671 photos. 4 videos. All gone is a snap of a finger.
Those were my media bank when I got back from World Youth Day. I used my dad’s phone to take pictures and videos of all my WYD experience. And when I returned his phone to him, he erased everything without knowing that I haven’t transferred even a single photo to my computer. When I found out about it, I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t know how to react towards it. All I know is that I just came from the WYD, he’s my dad, never react negatively because it wouldn’t even return even a single photo that has been lost. Because of this, I knew something life-changing has happened.
I was really excited to share all my photos and videos to my friends. I don’t know why. But one thing I am sure of, I want to tell everybody I went to the World Youth Day, in Madrid, Spain. Yes, in Spain; in Europe. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I wanted to tell, even shout, the whole world. Not everybody was there. I am one of those 2000 Filipino youth, out of 20 million, who went there and was able to experience World Youth Day. I want to boast about it. I really do.
But the Lord has his own ways of purifying my intentions. He made me return my dad’s phone and made me sleep, so that when I woke up, everything will be gone. He doesn’t want me to boast about the superficial experience of the WYD; the trip, the happenings, the places, the churches, the food, the people that I am with, not even about the Pope. I got His message, He wants me to share, and boast about, His greatness that I experienced not only through the pictures and videos, but through witnessing, through my actions.
The strength that I got from our long walks, the endurance that I had during a strong wind and rain in the prayer vigil, the confidence in talking to people from different culture, the patience in waiting for 6 hours to see the Pope for less than 2 minutes. All of these must not go to waste. Every single thing must be shared, not only by merely creating an album and making people see and like, but ultimately by words and actions. I must tell stories of my experiences together with my realizations, how lives were changed within our subgroup, how people saw and experienced God first-hand, how united young people were during that event regardless of their origin, and how great God was through all the challenges and trials that we’ve been through the whole time. It is because of His great love that I am able to write this. He made me go through all of these. Therefore, this must be shared. I must share.
In my generation, where faith and Catholicism is challenged by corrupted ideals and beliefs, one important thing that I learned, during and after, the World Youth Day is the need to speak up and fight for what is right. Jesus did this during His time. Now, I share with Him that same mission. And I am more than ready to take on the challenge, with or without photos.