No, the title is not the theme of this year’s Family Feast in Divine Word Seminary of Tagaytay. It is the team to where I belong, the SSS. Siglo stands for 100 years, Sigla for Enthusiasm, and Saksi for Witness – that is, 100 years of SVD’s Enthusiastic Witnessing in the Philippine shores.
And our community in Tagaytay celebrates that in this year’s Family Feast.
Family Feast can be traced back to our founder, St. Arnold Janssen. Whenever someone is having his birthday, he would invite him for a one-on-one talk, sometimes over a bottle of beer to celebrate. Later on, when the members grew, they chose a certain day of the year to have a common birthday celebration. Thus, SVDs not only celebrate our foundation day on September 8 but also the birthdays of all confreres.
In the Philippines, Family Feast is one of the highlights of the seminary community for the school year. Usually, the community is divided into four or three competing groups. Some of the contests include cheerdance or cheering competition, ball games, parlor games, cultural presentations, indoor and outdoor games.
This year’s theme is Sentenaryo ng Misyonerong SVD sa Perlas ng Silangan. Frt. John Paul Marquez, SVD gives the theme a very beautiful rationale. Part of it says,
Sa taong ito, ang tema ng ating pagdiriwang
Ay nakatuon sa kasalukuyang larawan
Ng SVD sa buong Pilipinas,
Isang larawang binubuo ng
Panalangin, pagpapagal, sakripisyo,
Tuwa, pananampalataya at pagmimisyon
Ng mga naunang SVD
Mag-iisang taon na ang nakalipas.
Ito ang SVD ngayon!
Kung anuman TAYO ngayon ay
Dahil may mga SVD na
Nangarap, umawit, nanindigan, nanalangin.
Isa itong malaking pagdiriwang sa buong Simbahan,
Isang biyayang buong pusong
Ipagpapasalamat sa ating
This year’s coordinators settled for street dancing competition. The four teams had to present their street dancing in three different stations, with the third station being the grand showdown at the seminary gymnasium. It was very colorful! I decided to join my group because I was inspired with their energy and their dedication. I was at first only trying to play it safe and informed them I am going to the parish but I also underwent change of heart and made up my mind that I should not miss their company. My group mates were great! As usual, I had a very special participation: Nakasakay ako sa kawayan (I was carried on a bamboo raft). Hehehe. We won.
We also had action song competition. It was actually suggested by our vocation promoter Fr. Redz Domino, SVD for vocation campaign as well as animation song for the Philippine SVD Centennial. Ah, it was performance level for our team! Grabe! They were all very enthusiastic. We won.
This year, we did not go for beach outing on September 8 and I believed it was a good idea. We were all together in the seminary gym celebrating our foundation day with bingo, videoke, parlor games and championship in ballgames. Remember, last year when we went to the beach and naiwan si Ate Susan pag-uwi namin? At least this year, all were in. Walang naiwan. Lahat sabay sa saya. Indeed, Siglo, Sigla, Saksi!
All in all, our team won first runner-up. I would like to thank my groupmates! You were the best team I ever had in my eleven years of Family Feast. Thank you to the coordinators, you did very well. Solid collegian talaga kayo! I am proud of you: Sherwin, Ronrey, JP, Elliot, Reniel, Sedfrey, Sergz, Gilbert, Ritchelle, and Siega.
Next year, I will be celebrating my Family Feast in a totally different community. But you guys have touched me in a very special way and I would to assure you that we will always be one in prayers. Mabuhay tayong lahat! Mabuhay ang SVD!
May the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.