Recalling that seedbed experience

Robie de Guia looks back to that fateful day in his seminary life when he had the epiphany. This has never left him ever since.


St. John Bosco inspires not just young people but Catholic faithful from all walks of life. As we continue with the novena days in honor of The Saint of Youth, #HappyBirthdayDonBosco team shares with you reflections of various professionals who have been influenced by our beloved Saint. Graphics by Mark Anthony Ramos.


It was 15 years ago but I still remember everything so vividly: the silence of the night, the cold air, and the relaxed atmosphere in the whole seminary complex.

 I went inside the office of the rector, Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB (now rector of Don Bosco Technical College-Mandaluyong) and sat on a chair facing his.

“I don’t really like praying, it drives me crazy, especially those prayers that we keep repeating. I can’t focus long enough, my mind wanders in an instant,” I told him.

It felt really despicable telling him this.

Back then I was still a first year seminarian, my classmates were really, amazing! We had Jake Lopez (now a priest) was literally holy! Marlon Eleosida (now a two-year old priest) who the only thing missing back then was a halo! These guys genuinely enjoy praying. They are amazing! Can you just imagine where it leaves me?

“Spirituality is about accepting God in your heart. Please don’t force yourself to do mental prayers in the morning, you will go insane.”

He then told me, “Just sit there and feel HIS presence,” and, “do your ordinary duties extraordinarily well.” He was aware perhaps of my being borderline ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

And then I had an epiphany. Everything became clear to me. I left his office with a smile on my face and the chills I felt all over my body.

The next day was the most beautiful day of my life. I felt renewed. I was just walking around campus by myself, feeling God as the wind embraces me, feeling God as the warmth of the sun bites my skin, feeling God while hearing the silence, it was more than magical!

I was sent to a Salesian school since pre-school: Mary Help of Christians. I went to Rizal Institute for high school (back then, it was under the tutelage of the Salesians), and in college, I went to Don Bosco College in Canlubang. But it was only then that I fully understood the true meaning of “Do your extraordinary duties extraordinarily well.”

Growing up, I used to see it everywhere but it never really meant anything to me. Not until then.

After that day, although I left the seminary, I lived my life doing my ordinary duties extraordinarily well.

Although I was not able to finish my college in Don Bosco, I was able to finish my masters in Entrepreneurship at the age of 30, and at the age of 31, I became the President of Dünsk Kuhner Corp, a multinational corporation.

To me, life is never about success, but it’s about doing my ordinary duties extraordinarily well.


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