Monday, August 10, 2009

Wasting Time Isn’t a Waste

Once in a month on a Monday, we waste our time together as a community, and for this month we did it “along the shore” last August 3. The Redemptorist resort in Babak, Samal Island was the destination. Leaving the house just after breakfast, the convoy moved on with quite a difficulty. Well, the road was rough and terrible, leading us to a merry-go-round trip as though we’re playing hide-and-seek. But, oh, at least we made it to the place. Not to mention a dozen or more of broken beer and the steep slope that our knees have to endure.

As soon as everyone had arrived, the fun had started to manifest itself – of course it was ours to make!
Some were in one corner feeling the thrill playing and/or watching card games and UNO Jenga. The latter was both interesting and intense as everyone anticipates for every game’s end. A glass of beer “dearly” awaits the loser (it’s not a lose, don’t you think it is?) The game even sounded favorable to others. Both the players and the onlookers were holding their breath each time the pieces of UNO quiver and collapse. More beer please!

Others felt like they were in the limelight as they stole the others’ attention “roaring”, oh I mean singing, in the videoke. Songs of different genres were sung but it was songs like “La Bamba” and the like that heightened the intensity of the fun, complemented by the hilarious moves of those who found themselves in the dance floor – Fr. Brendan O. in his wiggling feet, John in his wobbling hand-tummy-knee combination and Joseph in his stiff yet breathtaking steps to name a few. Shake, screech and sweat!

Likewise, others enjoyed the panoramic view of the low-tide sea in a clear sunny day. Both the Boracay-like sand (really?) and the soft breeze blowing under the sweltering heat of the sun made the place more relaxing. But did anybody dared to swim?

Foods and drinks were given facts in gatherings like this – rather too many to mention. Oh, the junk foods are reminiscent of the days that have been in our childhood years!

After filling the stomach during the lunch, one by one we searched for a cozy place to take our catnap. Let us see who the real missionaries are. There was an open space upstairs, rooms and benches downstairs in the small yet equally comfortable house where some took their nap. The shore and its alluring white sand was enough for others to spend forty winks. The dog on their side made their nap even adoring. But a brother was creative and daring enough to take his siesta up on the tree. Sweet dreams!

At around 3pm, we cleared up our things and journeyed back home –again, a short trek and sea-crossing event before finally coming home. The day’s event was indeed full of merry-making. Though a bit tired, I believe out wasting time together was not a waste. ‘Til then!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

SATMI Cultural Night

On this day August 9 we had for the first time a SATMI cultural night. This night was actually the culmination of the cultural week which began on Tuesday, August 4. Students were given an opportunity to submit their compositions (it could be a song, a poem, an art work, or an essay) to the contest under the theme "Evangelization through Cultures."

The event was held in the seminar house from 8 pm to 10 pm. Almost all SATMI students and professors were there. So we had around 40 audiences that night. The judges for the contest were Fr. Cruz, Fr. Picx, and Fr. Ariel Lubi. The night began with the presentation of Thai songs from our Thai CSsR students. Then the first individual entry was presented. Shawn, featuring Arnel on the drums, performed a song that he composed some time ago in the past. The next presentation was from the Filipino CSsR students. At some point, this show somehow made me feel like I was watching the circus where you could see acrobats putting on a breath taking show. After that we had another individual presentation by RJ with his original composition. The group performance by Malaysian and Singaporean students made me understand that before Terence and John became a Redemptorist they used to be masters of martial arts. The last individual entry was from Joseph who, appeared on the stage with full Vietnamese attire, came to show us what it is to be a real entertainer. Well, Joseph, even though your song did not win the first prize, but you did own the crowd, man. The next group entry was from our CSsR students who came all the way from Indonesia to show their local dancing steps. And the last group entry of the night came from TOR (Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular) students who, through their beautiful songs and a little play, creatively presented to the audience the values of Filipino people. Wait! Actually there was one more special number from Tiburce, our fellow student from Congo who sang for us his own local song. Thanks man for adding to this night another truely cultural flavor.

Before the announcement of the winners, we had a surprised number from our professors led by Fr. Cruz, as shown in the picture above. Then finally we came to the last part of the program, the announcement of the winners and prizes. The presenters of the prizes were Fr. Ben, Fr. Brendan, and Sr. Miriam. And the winner of the individual entry was (music...) Rrrrrrrr...J! A round of applause, please. And the best group entry went to (music agian ...) the TOR students! Another big round of applause. Congratulations to everybody. And see you next year for the next SATMI cultural night.

( BOY )

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Fiesta Alphy!!!

[the presentation]

It's 1st August, the feast day of St Alphonsus. So firstly, HAPPY FEAST day to all the reds out there.

Our community started the day with a community mass in the main church at 6am. YES! (you read it right, 6am!!!) We spotted some sleepy heads, but most of the guys were perky and up and running. Br Raymond and Br Ole were all smart and charming assisting Fr Bebot as acolytes, our famous SATMI band (who are starting to get some popularity around the region, so I heard) was playing for the mass, and everyone else just joined in.

We had a little introduction before mass, so the parishioners won't get totally lost as to who St Alphonsus is and what was all the hype about. Fr Bebot was the main celebrant and he gave a wonderful homily on St Alphonsus (okok.. so i dozed off a little, but i'm sure he mentioned St Alphonsus!)

During the intercession, 5 student representatives from the different region went up and prayed for different causes: Redemptorist, Missionaries, the poor, those we administer to, and vocations. I hope we didn't forget anyone or anything important.

After the mass, everyone relaxed a little. But soon many were working again.

The first year students started preparing the stage in the covered court for the symposium in the afternoon. The second year set up the sound systems. Many chipped in to get everything in place.

And finally, at 1:30am, all the students involved in the opening dance drama sequence gathered to get ready. At 2pm local time (which is mga 2:30pm) we started the symposium. After the opening prayer, the dance drama commenced. I will have to say, with the limited time for the practice, we did pretty well. (Clap clap for all students!!!)

[the participants]

oh... i almost forgot to mention. The turnout for the symposium was not that bad, we had probably around 100 participants. And of course, they were charmed by our presenter Sr Miriam (is my buttering up a bit too obvious?) But seriously, I belive Sr Miriam managed to get across some good points to the participants.

[Sr Miriam presenting her talk on St Paul]

No prize in guessing what comes next. Food! Of course. So that ends the session for our day :P

So that's it. Until next time.

Happy feast day to all, and may our dear Alphy look down from heaven and bless us all!!!