Naga City, Philippines: Marian Youth Congress

23 September 2013

From Frances and Pao, we received this report on the Marian Youth Congress (MYC) held in Naga City, Bicol on 14th September 2013:

“It was like the Genfest.” This is how many of us described the experience we had at the Marian Youth Congress. Since most of us attending this event in Naga City had participated to the Genfest, we all experienced the same feeling as we had in Budapest, that is, the unity and love not just among us but also with all the youth of the Bicol region.

However, presenting our ideal of unity to the youth was not as easy as we thought it would be. From the script up to the presentation itself, we experienced doubts in ourselves. Writing the script for the MYC was a tough job. We don’t know where to start, what to write, how to put ourselves in the shoes of the youth of Naga City, how to connect the ideal to the event, and how to share everything about the ideal in a very limited time. But then we realized, if we will not share what them what we are living, how can we help in building a united world?

At a certain point we entrusted everything to Jesus and we tried to open our hearts to what He would say to the youth. After 8 revisions, we finally came up with the most organized, brief, and clear script. Few hours before our presentation we were still rehearsing, cramming and finalizing our visual presentations.

As we enter the Jesse Robredo Coliseum, we were shocked by the big number of youth present. In front of such a big crowd of 6000 youth, and amidst some technical problems we were a little tense at first, however, we overcame everything by renewing our mutual love. To our great surprise, we started seeing the youth dancing to our songs with us. After the programme, someone approached us asking where he could find these songs. Another commented, ‘Nice message!’

Afterwards, we attended mass at the Cathedral and the Archbishop spoke of the Pope’s message at the

World Youth Day: “Go. Do not be afraid. Serve.” With this, we knew that the 6000 youth and us, the Youth for a United World, aim for one thing; and that is to strengthen the Faith and to carry out concrete actions in loving and serving others.

On the way home, we shared on how we tried to give our life ideal to the youth gathered at the MYC. We never thought of receiving anything in return, however, we experienced something that we will always treasure in our hearts. We all look forward to being invited again on the next Marian Youth Congresses.”

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