2011-2014. Phase 2

2011, starting especially in March, brought numerous changes. In March we had 25 CPE trainees. With this large of a group, we sought to expand our Superviosr-in-Training (SIT) program. Up to that point the only certified SIT was Joel Aguirre. With that in mind, Dr. Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary of the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP) came to Baguio and certified several new SITs:  Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr.,  Dr. Ryan Clark, Sr. Sofia Cinches,

CPE Team 2011 Batch 1

Summer 2011 CPE Batch with staff

Sr. Sofia Natama, Celia Munson, Jehny Pedazo, Chit Panizales, and Joyce Gray. Five of these each led five trainees. Also during the visit, Dr. Lawrence established Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center as the flagship CPSP training center in the PHilippines along with PBTS.  (Later, a Memorandum of Agreement between Bukal LIfe Care and PBTS made having two accredited centers redundant, and so they were consolidated.)


In April of 2011, Dr. Joyce Abugan, President of PBTS, gave us office space in the ZDH building. Originally, the space served merely as the Clinical Pastoral Education office of PBTS. Later, however, it became the permanent office of Bukal Life Care. The rest of the year had numerous training seminars as well as more CPE groups. Additionally, a new program, Clinical Pastoral Orientation (CPO), was established as a pilot project. It was a sort of mini-CPE and was held with students at Philippine College of Ministry. At the end of 2011, our team travelled to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao to carry out disaster response counseling/defusing.

2011 also marked the start of Bukal Life Care-Manila headed by Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr.. CPE was held linked to St. Lukes Medical Center and Philippine Children’s Medical Center. This relationship was maintained through 2013. After that, however, it was decided to spin-off the Manila work due to the difficulty of coordinating between Baguio and Manila. It was decided that the relationship between Baguio and Manila should be fraternal via CPSP-Philippines. Doc Sim established New Heights while Tootsie established Vanderpol, as independent training centers.

2012 brought a couple of major changes. The first was the departure of Joel Aguirre from Bukal Life Care in August as part of his transition to minister in Canada. Bob Munson decided to maintain the role and title of Administrator, letting the role of Director be vacant. This was in line with the group’s philosophy of team leadership. 2012 was also the first year of the Bukal Life Care Journal, a series of articles bound as an electronic journal on topics of pastoral care. This journal was produced in 2012 and in 2013. After that, it was decided to transition to book development on topics of pastoral care nad counseling. Bob and Celia were able to travel to Thailand to receive intensive training in missioanry member care as well. Finally, 2012 was the year that CPSP-Philippines, as a daughter organization of CPSP, was incorporated, with Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center as the flagship center.

2013 started out relatively mundane with a lot of training and counseling. The first major activity was in June 2013. This was when Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) and Bukal Life Care signed a

pbts blc agreement 2

Memorandum of Agreement signed by Dr. Armand Canoy of Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. Robert Munson of Bukal Life Care

Memorandum of Agreement establishing a formal partnerhsip in pastoral care training at the seminary. Although we already worked together in CPE and had our office on the campus, the partnership previous to this was through verbal agreement only. The other major activity was triggered by disaster. Late in the year an earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda in much of the rest of the Visayas caused considerable damage. This started our invovlement in November and beyond in disaster response and disaster response trainings. Additionally, late in 2013 we mulled the possibility of changing our name to Bukal Life Care and Training Center, but after months of discussion, we decided that the present name makes it clearer that our foci are pastoral care and pastoral counseling.

2014 was the year of disaster response. The work actually started in late 2013 and continued a bit into 2015. We organized several trips and joined several more to help areas providing counseling/defusing, training, and material support. We had trips to Bohol, Leyte, Cebu, Aklan, and Iloilo. Our center of activity was actually a tiny island, Baliguian, located in the Visayan Sea. Although (perhaps miraculously) surviving the storm with no loss of life, the

Baliguian Island 2

Baliguian Island

800 plus residents were hit hard economically. We provided counseling and immediate disaster response supplies. as well as spiritual support, support for some log-term programs, and a medium-term worker.

Despite the busy schedule of 2014 due to disaster response, this was a year of many other activities as well. We were able to have many of our staff trained in a number of topics that relate to our work. These included drug rehab and response (Columbo Plan), historical pastoral care, Christian life coaching, palliative care, special education, parenting, and more. In 2014 we had a visioning activity August 31 to SEptember 1st. This was a time for refreshment as well as a time to consider where we have been and where we are going. Earlier in 2014, Celia was able to fly to the US to represent CPSP-Philippines, as well as Bukal LIfe Care, at the plenary gathering of CPSP. Finally, in December of 2014, were were able to mvoe into our new 9and present) office. It is several times bigger than the old one and allows for small seminars to be held as well as having a separate counseling room. The office also serves as the business address for CPSP-Philippines.