Baguio City — World Youth Congress 2014. It was such a radical weekend for almost 2,000 participants coming from all over the Philippines and abroad. This year’s congress was held at the Baguio Athletic Bowl, Baguio City, from April 11 to 13, 2014.
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
2 Timothy 1:7-8
The theme of the year is based on 2 Timothy 1:7-8. This verse challenges us to become radical witnesses for God as it inspires us to put our faith into action. Actions that manifest what we believe in; actions that define what we value and stand for. Hence the title, “Radikal”.
The event started with the Victor’s March, a parade of the youth’s declaration to be saints, martyrs, and warriors. The march was followed with a celebration of the Holy Mass presided by Bishop Carlito Cenzon, CICM, DD of the Diocese of Baguio.
The first session, RADICAL WITNESS, was given by Ate Sweet Roque. In this session, we are reminded that we are saints in the making. We are reminded that we have the capability to become saints; and it can happen by loving, imitating, and pursuing God. Everyone signed himself to desire to become saints by putting a hand print on the boards that state “Saints in the Making”. The session was led into praisefest by Kuya Michael Caiga.
The day ended with the Victor’s Night, a night of celebration of God’s radicality in the lives of young men and women. It was also the night when model areas and inspiring coordinators and servant-leaders were awarded. The model areas are: Good Shepherd Parish (Paranaque), Parish of the Risen Lord (Laguna), Batangas State University (Campus), and Lourdes School of Mandaluyong (High School). The inspiring coordinators are: Tito Andre and Tita Dory Esteban (Cubao), Tito Jerry and Tita Mercy Cruz (Pasig), Tito Venus and Tita Flor Serio (Northern Samar). The inspiring servant-leaders are: Ren Oray (Paranaque), Karen Penetrante (Pasig), Dennis Claus (Batangas).
The second day started with the Holy Mass presided by Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, DD, head of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth. It was followed with the Live Christ, Share Christ Sessions: Live Pure, Live the Word (Liturgical Bible Study), Live Full (No One in Need), and Live Life (YFL Lifestyle); all were done at four different venues around Baguio City. Simultaneously happening with the LCSC Sessions is the Philippine Servants Assembly for all top leaders of each area.
As the afternoon workshops are about to begin, rain fell hard in Baguio causing delay in the program. With that the Events Team, decided to gather all YFL’ at the bleachers of the Athletic Bowl for it was the only covered place. And we all know what happened next. The what-we-call “Epic Worship” was experienced by everyone. As Father Francis Gustilo would put it, he said, “All of us will remember Baguio. Because in Baguio we stood up to be radical!” That afternoon worship was such a sight to behold in all its beauty and full of love.
The afternoon workshops pushed through. The eleven workshops are: (1) Power Speech (2) Fish Bait (Social Media Evangelization); (3) Stills that Move; (4) Imagine Nation (Creative Evangelization); (5) Talk-Active; (6) Dare to Witness; (7) Practical Holiness; (8) YFL GIG; (9) E-Project; (10) The Grand Celebration; and (11) YouCat 101. Together with this eleven workshops, the couple coordinators are having their Coordinators Forum. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was also made available at this time.
The iSikat follows after the workshops where about twenty entries of YFL talents performed.
The second session, March of the Martyrs, was given by Kuya Rj Moriones. This session taught us that the only way to love is to selflessly give. We are called to be modern day martyrs. The entire night was capped with a praisefest led by Kuya Gam Guarnes; and an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament presided by Reverend Father Francis Gustilo, SDB.
On the last day was the third session, God Revolution, given by Kuya Dylan Reyes, where he emphasized the need for urgent evangelization; that we are warriors sent in a battle with the things we can do and the places we can go to. We are part of a revolution to build radical saints, martyrs, and warriors. The session was capped with a send-off praisefest led by Kuya Jerald Cruz, where everyone declared to be a warrior in a revolution for God. The celebration of the Holy Mass was then presided by Reverend Father Francis Gustilo, SDB.
The congress ended with a closing production of the WYC 2014 chant. As well, distinct districts were also given the conference awards. The Certificate of Appreciation was given to Baguio for being this year’s WYC host.
Also, districts who have reached the 100% mark in their allocation were also awarded. The following districts are: Antipolo, Bangkok (Thailand), Batangas, Cavite, Cubao, Hong Kong, Isabela, Lucena, Manila, Marbel, Mati, Paranaque, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, USA, and Zambales.
The entire weekend was a celebration and declaration of all YFL leaders that we are all part of the revolution to be RADICAL SAINTS, MARTYRS, AND WARRIORS.
Photo credits to our dear YFL brothers and sisters.