The Diocese of Legazpi hosted the recently held Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Council of the Laity of the Philippines) Convention from October 27 to 29, 2017. Some 317 delegates from 22 Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils of the Laity and member-organizations nationwide participated. Among the delegates were members from the Teresian Association: Editha Peñano of the ACIT Association and Michelle Ruiz, Muriel Gojo and Rosalinda Basas from the Primary Association.
The theme of the convention was: The Role of the Laity in Society, Politics, Economics and Environment. Keynote speaker, Most Rev. Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, DD, Archbishop of Caceres, set the tone of the whole convention by saying that “before doing something, one should be someone first”. Quoting EG 1:82, he emphasized the integral promotion of the human being; he also reviewed aspects related to social order. Bishop Baylon in his homily, expounded more on this role that springs from our identity as baptized Christians. Most Rev. Enrique V. Macaraeg, DD (Bishop of Tarlac), added that in our world, 99% are lay people: a mega force, a sleeping giant, an unused, untapped force.
One speaker from the lay force, Gina Paz L. Lopez (Founder of Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies –ILOVE- Foundation, Inc, expounded on her expertise - the environment. She showcased the fruits of her advocacy of cleaning up “esteros” and transforming them to beauty spots. “It is not about money, but love” she said. “We won’t hurt what we truly love; there is ‘money in beauty’ as proven by the beautiful spots that had become tourist attractions. Indeed, when one is truly convinced of what one is doing, one can be very passionate about it.” Her love message was later taken up by Most Rev. Broderick S.Pabillo, DD, (Laiko National Director) who used the word God for Love. “God,” he said, “is the solution.” Mr. Francis Jim B. Tuscano spoke on Social Media, its possibilities and challenges. According to him, we have to befriend the media, not make it our enemy. While media is a virtual reality, it is also a real place. He recalled how St. Paul used the aeropagus to spread the gospel in ancient Greece. We can think of social media as the modern culture center, the unifying center of our global village. Bishop Pabillo, in his talk, encouraged each one to use media for evangelization and networking.
The sharing of best practices in Economics, Society, Politics and Environment took place in the afternoon of Oct. 28, followed by a brief open forum.
The election of the new members of the Board of LAIKO was held on Oct. 29; of those elected, 50% are new. Our very own, Rosalinda Basas was reelected as Secretary. The incumbent president gave the report on the year that has transpired under her leadership, and the proposed amendments to the LAIKO By-Laws and Articles; the Treasurer’s report followed. There was a short workshop where participants were asked to give 3 insights on how they could concretely continue playing their role in social transformation by indicating two doable courses of action.
The responses were used as the basis of the resolutions presented to the whole assembly for ratification.
Information: Muriel Gojo