Episode 32 – Friday, November 27th, 2015 (6905)
(Thanks God and I was able to do my private work at my TENT office because my elder brother who is still jobless and bullying me so much was not in the house, and I had a time to have my “short” freedom.)
Last weekend, there was a big event happened and gathered by the most communities in the Feast. Kerygma Conference (or simply known as KCON) is the largest inspirational gathering in the Philippines started in 2007 by the Catholic lay preacher and bestselling author Bro. Bo Sanchez. And this year, on its 9th year, it was all about the Coming Home. And it was the time to attend the 4-day classes of the conference for the first time in my life.
Two years ago, I had already attended Kerygma Conference 2013: Be Empowered, but I only attended the Grand Feast together with my friends from the Feast Biñan. I didn’t attend the classes offered for four days as some of my Feast friends had attended their classes. Last year, I supposed to register and to attend the classes for KCON 2014: Lifted High when I got hospitalized few weeks before the event. But late this year, I had my opportunity to attend the KCON for not only learning the classes taught by well-known speakers but also for serving for them.
It was only early this November when I decided to attend the KCON 2015 for my only second time in my life (and first to attend classes). My decision was perfect because, at first, I didn’t want to spend my time at home where my elder brother has been always there bullying me and calling my name like a goat “Meee! Meee!”, and second it was a long holiday week due of APEC Summit held in Manila, so that I didn’t want to stay at home (with some “toxic” environment) while holiday (and coincidentally, it was a working holiday in the Metro).
And not only that, I was willing to serve as a media operator (operating PowerPoint presentations provided by the speakers and videos) for the first three classes on the first day of the event. I was so blessed because, as a servant (or volunteer rather), I only paid a discounted price (10%) from the original price ticket. Of course, I was so excited to serve for the biggest gathering event.
An evening before the event, I attended a short meeting with some of my friends in the Feast (both SM Sta. Rosa and Paseo de Sta. Rosa) to discuss the guidelines about the preparations where we were assigned on Day 1 (Thursday) to serve one of the five sessions of the event, and that was about Family and Relationships. We also discussed about our departure from Laguna that we must be ready to be on-time as early as 4 am and to arrive early to set-up our preparations at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. This was because to avoid traffic going to that place due of APEC Summit in which some Filipino people were affected (popularly known as #APECtado) because they (mostly from Cavite) were stuck heavy traffic going to their work in the Metro (most of them suffered to walk for long miles to reach their own destinations because there were no more public transport to ride as they’re prohibited to enter the restricted area caused by APEC Summit for security reasons). After the meeting, I was so rush going home to sleep early for the early morning preparations, but I couldn’t even sleep at late night until one major announcement. My friend, Sis Tess, from Media Ministry was sending her text blast message telling everybody that KCON classes for Thursday and Friday were cancelled and postponed because of ongoing APEC Summit (as all roads nearby the place (including Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City) where the world leaders and delegates from Asia and the Pacific, attended for the meeting, were blocked for security reasons). I first thought it was a “hoax”, but when I analyzed the received text messages from Sis Tess, the announcement came real because it was officially announced by Bro. Jon Escoto of Feast Laguna and eventually KCON management thru Facebook page that KCON event for the first two days was forced to be postponed, and the classes that supposed to be held on Thursday and Friday (three classes each) would be moved on Saturday (there would have 6 classes in one day) and Sunday, right before the Grand Feast, respectively.
Because of this, I and other servants had our enough time to prepare for two days before KCON. Although I was little bit disappointed because I would spend my boredom at home while it was a holiday (watching AlDub, being bullied by my jobless elder brother, and distractions), I took my enough rest and energy before the big event to serve and to attend for the whole weekend. But last Friday, I was so impatient that I didn’t want to stay at home all the time because of these distractions, so that I decided to leave the house to gather around and to stay a quite some time at the workplace in San Pedro, and eventually I was able to watch NBA games live at the office and eating a small pan of pizza (remember, I have the keys to open the office! Hehehe!)
