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Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I have lots of my life experiences to tell and got my own interpretations, but I just noticed, that my interpretation is always consistent for being inconsistent. The meanings of my significant experiences are continuously changing as my life goes on. I think seeking the meaning of life is gonna be a lifelong process, and its fulfilled meaning will be only found when the time comes of experiencing our very own death. But what makes me wonder, that this simple gift called “Wisdom” had gave my “Life experience” go beyond to what my consciousness dictates. Actually the moment I decided to join in the blog contest sponsored by Goldilocks about the biggest change in my life to be entitled: “Pagbabago”, I found myself seeing a “scarred soul” communicating directly to myself, listening to what I am not saying while my heart starting to translate these unspoken words as my very own words… and that is what I think called “reflection.” Now I see, how difficult to do this blog as I need not only to tell my life stories but rather letting my soul talking.

September 8, 2008- Birthday of Mama Mary (if I’m not mistaken hehehe), I had my most unforgettable experience. My mom was rushed to the Hospital because of dizziness and slurring of words. I wasn’t worried for her condition coz I believe that she just had high blood pressure which I suspect “180-over-acting.” But it was no joke when we found her in the Hospital almost dying from stroke, Yes it was the underestimated stroke that almost killed or might paralyzed my mom if not addressed seriously. The doctor told us to look for another hospital co’z they can’t accommodate patient with that condition. It was twelve midnight, had heavy rain outside; the flood still not subsided, no vehicles passing through on our way, my phone was left in the house, and damn! What a dramatic scene that I just got only 200 pesos in my pocket. I’m waiting someone will shout “Cut!” maybe from the Director of this freaking drama. But God remained mute from all the shouts of my soul asking for help. I even ask the help of Mary Help of Christians which I realized it was redundant. Fast forward the scenes, we’re inside the taxi looking for hospitals, when my Mom spoke once again, but this time I never heard words about her headache but this time words of goodbyes and farewell. She’s in tears telling me she can’t stand it anymore, she asked me to help and support my older brother’s family until they become stable and to guide my younger sister to become independent. I was about to answer her when the driver stopped and says “Andito na tayo!”. Holy Crap! That’s Manila Doctors Hospital! I was impressed by the driver’s estimation of our financial capacity, to think that I got only 200 pesos, enough to pay our taxi’s fare, and yet the driver managed to intensify my worries. I was forced to push the wheelchair entering to the emergency room and talk to the nurse. They told me that they don’t accept “transferee patient” even if endorsed by the previous doctor who did preliminary examination. I was shocked from that statement that I was about to explode, but the only word that emitted from my mouth was the word “Bullshit!” (Sorry for the word) Blimey! I got the attention of all people in the emergency room, and a beautiful nurse came into rush and get me an admission form to fill.

Should I interpret the immediate meaning of this experience? Should I need to find God from every detail of that experience? My answer will not found in the direct contact of the situations I told you, but rather be found in condition of my “anguishing soul” during that time. Yes I was praying to the intercession of all the saints I known in heaven, My soul even cry more than a decade of rosary while seeing my mother in deep pain, I was telling the holy men and women that God is enjoying this guessing game which I really hate in my whole life. During that time I was about to explode not because of being pissed off but rather my soul is overwhelmed with hopelessness. My wisdom wasn’t able to mediate during that time to heal some questions keep on stubbing my very own being. I sat down near to my mom as I saw her hand with a rosary. Damn! She managed to pray from both spiritual and physical pain. I realized that I was not the only soul who agonizes, my mom did also, and other people inside the emergency room had the same feeling. It was 3:00 A.M. when I saw my mom sleeping at ease together with other patients. I found everyone was at peace. I opened my mom’s bag, and saw a Goldilocks Cheesy Ensaymada, I just realized that I did not took dinner, It was a God’s sign for me that He is really caring for me, I was teary on eating the ensaymada of my mom (Which supposedly her provision in her work). On that moment, the simple bread of Ensaymada changed my life perspective on pain and suffering, I never thought that this Ensaymada can be a channel of grace to change myself (Thanks to Goldilocks). I went outside the Hospital to breathe some air, the rain already stopped, everything was quiet, the battle within my soul subsided and it validates that everything was perfectly under control. I was a child with little faith asking God for help. I missed to trust Him that he is in control of everything. It was ironic that a still small voice telling me: “don’t be afraid everything is under my control.” I’m not sure if I got the right meaning for this experience, but I am assured that something new had born within from this painful experience. I just need to nurture this little seed that somehow will be strong as I grow. In order for me to know Him better I should keep in touch …with my very soul… with our relationship… and to this little seed called: faith… Right now, I always visit the Goldilocks branch in Tutuban and I noticed that it change as time goes by, but there is one thing has never change, Its meaning and purpose in my Life. Thanks Goldilocks for being part of my journey.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

