AGW 2018: WITNESSING ONE NATION THAT WALKS FOR EDUCATION
Thursday, November 15, 2018
The fire in the hearts of the walkers was blazing for this year’s ANCOP Global Walk 2018 on November 4, Sunday. Despite the change of schedule, people and organizations from different parts of Metro Manila still paved their way to take those steps and be part of the “One Nation that Walks Education,” carrying a heart that is ready to help out our poor brethren to have a chance at education.
Originally planned on September 16, super typhoon “Ompong” struck the country on that week which led the CFC leaders to postpone the walk for safety purposes. Despite being moved to a different date that is more than a month away from the original, approximately 60,000 walkers still flocked at Quirino Grandstand to let us witness a one and united nation with one goal: walking for the education of our poor but deserving brethren: the ANCOP scholars.
This gathering and witnessing of this nation would not be possible without the goodness and abundance of the Lord, as what the AGW 2018 Event Head and South A Sector Head Bro. Robert Labayen exhorts in leading the opening worship. He said, “everything comes from the Lord–our strength, knowledge, and blessings.” AGW has been going for around eight years, and the only reason of it from the moment it started up to now is that “we are here to walk for a cause because we would like to share the blessings to our brothers and sisters,” as what ANCOP Chairman Bro. Lito Tayag highlighted during his welcoming remarks.
Before the walk started, they all warm up with a Zumba exercise led by Sis. Judith Roman together with other sisters from different sectors of Metro Manila. They enjoyed a 20-minute exercise full of grooving in exciting dance moves. After the warm-up, the walk officially started with a gun-start led by Bro. Barry Tad-y, CFC MM South B Sector Head, who is also set to head AGW 2019.
All of the walkers wear happy smiles with their excited hearts as the walk officially starts at 4:45 AM. The southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard was overwhelmingly filled with walkers from CFC Metro Manila, members of the International Council, and sponsors’ representatives as they take on the 3-kilometer walk. While others are walking, the elders also had their Tai chi exercise led by Bro. Ric Villamel to also stretch their bones and muscles while waiting for others to come back.
As they made it back to the main stage, all were then invited to dance and give glory to God with a Family Kids Praise led by Bro. Jed Lasquite and his family. He emphasized that they are all gathered here as one family together with the poor, and that “family is God’s gift. We are here to guide and help one another.”
The Holy Gospel greatly affirmed the gathering with the great commandment of Jesus that echoes the purpose of the event; to “love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and to “love our neighbor as yourself.” Fr. Anton Pascual of Caritas Manila, in his Homily, reminded the attendees about the calling to build God’s kingdom here on earth. He said, “the perfection of love is holiness – it is our love for God and one another.” He further emphasized that in building God’s kingdom, everyone should always make Him as the foundation of life, to remember that it is love that matters the most, and to always commit themselves to a greater purpose, just like helping our poor brothers and sisters.
Over the years of AGW, more than a hundred million were raised to fund more than 10,000 poor students to be sent to schools and have the quality education they deserve, as proudly presented by Bro. Rudy Gaspillo, CFC ANCOP President. With this, CFC ANCOP is truly grateful and honored to be God’s instrument to transform the lives of the poor. This year, CFC ANCOP is into taking new initiatives to raise the lives of poor families by introducing TVET-P (Technical and Vocational Educational Training for Parents), which is intended to bring technical skills training directly to the parents, and help them get a job to sustain their own family.
AGW 2018 is made more possible with the generosity of God through its co-presenter, Magnolia Chicken: Ang Pambansang Manok, and with other donors and sponsors. It ended in a high note with an announcement of the next year’s AGW date, set on November 17, 2019, also the “Global Day of the Poor.” (CFC ANCOP Communications /pmb)
For its ninth year, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) sent 22 students, four teachers, and three volunteers to spend the holiday season and immerse in various Canada-funded ANCOP communities in the Philippines from December 28, 2019, until January 8, 2020. It was led by Michael Consul, with his father Bernie Consul from Couples for Christ Toronto, Canada.
St. Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” Being true to its two-fold mission of Building the Church of the Home and Building the Church of the Poor, Couples for Christ once again manifested this mission via the recent ANCOP Global Walk.
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