“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” –Proverbs 22:6.
On the morning of May 13, 2022, I set foot in Angel’s Hills Retreat House in Tagaytay for the National Strategic Planning Retreat (NSPR) of the BCBP’s Christ’s Young Professional (CYP). I never imagined that I will come back to this place to prepare and organize what would officially become CYP National. There was a mix of unfamiliar and friendly faces, most I suppose, are in anticipation of what the weekend would bring.
The CYP NSPR was an undertaking that was a mere pipe dream more than 11 years ago. While this was the aspiration, I did not think that the dream project of the BCBP Quezon City parents was possible, attainable and come to fruition.
Eleven years ago, we planned and conducted a recollection to jumpstart the singles unit of the BCBP. All we had in mind was to have a singles unit in QC chapter where members of the Pro-Active Loving Servants of the Lord (PALS) can transition to once they graduated from college.
Held simultaneously with the Family Retreat, seven single, young professionals, all sons and daughters of BCBP QC members, convened for a recollection for the singles unit. It was hard to imagine that those seven single men and women would balloon into hundreds of members all over the country.
Expanding the CYP outside QC was hard work. We went around visiting other chapters and introducing a not-so-fairly new concept. I felt like a salesperson trying to sell and convince members of the BCBP to support the initiative. It was quite daunting to face unfamiliar audiences.
The NSPR. It was uplifting to learn that over 60 participants joined the NSPR. Now, look at us, look at how far this community has come. In the onset, different BCBP chapters have expressed interest to set up their own CYPs. It was heartwarming to meet individuals who have the same goal of serving the Lord and evangelizing more young professionals through CYP.
The session was officially opened with a message from the BCBP National President himself, Tito PV Beley. With the need and aspiration to continuously evangelize more businessmen and professionals and bring Christ to the marketplace, Tito PV has given the marching order to evangelize more young people. The goal is to expand CYP’s reach across the country.
Then, a little history lesson ensued with Tito Roy Calleja relating the history and connecting the dots starting in the early 1980s on how CYP was formed and molded to what it is now, a bigger and stronger mission of the community. Tito Roy was even a bit of a nostalgic as it was in Angel’s Hills where the CYP history started.
We dove deeper into the intricacies of the CYP community by identifying its strengths and weaknesses. We also looked at the risks that can bring detrimental effects to the mission work and into the opportunities and areas to improve CYP. The discussions gave a whole new perspective and layers to the CYP mission spectrum. It was also a chance to share the challenges encountered and best practices by the different chapters.
Expectedly, every journey and process are laced with challenges and struggles. So, Tita Myra Salvosa explained the growth pains of CYP being there from the get-go, she witnessed the efforts and travails that this growing community went through. It was not a walk-in-the-park but knowing for whom we are doing all these for makes all worth it.
Sharing with everyone the early stages and activities of CYP was essential to give a clear definition of who and what CYP is. Once again, we were reminded and enlightened of its core values and principles that will guide everyone in fulfilling the mission.
With guidance from Kuya Ani Serrato, National Services Coordinator (NSC) for Mission, and Tita Beth Ginete of Makati Chapter, we came up with long-term objectives and established strategies and action plans for CYP moving forward.
It was truly a productive weekend. It was evident that everyone in the conference room care a great deal about the future of CYP. Yes, there were moments when we felt tired and weary but setting our minds and hearts on the goal makes the difficult path more bearable and worth treading. Besides, an easy journey would not impart great learning. The NSPR weekend retreat ended with all feeling empowered and ready to march forward.
Written by Francine Angela Daphne Alina, a pioneer member and former Mission Director of CYP Quezon City. At present, Daphne is the Unit Leader Adviser of CYP QC.