Legazpi City -The staff, their families, residents, seminarians and priests gathered at Mayon Resort, St. Domingo, to celebrate life as a family. It was beautiful, everyone shared their time, love and care with fun. Upon arrival at the resort everyone began to share their joy of being together by swimming and playing. It was like the early Christians sharing meals and works with one another. At mid day, Fr. Battista granted a public farewell to Fr. Benson, who is going to India for good, and Bro. Christian who will be going to Manila for postulancy. After the simple sendoff, the family continued their joyful togetherness for the remainder of the afternoon.
Legazpi – The 5th Annual Dinner for a Cause to benefit Harong Kan Sagrada Familia and to reunite with the generous heart was held on October 5th. It is scheduled in the month of October so that the love of our Founder, St. Louis Guanella, can be communicated to the people of Legazpi City. It is really an act of goodwill and friendship among our benefactors, friends, fellow religious and clergy of the Diocese of Legazpi.
Nearly six hundred people of goodwill joined the Bishop of the Diocese of Legazpi, Most Rev. Joel Baylon, in making the event a success and a night to remember. A program that showcased the rich and colorful cultural heritage of different countries like the Philippines, India and Vietnam was presented by the feeding children, children with special needs, youth, seminarians and staff. Dinner for a Cause not only served as a source of income but also as a celebration of friendship and generosity.
Manila – The ‘Specialympics’ was held at the Guanella Center on July 16th-17th. This two-day sports event for persons with disabilities coincided with National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for Persons with Disabilities.” Festivities began with the parade of teams to the Servants of Charity compound. Fr. Eduardo Cerbito, SdC led the opening prayer, followed by the singing of the Philippine National anthem. The Oath of Sportsmanship was led by Feliz Garduque. Games conducted were Calamansi Relay, Sack Race, Bottle and Straw relay, Blow the Rubberband, Blow the flour, Shoot That Ring, and Hotdog Eating contest. Parents joined the fun during the Blow the Balloon game. Blue team was ahead after day one. On day two, teams competed in the following games: Shooting, Milk Drinking, Bring the Color and Object, Ohhhhrange, Paste Me, and Egg Catching. Green team led the second day.
The winners were announced on July 19th during the Nutrition month celebration: Best in Cheering and 3rd place – Green team, 2nd place – Red team, and 1st place – Blue team.
Manila – The Annual Community Outing was celebrated at Balara Swimming Pool on April 10, 2013. Different sectors of the community, special children, elderly, youth, staff, volunteers and religious joined the trip. This is an annual event giving the whole community an extravagant break from the poverty of everyday living.
The outing was enjoyed by all, especially at the declaration of the pool’s opening. They jumped in happily together; swimming, playing and laughing with their comrades.
Everyone was entertained by the games facilitated by the youth while the pool closed for lunch; ‘stop dancing’ for special children, ‘dance showdown’ for the religious, ‘ping pong’ for children and ‘bring me’ for everyone. Prizes, like t-shirts, toys, and relief goods were awarded to the winners. After eating the delicious meal that they brought for lunch, the pool was reopened for another round of fun and play. The fun multiplied as the heat of the sun diminished. Everyone went home filled with Guanellian Spirit from the memorable outing. God is good all the time.
Chennai – In order to build community spirit amongst the major seminary brothers and the 12th grade students of the minor seminary, the priests of the Chennai community organized a picnic to ‘Queens Land, Poonamalle’ on April 1st. There are roller coasters, cable cars, water rides and games for entertainment. There are also educational games which test brain power, intellectual caliber and concentration skills. They relaxed, ate lunch and enjoyed a variety of experiences, which rejuvenated the spirit and helped to grow in emotional maturity and fraternal bonds of charity. The day ended with a train tour of the entire campus giving a panorama of the entire park.
Manila – On February 24th 2013, the Guanellian Youth Ministry (G.Y.M.) or “Kabataang Guanelliano” held a post-valentine mini-concert entitled “Youthnited with Love, Youthnited for Christ!” at Guanella Center, Servants of Charity. It was actually a fundraising activity, but also served as a way of uplifting their talents in singing, dancing, as well as creative and critical thinking skills for the whole concept of the event. It was indeed a success for all of their supportive parents and friends were there, and there were about a hundred of tickets sold. The theme of the concert was the meaning and different kinds of love. And it was clearly presented by the six Audio Visual Presentations (AVP’s) before every production numbers. The concert started solemnly with a doxology sung by G.Y.M. Choir and interpreted by four dancers. Then, there was an AVP for the meaning of love as a whole and afterwards another AVP about love for family (storge), partners (epithumia and eros), friends (phillia), and love for God (agape). As for their performance, it was executed not so perfectly but full of confidence. Moreover, before the final song, there was a shadow play to the music “Love Never Fails” performed by all the members of the group. In the end, the G.Y.M. wholeheartedly thanked God for giving them a chance to share their God-given talents and to all of the people who were there to share and support them before and during the concert. They all felt blessed for the success of the concert for there was no mentor or trainer, they were all united in giving their efforts to achieve a well-organized and wonderful mini-concert. To a great extent, they thrived and are looking forward to other big events like this. “We’re born alone, we live alone, and we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
-Charmaine B. Ramirez
Chelsea – As predicted, this year’s 2nd Annual “Taste of Chelsea” event at St. Mary Parish on October 6, 2012 surpassed the efforts of 2011, and was a complete sell-out 24 hours in advance. The event showcased the great culinary skills of many of Chelsea’s finest restaurants, café’s and caterers, and raised a significant amount of money for St. Louis Center in the process. The event featured a first ever corporate sponsorship from the local Chrysler/Jeep dealer, twelve table sponsors, and 24 different restaurants and café’s that provided food and warm beverages.
