In one of the board meetings of the BCBP a long time ago, I remember a brother making a comment about why we shouldn’t be celebrating national anniversaries annually. He cited the expenditures that each member will spend especially if the venue is on the other side of the archipelago. This may be a valid reason considering the high cost of living, the spiraling increase in fare, etc. This year, the host for NAC 32 will be Manila and we from Mindanao should start preparing now for the occasion.
Of course, we must remember that the NAC is primarily a celebration to thank God for the blessings that He has done in our lives. It is a joyful celebration of praising Him, thanking Him, and worshipping Him. We also attend the NAC because it is our homecoming and in coming home we want to reconnect with our brothers and sisters from faraway places, whom we have not seen for a long time. I’d sorely miss Fr. Herb if I don’t see him at least once a year, listen to his words of wisdom , and seeing him through the years “na parang kahapon lang ang mukha niya”. An annual anniversary without him is never complete!
Our National President, Tatang Larry, aptly said it in his message during the Friday assembly that the year’s anniversary theme “Remain in me and…..bear much fruit” (John 15:5) is our way of connecting with Jesus our Lord and Savior….”because apart from me, you can do nothing”. Therefore, we must always connect with Him and if along the way we stumble and fall, we MUST reconnect.
The motif chosen by the 31st NAC anniversary hosts was a rainbow of colors and what a beautiful sight to behold – the seven colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – different colors of different shades. “A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colors – there are no bands”. Just like the BCBP, we come from different regions with different cultures, yet we form a continuous spectrum of PEACE, LOVE and JOY, derived from one and only source Jesus Christ. When we come together, there are no bands, just a community of renewed Christian businessmen and professionals.
In “Rainbow Connection”, a song sung by “Kermit, the Frog”, the idea of a rainbow is seen as something to wish on, as it is popularly seen as a vision, or symbol of Hope”. (Taken from the website- Rainbow.)
An alumnus from Ateneo de Cagayan wrote in a newsletter, that “connectivity is a Filipino trait. It is Filipinos coming home, no matter the distance, be it to the town fiesta, family grand reunion or even the christening of the only grandson among ten children, etc. It is wanting to be in touch with kith and kin, oftentimes with nothing significant to talk about except the inane…”. Well, this is very true. It is part of the Filipino savvy, for better or for worse.
Our community has become a huge family. It is not what it used to be. Our anniversary assemblies have become mammoth gatherings. Before, it was easy to remember those “old familiar faces”. Now, we hardly know each other, especially those having senior moments. Again, it is only in the NAC that we can reconnect because connectivity is like bridges, connecting us to our songs, our vision and mission, our core values, and above all connecting us to the genesis of our spirituality, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – because apart from Him we can do nothing.
Going to the yearly National Anniversaries can be likened to going home to your birthplace and have the opportunity to see your friends, relatives and acquaintances. It is always full of happy moments that is so enjoyable to cherish.To be prayed upon by your brothers and sisters from far away areas during the Friday assembly is an occasion we always look forward to.
In doing so, one has really need to prepare ahead in terms of resources like fare, accommodation and pocket money to enjoy the event. On a personal note, the National Anniversary has always been our bonding moments with our three children for many years now…