I went to Malaybalay 7 hours after I got home from the USA. Remind me not to do that again. By Wednesday, I was coughing and sneezing – and my voice was disappearing. By Thursday, I was a paracetamol- and ibuprofen-popper. Remember Xavy, you are 35 years old. Not 20. Hay, the hazards of age.
I met up with the YFL and SFL delegations in Cagayan de Oro before bus-ing it over to Malaybalay. Another reminder: it doesn’t prepare you spiritually to watch Taken and Assassin on the bus. All that shooting and killing doesn’t really lend itself to Transforming the World. I also have some deep Theological reflections on Taken… which I may put in a separate blog altogether (how the butcher wore an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe; how son was used to kill father; etc.).
We (myself, Joseph, Pat, Cocoi, JC, Marie, Joji, Dave, Ina, EJ and Dylan) attended the National Conference for Youth Ministers 2010. An event held every 2 years. They were official delegates, and I was a tag-along. I officially attended the one 2 years ago in Jaro. That was a fun experience in itself!
It was 5 full days of activities, and to go through all of them would be a Thesis, not a blog. So let me pick out 10 things I loved about the NCYM 2010:
1. Malaybalay! I love this town! It is cool and breezy – even quite cold in the evening. Nice and quiet. Baguio-like. The town is small enough to get around on a Motorella (see jeep-like transport in picture aboooove) and P6.00. I could do with more than a Jollibee and a Mang Inasal. But hey, for a small town, it does itself good.
2. The chance to be in NCYM again, and as a resource person. I didn’t think I was going to go this year. My service is not specifically to YFL or SFL, so I would not include myself in their delegations. But it was definitely a blessing to be tapped by the CBCP ECY to go and serve. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it! [Picture below is of the Mass after the workshop I gave]
3. Bishop Ambo David! I LOVED his talk! He was informative, funny, inspiring – all in one. He spoke from his experience to our hearts. There aren’t that many engaging and transformative speakers. Bishop Ambo is definitely one of those people. I hope we get to hear him again soon.
4. Seeing the reality of Youth Ministry ministers. No one is perfect. Not even me (surprise, surprise!). But it becomes painfully apparent sometimes. An unexpected sharing from an unexpected person in an unexpected setting – and the unprecedented reaction it gets. Lambanog being served at an exhibit in a Church (am I being old fashioned?). And, one of the best wake-up calls for me was seeing this slogan on Social Transformation:
5. Praise God for Bishop Bong! There is hope when the leader exudes hope as well. I am not sucking up when I say this, but I do know that Youth Ministry will go far and wide under his leadership.
6. The talented BukYo – especially the BSU Choir. Great voices! Here’s a clip of what they performed on opening night. It is enough to remember the whole NCYM. Sounds from Heaven, I tell you.
7. The theme / message of the NCYM. Maybe it comes with age… but I do feel that the theme / message of this NCYM was very relevant. Discipleship and Transformation. I learned a lot from the whole week. I won’t judge to say that maybe some of the younger and newer participants didn’t learn as much – but I hope the Dioceses will be able to have follow-up teachings and modules to the NCYM. So it doesn’t just end up as an experience.
8. Fun with friends – passionate friends. I love my friends. And I love it when we can be passionate and discuss things that affect our lives. I love this point so much that I will write about it separately.
9. ECY @ 25 AND
10. Year of the Youth
There is still SO. MUCH. MORE. TO. COME.
And to end, let’s watch the theme song and dance of the NCYM. It will open our eyes to the work at hand.