On the upper right (red) side, the tower of Castille portrays the Almighty God in the tower He who is called in Psalm 60, “My shelter, a strong tower against the enemy.” The three windows in the figure of the tower signify the Three Divine Persons. To its right is a Crescent, the symbol of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Archdiocese of Manila.
On the lower right (blue) side, a sea lion engarde holding a pilgrim’s cross on its right represents the origin of Christianity through the evangelization of the Philippines by the Spaniards and the Philippines’ role in Christianizing the Orient. Manila played a key role in the development of faith for the whole of the Philippine archipelago. The sea lion itself is the symbol of the Philippines.
On the right, which represents the coat of arms of the Archbishop, there are three levels.
The top level reveals his personal devotion to Jesus, Mary and Joseph, through the three symbols. The three are not just individual objects of devotion, but focal expressions of unity in a basic community, sample of the Trinity.
The middle level signifies both the family origin (rose) and his former assignment as Archbishop of Lipa (Taal Lake of Batangas province).
The bottom level depicts Kitanlad mountain, the second peak in the Philippines which towers over Bukidnon where he spent more than a decade of meaningful pastoral ministry among the people of Central Northern Mindanao—the prelature, and later, Diocese of Malaybalay.
Si mortuum fuerit, fructum affert. “If it dies, it brings forth fruit” (John 12:24).
The Archbishop has not only fallen in love with this verse, he also has sworn to live by it. This means that his life is not keyed on success or good name. He has to live with brokenness in order to live again in His promise. People and communities are accompanied in life with verse so also along the same spirit of Vatican II’s Optatem Totius (OT, 7, 8).