Episode 113 – Friday, December 23rd, 2016 (7297)
(I suppose to publish this episode on Monday, December 26th as part of 5-day yearend review special, but due of long holiday weekend, I just decide to publish this too early.)
The year 2016 was somewhat an awful year for me. This was the whole year where I’ve been loveless and full of mediocrity in life. It had full of frustrations and distractions which made me unhappy. I really want to end the year so badly, and I need to start for another new year. And as the year 2016 nearly ends, I just want to review the whole year in my life. I’ll make this summarization to remember the incidents and events happened in 2016.
In the first of five episodes, I’ll discuss about my attendance and service at The Feast in 2016.
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My Dull Attendance and Service
The brand-new year for The Feast was begun on January 3rd, and they began with first talk of 2016 entitled: #Blessed. I attended on the first Feast session of 2016 at Feast SM Santa Rosa (SMSR) led by builder Bro. Dreus Cosio. But on the second week, although I did attend to hear the talk, I didn’t finish it before the reflection song. On the following month, I didn’t attend the Valentine’s special of Feast SMSR because… you know what I mean (I didn’t want to be distracted from the lovers out there while I’m still single and loveless).
My attendance at Feast SMSR (as well as other Feast locations) had not been so frequent since its relocation from Central Mall Biñan last June 2015 (just few days before my break-up). During the first half of 2016, I barely attended because of personal security reasons especially in a place where there were lots of people gathered inside the mall. In the past 48 Sundays of Feast sessions at SM Santa Rosa, I only attended 21 times (9 of these where I was a servant for Media Ministry). But I did attend to other Feast locations (I’ll explain later on) about 10 times. Unfortunately, I missed several topics of the Feast 18 times where my 14 Sundays went to my stay at my office (as my “exile country”) to have my own freedom (staying away from noisy environment and distractions at home).
My service at The Feast had been also declined comparing last year. Most of the first half of 2016, I had not served in the Media Ministry for the place even once (except when I got to serve at Feast Technopark Hotel in Santa Rosa). I thought I would never serve at Feast SMSR because of my feelings that I had lost my appetite to serve due of being depressed, dullness, and loveless. But on June 26th, for the first time after a long time of my hiatus, I finally served for Media Ministry at that place, either operating teleprompter (showing song lyrics for the singers) or congregation (flashing PowerPoint presentations and song lyrics with nice background to the attendees). And since then, I had served for Feast SMSR 9 times this year including the recent Advent Recollection.
Exploring Other Feast Locations
Aside of Feast SM Santa Rosa, I did attend Feast Technopark Hotel only twice (the first one was a servant while the latter as an attendee) this year. I attended there for the only second time after they transferred from other building within few meters away in late 2015. Unlike in Feast SMSR, there’s a holy mass served right before the opening worship song and a Feast session led by Feast Laguna Senior Builder Bro. Jon Escoto, and I met some few friends including my former college classmate, Karen, together with her family. However, I attended there for the final time last March 21st, and I’ve never attended there since then because of its remote place and, aside of Karen and Bro. Jeff of Media Ministry, I didn’t see any close friends there.
The two Feast locations within Santa Rosa area (SM City and Technopark Hotel) have been part of my life to attend the Feast since I first discovered in 2013. But there’s one Feast location in Laguna where I had never attended there until last March 14th. When I attended there for the first time, Feast Pacita was located at Catholic School of Pacita in San Pedro which was coincidentally their last session on the location before transferring to their new location in Casa del Niño Elementary School (just behind South Luzon Expressway in Pacita) on the following week. And like in Technopark Hotel, as well as other Feast locations, there’s a holy mass served right before the opening worship song and a Feast session led by Bro. Dwight Castillo. Although the attendees are quite few compared to Feast SMSR because of its remote location, I really appreciated the nice and warm atmosphere of the place which was first considered as my best place to attend The Feast because of not-so crowded location.
In April, after attending Feast Pacita for the first time, I just decided to explore other Feast locations within southern Metro Manila area, particularly in Muntinlupa City, as a part of my “solo tour”. The first one was Feast ATC. Last April 17th, I went to Alabang Town Center (ATC) in the morning to attend Feast ATC which was just a coincidence because they celebrated their third anniversary. I first attended the holy mass then special opening worship songs (as part of their anniversary). After that, the district builder Bro. Mike Viñas led the special talk regarding to their celebration entitled: “3-in-One” with special guest, Bro. Obet Cabrillas of Feast Manila. Feast ATC, located inside a big cinema theater in Alabang Town Center, was the fifth Feast location that I attended and second in Alabang area after Festival Mall (I’ve not attended Feast Belleuve Hotel which is also located in the same place).
