Acceptance speech of Atty. Ceferino A. Patino Jr. as President of SSVP Philippines
Before anything else, allow me to introduce myself to you. My full name is Ceferino A. Patino Jr. 70 years old married to one beautiful wife for 40 years (Tita Dek, please stand and be recognized). Dek and I have lasted this long because we have shared the same interests and hobbies like climbing mountains in the Philippines such as Mt. Pulag in Benguet and Mt. Apo in Kidapawan. As a matter of fact, we also climbed Mt. Isarog here in Naga, Mt. Mayon in Legaspi and Mt. Asog in Buhi.
We have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Our eldest son is Jesus Ceferino Patino, III. He is an ICU doctor in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Our second child is Maria Minamahal Patino-Flores. She is an internal medicine doctor in Connecticut, USA. Our third child is Jose Marciano Patino. He is now working as business intelligence manager in OLX Philippines. Our 4th child is Juan Bernardo Patino. He is an industrial engineer from UP and is now working from home in Singapore as a financial literacy advocate. Thru the Internet, he teaches Filipinos how to save and invest. Please note our children’s names: Jesus, Maria and Jose (the Holy Family) and Juan, the first cousin of Jesus.
I have to mention our children and their achievements because they are our trophies for 40 years of married life. They have been our second life’s purpose, first life’s purpose being God and the second, being family.
Perhaps, many of you are asking how I was involved with SSVP. Well, I studied in St. Pius X Seminary in Roxas City for 8 years where the late Cardinal Sin was our Rector. But I got out of the seminary because I liked beautiful girls more than serving God as a priest. So when I met Dek in her sexy micro- mini outfit I said goodbye to my happy go lucky days as a bachelor and married her on September 6, 1975 with Cardinal Sin as the officiating minister. We built our home in barangay Don Bosco in Paranaque under the jurisdiction of Mary Help of Christians Parish. During my 8 years stay in the seminary, God must have planted the seed of service such that I approached our parish priest Fr. Pierangelo Quaranta that I wanted to serve in the parish as a lay minister of the Eucharist. He said no. You will be a member of SSVP. So even today after 38 years I am still here at SSVP,
We now go to the matter at hand which is my election as National President of SSVP.
When Pmay and Doc. Buddy asked me last year if I was interested to be national president of SSVP, I flatly said NO. I told them that I am already 70 years old. I have hypertension and am more forgetful. What SSVP needs is someone younger and healthier. I also said that I do not have the time because I manage two companies and a small law office. I can not retire from these companies because my retirement fund is invested in these companies. It is also from these firms that I get my charity fund. Besides, my wife Dek after 40 years of togetherness has not yet considered me a successful husband. Her definition of a successful husband is one who earns more than what his wife can spend.
Three weeks ago, Mayleen and Doc Buddy again asked me the same question explaining that the Society needs to continue with its existing programs especially the re- building lives program. I told them that I will think about it and give them my answer on April 16 after our trip to Japan.
Here I am now, the elected national council president of SSVP, helpless. But it is not true that I am helpless. I am my own opponent. I could have refused the nomination, the call for service. I am 70 years old. The mandatory retirement age of bishops is 70 years. As well as the Justices of the Supreme Court. I have hypertension. That is why I did not join our parade yesterday under the heat of the sun. I could chosen to continue to relax with my life and just go abroad for a vacation every now and then. But how can I refuse God’s call for service. I already refused HIM once when I chose beautiful girls over Him 50 years ago.
It is therefore with deep humility that I accept the position of President of the National council of SSVP confidently relying of God’s promise that when He calls, He equips, when He calls, He qualifies, when He calls, He provides.
Tama nga ang sabi ni Pmay: once a Vincentian forever a Vincentian. Sa SSVP, ay may Forever. At ang Vincentian ay FOREVER young.
Mabuhay si St. Vincent de Paul, Mabuhay si Blessed Frederick Ozanam. Thank you.