Peregrinos de Filipinas! Peregrinos de Filipinas! Peregrinos de Filipinas! Woooooh Filipinas!!! This was our chant during the World Youth Day celebration. It was so fun shouting our chant out loud while walking in the streets of Madrid. It’s like telling other youth from other countries that “hey! We are also here to join you all in this pilgrimage”. It was a festive mood in every streets and subway of Madrid. It was a little bit noisy but full of fun. Whenever we shout our Philippine delegation chant, other delegations would answer back with their chant then another group would answer too. But what I love the most is when someone started chanting “Benedicto!! ” some would join the chant then seconds after, you’ll hear everyone shouting “Benedicto!! ” as one.
I thank God that He allowed me to be part of this pilgrimage. I’m blessed to be part of Philippine delegation and so grateful to be part of CFC FFL delegation. The Lord made it possible for me. Every experience that I had in Spain is precious. Every single bit of it, I’ll be forever treasuring it in my heart. But I have 4 major experiences that I love the most.
Sierra de Fuentes (Days in the Diocese) – Interacting within a Spanish community was a life changing experience for me. It was a challenge for me to communicate with them because I can’t converse in Spanish. I thought language will be a barrier for us in building relationship with them. But I was proven wrong, Christ is greater than any barrier through Him all things are possible. I really felt the love of the people from Sierra de Fuentes. We had great time hanging out and learning new things with Padre Jesus. During the mass, Padre Jesus said in his homily that “We are called to be a bridge between God and men and to build bridges between people and peoples. We feel that an invisible bridge has been established between the Philippines and Sierra de Fuentes. Do everything possible to keep it firm and make Jesus Christ the center of our lives”.
Pilgrimage in Our Lady of Fatima at Portugal – Words are not enough to express how blessed I am in visiting our dear mother in Portugal. It was a great privilege for me to be a bearer of prayer offerings and petitions of my family and friends. I read the prayer petition of my youngest sister before offering it. I was so touch that at the end of it she also prayed for me and for my mission assignment. She’s not yet part of our community that made that prayer special for me. I never thought that she had a deep understanding of me being a missionary. I thanked Mama Mary for leading our family towards Jesus.
Seeing the Pope at Puerta de Alcalá– waiting for Pope Benedict from 1PM – 7pm was challenging especially under temperature of 42 degrees Celsius. But all I could say is ”Vale La Pena” (all worth it) When I saw the pope, I can feel the holiness of Christ radiating towards us. Thank you Lord for letting me see your vicar here in earth.
Vigil in Cuantro Vientos – For two weeks of fun and celebrations, I was able to have a moment with the Lord. Talk to Him straight as He exposed Himself in the midst of everyone with the Holy Father in that vast field. As the Lord unveiled himself in the simplicity of silence, He called me to strip off the things he wanted me to give up. Time to have a heart to heart talk with the Lord; He touched my very soul that night.
As a Filipino pilgrim, I am so blessed to be part of this big gathering of the Catholic Church. Being in Spain is another blessing; it was a great opportunity to understand the root of my faith. I am so grateful to my family, friends and tito’s and tita’s in our community who shared their resources. Thank you for this Jesus experience you had given. Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a Peregrino.