JPII Catechetics and Youth Ministry Conference


Silence of the Heart: A Taize Week Experience

I have known Taize chants since my High School days, but only now that I appreciate more about them. I often see them typed in most songbooks.

The fast-paced world and a multitude of technology-driven realities make it almost impossible for a person to be silent. From Monday to Friday, I am occupied with many assignments and tasks, and the demand to finish them on time becomes prevalent. However, the “noise” offered to me by this world triggers a cathode of persistence in bringing out the eagerness and the thirst to find inner silence.

Aside from the daily routine as a working citizen; there are also "other" things in my life which control me because of my existing status. I use Facebook (as I type this reflection). I utilize Multiply (as I upload the photos). I do read novels by Paulo Coelho, Stephenie Meyer, Emile Durkheim, and Joel Osteen during my vacant hours. I do surf the net. I play PSP. I switch on my iPod and enjoy listening to music. With all the tasks that I do, I think that I cannot be calm even for just a minute.
Or so I thought?

But I was wrong. The encounter with the Taize Brothers, and the experience of praying with my fellow youth from around the world have taught me the most basic need of all… silencing. If I will set aside all of me, silence will be the only thing left. The experience of journeying with the Taize Brothers and the young people has taught me how to trust, how to love, and how to appreciate even the little qualities and talents that I have. The experience has taught me the many wonders in life that I often disregarded. It is a turning point, from a shallow and empty self to a meaningful and deep-coarse self.

Together with the other young people who chose to commit five straight days to be able to dole out a piece of effort and time working hand in hand with the other people, I chose to join the pilgrimage of trust as a volunteer-pilgrim not just to experience the wide array of activities in store but to be able to exercise my Salesian option… youth serving youth. Without a second thought, I joined the pilgrimage since it was an opportunity for me to calm down amidst the busiest avenues of my life, more so, because it is my way of fulfilling my mission as a young Christian and a payback for all the goodness God has given me through the years.

Even though the 5-day experience of journeying with them has ended, and the pilgrims have gone back home, the pilgrimage continues. Like what Bro. Alois and the rest of the Taize Brothers had said, the 5-day experience is just the beginning of life’s sojourn. Even if it is not natural to me, I found out that silence is the thing I badly needed in my life.

Jan Michael Jose- Juventus

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taize Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth


Young people from all over the world are set to gather in Manila early part of February 2010 for a pilgrimage of trust organized by the Taize brothers.
The upcoming “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” will be the second time in Manila, which hosted the first meeting in 1991, and the fifth in Asia. This religious event is slated on February 3-7, 2010 and we are honored that Don Bosco Technical Institute -Makati was chosen as the main venue of this prayerful event. The Salesian Commission on Youth Ministry is tapped to organize volunteers for the food preparations and marshals to serve thousands of pilgrims.
With barely two weeks away of preparations for this international meeting, we are still in dire need of volunteers to help in food preparations and ushering. In this regard, we warmly open the door for volunteers who are not only ready to respond in the task but also who are disposed to partake and experience the grace brought by this prayerful pilgrimage.
It gives our great pleasure to welcome you as an interested person on the Volunteers’ Orientation on January 24, 2010 (9:00-12:00 p.m) at Audio Visual Room 3rd floor, St. John Bosco Parish Building. Should you have any questions or clarifications you may reach us at 892-47-87 look for Lissa or Dondie.

