WYD2016 Group Orientation

More than a month after the Orientation of the Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders last August 15, some of the groups registered with ECY-Philippines, the official delegation of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth to the World Youth Day (WYD) 2016, organized their own Group Orientation that strengthened their preparation for the WYD2016.

These groups met with their respective members to present and explain the application process established for the ECY-Philippines, and to elaborate on how they can prepare together for the WYD2016 not only in relation to the requirements but also to their being pilgrims (to see their photos click here).

Around 500 individuals from different groups representing particular churches, youth organizations, schools and other settings are expected to join the CBCP-ECY delegation to the WYD2016.

To welcome greater participation, the ECY is extending the registration of a group in this delegation until October 15.  Similarly, the application of individuals, whether belonging to a group or not, is extended until December 11.

For inquiries, please email ecyphilippines@cbcp-ecy.ph.

ECY-Philippines Group Orientation

ECY-Philippines wyd

“ECY-Philippines”, the official delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) to the World Youth Day (WYD) 2016, formally met in the persons of its Delegation Secretariat and its Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders through a Group Orientation last 2015 August 15 in the Santa Isabel College along Taft Avenue, Manila.  The orientation was led by the Delegation Head, Rev. Fr. Conegundo B. Garganta, who is also the Executive Secretary of the ECY.
There were twenty-nine groups present in the orientation, namely:

From particular churches and their diocesan youth ministries:
Archdiocese of Caceres
Archdiocese of Davao
Archdiocese of Lipa
Archdiocese of Palo
Diocese of Antipolo
Diocese of Bangued
Diocese of Butuan
Diocese of Cabanatuan
Diocese of Dumaguete
Diocese of Kalibo
Diocese of Maasin
Diocese of Malolos
Diocese of San Jose (Antique)
Military Ordinariate of the Philippines

From member organizations of the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO)
Chiro Youth Movement
CFC-Singles for Christ
CFC-Singles for Family and Life
CFC-Youth for Christ
CFC-Youth for Family and Life
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul – Youth
Youth for Mary and Christ

From educational institutions
Assumption Antipolo
Assumption College, SLV (San Lorenzo Village)
School of Saint Anthony
St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove

From other communities
Holy Trinity Community
Light of Jesus Family-The Feast Makati
Order of Augustinian Recollects

ECY-Philippines wyd

In the orientation, Fr. Garganta, together with other members of the Delegation Secretariat, led the attendees in understanding the application procedure set for the ECY-Philippines, the required preparations after acceptance, and an overview of the pilgrimage from the Philippines to Poland and back.

From this initial encounter, these Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders have been commissioned to start the preparation of their groups in their respective settings, both in the practical and pastoral aspects.

The World Youth Day 2016 and ECY-Philippines

Dear friends in youth ministry,
The Lord is risen!  He is risen indeed!
It is in the joy of Easter that I present to you the invitation of our ECY Chairman, Most Rev. LEOPOLDO C. JAUCIAN, SVD, DD, Bishop of Bangued, to the World Youth Day 2016 via the delegation of our episcopal conference which we call “ECY-Philippines”.
In relation, please find attached the following:
1) Letter of the ECY Chairman
We request for careful reading of these, and for the favor of your reply via the reply slip which we hope to receive anytime until May 11.
Should you have pertinent inquiries, please feel free to contact us by replying to this email: secretariat@cbcp-ecy.ph or by using any of our contact details below.
Thank you for your kind attention!  May we take this occasion to wish you a most blessed Easter season and a joyful Divine Mercy Sunday!
Yours in the mercy of the Risen Lord,
Executive Secretary
Telephone  +63 2 5279567
Telefax  +63 2 5279566
Mobile  +63 917 8536792 (Please indicate your name and origin)

ECY-Philippines WYD2013 E-Magazine

Happy Easter, ka-lakbays! As an Easter gift, we proudly present to you the ECY-Philippines WYD2013 E-MAGAZINE.  It is a special magazine that will take you to a JOURNEY that is heart-warming and life-changing… no other than the World Youth Day!  Reading this will be like digging into a treasure chest of memories of the pilgrims of the ECY-Philippines Delegation who have received the blessing of taking part in this international celebration of faith and mission last July 2013.

