A message from CYA’s president Raoul Roncal As a precursor to the canvassed question above, ask yourselves first: Have I received God’s call for me in my life? Before we begin, let us first ponder upon whether or not we have received God’s call for us and how do we intend to reciprocate to it if we have.
this is best accomplished by inviting them to hear community leaders speak or give a talk; while this may be partly true, the real best thing to do is to be an advocate or a symbol of God’s love, as reiterated
Bei ng a d isc i ple o f Go d or be ing c a l led b y Hi m is f ound e d on lo v e. Receiving God’s call in your life is not complex in any means, it is simply something that clicks or snaps into you without you even realizing it. Being a disciple of God or being called by Him is founded on love; the very love that is obtained through the companionship we experience with our brothers and sisters. Knowing and understanding God is inaugurated when one grasps the idea of having complete faith in God. Faith is conceived by love, and love is made complete in faith. We are christened when we sense that God loves us, and you feel like showing the same to others and to Him. Now, how do we respond to the call God made to us? Reciprocating God’s call is broken down into two ideas or materials: Love your brothers and sisters, as well as sharing to them the good you experienced that they have not. In lucid words, “evangelize them”. Most of us would think
over and over again. Everything is best felt or understood through experience, and in experiencing love made complete
Ev e r y th in g is b e s t f e l t o r un d e r s to o d th r o ug h e x p e r ie n ce , a n d in e x p e r ie n cin g l o v e m a d e c o m p l e te in Go d . in God, we end up thrusting that love or experience into someone else. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
P R AY T H E M ISSION P E T I TI ON WITH US prayer for new evangelization Father in Heaven and Lord of all, we approach your throne as Your young people, called to belong to you, and to share in the mission of our Redeemer. We pray for our nation. Establish now Your reign among us. We pray for peace in our land, provision for our needs, justice and freedom. Grant us grace to
repent from our individual and collective sins, and bring us to genuine conversion. May Jesus be Lord of this renewed nation. We pray especially for the youth. Send forth Your Spirit like a mighty rushing wind, and awaken the young people of this land. We dedicate ourselves to preach Your word,
unweary in well-doing, that more young people might offer their lives to You. Let Your youth build up the Church. May Jesus be Lord of this renewed generation. We pray all these through Christ our Lord. Hail Mary… Glory be…
I N TH I S IS S UE:
3 4 6 8 9 10
F I N D I N G LI FE I N LOVE
by John Michael Tallas
S T U DEN T L E A DERS AN SWERI N G H I S CALL DAR E TO SH ARE T H E G O SPEL?
by CYA students from all over
D O CTO RS O N C ALL
by Gian Placino
C YA: T H E FLOATER G O D SEN T ME
by Raymund Narag
B ROTH ERS AN D SI STERS I N CH RI ST
NATION AL YOU T H F EST IVAL A CYA N AT I ON WID E YO UT H GATHE R IN G
6 - 10 J U NE 2018 SAV E THE DATE!
3 At the CYA Training Conference, our brother Peter announced that this year marks the beginning of CYA Singapore. Or the pioneering group, at least. It seems simple enough: Singapore is a rather small country, stretching only 40 kilometers from north to south, and 60 kilometers from east to west. It is not, however, as simple as it seems. We are, of course, face with challenges concerning parishes and the youth.
An d I re m e m be re d the l o v e o f Je su s. I th o u ght o f how t a k i n g my lif e wo u l d m e a n turn i n g my ba c k on t h a t l o v e … I will admit: I am afraid. I fear the persecution I might face and the mistakes I might make. And yet I have an answer to that fear: love. My last two years in high school helped me realize how powerful love can be. You see, my dad is nearing his retirement. Understand then that this job of his is what keeps my family in Singapore; we have nothing left in the Philippines as we have given away everything before we moved here. The challenge, then, is on me: if I am to support my family, I must excel in my academics in the hopes of getting a stable job in the future. And I wanted to do that.
not want to bear with it. So I wanted to take my own life.
