MANILA, July 28, 2011?Around 450 young people from the Central Luzon region participated in a youth forum that highlighted the true meaning of love and God as the center of any relationship.
Called “Love Rocks”, the youth forum discussed the following points: the joy of being in love; love is not a fairy tale—it is a decision and not a feeling; and God is a God of second chances.
God’s love rocks!
Fr. Angelito Santiago, Youth Director of Malolos, who was the Episcopal Commission on Youth’s counterpart organizer, explained to the participants that God is love and it is his love that gives us hope and strength to love others in the same manner.
“Tunay nga ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ay nag-ra rock sa’ting buhay. Sapagka’t ang pag-ibig ay unang nagpadama nito ang Diyos. Ang Diyos ay pag-ibig at tayo (na) nagmamahal ay tumutulad sa Panginoon na nagmahal sa ‘tin,” the priest said.
Organized in a talk show style format, the forum had as guests Adz Agustin, who called himself as a chickboy/lover boy; Joselle Salvador, as NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth); Vincent Caro, as the virgin and proud guy; and young couple, Angelo Domingo and Tine Rey.
Agustin, who has had five failed relationships, advised his young audience to stay close to Jesus.
“…If you are in a relationship, you must push each other closer to Jesus and let Jesus be the source of love,” he said.
He also talked to his audience about praying for the grace to fight temptation.
God of second chances
At the closing of the activity, hosts Leah Custodio and Richard Balang encouraged everyone to believe that despite mistakes they may have made in the past, God is a God of second chances and He is preparing a beautiful love story for each one.
Sweethearts Angelo Domingo and Tine Rey led the girls to pray over the boys and vice versa. They asked for the grace to love and serve each other first as brothers and sisters in Christ and to prepare themselves for their own love stories.
Msgr. Andres Valera, Vicar General of Malolos Diocese, also stressed the message of true love beyond appearances during the mass after the forum, “…Nung minahal tayo ng Diyos, hindi Niya tiningnan ang panlabas na anyo natin. At kung gaano kalalim ang pagkabaon ng krus sa lupa, gano’n kalalim ang Kanyang pagmamahal s’atin.”
Related activities in the future
After the Love Rocks! Forum, Fr. Santiago expressed his gratefulness that the forum was a success while looking forward to similar activities from the Episcopal Commission on Youth. “Gawain ito ng Panginoon, kaya nagtagumpay ito,” he added.
Fr. Fernando Urbano, SDB, Regional Youth Coordinator-Central Luzon region, said that he is hopeful that the participants, which included three young Dumagats from Bulacan, will not only understand the message but translate it into action, making Jesus on the Cross their model of loving.
The first Love Rocks forum was held in Malolos, Bulacan on June 23. Northern Luzon region is set to host the next Love Rocks! Forum, tentatively in Tabuk. (Jandel Posion)