We hope that you will enjoy this magazine as you also take to heart the mission that we have all received from our Risen Lord through the WYD: Go and Make Disciples of All Nations! [Mt. 28:19]

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Let us be filled with the new life won for us by Jesus, for a renewed impetus for the mission!


WYD2013 ECY-Philippines Photo Gallery

Delegation Preparatory Session – Day 1 – 6 July 2013

Delegation Preparatory Session – Day 2 – 7 July 2013

Semana Missionaria – 14-22 July 2013

Semana Missionaria Album 2

Arrival at Paroquia San Francisco Xavier, Tijuca – 22 July 2013

Opening Mass – 23 July 2013

Catechesis – 24 July 2013

7th Asian Youth Gathering – 24 July 2013

Catechesis – 25 July 2013

Papal Welcome Ceremony – 25 July 2013

Catechesis – 26 July 2013 

Holy Hour – 26 July 2013

Vigil with Pope Francis

WYD 2013 Closing Mass

ECY-Philippines Re-Entry Session

There is always something new

It was a blessed day to start my journey to Rio as I attended the preparatory session last July 6-7, 2013 at the Don Bosco, Technical Institute, Makati City. Our Subgroup left Lipa City at 6:00 am carrying with us the hopes and excitement of taking part in the World Youth Day 2013. I am happy to be a part of the AYC-Lipa Sub-Group under ECY-Philippines Delegation.


As we went through the two (2) days of Preparatory Session, series of activities were done to prepare us for our journey to Brazil. For me it is not an easy journey because this Pilgrimage entails physical, emotional, financial, intellectual and spiritual preparations.

We arrived at Don Bosco, Makati City at 8:00 AM. I am happy to see familiar faces as I entered Joy Center. Friends I’ve meet during the past NCYM, NYCC, NYD and WYD which made me reminisce the experiences I gained during those events. The first day were filled with animation, personal reflections, sharing and inputs in relation to the message of the Holy Father, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for the World Youth Day 2013.


On the second day, the animation of the WYD 2013 theme songs were mastered by the delegates. Lanie, Badette, Lea and Stephen of the NSYA oriented us on how the pilgrimage to Brazil will run through from the Missionary Week until the Re-Entry Session. Meetings for Sub-Group Leaders, Documentation Team, and Priest Pilgrims were done and all the pilgrims were listening attentively to the final instructions for the orderly and safe travel to a place which requires a day of travel by air.

The road to Rio means a lot and I expect that like my other journeys, it will be a fruitful and meaningful one. This is my first time to visit South America and I hope that I will always feel secure and safe in my entire journey.

As I prepare myself in the preparatory session, I find it interesting to learn that my journey is on the right track. I enumerated five reasons for joining World Youth Day 2013 and I’m happy to know that it was aligned in the enumerated Elements of World Youth Day except that I forgot the Fourth (4th) element which refers to the Value of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I almost forgot this element although I always prepare myself spiritually by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation before our departure. Since the time I joined the WYD, I always use WYD as a venue to reconcile with God and acknowledge that as a sinner, I am willing to change and embrace God’s love.


The best thing that I gained in the Preparatory session is that although I’ve been to several WYDs before, there is something new that God is offering me in every event.  New experiences and miracles will gradually unfold as I continue my journey. I still need to do major preparations physically, financially and spiritually for myself and I have to contribute to the best that I can in order to make this experience a memorable and fruitful one. This Preparatory session is helpful since I was able to picture out what will happen in Rio de Janeiro and it reminded me of the important things that I need to do as I make my personal preparations.

Ms. Ermelita Kasilag 
Archdiocese of Lipa Sub-Group
ECY Philippines Correspondent
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Journey towards WYD2013

It was January 22, 2013 when I arrived in the Philippines from a 3-month stay in Taize. Still fresh from a transfiguration experience, a beautiful journey towards God that led me to myself, the Vincentian spirituality that I chose to live, my Catholic faith, and my bigger Christian family. I am still ‘high’ and so I thought I will no longer attend the WYD, as my priority is to share first this beautiful experience of Taize.

Also, during that time, the deadlines of both ECY-Philippines and the Vincentian Family are already passing and I can no longer accomplish all the required documents. Another truth is that I have no income since I left for Taize and the bills are already piling up. I need to go back to work and I need income a.s.a.p.

