By: Megs S. Lunn
|Infant Jesus Academy delegates|
The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Region VI held their annual 2014 CEAP VI Regional Youth Congress on August 2-3, 2014 at the San Agustin University, Iloilo City. More or less 3,000 Catholic students in Region VI, among which were the 37 delegates of Infant Jesus Academy and 58 delegates of the Aklan Catholic College who represented CEAP-Aklan attended the overnight affair. This year’s theme is “Defining The Transformative Role Of The Catholic Education In A Changing World.”
“The youth is not only the future but also the present. The Youth are agents of evangelization with their peers. The youth are in the stage of searching for truth and meaning in life that Jesus, who is the truth and their friends that can provide.” (Proposition 51 on the New Evangelization)
In the first talk by Mr. Stephen Borja, he challenged the delegates that the gifts, talents and skills given and entrusted to them by God are opportunities to be good people to be used for the common good in their life experiences and in serving for good, because kindness keeps the world afloat.”
They also shared what Pope Francis said once, “if you want to change the world, remember only three (3) things: 1. Remember to say Thank you. 2. Remember to say “May I…?” and 3. Learn to say “I am sorry.”
“That what little we can do, we must do. What we are called to is to love more and do it without waiting a moment longer.” (Brod Alois of the Taize Community in his letter to Kenya).
The next speaker, a humorous author, Mr. Michael Angelo Lobrin of De La Salle University talked about the youth as a blessing. He cited that “from a life of simplicity to modernity, it led us into a seeming life of insecurity. So we need to breathe freely and feel that when you are blessed, you are blessing the world, too, to turn crisis into defining moments that life is a choice and what you chose, you become.”
He suggested three simple things: 1. Focus. Occupy our place with focus 2. Be grateful. Learn to count your blessings, instead of counting what you don’t have and thank God every morning that you wake up, stop complaining and remember that the greatest mistakes are learned through failures and not success. and 3. Remain humble. Have attitude and humility.
Human Trafficking was presented where they gave some cautions and practical ways to prevent and protect our youth to become victims. You are a victim when and if - 1. Fake passport, 2. Unclear terms and conditions, 3. No contract and working visa, 4. Keeping the victim away from other people, and 5. Isolating their documents away. At the end of the day, you are harassed and insulted. That is equal to VICTIM. Human trafficking as an act, means and has a purpose. They showed video clips of the reality of human trafficking in the country where most of the victims are young girls.
They also had a film showing of St. Pedro Calungsod, the Filipino Saint whose obedience and faith in God inspired him to live according to the Will of the Father, against all odds.
The San Agustin University Troubadours offered great rendition of their acapella songs, while each school delegates performed their showcase of gifts in between. Mr. Mark Ianne Ang and Ms. Marian Emeri Arellano did a great job in the emceeing from August 2 @ 3:00 pm up to the wee hours of August 3, 2014.
The CEAP is commissioned to advance and promote the teaching function of the Catholic Church. It contributes towards the attainment of the objective, “the total development of the human person” through a Catholic orientation in accordance with the norms of the Church, consistent with national development goals as expressed in the Philippine Constitution.
The CEAP promotes religious instruction as an essential element of Catholic education, thereby contributing towards character formation and citizenship building. /MP