MANILA, August 4, 2011—Three Dumagat youth were among the young people who attended the Love Rocks! Youth Forum last July 23 at the KB Gym in Malolos, Bulacan.
Delio De Guzman, Girlie Rapada and Alberto Doroteo of a Dumagat tribe living in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan were among the 650 youth who attended the youth forum.
Unlike most of the crowd who are active in the diocesan youth ministry or in their organization, it was the first time the three teenagers experienced being with many young people their age in a setting other than the school set-up.
The Love Rocks! Forum is one of the activities of the CBCP Year of the Youth (CBCP – YOTY), which aims to “provide opportunities for personal growth” to all young Filipinos, regardless of religious beliefs or class.
This is also the reason why the diocesan youth ministry of Malolos took special efforts to invite youth from the indigenous peoples of Central Luzon. It can also be noted that the Aetas are helping the diocesan youth of Cabanatuan plant trees for the CBCP – YOTY’s 1 Million Trees Project.
Catholic school ‘dream’
When asked, the three youth said that they joined the youth forum to be able to establish friendship and to understand other young people from other walks of life.
De Guzman, the ‘kuya’ of the group, said that they were surprised it was such a big event with hundreds of youth attending. They originally thought it would be a small group activity.
De Guzman explained that since they are studying in a Catholic school, they were eager to attend the event.
“Hindi ko po alam talaga kung paano na-introduce sa amin ang Catholicism pero…pangarap kong makapag-aral sa isang Catholic school,” he shared.
De Guzman said that when Fr. Egai De Jesus of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish gave him the opportunity to be a scholar in a Catholic school, he grabbed it right away.
20 Dumagat scholars
De Guzman, Rapada and Doroteo have been scholars at the St. Bernadette Parochial School since 2003. At present, they belong to the 3rd batch of 20 Dumagat scholars. The Dumagats who are taking up their undergraduate studies are enrolled in education courses so that they can become teachers.
De Guzman shared that if he had not been given the chance to study he would probably still be too shy to talk to other people and would not be of help to his tribesmen.
All the Dumagat scholars wanted to join the Love Rocks! Youth forum, but some of them had classes during the event. Transportation was also difficult. In the end, only three were chosen to represent the scholars. But De Guzman, Rapada and Doroteo promised to share their experiences to the rest who were unable to attend.
The next Love Rocks! Youth forum will be hosted by the diocese of Naval on October 29. (Jandel Posion)