It was at this context that I thought I would no longer be joining the World Youth Day this year…. But God’s plan is always better than ours.

For some weird reasons, my job applications are getting cancelled, or I will be offered with something that is not what I want to do or get, and many other unusual events happened.

And so, from a transfiguration experience of Taize and the European Meeting in Rome, I am now in an Exodus experience of purification. Each day is a struggle. I don’t know where to get money, how to pay my bills, and many times, I don’t even have a single peso for my transportation going to the business districts to apply for work. Furthermore, I am hearing some negative feedbacks that made this journey more difficult.

But my Taize experience taught me a lot and deepened my faith that I kept my peace in the midst of all these temptations to worry and be troubled. And so I continued with my pilgrimage of trust. I prayed more, listened more, trusted more, and relied on His graces more. And He led me to our local SSVP groups in the provinces and I became more inspired seeing the good works, the great accomplishments and the deep faith that the young Vincentians at the grassroots have. This is where I came from and I am very happy seeing how they have changed creatively in response to the new forms of poverty. And so I travelled a lot, learning and getting inspirations, but everything is for free! God’s love, freely given, nothing is asked in order to avail. Not because of us, but inspite of us.

And then here comes the invitation from SSVP’s international council asking me to join the International Meeting of Vincentian Youth and the World Youth Day. I am actually hesitant because I know I already need to work a.s.a.p. Then, I prayed more again, I trusted more again, I relied more again, until such time that my discernment led me to say ‘YES’ again. Yes to His plans for me, Yes to the mission that He is giving me, Yes to World Youth Day, and Yes “let Your will be done”!

But everything did not go smoothly; I consider it as a continuation of my Exodus experience of purification. Every day is a struggle indeed. But God showed me, each day, that He loves me so much and that I don’t have to worry because He is a great provider and that His power is made perfect in my weakness.

The moment I said ‘Yes’, the deadlines for the registration of both the International Meeting of Vincentian Youth and the delegation of the ECY-Philippines to the World Youth Day has been extended. Without any income, God gave me people who took care of the fees that I have to settle: the plane tickets that I have to pay in advance, the registration and insurance, and even the required vaccines that I honestly cannot afford to pay. Taking all my worries away, my community offered financial help that is enough to cover some of my daily expenses in Brazil. I even met some Vincentians in Facebook portal who will fetch and welcome me from the airport to my first place of accommodation.

The excitement builds up as I started attending formations with my co-pilgrims. I am very happy because I will be travelling with more young people this time as compared to the last. We started reflecting on the message of Pope Benedict XVI for this WYD, studied basic Portuguese words, had vaccine together, had sharing on our expectations and purposes in attending this beautiful gathering, prayed together, get to know each other more and started building friendship.


Indeed, on the 7th month of being jobless, without income, the work came. And this is after I met my mother’s family whom I’ve been praying to meet since I was a child. My mother died when I was only 1 year old, I never met her family and I have never seen even her tomb. But God is a loving God, and His plans are better, His timings are way better than ours. Before ending these 7 months of what I call my Exodus experience of purification, He gave me one of my heart’s greatest desires: to know my mother’s side of the family. It was very touching knowing that all these years we share a common prayer petition that is to finally meet each other. And so through God’s grace, it happened.

God’s blessing doesn’t stop there. On the 7th month, I started working again, and this weekend, I will be leaving for the World Youth Day.


Oh how great it is to end these 7 months of purifying experiences with a World Youth Day. Another spring that will let me drink God’s living water that will satisfy my thirst especially after having a difficult journey in the past months.  I’m very sure that this will be a great experience that I will forever treasure in my heart. God, indeed, saved the best for last.

By: Karl Michael Hila
ECY Pilgrims 2 Sub-Group
WYD2013 ECY-Philippines Correspondent
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Can’t wait enough!!!

We’ve been preparing for 10 months already so I don’t exactly know what to expect in this 2-day preparatory session of the ECY. I know for a fact that delegates under ECY all over the Philippines will be here and would there be anyone from Mindanao? Hmm, my question was answered through the roll call. Ang daming palang organizations! The whole first day was focused on spiritual exercises and enough animation songs to keep our muscles from numbing due to the coldness of the room! It was exhausting though, sharing after sharing. It’s like squeezing the already squeezed lemon.

