July is definitely fading into oblivion. It’s a nice start to have August 01 falling on a Monday. No, this is not my usual, “goodbye July, hello August” blog. There were a lot of things that happened yesterday and my thoughts keep on nagging me to write about them.
Hello AFCC friends! I really could not describe the happiness I felt seeing some of you yesterday. Thank you for gracing us with your gift of presence, cherishing and enjoying the day with Fr. Louie and me for our very first AFCC gathering in the Philippines. I appreciate it a lot that you were not deterred by the heavy rains just to be with us.
When I think of the earlier months I spent with the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, I feel a sense of awe and wonder that it evolved from a simple Catholic group to something truly inspirational and uplifting. The members’ involvement became somewhat personal in nature when Fr. Louie created the AFCC Global Tambayan page where they could post at their hearts’ content about anything “under the Catholic sun” (it’s how Fr. Louie puts it). It’s an offshoot from the more formal set-up of the AFCC main site. It has evolved into something where we are now one big happy family.
Friends at AFCC, it is so amazing to see you share your thoughts with us, share a little of your life with us and even sometimes your heartaches too. It is so amazing to see you being very enthusiastic about most of the topics we share on the site. And it is even more amazing to see some of you contributing your own talents and gift of gab, even to the point of creating games and making interesting posts that keep the Tambayan page alive. And meeting some of you yesterday really made my day complete. And as I’ve said in my welcome remarks, yesterday’s event was a culmination of our wish to see each other personally. It was a lovely and enriching experience for me. Compared to a well-executed plan, it was just like a blue-print before but the reality of seeing you made it a truly “certified true copy”.
I didn’t have much time to take photos of the event but thanks for those who brought their own camera and shared the pictures with us. It’s lovely to see us on cam, all smiles – a picture of happy togetherness. Here are some of the photos I picked from Eva, Paul, Reymon and Tere’s albums. Thank you very much. I took the liberty of downloading some of them for this blog.
Here’s a casual pose while waiting for the rest of the members to arrive. Tere (in white shirt) was our secretary for the day, taking down notes at the start of the gathering but quickly lost it when Fr. Louie started the games. Paul, our talented and resident painter/artist at AFCC. He was so generous in taking videos and pictures of us while we were at our best laughing our hearts out with the rest of the group. Lilet, in green shirt who was so generous with bringing a bag full of rosaries to distribute to everyone. I think it was Aehvz who took this shot.
That’s our friend and mentor Fr. Louie Coronel, OP – the indefatigable and creative priest who is behind the success of the AFCC online and AFCC Global Tambayan. We are so lucky to attend this intimate communion with God. Lovely homily, great insight Father. Thank you very much.
Our group shot at the lovely conference room of Bahay Dominiko. Notice the smiles of everyone. It’s a nice proof that we enjoyed every minute bonding with each other.
We had our lunch at KFC. Happy moments, lovely day to cherish. Thanks Reymon and Aehvz for the yummy KFC chicken.
With Paul, Fr. Louie and Reymon
Those two pencil sketches were our gifts from Paul, our talented artist. I could not thank you enough Paul for the lovely sketch of my favorite Pope. Aren’t we lucky, having you around in our group? I cried seeing those lovely works of art.
“Halos isang oras na pagpapaalam” . We just could not get enough, you see, it took us almost an hour to say goodbye to each other.
The boys in our group – from left to right: Fr. Louie, OP, Noel, Clemen, Matt, Reymon and Gian.
Another group shot before we go. This was taken at the lovely garden of Bahay Dominiko. At the back, left to right: Joan, Lilet, Fr. Louie, OP, Noel, Clemen, Matt and Reymon. In front: Aevz, Tere, me and Gian.
Charlene brought the whole family. It was lovely sharing and laughing with all of you. I could not describe how truly happy I was having you all around. We are one big happy family. I really hope, we’ll have another chance to meet each other again in a future gathering. My big thanks to my co-admin Jlyn de Guzman Bengala and to Fr.Tacky, OFM, our AFCC Spiritual Director in Rome for the lovely messages you sent us.
More days of happy togetherness. God bless us all!