Day 1: Saturday, November 21st – Attending and Serving the Classes
It was the day that was waiting for. I woke up so early to take my bath and to prepare my early breakfast. Carrying the laptop that would be used for the classes, I arrived at the meeting place near Pavilion Mall, Biñan where most of my Feast friends as KCON servants were already there. I joined with Sis Tess and some friends riding in a rented van and departed around 5:30 am going to SMX Convention Center. And because we’re servants, we entered at the backstage carrying our equipment to be used on KCON classes. To enter for coding our tickets that we purchased, I, Sis Tess, Lanie and Earl went to the second level, walked and went back down to the ground level to enter as attendees of the event, and we received each one a bag of KCON kit consisting of KCON diary and guidelines, two books of the bible, a newly-published Kerygma Magazine, some leaflets, and some packs of medicine sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. After that, we went to the second level again to meet other servants from Feast SM Sta. Rosa and Paseo to gather at the Function Room 3 for an important meeting from our builder, Bro. Dreus Cosio, together with the friends from Feast Dasmariñas (in Cavite) as they would serve on the classes 7, 8 and 9 while we would handle for classes 1, 2 and 3 that these were supposed to be held on Thursday due of postponement.
After the meeting, Sis Tess, Lanie and I had an enough time to arrange the presentations for the speakers. We didn’t attend the morning plenary session due of our last minute preparations although we would serve at 3:30 pm right after the Class 9. After that, we went out to eat our early lunch (to avoid getting hungry for the whole afternoon while serving) where I had to bring my baon while they bought for their lunch. Then, we again entered SMX Convention Center (at the backstage) to attend the ongoing morning plenary session although we came so late to watch. After the plenary, we separately attended the classes that we chose personally. Sis Tess and Lanie attended the Business and Career classes while I was so alone to attend Leadership and Education classes.
At Function Room 4, the first class that I attended was about Innovation Economics: Leading with Less Resources. The first speaker was Coach Joel Banal, and he was known for me because I had watched him on TV before when he was the coach of PBA teams like Talk N’ Text and Alaska. Next was Monching Bueno of Feast Marikina where he shared his past experiences as a builder in Marikina. I was so amazed when he told that there were only few attendees in Feast Marikina during the first few months of becoming him a builder, then suddenly, with his patience and God’s blessings, few months later the attendance increasingly grew and grew until there were so jam-packed crowd of about more than a thousand in the theater causing to create two sessions and to build a new Feast in Sta. Lucia Mall in Marikina. And the last speaker of Innovation Economics was Bro. Arun Gogna of Feast Belleuve Hotel Alabang. He was so funny to deliver his jokes and funny antics that made the attendance laugh and happy.
After the first class, I had a time to break although I was so alone without seeing any of my friends. During the break time, I went to souvenir shops to buy a T-shirt printing “Jesus is my Home” that I would wear on the next day, and it was nice to be wear that T-shirt showing my love to Jesus Christ as my home. After the break, I went back to Function Room 4 to attend a class entitled Home Room: Bridging Classroom Learning by Prof. Maria Mercedes Arzadon of University of the Philippine – Diliman Campus. Although I’m not a parent or teacher, I was able to learn from her about the education in the Philippines that describes historically, statistically and comparing with other countries.
At the end of my second class, I didn’t have enough time to attend my third class (Class 9) of that day because of being a servant, and I immediately met with other servants in Function Room 3 to prepare for the transition to serve for the next classes. Lanie and Sis Tess were waiting for the set-up while the third class was ongoing on that room. The ongoing class was presented by Father Bob Mcconaghy, retired priest in the diocese of Allentown, USA and entitled A House Built on a Rock. After the class, the servants from Feast Dasmariñas were ready to back up after serving three classes started from the late morning, and they exchanged me and other servants from Feast Sta. Rosa (both SM and Paseo) to occupy Function Room 3 to serve for the next three classes under Family and Relationships.
As a visual operator, I didn’t have any nervous but yet a little bit panic to set-up the slideshow presentations of our speakers in the laptop that I used together with my friend from Feast Sta. Rosa – Paseo, Rye Belen (the boyfriend of my former college classmate, Kayeen), to help me when some troubles might be occurred while the classes were ongoing. Shortly after 10 minutes of set-up, we’re so ready to serve for KCON classes. The first class was about The Impatient Bride: What to do while waiting for Mr. Right, and the speaker was Miss Rissa Singson-Kawpeng, Editor-in-chief of Kerygma Magazine. Her talk was something related to me especially about waiting someone for the true love eventually since I have been remained loveless for five months. Miss Rissa said in her joke that a man or a woman must attend all 189 Feast areas in the Philippines (and in other countries worldwide, too) to look and to find the right person to be his/her love. Should I try this for the mission to look for someone in my heart? Hehehehe!
