San Carlos Seminary started last October 11, 2009, Monday, but because I am an Optimi Choir member, meant to sing in one of the intermission numbers of the 31st Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA), I have to stay until the program is over.

It’s really boring to stay in the seminary, realizing that people around you are leaving despite the pangs of typhoon in the north. I spent Sunday and Monday just for internet surfing. Good that I have Live-Action Movie DVDs of Detective Conan and Prince of Tennis. I found time to watch them while nobody else was using the community TV at our recreation hall.

I managed to watch The Correspondents late Monday night at ABS-CBN. I came to understand that there are a lot of ‘engineering theories’ as to why and how the floods were able to pile up Metro Manila and caused enormous disturbances to the lives of the people residing here, particularly in Pasig and Marikina.

“Resta Qui Con Noi”
When I surfed the net last Monday, I was able to download the theme songs of the World Youth Day celebrations starting 1984. To my surprise, the first theme song was entitled Resta Qui Con Noi, the Italian original composition of Gen Rosso which we, Philosophy students, sing its English version “Stay With Us, O Lord.”

Le ombre si distendono scende ormai la serae
si allontanano dietro i montii riflessi di un giorno che non finirà,
di un giorno che ora correrà sempre
perché sappiamo che una nuova vita
da qui è partita e mai più si fermerà.

Resta qui con noi il sole scende già,
resta qui con noi Signore è sera ormai.
Resta qui con noi il sole scende già,
se tu sei fra noi la notte non verrà.

S’allarga verso il mare il tuo cerchio d’onda
che il vento spingerà fino a quando
giungerà ai confini di ogni cuore,
alle porte dell’amore vero;
come una fiamma che dove passa brucia,
così il Tuo amore tutto il mondo invaderà.

Resta qui con noi …

Of course, the latest theme was from Sydney 2008 WYD, entitled “Receive the Power” as popularized by Australian Idol finalists Guy Sebastian and Paulini. Guy, to everyone’s knowledge, is a devout Catholic. Known to the public as the first Australian Idol winner in 2003 with his hit single “Angels Brought Me Here,” Guy nonetheless was one of those who penned the theme for the Sydney celebration.

Greenbelt Feat
Last Tuesday, I and Kenneth Ascano, my classmate, spent Tuesday afternoon touring Greenbelt. It was my first time to be there, though I can recall that in 2006 I and my FY colleagues were brought by Fr. Jocis Syquia to the Ayala Museum. Greenbelt 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We even joined the Coffee Expo there. The challenge was for me and Kench to take free coffee taste at 6 different booths before we could win a prize. Alas, after taking 6 cups (really caffeinated), I won a free white tshirt imprinted with the logo of the said event. (I even called home to brag what I won)

Traffic is so hard at hard. We were caught in the middle of rush hour at 6 pm. That is why Kench and I decided to cool off longer until 7:30 PM. Ha! Even though it was already 8 PM, we were able to come home at SCS safe.

CMMA at San Carlos Seminary
This is the first time that the CMMA event took place at San Carlos Seminary, particularly at the newly-renovated auditiorium. October 14, Wednesday, was really a star-studded afternoon and evening!

There were a lot of celebs and media practitioners there. I won’t recall all. I saw many of them. But there are those I failed to see (like Kris Aquino, Gelli de Belen, and Carmina Villaroel). Among the mediamen I saw were Jay Taruc, Vicky Morales, Christine Bersola-Babao, Jessica Soho, Korina Sanchez, Dyan Castillejo-Garcia, Pia Arcangel, and ‘Kuya’ Kim Atienza.

They say that Gelli and Carmina were not joined by their fellow in SiS Janice de Belen because Janice is not a Catholic.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, of course, was there, with his auxiliary bishop Bernardino Cortez, private secretary Fr. Reginald Malicdem, and chancellor Fr. Jun Sescon. Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao was present, also Bo Sanchez of “Kerygma.”

Among the performers were Jose Mari Chan, Jamie Rivera (with whom Fr. Carlo Magno and Optimi Choir made a rendition of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”), the Las Piñas Boys Choir.

Fr. Daniel Estacio of the Diocese of Pasig and Fr. Rolly Garcia were also among the presentors. Boots Anson-Roa was also present.

Most notable in the night was the attendance of the cast of the hit inspirational teleserye May Bukas Pa, with Kyle Balili as the singer and of course, Zaijian Jaranilla or SANTINO. The Franciscan Fathers were there, significantly Jaime Fabregas and Dominic Ochoa, whom some seminarians would make fun of in calling mistakenly “Fader.”

May Bukas Pa proved to be the only eventide show that reminds us the moral awareness and fear of God among televiewers. The ratings do not matter. The values with which each and every Filipino can learn from are important in the formation of social conscience and nation building. Kudos, Santino! Kudos, Bro!

Of course, we delivered our intermission number “Umbrella” with Jamie Rivera as the key singer.

Uwian na, Thursday
Hay! I have to leave. I got my grades.  I cleaned my room the previous night. I bid goodbye to my fellows. Huh? Only I and Kench were the ones left in the seminary that night. I took a taxi at 9, and left for Pasig.


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