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TitleKerygma Feb 2012
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Page 1

February 2012No. 261 Vol. 22

Inspiring You to Live a Fantastic Life



By Bo Sanchez





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Page 2

Keep the Love

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for yourself, for God, for your family and for others.

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A product of Shepherd’s Voice Publications, Inc.
For orders call 725-9999 local 101 to 108
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Page 22

Life Before Joey’s Sickness
I used to be Joey’s main support — I only had to make sure that
he and the children were OK. Next to God, he was my Superman.
He had an answer to everything — whether it was in raising our
children or running our business.

He was someone who devoured books and magazines, even
the Internet, before he got himself into anything. He would look
for an expert in whatever field interested him and he’d seek that
person as a mentor. So, when he got sick and could not find an
answer to his questions, he got depressed. He wanted to know
what lay before him instead of being in the dark.

Yet, as many know by now, it was in that darkness that Joey
discovered his new calling: to be a painter. And as he followed
God’s will for him, he began to see the light.

His first major painting, Hapag ng Pag-asa, became an
instant hit when it was unveiled at the Cathedral of the Good
Shepherd in Fairview, Quezon City to cap the National Eucharistic
Year in December 2005. The painting took a life of its own as it
inspired many individuals and groups in their search for light, in
responding to God’s call to them, in seeing Jesus in the poor and
the lost.

As Joey got more inspired to paint, his role in our business
diminished. One day, he told me, “Nay, I will take off my
businessman’s hat and wear my painter’s hat.” To me, it was a
signal that I had to take the lead in our business.

Joey’s Dream
In between hospitalizations and surgeries, Joey painted. He did
not paint just for the sake of doing it — he painted only when he
felt God wanted him to create a new piece.

As the paintings grew in number, he broached the idea of
putting up a gallery not only to house them but also to have a
place where he could exhibit his paintings and let others see
God’s love through them.

“I will hire a bus so I can bring public school children to the
gallery, maybe one section at a time, then bring them back to
their school,” Joey shared, envisioning how his gallery would
work, aside from serving the purpose of preserving his artwork
for future generations.

I didn’t immediately buy the gallery idea thinking that the
project would drain us financially. It wasn’t a practical move
especially since our kids were still small. And with his sickness, I
knew that his treatments would be a financial drain as well.

But something happened after his second-to-the-last
hospitalization in February 2010. He came out much weaker
than his past hospitalizations. His femur was fractured and
he could not walk without crutches. So we decided to use
the room on the ground floor of our home.

Because Joey hardly went out, I told him one morning,
“Tay, I’ll open the window so we can have some sunshine.”
When I did, I saw the tree outside, its leaves falling, and I
looked at Joey. He was in the autumn of his life and I could
already smell the kiss of death.

Still, we didn’t give up. We tried all means available in the
medical field to prolong his life. He was fighting no longer
for himself, but mostly for us, his family, and for God who
perhaps still wanted him to do something.

A few months later, I saw the tree outside our window
sprouting with new leaves. Again I looked at Joey — he was
getting weaker by the day, but he continued to paint on his
sickbed. His body was weak, but his spirit was alive.

Then one night, I couldn’t sleep. I puttered around the
house — fixed his medicines, checked his dialysis schedule,
and so on. I saw his paintings lying at the garage and I felt
something in my heart. I reflected on it for a while and came
to a decision about Joey’s dream of a gallery.

So at 3:00 a.m., when he awoke, I talked to him. “Tay, I
know you want to have a gallery. I now have three reasons to
do it. First is for the love of God. I know that your paintings
are a big proof of how much God is present with us. In the
darkness, He is present as Light. So I want the people to know
and see that there is light in darkness, that God is present, no
matter how dark the situation is.”

I looked at Joey and he seemed pleased with what I said.
“My second reason is because I love you very, very much,

and I want you to fulfill your dream. I will support you in this.”
He remained silent.
“And my third reason,” I

continued, “is for our children. I
want them to see the exchange
of love between God and
you. Painting even as you are
in pain is a very brave way of
responding to His call.”

He just said, “Thank you,”
with grateful eyes.

This happened two or three
weeks before he died.

But in that short time, he
regained his strength. He did
everything he could to prepare
for the gallery. He designed the
logo, chose the paintings he
wanted to exhibit, did a voice
recording explaining how each
painting came to be, and so on. Everything was concrete,
and all I had to do was execute them.

I was so moved to see Joey back to his usual self. He was
happy that his dream would finally come true — even if it
would happen after his death.

The Birth of Joey Velasco Foundation
On July 20, 2010, two days before our 15th wedding


Joey may be gone, but his jolly spirit definitely lives on in his children
(L-R): Chiara, Clarisse,Marti and Marco.

