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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

100% Katolikong Pinoy Catacumba Remembered

By Philip Reyes

Its one of the things that got me really worked out the past weeks. I was jumbling the meetings and my work. I was hesitant at first in the first meeting of the group. It was organized by Paulo. The first meeting was fine made more colorful by Chaos (Jar-Ar).

The initial meeting was followed by more meetings in which I was so happy I ended buying food for them more than twice. I really enjoyed the presence of Abi, Chelly, Paulo, Dean, Ryan, Randolf, Ryan, Dar, and the rest of the FRC members. It somehow gave a reason to relive my Catholic faith.

The last few days before May 16 were sure a lot of stress for me, I bet the same thing happened to the other guys of the core group. A few days earlier I had already printed the ID’s and the registration forms. But I still haven’t found the place where to print the tarpaulin. I still haven’t decided on the give-ways. I only managed to have the tarpaulin and the give-a-ways—I just decided on rosaries—on the last few hours of the assembly. When I got to the place most of the guys were really ready to go home.

I hardly slept that night too exited of what will happen. Will it be a success? How many will be going? We just presumed about a hundred. How will the group bond with the others and such? I was very concerned about how will they react when they see me. But I said I had to respect their reactions on me.

So the day finally came. And I woke up late at 6:00 am. And to learn that I there are tons of messages from Chelly and Paulo. I hurried all my stuff and prepared myself as fast as I could.

I arrived at Our Lady of La Paz a little way past 7:00 am so I started to look for the other guys. I just learned that no one has shown yet. So I decided to text and call Dean because he is nearest the venue with Ryan. They said they are just on their way. When I went back to the Church I just found out that Paulo, Abi with their friends already unpacking stuff. So they asked where the others are. I said they are just coming in maybe traffic. So I prepared the table for the registration. We waited for about sometime and was very anxious if people are really coming. So I told Paulo and the other guys to start praying the Rosary (part of the program) while waiting for people to come in. Then Paulo asked me to text Fr. Zenki about directions. It was a bad decision because I was bad with directions too. But I tried my best to direct him. Oh yeah I forgot that Randolf also came in just a while before this. He thought he was late I, I was thinking no problem since no one has shown up yet.

Paulo and the guys finished the rosary but no other guys have shown up yet. So we decided to wait still. Fr. Zenki came in at last or Chelli? After some time Mark and Francesco came in next. Paulo and the choir started to practice some songs for the mass.

By the time we were about to start the mass Fr. Zenki asked me if we are going to use still the Nicene Creed. He was too friendly (Fr. Zenki) I was shocked when he put his arms over me and Ryan. I hope he didn’t notice my shock, I don’t like being touched. But I told Fr. Zenki just to go on with the Apostles creed since I can’t find a tagalong version of the Nicene Creed. I liked the way he approached and talked to me. He was like a nice brother.

The mass started well. It was solemn and beautiful. Even we were very few it was much celebrated by everyone. Paulo, Chelli, Abi and the other guys sang. Randolf and Chelli also did commentation. I was asked to read the Prayer of the Faithful and agreed with Randolf without thinking. But was able to ask Paulo to read in instead. And yeah at least I was able to offer the flower with Randolf and Ryan (Bread and Wine). That was my first time after some many years of being an agnostic to be at the altar again.

After that we decided to go have a little rest. A lot was going through my mind. I mean why were they not yet here—the ones who pre-registered. I even made them their ID’s. And even forgot to make the ID for Ryan (Who Am I, God). But I made a decision to stick to the plan no matter what and besides if I get carried away by the situation the same might go with the others. So I pushed my spirit up and decided not to be let down by our small number.

By the time we moved to the Parish center we were behind the schedule with some parts not yet done. It seems for us a lesson in program management. We made changes here and there. I already forgot these small details. Fr. Zenki’s talk had to be cancelled because his doctor called in. So Paulo had to move his talk about being 100% Katolikong Pinoy. We had to tweak the program here and there. But amazingly everyone enjoyed themselves.

While some program was being done we were quite busy about the food at the back. We forgot the cups, had to buy ice and water. We were mixing here and there at the back.

Then we had the lunch because we already skipped the morning snack. I enjoyed the viand adobo with anise seeds. I love anise for some weird reasons. Like the way I love cinnamon with almost anything that I eat. Of course I overstuffed myself. I complimented Paulo’s mom for the nice adobo. Everyone was stuffed of course because we had a lot.

During the lunch Dean was asking me what to do with the second talk. I said we’ll just do some form of forum. But wasn’t sure of the topic but it seems Paulo knows what to do. I was one of the guys who were still eating before we started. We now started to set up the computer and the projector.

By this time its clear that I am already tired because my recollection of the events in the afternoon are very mixed up. At least my internet went with us this time because I was able to connect continuously with Kuya Francis. I keep insisting Francis to be my brother even though I am older than him. I was talking to Kuya Francis while people were setting down. This is while everyone was talking and I was chatting with him. But I was still not that technical so I wasn’t able to fix it so that we an talk to him. Sorry Kuya Francis.

Oh, yeah Paulo had his group present some songs and did some community songs. You know the songs that have some dance steps.

The thing I remembered the most was the sharing moment. How we got into 100% KP and what can they say to everyone. It was nice to hear each one of the stories. I just said that meeting these guys in person and seeing that there is an actual person writing those post makes me pause and think of what to write. I was particularly awestruck that I made an impact on some people’s lives, like Francesco. He called me a “devil’s advocate.” He’s right. And I cannot go against what he said. I enjoyed all the stories and the sharing.

Also Paulo was able to make something for the 2nd talk. He is one great man. I made him work much. I owe him a lot. But I bet its alright since he got a lot of energy and ideas to share. Then I tried to play Kuya Francis’ message and again I was only able to play it because the audio was very soft. I just told them to just watch and maybe just send the message thought email to all.

The last part was the comments, suggestions and future plans. I said it will be a dilemma for me of what will happen after the Catacumba. I mean what’s next. We have already organized ourselves. I suggested Parish visits of each member; maybe a monthly meeting. Francesco made the greatest contribution to this part. He said we need to have a direction (mission-vision) and someone to actually see to it that we will not go astray (Spiritual Director).

We ended happy with a song also after reading the message from Kuya Francis. We sang “I will sing forever” and then prayed a prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz.

We cleaned up of course. And went to Glorietta to bond some more.

I was dog tired that day but what the heck. I was with my beloved friends. I can see Jesus though them.

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