Last April 8-10, 2016, the Vincentian Marian Youth of the Philippines had their Summer Camp with the theme “Evangelized, We Evangelize”. This was participated by the Junior of our Ladies (children), Children of Mary (adolescents) and the Marian Friends (adults.) There were approximately 200 participants of the said event. It was held at GoDucate Training Center in Iloilo, Philippines. The camp was planned to gather the members of the organization from all over the country. The preparation of the camp was headed by the National Sister Advisor and Priest Advisor Sr. Maria Elisa Barranco DC, and Fr. Rey Araneta, CM, in coordination with the National Executive Board of VMY- Philippines led by the president Daniel Casanes.
There were three highlights of the camp: the sessions with an invited resource person, Sr. Barranco, Father Araneta and Miss Ana Maria Escaño as speakers, the teambuilding and the Night of Creative Prayerful Experiences.
The camp was opened with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the presentation of delegates and the giving of house rules. The first speaker was an invited resource person Msgr. Johnny Delgado who talked about how important it is to respond to Pope Francis with his topic "Responding to the Encyclicals of Pope Francis". This was followed by an equally important talk on the theme of the summer camp "Evangelized, We Evangelize" by no other than the priest advisor of COM-VMY Philippines, Fr. Rey Araneta, CM. A workshop followed right after the talks to give a venue to the participants to share their thoughts and sentiments to their fellow participants. The first day ended with a night of socialization hosted by the Iloilo Province (host of the camp) with their traditional dance, introduction of their dialect and an appetizing presentation of their local delicacies.
The second day started with a Scriptural Rosary done early in the morning. A recap of the activities the previous day was also presented to the participants. The first speaker of the second day was the Sister Advisor of VMY Philippines Sr. Maria Elisa Barranco, DC with her topic on "COM-VMY: Called to Witness". This was also an echo of the session that she had when she went to Salamanca, Spain last July for the International Assembly. Miss Ana Maria Escaño, the coordinator of the Vincentian Formation Collaboration on Systemic Change Initiatives in Tanauan, Leyte was the last speaker who shared her personal experiences on the importance of collaboration, how we can help a lot of people if we choose to help each other on her topic "The Vincentian Family: A place for Collaboration". The morning session then ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The second highlight of the summer camp was the teambuilding activity participated by everyone, regardless of the age. This gave the participants a chance to collaborate as they accomplish the physical and mental tasks given to them. It was a good time for the participants to mingle, get to know and work with their fellow participants since they came from different places of the Philippines.
The last highlight of the camp was the Night of Creative Prayerful Experiences. This was started with a praise and worship as the participants sang and dance to worship songs. And then, after a tiring and physical afternoon, it was time for the participants to be still, be silent, reflect and talk to God. There were prayer stations prepared with different themes like forgiveness, love, and suffering wherein participants can pray creatively. This allowed them to express their prayers in an imaginative way through, drawing, molding, creating and using materials like water, sand and clay dough. This ended the second day with everyone in a prayerful and solemn disposition.
The third day started with a morning prayer followed by the recap of the previous day´s activity. The National Executive Board presented the updates for both national and regional. Marie Claire Balo from Cebu City was presented to the body as the next English-Speaking Volunteer for the International Secretariat. She will be leaving for Madrid in May. Father Rey Araneta, CM was also given a certificate of appreciation as the National Advisor for the past three years as he leaves the Philippines for a mission in Mozambique. The event was graced by the virtual presence of the VMY International President Yancarlos Carraso as he sent a video of greetings to everyone reminding us to be inspired to evangelize other people as we are evangelized ourselves. With hearts full of inspiration and happiness, the summer camp ended with a Holy Eucharist.