Issue of February 3, 2019

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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"Con Gesu"

Every time I reach a place, the people welcome me with a greeting, “Who are with you padi?” I quickly and smartly respond, “I am with Jesus.”

I discerned to carry my column with the title, “Con Gesu” to define my topics and to direct my ideas. The title earned approval from Courier’s publisher, Madame Gloria Hamada.

“Con Gesu” means “With Jesus.” A journey that brings along Jesus is confident of a clear direction. Life is not a just a dream or a destination. Life is a journey and it becomes even more meaningful if we walk “with Jesus.”

The millennials are in need of a good company to realize their dreams. They are in need of people who teach not by sheer transmitting knowledge but experiencing and encountering values in their lives. I call this the “E2” chemistry to simply mean “experience and encounter.”

“Today, children and youth sometimes do not listen to teachers. But they listen to witnesses” who are willing to journey with them.

“But if they listen to teachers, because these teachers are witnesses themselves.” We have to accompany the millennials with our life witnessing. Formation and transformation of people start from proper and sufficient information that is rooted from a profound personal experience and encounter with Jesus through holy people living their words into practice. In short, we must teach both the mind (IQ) and the heart (EQ) with our life that is lived well.

One evening I was driving along Bontoc Central School. It was 11:30 p.m. when I noticed a group of policemen chasing a group of youth. I learned from the police report that a young girl was molested by young boys. I was saddened to learn nowadays that such child molestation is being espoused and done by the youth and children.

From my serious conversation with the policemen, Paulino Tumapang, Jr. arrived from his abode and narrated what he witnessed.

He ventilated as well his dismay and helplessness looking at the young in conflict with the law and they persist to disturb peace.

We were discussing the concern on the strict observance and implementation of curfew hours among minors.

Before we parted ways, he remarked out of the blue, “Father Marcs, please consider ‘VoxPopoli, Vox Dei’ as a good title for your columns. I appreciate your writings that speak well about realities and situations of the people. I appreciate your social analysis rooted from our spiritual life.” I pondered and discerned well to his suggestion. Hence, my column now carries the title, “La Voce del Popolo” instead of “Con Gesu.” “La voce del popolo” is an Italian phrase for “Vox Popoli.”

But of course, “Con Gesu” will still be relevant in my column. I will be writing people’s stories and significant events that will find meaning in our spirituality and to help us ponder more. I am not writing alone. I am writing “with Jesus.” We continue to learn “with Jesus” and I continue to ponder and write “with Jesus.” Reach me at or at 0905-165-3669.

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