Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Visit from a YASCer

Last Wednesday, Andrew Joyce, another YASCer in the Philippines, came into town with Bishop Alawas of the Diocese of Northern Philippines for the Joint Clericus. It was a lecture and workshop for priests and deacons of the Diocese of Northern Philippines, where Andrew lives, and the Diocese of Santiago, where I am. It worked out because Andrew wanted to come to see where I'm living and working, anyways.

Bishop Alex of the Diocese of Santiago introducing the speaker.

Andrew and I during the lunch break.
The lecture of the Joint Clericus
A lecture about Indigenous People filled the morning portion of the clericus. During a long lunch, I had the opportunity to meet many new people and see a couple familiar faces. Andrew and I skipped out on the workshop portion for the afternoon. Instead, Jocelyn and Sir Junior took us to Magat Dam because it was right around the corner from the church hosting the clericus. I was ecstatic to see an ice cream vendor on the dam road! We slurped down dripping ice cream cones as fast as possible as we looked out onto the sparkling water in the afternoon sun.

Me at Magat Dam, again.
The next stop was to the Transfiguration Shrine, the highest point in Santiago City. Lining the steep road up to the shrine are the 12 stations of the cross. Jocelyn said many people during lent follow the path carrying their own large crosses. I loved the sculptures at each station. I thought they truly captured the pain and sorrow of the events leading to the crucifixion.

Walking up to the last stations.

Station XII
Another view of Station XII

Unfortunately, a heavy rain storm had passed through minutes beforehand so the view was gray and hazy. But it was still an amazing spot to sit and reflect. And of course, Jocelyn wanted to have a fun, little, photo shoot! After a quick stop at ChowKing for a snack - Filipinos love stopping for snacks - it was back to the compound.

Dinner out that night was filled with a great amount of food and laughter! At one point after already eating a full dinner, I came back from the bathroom and a couple new plates of food, more rice and soup had arrived at our table. I said, "are we expecting more people?" Everyone laughed and said, "no, this is for us!" It's incredible how much food Filipino people can put away!

It was a fun-filled day and night! It's always nice to see another YASCer to talk about our experiences and some fun American things. But it was a quick trip for Andrew. He and the Bishop were off back to Tadian early on Thursday morning. It was back to work for me!

Thanks for reading!

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