Monday, June 16, 2014




These four words motivated me to write this article to share my impressions and experiences on the events that happened in our parish last May 31, 2014. No regrets! No doubts! No failures! No more explanations! The two events were truly a success by the power of God working in each one of us.

The first-ever Parish Got Talent Grand Finals was the outcome of a series of activities which
began with the auditions and eliminations that took place last March before we celebrated our parish fiesta. Then on the day of the fiesta, the Semi-Finals was held for those who passed the elimination rounds from the different barrio chapels within the parish. And finally, after many days of preparation, meetings and practices, the Grand Finals was at hand.

While busy with the talents competition, since it was the month of May, the Parish also organized and prepared the community for the Santacruzan, another gigantic activity that demanded much of our time, effort and parish finances.

Whew! Two big energy-draining events undertaken back-to-back. Still I can say “It’s all worth it.”

May 31, 2014 was the date when everyone was wide awake! All were excited of the events that were taking place on this day, which were the gifts of the parish for all its parishioners after their hard work in the farms and before the start of classes. I felt so blessed sharing the joys of the people as they engaged with the many tasks during this summer. I was touched by their dedication and hard work for the success of our activities motivated by the good examples of our priests and guided by the grace of the Lord and the help of Mama Mary.

Every year Filipinos turn each of the 31 days of May into some kind of beautiful bouquets of flowers for the Blessed Virgin by praying the rosary, by offering flowers to Mama Mary and by teaching catechism to children. The days of May are, therefore, called "Flores de Mayo" (Flowers of May) for the Virgin Mary. The Santacruzan, considered to be the "Queen of Filipino Festivals", is the culminating activity of the Flores de Mayo.

In our parish many of our folks gathered and waited along the road where the procession of the Santacruzan was to pass. The Sagala was composed of 27 beautiful ladies who marched with their different titles. It was amazing to see them with their most beautiful smiles waving their hands to the people along the way. I missed joining the parade and procession because we were busy preparing the stage and the final touch for the Grand Finals with Ate Machiel and other youth. Yet we were still lucky because the procession passed close to just where we were working and we had a good view of the lovely ladies. At the same time we heard over the sound system somebody introducing each lady in the Sagala and the titles they represented. It was truly informative.

After the procession, a Mass was offered presided by our parish priest who delivered and inspiring homily about the significance of popular devotions and piety giving stress of the value of Santa Cruzan.

The most awaited event that everyone was excited about was the Parish Got Talent Grand Finals, the showcase of the talents of the parishioners of St. Joseph the Spouse Parish. It was the first ever of such event to happen in our parish. Hundreds of people flocked to the community center to watch the most awaited grand Finals. There was indescribable feeling of happiness and excitement painted on the beautiful faces of the people who came to support their friends, relatives and instant idols in the competition. The pretty ladies who composed the Sagala were also there adding colors and beauty for the night. Our Parish Priest presented the video clips of each contestant. The clips were produced by some of our fellow youth.

I was not involved with the many tasks to do during the competition because we were manning the little store selling barbecue and juice to raise funds for the youth. But I was able to watch the grand finalists show their singing and dancing prowess. I even felt like one of the contestants because from the beginning of the program till the end I sang and moved in sync with the contestants. Aira Shane Macalinao bagged the FIRST EVER GRAND CHAMPION of the Parish Got Talent because of her most wonderful and soulful rendition the song "Let it Go" from the animated movie sound track Frozen.

As I prepared for home after the program, my heart was smiling in joy for having accomplished another mission for the parish. “Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful night and event. May you be glorified.” Likewise I thanked the Lord for the gift of beauty and talents He gave our parish, for the generosity of time and effort of the people especially my fellow youth who cooperated and actively participated in this event. The tasks were difficult and demanding. But it was worth all the sacrifices. For the effort, the happiness, the success and the faith, thank you, God!

Contributed by:
Ryan M. Sumalde, 
Member of Youth Ministry, St. Joseph the Spouse Parish, Sto. Tomas, Isabela.

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