However, on my second to the last year in high school, I was barely passing my classes. I was even in danger of moving down to another program (which I did not want to be in). And so I pushed myself—so much that it came to the point of burning out. And yet it seemed as though my efforts were to no avail; they simply did not lead to my desired results. I remember studying
However, as I was in that moment, the faces of the important people in my life flashed before my eyes. I saw the smiles on the faces of my family and friends... What would then become of those smiles if I take my own life? And I remembered the love of Jesus. I thought of how taking my life would mean turning my back on that love… and throwing it away. At that moment, I made a decision: I cast off all thoughts of suicide. It was God’s love that saved me at that time. It was His love that opened my eyes—the same love that is the reason I am still alive. And it is this love that I
It was God’s love that saved me at that time. three weeks in advance for a test only to barely even pass it. As if to add insult to injury, the test was on Medicinal Drugs, a topic I knew I was especially good at. And it was downhill from that point on. Again and again my efforts fell in vain. Eventually the final exams drew near and I knew it: my shot at success looked bleak. I was about to let down many people. And I did
John Michael Tallas is 18 years old. He and his family reside in Singapore.
want other young people to experience. Today, only 30% of Singaporeans call themselves Christians, yet less than 5% of those are frequent churchgoers, and even less are those who truly have been converted. The sad reality is this: many people are oblivious to the truth that there is a God who loves them. And because I have experienced this love, I hope through CYA I can show them exactly that.
V IN CE NAVAL CYA LAG UNA
What keeps you going? My motivation for keeping and doing the mission is my commitment to our mission statement “Kay Kristo buong buhay Habambuhay”, I know for myself that as long as there is still a lot of people that we could reach out to and give them an opportunity to embrace the love of our Lord, I will never stop. As what St. Augustine as said, “Our hearts are restless, restless until it rest in God”.
JA M E S CASTILLO CYA NAGA
What’s your greatest joy in serving people? The greatest joy in serving people is to see them transforming their personal lives into more meaningful and productive lives, see that they also become servants of God and that they accept God in their lives.”
CHR ISTEL ESPIR ITU CYA PAMPANGA
Why did you accept the responsibility? At first, I was hesitating to take the responsibility as I had different plans for myself. But as I started reflecting about it, I ran into a verse during my prayer time, and it said “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done!” (Psalm 105:1). I felt my heart tighten, and this prompted me to accept the responsibility.
R ONIN JAVA CYA CAGAYAN DE OR O
Why did you accept the responsibility? In the first place, God chose me. He has long called me for this. Let His will be done. What’s your greatest joy in serving? When I see them denying themselves, letting go of their nets, and committing to follow Jesus in their lives.
MICO SAN TOS CYA QU EZON C I T Y
What’s your dream for your unit? I dream of a CYA UP Diliman that is known throughout the university. I dream that whenever UP students would see a CYA member they would immediately identify that person as a lover of God and realize that that person is a CYA-er because of the way he/she thinks, speaks, and acts.
JOSEPH CALIM PON G CYA ILIGA N
What’s your dream for your Unit? My dream for the unit is to collaboratively and actively respond to the mission to the Lord. I want our chapter to be stronger and more vigilant in service and allow them to grow and be more fruitful in evangelizing.
5 SA RITA MO RALE S CYA U N IV E RS IT Y O F STO. TO M AS
What’s your greatest joy in serving? The greatest joy in serving people is when you are doing it not because you have to but because you want to. In CYA-UST, I have always experienced “yung pagod na masaya ka” it will always be tiring yet fun to work with brothers and sisters. I’ve always loved the feeling of being happy on what you are doing.
JA M E S B AUTRO CYA BATANGAS
Why did you accept the responsibility? I did not accept the responsibility. I accepted the mission; “Be a light for others and let that light you received from me, radiate to them, that they may turn to me and be filled with my joy.” This is the mission that God has given me. More than a responsibility, it’s a privilege, a calling.
JOHN MU LATO CYA BAGU IO
What’s your dream for your unit? I’m dreaming of extending CYA to the other Universities here in Baguio and to evangelize more dedicated youth leaders for the service of the church and the society. What’s the greatest joy in serving? My greatest joy in serving people is that I’m sharing the love of God and my faith to others and also seeing them growing with their faith as Christians.
R OY VALDEHU ESA CYA ZAMBOANGA
Why did you accept the responsibility? Because it is our call to serve the Lord who calls me to be one of His servants. It is my heart’s desire to serve him with all my life. What keeps you going? v Since my first CLS in 2013, I still have that fire of loving the Lord through service with my brothers and sisters.
JAKE TA N CYA U NIFIED MANI L A C H A PT ER
What’s your greatest joy in serving? Being able to bring friends and witness people offer their lives to the Lord at commitment ceremonies, seeing them become radical disciples as they invite their friends to know Christ, radiate with fervor for service and grow in their maturity with the Lord; that is, for me, the greatest joy that can ever come about in serving others.
