The 21st Century: New Era, New Challenges
More sesshin are held and led by the two Japanese roshi as well as by Nenates Sensei and Tony Sensei. The articles of incorporation of the sangha are amended: the community’s official name becomes Zen Center for Oriental Spirituality in the Philippines.
In November 2000, the Sanbo Kyodan International Kenshukai is held in Manila. In October 2001, Nenates Pineda Sensei is appointed Associate Zen Master (Roshi) of the Sanbo Kyodan, the first Filipino to hold this position of responsibility and honor.
A new sangha is born in Iloilo under the guidance of Tony Sensei. Sesshin are held twice a year with Nenates Roshi officiating.
Tony Sensei, suffering from ankylosing spondilitis, relinquishes the leadership of the Center to Nenates Roshi. In April 2002, he passes away at the age of 64. A memorial book entitled The Bright Field is published in his memory.
The current batch of seniors undergo advanced training patterned after the Sanbo Kyodan international kenshukai, first in Dallas 2002 and then twice a year in Marikina.
In 2003, Elda Perez and Rollie del Rosario are appointed Zen Teachers of the Sanbo Kyodan. In the same year, Nenates Roshi announces that she is migrating to Canada within two years and will take over Sr. Elaine’s zendo there. She trains the current batch of seniors more intensively for the transition.
New extension sanghas become active: Ayala Alabang and Makati. Nenates Roshi leaves Manila in June 2005. Elda Perez takes over as acting president of the Center. Fledgling sanghas are born in Cagayan de Oro City and Silay. Carmen Afable is appointed Zen Teacher of the Sanbo Kyodan. Sr. Angeles Martinez-Paredes is also made a Zen Teacher of the Sanbo Kyodan a few years later.
In September 2009, Kenshukai is held in the Philippines for a second time. Unlike the 2000 kenshukai which was participated in by the first generation of zen teachers numbering less than 20, the 2009 kenshukai was attended by the second generation with more than 40 participants.
In the same year, Saturday afternoon sits start at the St. Scholastica Museum and Archives building along Vito Cruz in Manila. These are led by Rollie del Rosario. The sits are first held monthly, then weekly. In 2011, Irene Araneta and Bro. Jun Estrellas, FSC are appointed assistant teachers of the SanboKyodan.
In 2012, Ruben Habito Roshi visits from the U.S. and facilitates a sesshin in Maryridge to members of the Philippine sangha. He returns in 2013 and 2014 to give more sesshin in Manila, Baguio and Davao.
In early 2013, Sr. Rosario and Rollie Sensei establish a new zendo in the Good Shepherd compound in Quezon City. They name it the Full Circle Zendo because the Good Shepherd compound was where the Philippine sangha was born.
In 2014, the Zen Center is reorganized after the resignation of Elda Perez. Yamada Ryo’un Roshi comes in August to give sesshin. At sesshin’s end, the Roshi announces the appointment of Rollie del Rosario as Associate Zen Master (Roshi) of Sanbo-Zen International, the new name of Sanbo Kyodan.