After the short break, the next class about the happy married life titled “I Do… Again” by Bro. Bo Sanchez and his wife, Marowe, interviewed in a “hot” couch by two Feast builders (I’ll check who they were). It was a jam-packed crowd inside the Function Room 3 (although the room was too small to handle many attendees inside), and it was because of Bro. Bo Sanchez, of course. Luckily, this was my second time to serve for Bro. Bo in a big event (the first one was last April during Lenten Recollection) although I only spotted him further from the operating area at the back of audience. After almost an hour of Bro. Bo’s talk about marriage, the next and final class of that day was about Home Maker: the Divine calling of Solo Parenting by Miss Nina Era, professor of Miriam College and University of the East. This talk was simple yet too inspiring as she shared the experiences about being a solo parent.
After the whole day of attending and serving the KCON classes, I and other servants had finally done our job, and we took our group pictures as we celebrated our accomplishments to serve at KCON. After that, we were treated free dinner at the meeting room as I, Lanie and Sis Tess felt so hungry because we had not yet eaten since late morning where we had our early lunch before the classes were started. As KCON was not yet over, we intended to attend the evening plenary worship and talk led by Father Joel Jason, parish priest at Mary Mirror of Justice in Comembo, Makati. However, Sis Tess and I couldn’t find other colleagues and servants from Feast Sta. Rosa at the plenary, so we’re only two to sit further from the stage together with other attendees (there was one guy who introduced me to talk while listening the plenary). At the end of the evening plenary, the ushers gave each of us, attendees and servants, a free book from Bro. Bo Sanchez entitled Life Manual 101: How to Make Your Dreams Come True. We’re so tired for the whole day to attend and to serve the classes since we arrived at the sunrise, but we enjoyed the experience at the KCON. Sulit na sulit! And after the plenary, we needed to go home to have enough rest (and sleep) because tomorrow would be another whole day of KCON experience! I arrived home around 11:30 in the evening, but I was able to eat my late dinner and to take some rest (arranging the items from the KCON kit and a T-shirt that I bought earlier) before going to sleep past midnight.
Day 2: Sunday, November 22nd – Three Remaining Classes and The Grand Feast
Waking up not so late because of tiredness from the previous night, I was able to go out for the second and final day of KCON. At Balibago Complex, I met Sis Tess, Earl, Lanie and Gee at the bus terminal where we rode going to Buendia with some fun and bonding time. Although we arrived at SMX Convention Center so late, we’re able to attend the first class of our choice on that morning. While Sis Tess attended her chosen class about Business and Career, Lanie, Gee, Earl and I attended one class at Function Room 2 about Wellness and Health although it was not the one of the original classes of our choices. The Wellness and Health class was about Power Recipes presented by the speakers Chichi Barba and our beloved Feast SM Sta. Rosa builder, Bro. Dreus Cosio as he discussed the health awareness that we must eat organic foods like fruits and vegetables. The next class was supposed to be about business when Earl, Lanie and I decided to attend a class presented by American spiritual speaker and founder of Hard As Nails, Justin Fatica, and it was about the 4-S of Christian Leadership. And although Earl and Lanie, together with Gee, attended their own next classes, I decided to stay at Function Room 4 together with two pretty ladies who were in 30s or something and only introduced by Rye Belen after the second class (but I just forgot their names, sorry!) We attended a nice and very educated class about Psynch-ology: The Effects of Social Media on Values Formation discussed by Michele Alignay. This was about the effects of social media especially for teenagers who were so addicted using gadgets and social media websites like Facebook that affecting their good moral values.
After the final class, I met Sis Tess together with our friends from media ministry, Che and Janine, and we went to Mall of Asia, nearby from SMX, to eat our lunch. While Lanie, Earl and other friends had already have their lunchtime at Mang Inasal, Che, Janine, Sis Tess, and I couldn’t find their place to eat lunch. However, we just decided to eat our lunch at Chowking because there were so many crowded people eating during their lunchtime. Sis Tess and I ordered the food that we would eat while Che and Janine had brought their own baons, but we had a long time to wait the food that we ordered taking for about 30 minutes. We spotted other friends from Feast Sta. Rosa eating in the same fastfood chain.