CHR ISTIAN BAC OLOD CYA CEBU
What keeps you going? My brothers and sisters; they fuel me like an engine to work. I am inspired hearing their personal testimonies on how God has transformed their lives and seeing them serving others. Through my brothers and sisters, I was able to become a leader with conviction.
ANYA SANTOS ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY The craziest thing I’ve done to share the gospel this 2017 was when my younger sister was being stubborn with chores. The gospel was the parable of the Good Samaritan and I told my sister that she could be a Good Samaritan by washing the dishes.
quezon city KAREL TAN UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES MANILA I invited over 20 people to the Crossroads Retreat, and I offered to pay the full retreat fee just because I really wanted them to go! After the retreat, I realized I might not have had enough money for over 20 people’s retreat fees.
BRYAN SUMBAT XAVIER UNIVERSITY ATENEO DE CAGAYAN Randomly inviting people to prayer meeting at the canteen even if I was alone.
TRICIA BELEN XAVIER UNIVERSITY ATENEO DE CAGAYAN I wrote the words “You are loved by God” and stuck it on a window of a bus.
DAVEKEEMARK DAMING BUKIDNON STATE UNIVERSITY It was awkward, but I was moved to share my experience of our Christian Life Series and how I experienced the love of God ultimately, in front of my family and almost everyone from our place.
To complete an initiative to connect more people, I had to convince a group of strangers in UP to do jumping jacks with me. I don’t do that.
JOSEPH UY UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN
PAULINE BELMONTE ATENEO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH I went around campus and talked to strangers to share that day’s gospel.
JESS BACARRO XAVIER UNIVERSITY ATENEO DE CAGAYAN Sharing my personal testimony to totally random strangers.
cagayan de oro
COLMCILLE ISADORA LIM ATENEO DE DAVAO U NIVERSITY
I had a conversation with an atheist during a Student Program over the summer. I simply began talking about my life and friends in community. He began asking things, I began answering him through the Gospel. I know someday he’ll find the answer not purely in me, but in Christ.
RENNEH MAE ASILUM ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY The craziest thing I did to share the gospel this 2017 is sharing God’s goodness and perfect timing to some detainees of Davao City Jail who have different beliefs and faith.
To become a doctor, one must learn to be self-less, and part of being selfless is to learn how to give more of yourself when you think there’s nothing left to give. It takes roughly 9 years of studying, caffeine overdoses, lack of sleep, and self-encouragement. It entails you to deny one’s self for the sake of learning, of family dinners for the sake of patient care, of being tired for the sake of growth.
to support and pray for one another, and to lift each other up through exams and requirements to become not just a good doctor, but a good Christian Doctor annointed by the Lord in His Healing Ministry.”
This year, a group of medical students wanted to give more of themselves to God and together responded to God’s call by forming CYA
Anna was shocked as she didn’t know that there were people who still read the bible. Gian tried to explain why he still prayed and
One of those who benefitted from Jorem’s response to God’s call was Anna Victorino, Anna was invited by her classmate, Gian Placino, also a core member of CYA – Med.
Ye s to Go d d esp ite l iving in a s ocie ty wh ere th e o p p o sit e is de ma nd ed . – Medicine, a budding hub that would cater to medical students around Metro Manila.
why he continues to say yes to God despite living in a society where the opposite is demanded. Anna, was inspired and wanted to One of the pioneers, Jorem know God more. Labao, an active CYAmember in his college Anna attended the CYA days, was given the task Training Conference held of leading the formation last June 23-25, 2017, of CYA – Med. As a 1st wherein she wholeheartedly year medical student of said yes to the call of God. Pamantasan ng Lungson ng Maynila (PLM), Jorem was hesistant to accept this responsibility. The intense pressure and competition of med school was already enough to drive him crazy. After much discernment, Jorem said yes to the call. “He was there reaching His “No group of people better hand out, just waiting for understands each other me to hold it” she says. than us, medical students,
Since then, Anna has been relentlessly serving the Lord though CYA despite being busy as well with med
Co ur a g eo u s ly ch o o s i n g t o deny th e m s elv es fo r th e s ake o f Go d school. “I don’t see my faith with God as something I should compartmentalize; now I want Him in all aspects of my life. I promised God that I would continue strengthening my faith in Him through my commitment to CYA.” When asked what she thinks of the young CYAMed, Anna says it is a constant reminder that God is with us in our journey to becoming doctors. I have high hopes for CYA Med, and will continue to do my own little part in seeing to it that we are able to evangelize other med students who want to experience God’s love.” In this continuous battle of becoming a doctor, more and more medical students just like Jorem, Gian and Anna are courageously choosing
I d o n’t see my fa ith wi t h Go d a s so m et h ing I shou l d co m p a rtm ent a l iz e to deny themselves for the sake of God through CYA – Med.
