Last weekend, our group in church, the kabataang alagad ng panginoon was on the way for our peace summer camp (you heard it right, kabataan nga po, kabilang pa rin ako dun and yes it was a late summer camp, ok lang kasi mainit pa din naman). The group members were quite excited as they put their traveling bags in the bus. The bus was spacious that it accommodated two youth group (as if naman na youth pa ako). We left Metro Manila after lunch time; we were in the camp site before nighttime. As I observed, the camp area was enigmatic as well as it was peaceful. We unloaded our things and were asked to form a line for the inspection and safekeeping of our valuables. Mobile phones (yung 5110i kong 17,500 pa ang bili ng mama ko nuong 1999, take note, hndi xa basta basta 5110 lang, may i xa), electronic gadgets such as laptops, PDAs, PSPs, i-PODs just to name a few (which I don’t have, kakahiya naman kasing dalhin yung game and watch kong tetris at yung walkman ko, kahit na ba may auto-reverse feature pa yun) and reading materials (yung bob ong ko na stainless longganisa, para sana di naman ako mabore maxado, demet!) etcetera etcetera were confiscated by the church personnel. After that minor inconvenience, the campers were escorted to their respective rooms. Dinner was served after a prayer vigil and we rested afterwards.

The activities during the summer camp were basic and simplistic; camp aimed to strip us away of material desires and to meditate and contemplate with our lives. Moreover, it was designed to show us the other important aspects in our lives. We were unlocking our identities and we ramified this up to the social level ─ to our families and to the co-campers.

The camp not only strengthened the spirituality of the participants, it also managed to touch other aspects as well, such as socialization among the other campers. There was a fun night (kasi may pinuslit akong vodka) in which all participated (not all actually, hehe), including the camp personnel (I hope none of my churchmates will read this, kasi baka magtanong sila kung sino yung camp personnel na naka-jam namin, haha). Past the gleeful part, then came the solemn one. There was a prepared candle-lighting observance in which we thought of and contemplated on our families. It was heart-warming although I am not accustomed to such rites; I only patiently waited for the ceremony to end.

In the last day of the camp, we were asked to write a letter for our parents and the camp personnel will send the letters for us. I scribbled a note and passed it to a camp person in charge. He required me to write a longer letter. This infuriated me for who is this person to decide for what am I to write? It was a letter for my mother. While they have a right to regulate our conduct during the retreat, they have no right whatsoever in intruding our personal affairs (have they ever heard of the word privacy?!?). It was none of his or their business. I’m so pissed to the point that I want to say harsh words to that certain camp person but then I realized that I was in a church’s camp activity, so I just kept my cool, looked at him furiously straight in the eye and I passed my letter as it was.

We left the camp site and headed back to Quezon City. At our church’s annex somewhere in Q.C, a praise and worship was celebrated. After which the participants were requested to individually share our experiences. Some of the parents of the campers also gave their testimonials about their sons or daughters. We were then asked to go to the main of our church for the final services. There were again lighting of candles and singing of praise songs. There were also hugging and crying between campers and parents. Again, it was heart-warming, but I only sat and waited for it to end.

Overall, I opine that the camp was only a mean for escape from our hectic and busy lives. It taught us to go back to basics and simplify our way of life. However, reality bites as we again awake in a material and imperfect world■



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  2. churvah  

    pwede bang umepal dito?

    alm mo gusto ko umatend ng mga gnyan..mag reflect,magpakabait sandali..mag unload ng stress..tipong gnun..

    kaya lng wala namang akong time,saka group na pwdng samahan..
    di kasi ako sociable at hindi rin aktibong mananampalataya ng aming simbahan.


  3. Pedro  

    ay epal. haha. oo naman pwedeng pwede, saya nga eh, sa wakas may mga umeepal na, haha, dati wala kahit isa eh, haha. gusto mo sali ka sa isang grupo ko. yung "kulto ng mga kabataan" haha.

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