Last June 7, 2020 around 1:00 in the afternoon (Philippine Time), Ms Ting Mapeso hosted the 30th IT Youth Philippines Anniversary Encounter video conference. Surprisingly, 83 IT Youth members were able to take time to express their excitement and hugs through the smiles on their faces. The participants came from various localities and countries: Bukidnon, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Tagaytay, Baguio, Manila, Australia, Japan, India, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Vietnam, USA, Mexico, Spain, London and Bethlehem.
Despite where they are based right now, their joys of being a part the IT Youth Movement were vividly conveyed when the participants started reintroducing themselves and shared their current preoccupations.
The brief encounter brought us back to our youth, where our energy and eagerness seem unlimited. Our idealism was so high that nobody can stop us to conquer the world no more no less. Overwhelmingly, all the participants were so thankful to the Teresian Association for becoming a light and salt in their journey as young people. The teachings of St. Pedro Poveda is truly alive in the lives of the of the participants who once walk along the path of TA family.
The highlight of the encounter was the singing of the national hymn of the IT Youth Philippines entitled, “Youth of today”. The song was written and composed by Dr. Venju Gesataya and Engr. Froilan Esmero Everyone had a great time reliving the IT Youth Camp spirit while singing as one big family the IT Youth Song.
Our starting point
On the summer of 1990, we were invited to represent Santa Maria Catholic School to the Youth Camp organized by the Teresian Association. As high school students, we never expected so much except that we will be joining another national leadership training with other youth leaders.
What made it unique however, was the schedule of the camp - our young and playful minds can hardly comprehend why we need to celebrate the Holy Week outside the comforts of our homes and families. We never thought that our simple YES will shape and hone our Christian Formation Fundamentals, making us the person we are today. Grounded by our faith with energized enthusiasm to serve our Church and Community.
Years later, sometime in 2019, Ms. Belinda Villegas, one of our Teresian Youth Formators then, gathered a number of us based in Iloilo City to conceptualize a homecoming of IT Youth members all over the Philippines. The challenge was how to keep in touch with the members who are now based in different countries. So we started the creation of a Group Chat and began inviting them to join. We had constant exchanges of communications and updates until COVID 19 Pandemic came. All countries locked their borders and many economies were shutdown. All activities were cancelled including ours. Finally, with the help of internet we were able to join and get together through video conference.
Salamat Teresian Association for the Journey of a Lifetime. Until we meet again, IT Youth.
Anthony Nazario, IT YOUTH Alumnus. Iloilo.