In the 10-month duration of our formation in the Diocese, my intentions, I knew was purified already but it was made clearer when I wrote them in the 5 pieces of blue papers. I felt them “materialized”, rather than just lingering in my mind. I know these blue strips of paper will give me something to hold on to just in case I’ll be lost in my journey.


My heart felt a great sense of “community” when we put our hand in the shoulder of the person beside us, during the mass of the first day. Lily, our Vietnamese friend, prayed for me. I felt so touched by this moment! Jesus can be present in everyone indeed, even in other nationalities! It never dawned on me until then.

Getting to know Pope Francis more added a different sense of excitement. His humility was greatly emphasized when his timeline was presented. Hardly knew him, not even his full name.

What I liked best in the first day was the 5-elements of WYD by Pope Benedict. It gave me new insight, a different insight. WYD is a very dynamic word, but he put it into 5 bullets. Amazing.

Whew, the second day was full of energy. It focused more on the practical side: airport procedure, details of the accommodation site, etc.

Can’t wait enough! WYD na WYD na akoooo. Unending animation of songs, too! I can already imagine us presenting it in front of the different nationalities. With much joy and anticipation, I am now ready to go. “The journey is deep within.” -Bishop Joel Baylon

Ms. Jaiza Anuat
Diocese of Antipolo Sub-Group
WYD2013 ECY-Phlippines Correspondent
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A day of many firsts!

The Preparatory Sessions for the WYD 2013 held last July 6-7, 2013 at the Joy Center, Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati was a day of many firsts for me: it was my first time to ride the MRT, it was my first time to be an hour late coming to an activity, and, granted that it will be my very first time to attend a WYD—and to leave the country for that matter—it also was my first time to meet all my co-pilgrims. Having been part of the preparation of the documents of the pilgrims, I had a chance to see their pictures and profiles beforehand so when I arrived at the venue it was as if I already knew everybody, if only by face and name. It was there and then that my natural inclination to smile at everybody took over. So there I was smiling freely at anybody and everybody eager to get to know the persons behind the pictures only to realize much later that though I was familiar with them, they probably had no idea who I was. There was even a point when I overheard a pilgrim say: “The photographer they hired looks very friendly” and “I wonder if he plans to sell our pictures to us.” You can imagine then how thankful I was when we were introduced as ECY youth ministers and when, despite my duties, I had the chance to take part in the sharing.


The small group sharing were the best part of the session for me; I had the wonderful opportunity of listening to the faith-journeys of my co-pilgrims and be enriched by them, I admired the strength and trust in the Lord they had to continue on the road to the WYD despite the struggles and sacrifices they had to take. When it was my turn to share, I realized that voicing out my own problems and difficulties helped me to see God’s guiding hand in my own journey and to be even more grateful to Him for giving me this great and wonderful blessing.


On the practical side the sessions on the 2nd day were of great help to alleviate my fears of travelling abroad for the 1st time while the sessions on the meal cards and transportation cards gave me some much sought for assurance that I will not get lost and die of hunger (I joke). The simulation in particular helped me get a better grasp of what to do during actual boarding and departure.

Overall it was a very inspirational and stirring experience, one that will only be overshadowed by the trip and pilgrimage itself. When I tell the story of my actual WYD experience the preparatory sessions will be one of the highlights.

Mr. Tyler Jared Boone
ECY Youth Ministers Sub-Group
WYD2013 ECY-Philippines Documentation Team

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Delegation Preparatory Session: a foretaste of WYD2013

“Cristo, nos convida, venham meus amigos…” You can really see in their moves how the pilgrims are enjoying the dance steps of the WYD2013 Theme Song especially in the way they make gestures of friendship to one another.


The WYD2013 pilgrims of the ECY-Philippines gathered for a Delegation Preparatory Session last 06-07 July 2013, in Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati. This encounter form part of the final stage of their preparation before going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as Filipino missionaries of faith to the WYD2013.

The encounter became a meaningful moment of grounding one’s self to the theme and spirit of the WYD. The pilgrims had the chance to share their personal journey of faith, acknowledging the people and experiences, which brought them to a personal encounter with Christ.