Page 23

anniversary, God took Joey home to Him. Throngs of people
flocked to his wake — from the President of the Philippines to
ordinary men on the street who knew him only as the painter of
Hapag ng Pag-asa.

It was an eye-opener for me, seeing how a great number of
people were touched by his paintings and by his life. When Tito
Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga announced one night at the wake
that they were putting up the Joey Velasco Foundation with me
as chairman or president, I was surprised. I told him later, “Tito, all
I agreed to was the gallery. I don’t know anything about running
a foundation.”

But in my heart I couldn’t say no if that was what God wanted.
After Joey’s funeral and while still grieving, work for the

foundation slowly began. Not that my co-founders or I were in a
hurry, but I so wanted to keep Joey’s spirit alive. And the only way
to do it was to continue the mission he had started. It is also my
way of expressing my love for Joey now that he was gone.

Doing so has led me to a deeper and wider kind of love that I
didn’t know I was capable of giving.

Growing in Love
We have identified core projects that we would focus on in the
first few years of the foundation. A priority area is the scholarship
for the 32 students from 18 families in Hapag Village in Amparo,
Caloocan City. The challenge here is not so much on the financial
aspect although we need help in that area, too — but more of
inculcating in the children the value of education. Lately we have
been giving them weekly food allowance just so they would have
no reason to skip class. We’re also looking for volunteer tutors to
help them with their lessons.

And here, too, I get to apply a lesson I learned from Joey: to
pray not only for myself but for others as well. It takes a lot of
prayer to make our vision happen.

It used to be easy for me
to say to the mothers of our
scholars, “Stay at home and
teach your kids.” I just realized
one day that it was just not
possible. How could they teach
them when they also don’t
know anything?

I wept when I went home
that day. I said, “Lord, I didn’t
know that what I was asking
them to do was so difficult.”
It’s easy to tell them, do this
and do that, but it’s different
when you make them feel
you’re a part of their lives. Since
that realization, I grew several
inches deeper in love with the
people we’re trying to help.

And it didn’t stop there.
Joey’s vision was to build good families so we can create

good communities, and later on build a good nation.
To keep the mothers busy and help them sustain their

families, we started some livelihood projects for them. I go there
every week and try to apply what Joey did for our own family.
I listen to their concerns and sometimes even mediate in their
conflicts. Thanks be to God, after several months of going there,

the place is more peaceful now — and more productive.
As for the gallery, it is now fully operational. It sits on the area

that used to be Joey’s workshop. Students from different schools
come. Priests, nuns and lay people go there for recollections.

God willing, we also plan to build a museum that will not only
house Joey’s paintings, but also provide art classes to different
levels of students.

A Legacy of Grace
His first unknown painting was that of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All
Grace, whom he dreamt of during the early stage of his illness.
Since then, Joey had a special devotion to her. Every first Saturday
of the month, we made a pilgrimage to her shrine in Lipa, Batangas.

Now that Joey’s gone, I still do it. One time, I went there with
a special prayer intention. I told Mama Mary, “Our Lady, I pray that
God will continue to pour upon us the grace that He showered on
us when Joey was still alive.”

As I drove home, I just felt that I knew what I needed to do. I
was joyful. I sent a text message to my nun-friend there, “Sister, it
looks like Joey did not just leave me a lot of things to do for the
foundation. It seems that Our Lady also transferred to me the
grace that she gave to Joey.”

With that grace, I continue to journey and take care of the
work that Joey had left behind.

It’s my way of keeping his spirit alive — and of showing him
how much I love him, even to this day.

To schedule a visit to Joey Velasco’s gallery and to know how you
can help the foundation, please email [email protected] or call 936-6123, 428-7300, 0933-964-8965 or

For donations, please send your cash or check to:
Joey Velasco Foundation
Metrobank-Fairview Branch
Acct. No. 241-3-24133546-2


Queeny, center, with the Hapag Village
mothers who are slowly being trans-
formed through the initiatives of JV


This is the gallery’s ground floor area. The gallery also serves
as a reflection area for guests.

Page 43

Rhenee and Lisa are expecting their
firstborn in March 2012.


ray, hope and don’t worry.”

This is one of the most famous statements attributed to St. Pio of
Pietrelcina. Ironically, our family did not know St. Pio that well until last year,

when he helped grant a prayer, a miracle that we had been waiting for
My husband, Rhenee, and I got married on December 23, 2000. I distinctly

remember telling him on our second anniversary that we would be celebrating our
10th year of marriage by renewing our vows, with our own children as part of the
wedding entourage.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last year but what we had initially
discussed many years ago did not come to be — because we were still childless.