Said Fr. Enzo Addari, “We are grateful to all of these great Chelsea businesses for their support, and for the many people who came to enjoy the evening to help support us. It was a wonderful evening for everyone who participated.” For more photos check the St. Louis Center website.
Manila – Family day was held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Guanella Center for everyone associated with the house. Bro. Joseph Peddarapu, SdC, opened the program starting with a prayer and Fr. Eduardo Cerbito, Guanella Program Coordinator, gave opening remarks highlighting ways for everyone to serve God. The parents were sent to the Guanella Home for a presentation by Mr. and Mrs. Pilarta; a talk that taught them to educate their children with God as a teacher in the family. The children watched a movie to inspire the choices in their daily lives. After the movie they played games; showing sportsmanship and friendliness to each other. Each group prepared a presentation. The Elderly Program sang a song, Catechetical Program and Guanellian Youth Ministry performed energetic dance numbers, Lectors and Commentators revealed their golden voices paired with dance of “Sa Duyan ni Nanay” and Sponsorship beneficiaries presented their Gangnam style dance. After the presentations, there was a raffle drawing and games for adults. It was a successful and meaningful day for the Servants of Charity and everyone who attended the program.
Manila – On August 17, 2012 Guanella Center celebrated Linggo ng Wika 2012 with the theme “Tatak ng wikang Filipino Lakas ng pagka- Filipino (The Mark of the Filipino Language, The Strength of Being a Filipino).” The special kids, parents and staff arrived in their own creative Filipino costume for the parade around the Servants of Charity compound. After the kick-off parade, the children and the staff entered the center. Ms. Claire Subdi, RSW, social worker, and Ms. Sheena Sanares, PT intern, were the Masters of Ceremony for the event.
All were filled with excitement as the program started. Richard Pamintuan, an autistic child, led the opening prayer. Fr. Luigi de Giambattista, SdC presented an inspiring message before the contest judges were introduced: Ms. Gemma Suque, secretary for the Servants of Charity, Bro. Joseph Peddarapu, SDC and Bro. Gyl Adolf. First to present their talent was the group “Anak ni Manuel (Manuel’s Son)” with a declamation piece “Ako ay Pilipino (I am Filipino)”. Before the second presentation, a song entitled “Bakit ngayon ka lang” was sung by Fernando Miñao, a boy with Torrete Syndrome, captivating the hearts of the audience. The second contestant was the group “Anak ni Ninoy (Ninoy’s Son)” performing the song, “Leron Leron Sinta.” Christopher Pellejera sang “Natutulog ba ang diyos (Is God Asleep)?” before the last group, “Anak ni Rizal (Rizal’s Son),” presented their itik-itik dance.
After the contest, chosen special children animated a popular Filipino story, “Ang mga Langgam at ang mga tipaklong (The Ant and the Grasshopper)” it was followed by the dance number “Hayop na Combo,” a song by Yoyoy Villame, Philippine King of Novelty Songs.
Before the program ended there was an awards ceremony for the winners of “Tula awit at sayaw (poetry, song and dance)” contest. “Anak ni Rizal” won first place. From “Palarong Pinoy (Pinoy Games)” on August 14th, “Anak ni Rizal” were awarded champions and presented medals. Best costume awards for children went to Alexa Solomon, Gerald Bergado & Ellyca Bato. Ms. Sheena Sanares won the award for the staff and volunteers. Fr. Luigi closed the program with a short prayer for the intentions of the children and the center. It was a day showcasing talents and the significance of the Filipino Language to the life of the special children.
Manila – After much preparation and practice, the Guanellian Youth Ministry (GYM) hosted a dance competition called, “Step Up for God” aiming to encourage the youth to showcase and share their talents with others. It was held at Guanella Center’s Covered Court on August 25th. Selected GYM members intoned the evening with a solemn doxology followed by opening remarks by Fr. Charlton O. Viray, SdC. Out of the eight groups who had auditioned before the contest, only four groups were chosen to compete. Aside from the contestants, the GYM members, Guanellian Children’s Ministry and some selected audience members gave samples of their dance skills. It was indeed a successful program for the GYM; attendees could even see and feel the enjoyment and happiness of the entire audience. During the awards ceremony, all contestants received a certificate of participation and the champions, Z.E.D.C. Dance Troupe, earned a trophy for best dancers of the year. During closing remarks it was highlighted that it was not just a fundraising activity or a typical dance competition, but a venue for the youth to showcase their God-given talents and share them with others for the glory of God. (Ms. Charmaine Ramirez)