“Another spring that will let me drink God’s living water that will satisfy my thirst, especially after having a difficult journey in the past months. I am very happy that I will be closing this 7-month of Exodus experience with a big bang! A great experience that I will forever treasure. God saved the best for last!” says Mr. Karl Michael Hila, a pilgrim from Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Click here to read his full reflection).

Moreover, the pilgrims expressed the present realities and challenges which call for them to respond more concretely to the invitation of evangelizing Christ in the world of the young today. All these reflections were inspired by the message of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for this year’s WYD.

The excitement builds up as the pilgrims had the chance to know the new Successor of Peter, Pope Francis, through trivia and multimedia presentation prepared by the ECY Youth Ministers Sub-Group. “Getting to know Pope Francis more added a different sense of excitement. His humility was greatly emphasized when his timeline was presented. Hardly knew him, not even his full name…” says Jaiza Anuat, a pilgrim from the Diocese of Antipolo (Click here to read her full reflection). This session made a significant impact on the pilgrims. They were moved by the example shown by Pope Francis, how he made seemingly extraordinary things in the early months of his papacy, which, in reality, push us Catholics to go back to what is basic and essential in living our faith – that is, to become Christ to one another, humble and self-giving, especially to the poorest among us. This is the mission that our dear Holy Father urgently calls us to do.


The pilgrims also surfaced the reasons that they have for joining the WYD and they were led to reflect on these reasons in the light of the elements of WYD according to His Holiness Benedict the XVI. These elements helped them understand all the more the beautiful rationale why the Church gathers the young faithful on this occasion, and that is to provide them a strong experience of the Church’s universality, to be reconciled with Him and be affirmed by His love. “In the 10-month duration of our formation in the Diocese, my intentions, I knew was purified already but it was made clearer when I wrote them in the 5 pieces of blue papers. I felt them “materialized”, rather than just lingering in my mind. I know these blue strips of paper will give me something to hold on to just in case I’ll be lost in my journey…” Jaiza added.


Another significant part of the Delegation Preparatory Session was the orientation given to the pilgrims. This provided them important information that they need to know about the ECY-Philippines Delegation: the General Program of the WYD, relevant inputs from the organizers in Rio, and other practical tips which will be useful for them as they make their last preparations before leaving for the WYD. “On the practical side the sessions on the 2nd day were of great help to alleviate my fears of travelling abroad for the 1st time while the sessions on the meal cards and transportation cards gave me some much sought for assurance that I will not get lost and die of hunger (I joke). The simulation in particular helped me get a better grasp of what to do during actual boarding and departure,” says Tyler Jared Boone, a pilgrim from the Diocese of Legazpi and the ECY Youth Ministers Sub-Group (Click here to read his full reflection).

The Group Heads and Group Assistant Heads also met the Sub-Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders for the release of documents and giving final instructions to guide them in accompanying the pilgrims. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, Head of the ECY-Philippines Delegation, expressed his gratitude to them for the trust that they have given and the collaboration that is already shared between them and the ECY. He expressed the joy of journeying with them in this WYD celebration.

ECY-Philippines 1 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 1 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 2 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 2 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 3 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 3 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 4 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 4 Group Heads

True enough, the joyful anticipation was in the air all throughout the encounter.   The seemingly unstoppable sharing, eating meals together, and dancing of animation songs brought out their youthful energy, and bonded the pilgrims in the spirit of friendship. At the heart of it all, the moments of prayer and partaking in the Eucharistic meal made the gathering fruitful and spiritually uplifting, taking everyone to the real core of the WYD – Jesus Christ himself! “The journey is deep within. If you miss the point of Jesus, you miss the whole point…” says Most Rev. Joel Z. Baylon, ECY Chairman and Bishop of the Diocese of Legazpi.


WYD2013 has already begun! The WYD2013 Preparatory Session became a foretaste of this! ” This Preparatory session is helpful since I was able to picture out what will happen in Rio de Janeiro and it reminded me of the important things that I need to do as I make my personal preparations” says Ms. Ermelita Kasilag, a pilgrim from the Archdiocese of Lipa (Click here to read her full reflection).With bright smiles and hope-filled hearts, the pilgrims are now ready to embark on a wonderful journey of faith and embrace the call of mission in the WYD2013 “Go and make disciples of all nations!”

WYD2013 pilgrims