If you’ve been reading my blog (even if I don’t post too much), you’ll feel that I am somehow active in our parish and diocese. A week ago, my co-youth ministers and I joined the National Youth Day 2019 which is held in Cebu City. There are 12,000 young people who joined this momentous event. That’s actually a big number.
The whole delegation was divided into 9 Festival Sites. Each Festival Site came from different cities and provinces in Cebu. Each site had several parishes as well were delegates were assigned to stay to their Host Parish. The 12,000 crowds met during the opening and closing program only. The rest of the activities were held either in festival site or the host parish.
Top 8 NYD2019 Highlights
- Joining a big diocesan group. For an introvert like me, I never liked huge talking crowds. I can survive with 10-20 people with me. But, being with 82 co-delegates for a month, definitely challenged my whole being. These are my new-found friends coming from the 75 parishes in our diocese. Hurray for being able to survive in all formation that includes team building, formations, and a lot of preparations!
- Being with a foster family. I really enjoyed being with 15 foster siblings! We were 18 in our home, and despite having one washroom for all, we definitely loved what happened. What I’d missed about this were our late night talks. Our conversation really lasted until two in the morning! I enjoyed asking questions about the new friends I’ve met.
- Opening Mass at Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino de Cebu. It was my first time attending this Mass at Cebu. I never expected to be celebrating this event with other 12,000 mass-goers. We were so blessed that night. In fact, we also did the Sinulog Festival, where we untiringly shouted Pit Senyor the whole time! It was a must-try experience for everyone. 🙂
- Praise and Worship at Lilo-an, Cebu. What makes our Festival Site unique is its fiesta! The volunteers were so accommodating enough to facilitate some games, and praise and worship night for us. We were able to meet locals and volunteers. I managed to play games, despite being so introvert. Thank God, I survived!
- Immersion at the Piggery. It was my first time to see the actual place where pigs stay. I somehow started to doubt myself why do I eat pork. Also, I actually cleaned their home, and let the pigs enjoy the coldness coming from the fresh water. They were so adorable and cute!
- Parish Night + Cultural Presentation. We prepared a cultural presentation entitled Sumaka (Festival). This was the most known song about Antipolo. Search it, please. We wore a costume and held fancy props which made our presentation unique.
- Eucharistic Adoration, HUDYAKA, and Youth Jam. This is one of the best highlights in the NYD2019. We were so solemn in joining the adoration. We shouted out loud as we sing praises to the Lord. I wish I could have another opportunity like this.
- Dialogue with Bishops. It is very rare to see bishops meeting and talking about certain topics at the same time. Hence, the whole delegation was so blessed in hearing these adults’ insights about life and faith. Here are my insights:
Do what pleases God. Do what brings greater glory to God. Help a person fall in love with God.
Ang bilis lumipas ng one week. If I would be given a chance to be with the same people, at the same place all over again, I would be. It was so nice meeting new people and talking to them. I loved hearing so many stories that I could only get from going out of my shell.
Learnings from NYD 2019
- Staying grounded and focus. I have a lot of distractions from day 1. I could not focus that much because of a lot of thoughts in my head. I am way too busy dealing with personal issues as I travel with my co-delegates. Good thing, the group has always reminded me of this: “Balikan ang purpose.” It’s an inside joke, about not having crushes or not being so maharot in the activity. But for me, I wasn’t maharot or what, I was just too distracted. So whenever I am distracted, I remind myself of going back to my purpose.
- Opening myself to others. I have trust issues and introvert issues at the same time. I am so careful about who I should trust these days. The good thing is that God allowed me to be more open to others. God allowed me to meet people with the same heart and passion as mine. I may be too judgmental on the inside, but I didn’t let this judgment take over me. I was able to reach out to other people. I TALKED a lot and SHARED a lot of my thoughts. This was tiring, but worthy.
- Being humble and appreciating simplicity. The place where we stay was so simple. The life there was also basic and simple. For me, simplicity is a blessing. I am so tired dealing with my personal development that sometimes I forget to go back to my roots of being simple. I am swayed to become a better version of myself in terms of finance, to the point that I am forgetting who I really am. Thank God for reminding me to be humble and to appreciate simplicity. Life does not have to be complicated, right?
“Jesus will always be there to retore your strength and hope.”
That’s all I can share. 🙂 How was your summer so far? 🙂 Let me end my post with this quote from Pope Francis.
“Christ is alive and He wants you to be alive.”