Click here to Download the registration form
and send the filled up registration form with attached 2x2 to this e-mail: sycamore_fin@yahoo.com

Deadline for Accepting Volunteers is until January 24, 2009

Thanks and God Bless

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SYM Activities


by Richard Roy Tañada

Last August 29, the Salesian Youth Movement held its first CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL. The event was an initiative of the SYM Council to gather all elementary members of the different sodalities affiliated in the movement as well as the kids coming from the catechism classes of the youth centers and parishes. Over 400 participants coming form 13 settings – both Salesian and Non-Salesian, gathered in Don Bosco Youth Center, Tondo for a whole day of fun-filled activity for the kids. The Federation of the Catechists facilitated the games with the help of the Savio Friends Club who acted as marshals together with the youth of Don Bosco Tondo. The Federation of the Choirs and Musicians, Knights of the Altar, namely, & other youth members of the different sodalities affiliated in the SYM joined together to make the gathering a successful one. With the theme: “Batang Salesyano Araw Mo’To, At Home Ka Dito”, Fr. Ian Rosal, SDB gave his inspirational message citing “Santino” of the ABS-CBN TV Program,”May Bukas Pa” as an example how important a child is in the eyes of God. The gathering turned out to be a successful one and is likely to be continued next year.


by Richard Roy Tañada

As a respond to the request of most of the lay animators / moderators especially in the school settings, the Salesian Youth Movement came up in organizing a series of formation program intended to assist them in animating their respective youth groups in their particular setting. It is a half day seminar which introduces the new animators in the fundamentals of youth ministry and a refresher course for the old ones. The program is likely patterned in the Animator’s School conducted before by the SYM.

The series of formation started with an orientation last July 25 held at the Audio Visual Room at the SJB Parish Makati City, facilitated by the SYM Council. The first in the series of formation focused on the Basic Approach in Youth Ministry – offering the participants a learning process of how we are to journey with the young as well as the necessary skills for journeying with, to, for and by the young. It was held last August 15 at the SYCAmore Office SJB Parish Makati City with Fr. Noel Sumagui, SDB of DB Batulao as the speaker. Fr. Eduardo “Duds’ Hila, SDB of TVET Tondo with his prowess in the topic of Animating Youth Groups facilitated the forty participants who attended 2nd formation last September 19 in SJB Parish Makati City. Participants had the chance to get to know of the nature and purpose of youth groups and how to animate them. The third and last of the series will be conducted by Fr. Favie Faldas, SDB, Rector of DBTI Tarlac on October 17 in San Idelfonso Parish, Makati. The seminar offers Skills and Strategies in Youth Ministry of how to make formation program designs for the youth groups as well as the different strategies needed in animating.

Lots of formation programs and more topics will be offered next year to assist animators in ministry of the young.


“Bayanihan… damayan… malasakit sa kapwa… kawang gawa.” All these Filipino words capture what volunteerism is all about and the spirit behind it.

Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others without being motivated by financial or material gain. Volunteering generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life. People also volunteer to gain skills without requiring an employer's financial investment.

The Salesian Commission on Youth Ministry (SYCAMore) has always been at the forefront of volunteerism and volunteer work as it is staffed by youth volunteers in their desire of youth serving youth. Youth volunteers staff who give their time, talent, resources and even at times to the detriment of their health for others.

Furthermore, the office would not function without the presence of many youth volunteers whom we call youth animators and club leaders in the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) who run our various activities for the growth and development of your young people. The movement is 4,000 strong. Through the years, the youth serving youth concept has grown in order to involve a wider movement of young people and of youth activities.