Jorem Labao is a 2nd year medical student from Pamantasan ng Lungson ng Maynila. Anna Victorino is a 3rd year medical student from University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center Inc.
9 In the early 1990’s, I was a college student in the University of the Philippines. Like many students then, I was academically curious and socially engaged. I read literature questioning the status quo, human existence, and whether there is a God. I was a self-proclaimed agnostic. I participated in the student movement and I was also active in the fraternity, which was heavily involved in violence.
I tho ug ht t h e n t h a t “re lig ious” a c t iv it ie s we re not fo r m e Since freshman year, I received invites to join Christ’s Youth in Action. But, I never paid attention and always found excuses not to join. I thought then that “religious” activities were not for me. I was in college, I wanted to explore things. I was young, wild and free.
Jail, the most crowded and violent jail in Metro Manila. The others were bailed out after 9 months, but two of us were denied bail. We were in jail for the whole trial, which lasted 6 years, 9 months, and 4 days. During those years of incarceration, people from CYA were my constant visitors. Not only did they spend time with me, but also answered my difficult questions, “Why was I put in jail despite my innocence? Does God purposefully allow people to suffer?” Eventually, they also held bible studies with my cellmates, then brigade-mates, and finally, the whole jail. Many from CYA prayed over me especially at difficult moments, during postponements of the hearings, extreme overcrowding in the jail. They helped me pray and walked
That was until a rumble happened in the campus where my name was dragged. December 1994. We were charged with murder and multiple counts of frustrated murder. We were innocent but we were falsely identified. I was a graduating student then, barely 20 years old. A few weeks before we voluntarily surrendered to the police, Pom Camaro Ho, a member of CYA, once again invited me to the Crossroads Retreat. That was in February 1995. I finally relented and told myself, “Well, I am about to lose my freedom. Why not try listening for once?”
Does Go d p u rp o se f u l l y allo w p e o p l e t o su ff e r? I listened intently. There was something in that retreat that touched my soul. It helped that Bobby Quitain was the retreat master, a frat man himself. I could relate to his story of transformation. That was the beginning of my walk with Christ. On May 24, 1995, together with 11 others, we surrendered to the police and were locked up in the Quezon City
me through to God and to His Son Jesus Christ. It was hard at the beginning: I was an unrepentant sinner, an agnostic and was not reconciled with God. But, what I did not realize then was that God was continually sending His people, brothers from CYA, like Bobby Quitain, Noel Tamin, and Popo Colabres, and many others, who spent countless hours to overcome my cynicism and doubts. After five years, on October 27,1999, I finally surrendered my will to God. During that time, I was in extreme distress: my case has been stalled for 6 months without a hearing, with lawyers withdrawing, family finances maxed out, and with a mental anguish. I cried, saying “Lord, I surrender. Take me away! I let go and I let God.” It was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. Despite being in
Raymund Narag is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and took his PHD in United States. He is currently a professor in Criminal Justice in Southern Illinois. University.
jail, I was at peace. Finally, it dawned on me that there was a purpose why He sent me to jail: to tame my wild and insatiable soul. He had plans, all along, to prosper me!
Ev en w h en I was in j a i l, Go d t r a n s formed m e s o He c a n d em o n s t r a t e His l ove t o Hi s p eo p le . Even when I was in jail, I helped my fellow inmates and others to traverse the issues of incarceration and jail administration. I started volunteering my skills and services even more: teaching in the literacy program, spearheading a paralegal service, etc. But more importantly, I started to seriously read the Scripture, praying for God to reveal His words, and asking the Holy Spirit for grace so I can walk the talk and talk the walk. Even when I was in jail, God transformed me so He can demonstrate His love to His people.
Go d g a v e m e the grac e t o r es p o n d t o that f lo a t er s o I c an be a f lo a t er t o o t hers who a r e w i lli n g t o hear His words. Eventually, I was released and was found innocent. I am now a professor in Criminal Justice in Southern Illinois University. I continue to share God’s love and how He uses people, young men and women, so that more and more people could listen to His word. God is a loving God. He used a group of young men and women from the CYA to serve as a floater when I was drowning in a sea of despair. God gave me the grace to respond to that floater so I can be a floater to others who are willing to hear His words.
