(September 29, 2007)
Traffic and the unbecoming thought of coming in late made me jump out of bed on time. As I showered, I have to tell myself that Manila is one place where one must add an average of two hours of travel time in order to keep appointments. It was excitement that pushed me to make it an effort to be on time despite the tempting look of my bed and the balmy morning that greeted me.
Yes, we were just on time. I enveloped myself with all the hugs and greetings I got. People were surprised to see me. I really come from afar. It was a joy to be there. It was another reunion that I have to attend.
I met the people of the “first generation”. There was Jun that I tag Mr. Courage and Faith. He battled with his kidney problem for three years. The haemodialysis kept him going twice weekly. There was Grace whom I thought already left the country to advance her career but was all along in the neighbouring province of Cebu. The South Luzon group was also there. Their sense of community disarmed me.
Friends from the World Youth Day era were also there. I was surprised to find that some of them still gladly keep in touch with each other. Such friendship nurtured and cherished! Actually, the first generation and the world youth day group seemingly interspersed with each other.
I would have stuck myself to that group were it not for my Kolkata experience. I was blessed to join the team who went to the pilgrimage of trust last year. It renewed my ties with the newer blood of Taizé permanents and youth volunteers of the Philippines. We gladly described our selves as ‘old but new’… Only three from the group of durglets were unable to come and cherish the first year anniversary of our journey to India.
Bro. Aloi’s reflection on the life of Bro. Roger entitled “Trust in God, Peace of Heart and Inner Combat” was the focal point of prayer and sharing. Interestingly, he opened a side of Bro. Roger that we didn’t experience and that was his anxiousness. What amazed me was his ability to channel that supposed paralysis to creativity. The ‘inner struggle/combat’ was very much alive just like any ordinary person but he was able to go beyond all of those.
We capped our day by sharing the itineraries of our journey. It was beautifully done. Listening to other’s paths made me feel convinced that life doesn’t run out of people who make sure that other’s lives will become beautiful.