Furthermore, the FIN province has brought youth volunteerism to another level – volunteers as servant leaders for social transformation of church and society. The recent typhoon calamities that have struck the country brought out the best in our young people through volunteer work in packing relief goods and distributing them.

Truly, we can say that the vast movement of young people envisioned by Don Bosco which started 20 years ago with the concept “youth serving youth” has grown to what it is now because of the countless young people and Salesians who believe in the cause that we are all called to serve others.

“This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you, John 15:12-14.”

Bro. Mon Callo, SDB

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Urgent Appeal for Assistance to Typhoon Victims

October 1, 2009

Report of Bro. Raymond D. Callo, SDB
Delegate – Youth Pastoral/ Head – Commission on Youth Ministry
FIN (Manila) Province

The Commission on Youth Ministry has raised 300,000 pesos from various benefactors which is equivalent to USD 6,000 dollars. With USD 1,000 dollars, we can prepare relief goods (ready to eat food) for 100 families good for 3 days. That is very minimal. Hence, there is a need for more funds to buy food and other immediate items needed.

At present, there are already 300 confirmed dead and 500,000 persons displaced and are living in evacuation centers.

Chronology of Events:

During the typhoon last Saturday September 26, 2009
As what was mentioned in the previous Australasia newsclasp, Don Bosco Technical College Mandaluyong gave temporary shelter and meals to 300 college students trapped by flood. Savio Parish also in Mandaluyong became a temporary shelter for the parishioners. Settings in Makati areas were flooded at the ground floor. Books and paper got wet. Some mission areas in San Ildefonso Parish were also affected by flood waters. Don Bosco Center of Studies and Seminaryo ng Don Bosco became temporary shelter for students and had to sleep over. Tuloy became a temporary shelter for 800 persons living in the mission areas. All the rest, no news.

After the typhoon
From the National Disaster Coordinating Council, several cities in Metro Manila were declared to be in the state of calamity such as: Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Quezon City as well as the provinces of Rizal and Laguna.

There were approximately 300 dead and 500,000 persons living now in evacuation areas. Evacuation areas are usually government schools, gymnasiums, multi-purpose halls or barangay halls.

Some SDB families were also affected especially those living within the areas mentioned to be in a state of calamity as well as our lay mission partners and students.

The rains that poured on that day were very unusual. The rains for the day were equivalent to the total rainfall for the month. The last time such an event occurred was 40 years ago. So the down pour flooded homes up to waist deep and even up to the rooftop. While the rampaging current swept houses, persons and vehicles away. School days for the calamity areas were suspended for a week.

What is being done by our Salesian communities:
Don Bosco San Jose collected relief goods and cash from their students.
DB Pampanga also is collecting relief goods and cash from their students for Pampanga areas.
Savio parish in Mandaluyong started distributing relief goods to affected families in their areas. Now the young people of the youth center are volunteering to other church and community organizations to pack relief goods.
Don Bosco Technical College was doing the same thing of bringing relief goods to their lay mission partners and students, to other parishes and communities affected by the floods. The students and employees are doing volunteer work.
Our parishes are raising awareness from the parishioners in raising more relief goods and funds for this matter.
The Tuloy kids are also helping out Rotary Alabang to repack goods.
Don Bosco Youth Center Tondo, Seminaryo ng Don Bosco, Post Novitiate and Pre Novitiate are helping out as volunteers in different church agencies to repack relief goods.
The Commission on Youth Ministry is raising funds, buying relief goods, asking volunteers from young professionals working in the Makati area to devote after office hours to repack relief goods specifically volunteers from YUPPEAC (Young Professionals for Peace) and TULOY volunteers.

