Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Most Amazing (G)Race

In support to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis last December 8, 2015, a project called the Most Amazing (G)Race was organized to give female university students various opportunities to practice works of mercy in their everyday lives. The project was managed by Pauline Zamora (4th year) and Arianne Canoy (3rd year) and yours truly, Sailah Guerra (4th year). We were all regular attendees of the formational activities of Balanghai Study Center. It all started during one afternoon get-together as we were all gathered to talk about the different activities we could organize during the year for Balanghai and most especially for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. A Eureka moment happened when there came an idea to organize a sort of race that we initially called “Jubilee Race”. Several related ideas followed afterwards that eventually developed the idea of the Most Amazing (G)Race.

The Most Amazing (G)Race was a four-month amazing race wherein girls competed in groups and raced to complete different challenges from August until November. These challenges centered on the different spiritual and corporal works of mercy, which had corresponding “kilometers” or points. The end goal of the race was to “reach” Rome, by accumulating as many “kilometers” or points as possible. Each participant received a race kit containing a map, confession guide, St. Josemaria prayer cards, and a permission letter to visit the sick in a hospital in Pasig.

The idea was a result of an enthusiasm to do something different and worthwhile during the Year of Mercy. We wanted to invite and entice young girls to take advantage of this unique opportunity to be givers and most especially, recipients of mercy. This is also why Facebook was the main medium used to market the campaign itself. We used this to increase the hype prior to the launching of the project and to be a channel where everyone can see reminders and quotes that can give inspiration about the Year of Mercy before and during the campaign months.

The campaign made use of a character named ‘Bianca’ to personify the target market of the campaign, conceptualized by the organizing team. She was a character made to reflect an ordinary girl of the millennial generation who is very much immersed in the world but at the same time, felt a deep longing to find happiness and fulfillment.

The project was launched last August 11, 2016 together with the UNIV Rome Congress at the University of Asia and the Pacific. Girls from different year levels attended the event and got to sign up where they wanted to participate in. Professors and mentors in UA&P also went to support their students and listened to the talks prepared for the afternoon. Through this launch, a total of seven teams were formed. Girls were encouraged to post their visits and other accomplished challenges on the official Facebook page in order to encourage other girls to join the race or engage themselves in their own works of mercy.

Talks about the Year of Mercy were organized as well to enlighten and encourage the girls to keep going amidst the demands coming from their academics and other extra-curricular activities. These talks were given by Ms. Imee Estillore, the Vice-president of the Center for Student Affairs of the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Finally, on the month of November, three winners of the race were recognized. A short closing program took place last November 21, 2016 in Balanghai Study Center. Final words were said specifically by some of the organizing team heads. All teams of course received their prizes; those were a Certificate of Recognition and gift certificates (GCs) from selected brands.

As participants reached the finish line, The Most Amazing (G)race ultimately aimed to instill in the minds and hearts of girls that even in everyday ordinary things, the call of the Holy Father to practice and receive mercy is very much within everyone’s reach.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spanish Night

The Balanghai Cultural Committee held its Spanish Night last March 11, Saturday. After Benediction, the girls gathered around the living room to watch a short clip on Spain. It revolved around different facts about the country and, of course, churros. They then made their way to the kitchen to begin the main event of the night, which was a churros tutorial led by Svet Cabral. After a brief introduction of herself, she proceeded to enumerate the ingredients that were laying on the table: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, oil. Finally, the fun part began. She demonstrated the few steps needed in the preparation of churros while the girls watched and listened attentively. Every so often she would ask for a volunteer to do a step and many were eager to help out. Amidst laughter and excitement, they were able to make two batches of churros were shared around.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Retreat Schedule 2016

Heads up! Here are the retreat schedules for 2016.
You may contact Cathy Zamora or Joy Beljera for inquiries or to reserve a slot.

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Rural Service Project 2016: Gerona, Tarlac

Don't have any plans yet after summer class or internship? Don't worry we got you covered! Start marking your calendars because a Rural Service Project (RSP) is coming your way this May. If you love adventure and learning then this is a must experience! 

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May Recollection

How about making time for a spiritual adventure this summer?
Join us for a Marian recollection this coming Saturday at 2:45-5:20.

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