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Public school teacher behind YouCat Filipino

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MC Kenneth M. Baluyot (Photo from Baluyot's Facebook account)

QUEZON City, Nov. 4, 2015 – A social studies teacher from Krus na Ligas National High School who translated the Youth Catechism (YouCat) into Filipino is hopeful that his simple contribution reaches as many young people as possible now that the book is available in a language they easily understand.

“I notice that many of our youth care little about the details of their faith, if at all. They get distracted by so many things that have nothing to do with their salvation like TV, gadgets, and…social media,” lamented MC Kenneth M. Baluyot in an interview.

Youth-friendly

The 28 year-old expressed assurance that his “baby,” YouCat Filipino, is a superior alternative in that it can do much in terms of helping Catholic Filipinos, especially the youth, understand their faith better.

According to him, the book answers 527 questions young Catholics are eager to ask.

Baluyot went on to share that the two years he dedicated translating YouCat, in between fulfilling his teaching duties, was a fruitful experience.

“Not everyone is given the opportunity to get published,” he boasted, considering himself fortunate for having been picked by Claretian Communications Foundation through the recommendation of Fr. Jonathan A. Bitoy, CMF to do the work despite “his unworthiness.”

Passion for catechesis

Baluyot also enjoys volunteering for Miriam Adult Education as a Christian Living instructor.

Before YouCat Filipino, he served as a creative consultant for newsletters in his parish and barangay.

“Originally, my contract with Claret was only good for a year, and it only involved me translating the foreword Pope Benedict XVI wrote for YouCat. But the need to consult with various editors to check the reliability of the concepts being translated prolonged the period,” he added.

While generally easy, Baluyot admitted translating YouCat into the national language was not without its difficulties.

Challenges

“As far as ordinary sentences were concerned, I could translate them easily. But when a certain paragraph was already of a highly dogmatic, liturgical, and even scientific nature, that’s when I had to ask my priest-friends for help,” he explained.

For Bible verses in YouCat, the public school teacher said he just had to lift directly off Claret’s own “Biblia ng Sambayanang Pilipino.”

YouCat Filipino is now available at the Claretian Bookstore at 8 Mayumi St., U.P. Village, Diliman, QC. For inquiries, interested parties may contact at (02) 921-39-84 / 922-00-11 or email cci@claret.org.

Participants of the 1st International YouCat Congress (Congress of Mercy) to be held from Nov. 5 to 7 at the Development Academy of the Philippines Convention Center, Tagaytay City, Philippines will receive complimentary copies of the book. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)


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