The Commission on Youth Ministry is coordinating and animating the province thru:
1. appeals for relief goods an cash donations here and abroad
2. matching volunteers with needs
3. raising awareness through volunteerism from young professionals who do volunteer service after office hours
4. spreading the donations to reach out to as many affected communities

At present, all efforts are into rescue and relief operations. Recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction will still take some time especially that there is another impending typhoon coming in. We are praying that it diverts its course or do as little damage as possible. Otherwise it can be traumatic for those already affected.

1. Some areas not being reached by relief and rescue efforts because they are not passable by foot or by vehicle.
2. There is an impending typhoon coming which might bring more rains
3. There is a need to sustain efforts to bring more aid

Immediate need:
1. ready to eat food
2. potable water
3. toiletries for men and especially for women
4. sleeping mats
5. slippers
6. cleaning materials
7. pail to gather water
8. medicines
Future concerns:
1. Disease outbreak. Medical mission will be needed
2. Clean up
3. Recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The underestimated typhoon with public storm signal no. 1 named “Ondoy” had brought the Island of Luzon in a drastic devastated state. It was a big shock for us to see Metro Manila drowned in the brownish water, which was enough to kill hundreds of lives and destroy hundred thousands of homes, vehicles, establishments and businesses which had estimated property damages of worth billion pesos.

This rare occurrence was not normal for us to see especially in more developed areas of Metro Manila, although these phenomenon were usually experienced by our country men in remote areas and provinces of the country, whenever we saw them on T.V, we usually tend to become their spectators as we, who lived in a more advanced lifestyle and exists in the world of convenience had developed callous eyes to barely saw them with compassion.

What makes Ondoy’s experience different from the others? Our family, friends, relatives and people who are close to us were now the victims of this typhoon. This time, our connection to the victims was not something to be ignored as their spectators, but rather something need to be responded as their rescuer. The coldness of water that had chilled their bodies was being felt by our own feet, their shaking voices were now heard directly from our cell phones and their situation was seen in our own computer screen.

The information overflowed on Facebook and YouTube was directly attributed to the youth. They used the internet to send information, actual footages and videos, to show to the people how serious the situation was. This involvement of our young people had created big fuss to the cyberspace where immediate responses from different people and sectors boomed. Even the Media had resorted to the internet to gather news and information because floods narrowed down their information sources. They also launched telethon for those who were in need of rescue and a call for the sponsors to help out.

There were also young people opted to be volunteers in the relief operations done by both government and private sectors. They are the ones who opted to be perspired than to be inspired. They were able to prepare food packages for the hungry stomach, gave comfort for the homeless people and most of all, they touched not only the hearts of the victims but also the hearts of the Filipino. These Filipino youth are worth considered as the special treasure of the Philippines that is something to take care and to be proud of. Yes, despite of the “psyche” about being “Impersonal” and “virtually minded” of the Filipino youth today, there are still Filipino youth who are willing to walk out from the cyber-world. They are the one who leave their endanger virtual farms and hungry luxurious pets just to take the challenge of the drowned reality of our country. We must learn not to spoil ourselves to be complacent in helping others by just stretching our fingers in the keyboards, but rather need to shake our comfort zones to move with open arms to those who are in need.

Dondie Bernardino

Monday, August 10, 2009

Y-Fi (Youth First) 2nd Student Leaders Forum

Don Bosco PhilippinesNorth Province cordially invites your school to send five (5) participants from your 3rd and 4th year high school student leaders preferably Student Council members and a teacher adviser to the 2nd Student Leadership Forum entitled “Y-Fi!” (Youth First) Student Leaders Connected. This event will be held on Friday, November 13, 2009 at Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

The event aims to create a new breed of leaders by providing a venue for the different student leaders from both Public and Private schools to listen to talks on leadership in the campus, public service, society and media; participate in workshops and share their leadership secrets. We believe this event will be beneficial to both the school and your student leaders since this can serve as an avenue for networking and getting fresh and innovative ideas on how things are done in other schools. We have invited youth oriented speakers to grace this event.

Click here to download registration form