Sunday, November 28, 2010

Loy Kratong

With the beginning of advent season, this is also another opportunity for the Thai festival called “Loy Kratong” to reflect our life with the water especially water in our life.

On the Loy Kratong night, at dinner, everyone wears their own costumes, especially Thai students because they have a new costumes,and it is Thai trandition and Thai festival. We also have Kratong making competition. We made Krantong by year level.Fr. Bom, who acclaimed the first year Kratong as the winner.
Tonight we enjoyed eating especially Thai foods which were served. Some of none Thai students who have experience Loy Kratong festival in Thailand were given the chance to share their espresions and experience. After dinner, all of us went to the pond in the middle of our garden for Loy Kratong floating. We hope that all of the Kratongs would float but our hope sometime, fails because the Kratong of the Second year sank as Fr. Bom foretold.

Why do we have Loy Kratong festival? It Is too long history. The interpretation and the meaning of Loy kratong are not only for fun, but it has a meaning for our lives too. In the tradition we believe that water is the most important for our life, so we come together in the river with our Kratong, say a prayer of thanksgiving and apologize the river or the water before we float the kratong. We believe also that when we are floating the Kratong we also floating the bad thing in our life.
We come together here not only to celebrate the festival only, but also the Kratong reminds us that we are also floating ourselves in the same boat in the wide space of the ocean. It is not easy to float our boat alone but with the helping of each other our boat will smoothly go to its direction, even though sometimes we encounter the surge of the wind or other storms of life.

Lastly, we hope that the Loy Kratong festival will continue to the next years. Thank God that we have beautiful festivals, and thanks also to the whole community who supported our festival celebration.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hardly a day had passed since the end of our mid year retreat that the students were off again. This time to Davao Del Norte and Compostella Valley for our much awaited community vacation. The students had given the community committee a very challenging task by requesting for a vacation that encompassed the elements of Sun, Sand and Sea as well as Scenic Views and Cool Mountain Air. I don’t think that mother nature in all her beauty and grandeur would be able to meet the demands of the students in one location at least here on earth. However the community committee did not let this seemingly impossible requirement from getting in the way of planning a fantastic vacation for the community.

In addition, the Philippines as an island chain formed by seismic and volcanic activity does offer though not in one location but in relatively close proximity the elements requested by the demanding students. Thus the plan would be to drop by a beach resort on the first day in Davao Del Norte close by to Tagum City before heading off to Haven’s Peak Resort in picturesque Compostella Valley.

First stop was Sun, Sand and Sea at Manaklay Beach Resort Some of the students spent the morning swimming and playing beach volley ball whilst others were content to just soak in the refreshing sea breeze and laid back atmosphere of the beach resort. After a packed lunch of pasta, chicken and water melon, the students were on the road again heading further east up into the mountains of Compostella Valley.

After a 5 hour drive through some challenging country roads, we finally reached Maragusan. Home of Haven’s Peak our mountain resort and home for the next 2 days. Passing through the town proper, our convoy of three vehicles were soon reach the base of the resort but due to a slight down pour earlier, the dirt road leading up to the resort itself became an impediment for our vehicles and thus one by one, the students and formators chipped in to push the vehicles through and up to the resort‘s entrance and carpark only to find that the final challenge lay in walking the 203 steps up to the resort itself. What a trek. The rest of the evening saw the students in various parts of the resort enjoying the cool and refreshing mountain air.

The next day was a jam packed, activity filled day from morning to evening as the students went river trekking, swimming at two different waterfalls and cold spring. The day was nicely capped by a relaxing dip in a hot spring. Well relaxing at first until some of the students decided to human trampoline the others one by one. All too soon on the next day, the vacation came to an end. It was a tremendous effort done by the community committee. Kudos to the guys who went out of their way to ensure a great vacation for their fellow students.