After much prayer, many checkups and various unsuccessful natural fertility
treatments, we had already accepted the fact that we would be one of those couples
that would grow old together without the blessing of having our own children. We had
even discussed the idea of adoption but never really seriously considered or explored
it actively as we both work in Brunei.

In the last quarter of 2009, Rhenee’s employment contract ended and he decided
to become a mission volunteer for our Catholic community, Couples for Christ,
serving our CFC brethren in the Borneo mission area, specifically Sibu, Sarawak and
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. As for myself, the Lord blessed me with a new and more stable
job with an international company, which was really timely as we were facing a very
challenging financial situation at that time. All throughout this period, we continued
to remain active members of CFC in Brunei.

A Blessed Homecoming
In July 2011, we went home to the Philippines to attend a cousin’s wedding. During
that short trip home, Rhenee and I were able to hear Sunday Mass at the St. Pio Chapel
in Libis, Quezon City with my parents, sister and her family. My mom was the one
who first told me about the chapel and St. Pio and the many prayers that had been
answered through his intercession. She told us that Rhenee and I should visit the
chapel and pray to St. Pio to grant our prayers for a child.

While waiting for the Holy Mass to begin, Rhenee and I were handed pieces of
paper where we could write our prayer requests to St. Pio. We did so, and after the
Mass, we even stayed behind to be prayed over by one of the Eucharistic ministers at
the chapel.

storyone last
A few days after that visit to St.

Pio’s chapel, I went back to Brunei while
Rhenee remained for another week in the
Philippines before following me there. He
stayed for a week or so before leaving for
a five-week mission trip to Sibu, Sarawak.

Pregnant at Last!
About a week into his mission in Sibu, I
decided to take a pregnancy test since I
had not had my monthly period for over
two months. Actually this was not an
unusual case for me as I had always had
irregular periods since puberty. I don’t
know why this time around, I decided to
take the test. Much to my surprise, the test
result was positive!

I couldn’t believe my eyes and even
thought that perhaps I had taken the test
incorrectly. So, the day after, I took another
pregnancy test, this time following the
instructions carefully. The test still came
out positive!

I immediately called Rhenee and told
him the news, but we decided to contain
our joy first until I had gone to a doctor to
really confirm that I was pregnant.

The following day, the first thing I did
was to go to the clinic, where the doctor
gave me another pregnancy test — the
result was the same! Despite this, though,
I asked her to perform blood tests and
an ultrasound because with my fertility
history, I really wanted to be sure that I
was positively pregnant before making any
public declarations.

After my visit to the clinic, I immediately
called my mom and told her the news,
which she received with tears of joy, and
she declared that God, through St. Pio, had
granted our prayers.

A week later, the blood test results
were “consistent with pregnancy” and the
doctor took the first picture of my growing
baby inside my womb at approximately 10
weeks old. God had indeed answered our
prayers through the intercession of St. Pio.

St. Pio’s words, “Pray, hope and don’t
worry,” had come true for us. Even if we
had already given up on being parents,
the Lord, through the prayers of St. Pio and
all our family members and brothers and
sisters in CFC, had granted us our desire. All
praise and thanks to Him for this wonderful
miracle of life!

By Lisa Bobiles as told to Tina Santiago-Rodriguez

of life

Page 44


By Bo Sanchez


Bless the readers of Kerygma, Lord. I know that You want to bless them abundantly, but many of them aren’t ready to receive Your
blessings. Grant them the grace of opening their minds and hearts to what You want them to learn in their financial lives so that
they, too, may experience the joy of giving more to those in need. Teach them temperance and prudence in handling whatever little
or big resources they have right now. May they be responsible stewards of whatever blessings You will give them. Amen.

Praying for you, Email your prayer requests to me at [email protected] or write to me at
Shepherd’s Voice Publications, #60 Chicago St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109.

Contactpoint of

heal your diseases, bless your
problems and direct you to the

path He wants you to take. I pray that
God remove your fears and give you the
courage to surrender your burdens to Him.

So place your hand over my hand, and let’s
pray with trust, together with our prayer team
of intercessors praying for you right now…

This page is our Point of Contact, our spiritual
Say after me…

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit.

Lord, I surrender to You my worries and
anxieties. I surrender to You my needs, my
problems, my trials. I place them all in Your
big hands. And I open myself to all that You
want to give to me. On this day, I say yes to
Your love, to Your blessings, to Your healing, to
Your miracles. And Lord, specifically, I ask for
the following miracles for my life...

I believe that You answer my prayer in the best
way possible! And I thank You in advance for
the perfect answers to my prayers. I also ask
for the special intercession of Mama Mary. I
pray all this in the Name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

I pray that you
receive your
miracles in
Jesus’ name!

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