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28 avril 2024 7 28 /04 /avril /2024 21:11

One of the challenges in my life as a single person is knowing how and with whom to spend my holidays. I sometimes go off on my own, because I don't always have the choice, but I am not so keen to go alone. Ideally, when I'm abroad, I go with locals or I'm hosted by some religious congregations. In the Philippines last year, I had the opportunity to go to the south, to Mindanao, where I was hosted for a week by my own confreres who work there. Recently, I was able to discover the north of the Philippines: Ilocos del Norte and Baguio, hosted by members of the Focolari. In March I've  spent ten days in the Centre of the Philippines, on the islands of Cebu and Bohol, with four young men aged between 20 and 30. After spending six months with me in the Focolare village of Tagaytay, they were returning to their native islands. I suggested to take holidays together before they returned to their respective families. Having just finished their studies, they don't have much money. Since I was paying for our trip, it was an opportunity for them to discover regions unknown to them. One of the things that strikes me about the Philippines is the fact that Filipinos are generally very tight-fisted financially and, as a result, they can't go sightseeing in their own country, despite its beauty and diversity.

Philippines: Nice holidays in Cebu and Bohol with four young adults
Philippines: Nice holidays in Cebu and Bohol with four young adultsPhilippines: Nice holidays in Cebu and Bohol with four young adults

After landing in Cebu, we headed to Moalboal, an international tourist spot, famous for diving and snorkelling. Our financial means were limited, so we limited ourselves to snorkelling. The marine life along the beach is beautiful, but not spectacular. To see more, we'd have to hire a boat, but our budget didn't allow us to do that. Beach, snorkelling and good weather were very enjoyable, even if the place was packed with foreign tourists that makes the spot a bit artificial. Still, swimming with sardines and even once with a turtle were well worth it. On the second day, we set off for a beautiful waterfall, where we got free entry to the site thanks to the parish nearby. Back in Cebu, we were welcomed by the members of the Focolare and we shared with them our beautiful Tagaytay experience. In Cebu, I was also able to visit one of my confreres, take part in a Mass presided over by him in Cebuano and I realized how difficult it is for some confreres to get involved in the local mission. Learning the language and adatp to the local culture are challenges that missionaries always face, some very well, others less.

My wonderful companions: Eduard, Jay Vanne, Roberto and Merlin. I miss you guys !
My wonderful companions: Eduard, Jay Vanne, Roberto and Merlin. I miss you guys !
My wonderful companions: Eduard, Jay Vanne, Roberto and Merlin. I miss you guys !

My wonderful companions: Eduard, Jay Vanne, Roberto and Merlin. I miss you guys !

After two days' rest in Cebu, where we were able to taste some of the Focolare's delicious dishes (homemade pizza, yum yum...), we took the ferry to Bohol, where one of the young men (the fourth one) was waiting for us. We hired scooters to go around the island, full of nice surprises: beaches and snorkelling, caves, waterfalls and landscapes of hills and rice fields. Three days of fun and discovery that we thoroughly enjoyed. Being with young adults with whom I can communicate in English is a big advantage of the Philippines. Spending time together means discovering a bit of their world, getting into their rhythm, having serious conversations and having a good laugh. These young men are at the crossroads between the student life that is behind them and working experience that awaits them. It can be stressful, but by being with the Focolare for six months, they've been able to meet adults who listened and encouraged them, and I'm also happy to have been their companion and 'uncle' during these few days of holiday. I am grateful to them for the organization of our wonderful holidays.

Philippines: Nice holidays in Cebu and Bohol with four young adults
Philippines: Nice holidays in Cebu and Bohol with four young adults
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English - Français blog !!!

A blog written in Vietnamese? Not for now...Anyway, the articles published in this blog are usually in English and in French. Up to you to choose your language!

A quand un blog en Vietnamien?... Ce n'est pas pour demain, mais les articles publiés sur ce blog sont généralement et en Français et en Anglais... A vous de choisir...

La Providence passe par vous.

sm vn

La mission n'est possible que grâce à vous: soutien aux pauvres (1), y compris le parrainage scolaire, aux jeunes en formation (2), à la communauté (3), à la construction du séminaire à Manille (4), nous comptons sur votre aide! Une aide si modeste qu'elle soit, c'est important et encourageant !

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