CFC ANCOP HONORS DONORS, PARTNERS IN A THANKSGIVING NIGHT
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Last July 6, 2019, was another significant event for CFC ANCOP as it honored its highly-esteemed partners and donors for their utmost dedication in partaking with their mission and fulfilling the vision through the ANCOP Thanksgiving Night, “Be the Light Concert” at the UP Bahay ng Alumni. Several institutional partners, donors from different Couples for Christ (CFC) areas across the world, and CFC Metro Manila sectors attended this night of music and thanksgiving. This aimed to promote goodwill and build a stronger relationship with all stakeholders. This was also part of CFC ANCOP’s commitment to improving its services for all stakeholders as an ISO-certified organization.
The Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Benedict Lagarde, SVD from the Missionaries of Jesus. During his exhortation, he honored the Work with the Poor Programs of the Couples for Christ. Reflecting on the Gospel message about the “Mission of the Seventy-Two,” he reminded everyone of the Kingdom that is awaiting those who address the needs of the poor. Fr. Lagarde said, “The last thing that dies is hope,” as he inspired them to hope in giving, because “habang may buhay ay [may] nagbibigay buhay,” (as long as we are alive; we can give life to others).
After the Holy Mass, the program officially started with an Invocation by Elisha Jean Galarosa from North B5 followed by the National Anthem led by South B Chorale. The night began with a piano classical music performance of Paolo and Miguel Panagsagan, Youth for Christ leaders from Central A.
After the opening ceremony, Bro. Lito Tayag, the former CFC ANCOP Chairman, welcomed all the guests and attendees. This was followed by an inspirational message from Bro. Rudy Gaspillo, the CFC ANCOP President. He reminded everyone of the virtue of humility in working with the poor, to keep on working “behind-the-scenes” and to let God be known and glorified. He affirmed everyone by saying, “You are here tonight not by your own making [or] your plans, but it is the Lord who brought you to this venue, to collectively glorify and honor Him for using us all to be part of His grand plan [of] salvation to the poor, whom He loves the most.” He then congratulated all of them for answering the call of the Lord to be there and ultimately in helping Him help the poor. He likewise expressed his hope for the work of ANCOP to be sustained.
The night went on with more fun and excitement as each Metro Manila big sector prepared performances for all attendees. The first batch of performers was started by Big North, who performed their rendition of Classic Rock Songs “In My Life” by The Beatles, “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Still & Nash and “Twilight Time” by The Platters. Big Central choir called “29 AD” took the stage next and rendered a song entitled, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and a mash-up of “Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal” by VST & Co. and “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink.
The awarding of certificates followed later, presenting the Top 10 ANCOP Global Walk Donors of each Metro Manila sector. The second batch of performers followed thereafter, started by Big East Choir who performed, The Greatest Showman’s “A Million Dreams,” and Big South Chorale rendering their version of “Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin” by Ariel Rivera.
The awarding resumed for the Top Donors of CFC ANCOP programs from its institutional partners and CFC and CFC ANCOP donor countries. Among the donor countries are ANCOP Canada International, ANCOP USA, ANCOP Australia, CFC UAE, CFC New Zealand, CFC Qatar, CFC Oman, CFC Singapore, CFC Kuwait, CFC Spain, CFC Switzerland, CFC UK, and CFC KSA. Meanwhile, the institutional partners awarded on that night were Cross Catholic Outreach, SM Development Corporation, SM Foundation Inc., ABS-CBN Corporation, Zendesk, Inc. They also recognized Samantha Ashley Lo, the reigning Bb. Pilipinas Grand International who is a strong advocate for the Cornerstone Program.
As the new CFC ANCOP Chairman, Bro. Melo Villaroman gave some remarks for all the attendees, which they considered as their comeback to ANCOP. He said, “You are here because this is more than work. This is God’ vision to use ordinary people like you and me, to renew the face of the earth.” He also prompted everyone that they could not fulfill this vision if they do not keep the poor at the center of their heart, mind, and hands, as this is the fullness of Christ’s mission in CFC. Importantly, “this is our key to heaven,” said Bro. Melo, who reminded everyone that what they do to the poor, they do to God.
Bro. Bong Arjonillo, the newly anointed CFC Chairman, also expressed his gratitude to all the partner institutions, donors, and CFC ANCOP staff for their tremendous efforts in bringing glad tidings to the poor. He emphasized the significance of CFC and ANCOP’s twin mission, which is “Building the Church of the Home and Building the Church of the Poor,” quoting St. Francis’ remarks about the inseparable bond of our faith with the poor, which should never be abandoned.
Youth for Christ members and ANCOP Scholars from South B also performed the AGW 2019 Theme Song, “Light up Lives” to invite everyone to the walk that aims to help send more poor but deserving students to school.
The highlight of the night was the, “Be the Light Concert” which featured the talent of Manila Piano Trio composed of Dr. Abelardo Galang, III on piano; Ms. Denise Santos-Huang on violin; and Mr. Antoni Josef Inacay on cello. The Trio is composed of Manila-based outstanding musicians who are accomplished performers and established pedagogues. They are also advocates for promoting classical chamber music and Filipino works of various genres, providing scholarship opportunities to the underprivileged through Manila Piano Trio Foundation, and broadening of the Filipino chamber repertoire through commissioned works, as well as bringing the Filipino music to the international scene. They hold concerts both here and abroad, representing the talent and pride of the Filipinos. They staged a 50-minute performance of the music of Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Astor Piazolla, and a rendition of a Mindanao song, “Usahay” composed by Gregorio Responso Labja a native of Sibunga, Cebu but grew up in Davao.
The evening winded up in high spirits with a firmer resolve to work even harder to alleviate the plight of our less fortunate brethren as someone once said, “The poor need the rich to survive, but the rich need the poor to go to heaven.”– PMB, ANCOP Communications
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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