of the Manila CPE Batch 3 groups is on November 12. Details to follow.
4. CPO is coming. Clinical Pastoral Orientation (preparatory course to CPE) will be started at Philippine College of Ministry (Baguio City) starting this November. This will be the first time we have done this course, and perhaps the first time this course has been done in the Philippines. This is a matter of both excitement and prayer.
5. CPE batch 3A (Baguio) is about to graduate. Planning to have a graduation outing to La Union with batch 2 (who has already finished) during the first week of November. More to follow here as well.

New Training Program Coming

We are getting ready to implement CPO (Clinical Pastoral Orientation). This is a preparatory training for CPE. 50 hours vice 400 hours, but utilizing the same basic formula as CPE. Useful for Bible schools that are unable to support a full CPE program but wish to help their students grow in interpersonal skills, self-understanding, and clinical pastoral care. Please contact us if you have any questions.

CPE Batch 4 Coming in November

We are accepting applications for Bukal Life CPE 2011 Batch 4. Batch 4A will be based in Baguio, Batch 4B will be based in Manila. 400 hours of training, supervision, and practical ministry. It is expected to start in the middle of November. It is spread over a longer period of time to accommodate professionals. If you have questions, email us at, and fill out an application at Application Form

Dinner for a Cause Postponed due to Weather

October 1st Bukal Life Dinner postponed. Category 3 Typhoon Nalgae (aka Quiel) will be passing over Baguio during the present scheduled time. Will give postponement date as soon as we have determined it. Any concerns by ticket holders can be addressed to the CPE member they purchased the ticket from. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Also keep the people of Calumpit and surrounding areas (flooding), and those in the path of Nagae, protection. May we be available to provide comfort as needed.