(Note: thanks God and I joined with Sis Tess, Che and Janine for lunch at Chowking because I just discovered on the next day that Lanie, Earl and Gee joined with Nikki and her friends including my former college classmate and friend (just called him, “royalprince”) eating their lunch at Mang Inasal after I spotted him in a picture posted by one of my friends in Facebook. I don’t want to meet “royalprince” personally because of some personal reasons. If ever, I joined with Lanie, Earl and company after class to eat lunch at the said restaurant, and then I unexpected met that person to eat lunch together, what should be happened for me if I met that guy in one unexpected situation? I was so unaware for that day while we’re attending KCON!)
After eating our lunch, we went out from the mall going to Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena nearby where there were lots of people falling in their long lines to attend the Grand Feast. While some of our friends like Lanie, Earl and Gee were already inside the arena, Sis Tess and I told them thru text messages to reserve our seats the time when we entered inside. Because we’re servants in the event, we’re luckily placed our seats at lower box level together with our fellow servants from Feast Sta. Rosa including Lanie and Earl to watch the event near from the stage while those who were non-servants (like Gee, Che and Janine) were placed their seats to the upper box level, so that they could watch the event further.
Minutes after we entered the arena, the afternoon mass was started and served by Father Mario Sobrejuanite, celebrant of Sunday TV Healing Mass. After the mass, Jaya, Ogie Alcasid, and his wife, the Songbird Miss Regine Velasquez (calling these three song artists as “One Walker”) entered the stage to sing their nice worship songs as the audience were so amazed. After the series of worship songs, Justin Fatica came at the stage to speak out his inspirational message. “You’re amazing!” he shouted to everybody inside the arena. And then, Bro. Alvin Barcelona sang a new song from the KCON 2015: Coming Home album. He told a story about his family where his wife and his two children were present at the stage after they had their short skit portraying from one troubled family turned into a one happy family while Bro. Alvin was singing “I’m Home”. And lastly, Bro. Bo Sanchez had his simple talk together with the three generations of the Feast builders: Bro. Eng Si of Feast Quezon City, Bro. Jon Escoto of Feast Laguna (who was wearing Incredible Hulk costume/coat as he joked that he was called a ninja turtle because of his green outfit), and Bro. Velden Lim of Feast Bicutan to share their own stories. He also encouraged for those who were still single to stand up and to shout “I already have it!”, and also for those who were couples and mothers to stand up and to pray themselves. (There were so many beautiful ladies attending the classes and the big event that I was wishing someone inside the arena would be the “Right One”, but I failed to interact or to find as a new friend.) At the Grand Feast was about to end, he delivered his final message before we’re going HOME. (I forgot to give my love offering envelope to the ushers after I wrote it because it was already out of time.)
As expected, the event ended almost 8pm, and yet it was another whole day of fun and experience at KCON 2015: Coming Home. Before heading home from MOA Arena, Sis Tess, Lanie, Gee, Earl and I felt so hungry because we had not eaten any meal since lunch. While the girls needed to take their comfort, Earl went to food stands to buy some pieces of bread, and I was sitting on a bench. Minutes later, the girls came from inside the mall to meet us and to buy some food to eat and to ease our hunger before we rode a minicab going to the bus terminal in Buendia. We’re so tired when we took a bus ride going back to Sta. Rosa, Laguna and arrived there around 10pm.
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This year’s Kerygma Conference was satisfied for me as it was my first time to attend, not as a “student” of the classes of my choice, but also as a servant operating visual presentations of some of the well-known speakers. Although there were some problems regarding in crowd control, long queue of lines entering in one class, and technical problems (like the sound system of the Grand Feast event which was failed to operate interrupting the finale song, but thanked God it was almost already the end when it occurred), I had learned a lot of lessons that I heard from the speakers in the classes of my choice to attend. Despite of disruption due of APEC Summit forcing KCON to reduce into two days from the original four-day schedule and also the problems that I have making me so bothered and unhappy especially when I’ve been loveless in the last 5 months from the failed (long distance) relationship, I was so blessed and happy to be a part of KCON this year.
I’m hoping I will attend next year’s Kerygma Conference with my fellow friends from the Feast Sta. Rosa to learn more, to have fun more, to meet more new friends and to find the “Right One” and to move FORWARD for my blessings and abundance.