How did your relationship grow after joining CYA? CYA allowed me and my brother to really grow close with one another. Because we are in the same hub, we would always have time to spend together before, during, and after events. We also began to hang out with the same people. Lastly, we discovered in one another that we were both seeking the same thing, the Lord. All these things that CYA gave us elevated our relationship to not only brothers, but friends as well. Mico Santos CYA Quezon City What did difference did you see because they made a commitment to Christ? There was a big difference, especially when I wasn’t in the organization yet. I couldn’t understand what he was doing. Reading the bible everyday 30 min or more for prayer. But that difference of my brother giving time to God is what made me join CYA. Marco Santos CYA Quezon CIty
What’s the blessing in having your sibling here in CYA? The blessing in having my siblings with me in CYA is that we get to spend more time with each other. Therefore, we get to strengthen our relationship and even strengthen our faith in God together Michael Nuñez CYA Pampanga Why are you with your sibling in CYA? We are in CYA to deepen our faith with the Lord and to serve Him & our brothers and sisters. Kayla Nuñez CYA Pampanga How did your relationship grow after joining CYA? It was so overwhelming to see and to know that your siblings also want to serve God like how I wanted to serve Him. It inspired me to see them grow having a strong relationship with God. We were more open and understanding with one another. Lady Nuñez CYA Pampanga
11 How do you support each other in your commitment to Christ or Christian Life?
What’s the greatest blessing having your sibling in CYA? Having her made me more soaked into Christ’s love and in CYA. I admit that sometimes the fire I have for the Lord is like the embers. Especially when I get loaded with academic stuffs and other personal problems, I tend to forget the things I should be doing with my spiritual life. But because she is with me, I am reminded of the those things and she acts as my guide whenever I fail to direct myself back to the track. Rodalee Otadoy CYA Cebu How did your relationship grow after joining CYA? CYA introduced us to a personal growing relationship we should have with the Lord. It taught us a lot of things that we have to live by in life. It became our support system, our guide in our everyday life. The people in CYA, became our second family and source of love. CYA moved us to schedule our prayer time together as sisters and it even pushed the other members of our family to follow. Our then strong relationship grew even stronger and prospered through time with the guidance of our Lord and being with CYA. Rodamee Otadoy CYA Cebu
First and foremost, I really pray for my brother, then I witness to him, I believe that as he experiences Christ in my words, actions and decisions in life, we can support one another in living out our commitment to God. Len Perez CYA UST What did difference did you see because they made a commitment to Christ? At first I thought what she’s doing is madness because committing a life for Christ and giving away everything for Christ was hard. But as time passed and my life at CYA continues, I learned that everything is owned by God and it’s his loving manner that we have ours. It’s her dedication that I look up to, it’s the love she receives from God that i want, and what better way to have that than to serve him. I want to meet my maker clean. And why not live my life for him. Robin Perez CYA Baguio
Christ’s Youth in Action is a Catholic movement of young men and women with a mission: to evangelize the youth and train leaders for service of the Church. Having personally experienced the love of God and the saving power of Jesus Christ, we want to share our renewed faith with other young people, that they may also know, love and serve the Lord.
METRO MANILA: University of the Philippines – Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Sto. Tomas, Far Eastern University, Mapua Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines – Manila, De La Salle University – Manila, College of St. Benilde
VISAYAS: BACOLOD: University of St. La Salle, Riverside College; ILOILO: University of Iloilo, St. Paul University, ILOILO: Franciscan College of the Immaculate Conception; LEYTE: Our Lady of Annunciation; CEBU: Southwestern University
LUZON: BAGUIO: St. Louis University; PAMPANGA: Holy Angel University, Angeles University Foundation, University of Assumption; LAGUNA: Malayan Colleges Laguna, University of the Philippines Los Baños; BATANGAS: Lyceum Philippines University, Lyceum International Maritime Academy, Batangas State University; BICOL: Ateneo de Naga University, University of Nueva Caceres
MINDANAO: CDO: Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Liceo de Cagayan University, Mindanao University of Science & Technology, PHINMA Cagayan de Oro College, Capitol University, Lourdes College; DAVAO: University, of Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, Holy Cross of Davao College; VALENCIA: Central Mindanao University; MALAYBALAY: Bukidnon State University; BUTUAN: Father Saturnino Urios University, Caraga State University; ILIGAN: Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology; ZAMBOANGA: Sta. Maria Parish
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E DITO R-IN-C HIEF Fran ces c a Pineda CO N T RIBUTORS Dan ic a Alv a rez Gi a n Pla c ino Jamela Da buet Man uel Sa la za r Rac h Ca h ilig L AYOUT ARTIST Samuel Cr uz