Secondly, on the following week, I attended Sunday edition of Feast Festival Alabang (FFA) in a bizarre fashion. Led by Bro. Mike Viñas, I attended first afternoon session of FFA with a talk about inspiration (under the series: The Spark). After the session, I stayed there to attend a holy mass which was my first time to do so. Usually I had attended holy mass before the regular Feast session since when Feast of Bro. Dreus was still located at Central Mall Biñan, but when I attended FFA, it was started with a Feast session before the holy mass (I didn’t attend the second session after the mass because I needed to go home right the way). Although it was not my first time to attend the place (I already attended Wednesday Feast Festival Alabang of Bro. J Yogawin in the past), it was my first (and only) time to attend one of its Sunday Feast sessions in that place.
Since the last time when I attended Feast Pacita last August, I’ve not explored to other Feast locations besides SM Santa Rosa. I’ve been attending and serving Feast SMSR since then.
Big Events that I Missed to Attend or Serve
The Kerygma Lenten Recollection (KLR) 2016 entitled “New” was held last March 24-26, and I had attended the annual Lenten event two out of three days (I didn’t attend on the first day which was Maundy Thursday). On the second day of KLR, it was somewhat special for me because I was accompanied with a new friend from Feast Technopark. I already met her before last year, and she was so nice to accompany. However, she didn’t finish the program as she went home before noon, so that she just left me alone. Minsan nalang ako may kasama sa isang Kerygma event tapos iiwanan pa! Awww… Did I something wrong at her that’s why she immediately left me? Hmmm… Although I was able to attend on the third day together with my Feast friend, Carlo, I felt I was still lonely enough to be alone and without a nice friend (I wished I would accompany with my future girlfriend at the Feast). On Easter Sunday, I didn’t go to Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to attend the Grand Easter Feast which was my second time to not participate.
This was my fourth consecutive time to attend KLR since it was introduced to me in 2013. However, unlike in 2014 and 2015, I didn’t serve for Media Ministry at this year’s KLR. My decision was made before the event because of my loneliness especially when I had been heartbroken for a long time. As what I mentioned earlier, I had not served during the first half of 2016 until last June 26th.
Last November 17-20, the Kerygma Conference (KCON) was held on its 10th year entitled Forward. Unlike last year where it was only held for two days due of APEC Summit, the event returned on its original schedule – three days of classes plus a Grand Sunday Feast at Mall of Asia Arena. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend this year’s KCON at all despite that I had already bought a ticket. This was because of financial disaster that I had last August (thanks to an evil chubby textmate whom I thought she would be my “forever”, but she became a “disaster” for me). Even though some of my friends at Media Ministry encouraged me to serve at the KCON for one day, I just decided to not serve because it would be conflict on my schedule at work (which was eventually not so busy during that day). Security reason was also my reason why I couldn’t be able to go and to attend KCON (as I knew my former college classmate and friend was there, so that I didn’t want him to see or to meet me because of some personal reasons in the past). I also didn’t attend the Grand Feast at MOA Arena on the last day of KCON.
One Year Anniversary, Two Sessions and Advent Recollection
Fortunately, in exchange of my absence to serve and to attend KLR or KCON this year, I had a chance to attend special events of Feast SM Santa Rosa. Last June 19th, they celebrated their first anniversary since their relocation from Central Mall Biñan, and for the first time, they held a thanksgiving mass right before the Feast session led by Bro. Dreus Cosio. I and other avid Feast attendees and servants are still wishing to have a regular holy mass inside the cinema.
Feast SMSR began their second session last October 30. So, it has been divided into two Feast sessions back-to-back where the attendees can’t miss the spiritual talk before or after they go to attend the Sunday mass or having a fun time with their families inside the mall.
And just recently last December 18, Advent Recollection was held at Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan to close the final Feast session of 2016. And I was so proud to be part of this event as I served, for Media, with my fellow servants. There was a holy mass led by Father Raprap del Rosario and inspirational talk led by Bro. Dreus Cosio, Father Toto Cerada, Bro. Jon Escoto, and Bro. Noel Babao of Mission Feast Calamba.
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In the past 12 months of 2016, I was able to attend and to serve at The Feast to be blessed and to receive more blessings and abundance from the Lord despite of bad happenings occurred in my life this year. At least, I never forget the worship and the prayers that I’m wishing for; and I never stop praying and worshipping to the Lord.
Oh, by the way, I just want to share about my friend from Feast SMSR who frequently chatted me on Facebook. I’ve already known her before, and I’ve often seen her around at The Feast who is also serving for Music Ministry and belonging to the Singles. However, despite that, we have never met even once personally. For obvious reasons, I don’t have any time to meet and to talk her personally (probably because I don’t want to expose into publicity or to have disturbance around her friends, I think). But nevertheless, she still reminds me as her good friend, and I also seem her as a good friend of mine. Well, I just want to thank her for, at least, having her time to chat me thru Facebook to ease my boredom and depression. I’ve not been talking and connecting with other friends so much either personal or thru text messaging because I’m just an introvert (or silent) person.
It has been three years since The Feast was introduced to me in 2013, and I’m still there to keep praying, worshipping and bonding with my friends. I’m hoping for next year that I’ll continue attending and serving with the Lord to receive more positivity in life.
Merry Christmas! See you at The Feast next year!