My First and Last: Finishing Strong (A National Youth Day 2017 Reflection)

Angel Bangaysiso in National Youth Day 2017

By Angel Bangaysiso
Young Ministries Full-time Worker

This is my first time in Zamboanga City – first time to attend NYD as a participant. This is the last stretch of my mission here in Mindanao as a Fulltime worker for the Young Ministries. But before my mission here in Mindanao ends, it is a privilege for me to be part of this National Youth Day 2017 in Zamboanga City. This 5-day pilgrimage would definitively be one of my most unforgettable yet inspiring experience as a participant for this said event.

  • Zamboanga at its finest – Zamboanga is one of the most beautiful provinces here in Mindanao. From their tourist spots down to their famous native products, their culture and of course the colorful vintas, Zamboanga is definitely a must try to every Filipinos. This province is also rich in history. As we go around the town during the NYD proper, I can see that Zamboanga really encountered a lot of stories that would allow you to be in awe of such a beautiful place. I came to realized how God made wonders in this province and no matter what the province went through, with mixed of Muslims and Christians living in this place, God still has a beautiful plan for this province.
  • Hospitable Zamboangueños – It was such an honor and privilege for the people of Zamboanga to host the NYD 2017. People really prepared a lot and gave their all for this event, from the preparation down to the event itself, they still gave their 100% full of service and even gives you with a beautiful smile as they greeted you in their native dialect, chavacano. I realized that as one who also mounts an event like this, it is really important that you give your all when organizing an event or any activity. No matter how stressful the preparation was, never forget that the most important of all is that, you allow yourself to be used as God’s instrument of love in everything that we do. After all, this is all about God and not about us.
  • NYD Message – There are so many things happened in the five days activity of the NYD: long walks during parade and processions, a lot of animations, sessions, workshops, group discussions, festivals, prayers and of course daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I will always say that God spoke to all of us in each of every activity. This NYD reminded all of us, whether you are a youth member, leader or minister, God can always do great things in our lives despite of our weakness and sinfulness. He blessed us with beautiful gifts that we can share to other people on how good our God is in our lives and through us, we can be the living witness and the source of hope and love to our fellow brethren. We can always make a difference because God is with us.

As I finish my mission here in Mindanao, God reminded me through NYD of my calling when I said my Yes to him to be a missionary here in Mindanao. At first I am in doubt and afraid because I will be staying here in Mindanao for quite a long time and will be away with my comfort zone. The mission was full of trials and victories but God would always assure me of His beautiful promise that He will always be with me throughout my entire journey. From the beautiful places around Mindanao, to the people I met that I will always considered as my second family, to each of the activities that we did as my daily adventures with God, I would say that I encountered a very beautiful pilgrimage with Him.

As I continue the last stretch of my mission here, I know that God has still in-store a lot of things for me. As the NYD theme song says, “Great things the Lord has done with the Spirit and Christ the Son. With hearts strong, gathered as one, all praises to the Mighty One. (Luke 1:49)” Great things are yet to come and will be done not only to myself but to the mission here in Mindanao. And I will be always grateful that God blessed me with this kind of privilege. Truly I am blessed!