JUST BY looking at all the gatherings and events listed for the WYD celebration that were held simulatneously in different venues, one will be overwhelmed and would probably wish he can attend all the events. Planning and time amnagement is really a key to be able to attend as many activities as possible.

Just like our experience as a group in the WYD, we really have to talk about our schedule and plan things all the time, and we really didn’t even have the chance to visit some of the beautiful places in Australi except for the famous Sydney Opera House and other venues in Sydney where the WYD major events were held like the Darling Habour, Southern Cross Precint, Domain, Hyde Park and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

We really loved to go around, but we are in Sydney to attend the WYD and it wouldn’t be a complete experience if we would missed out to attend the major events just to go around Australia and look for kangaroos and koalas’ and besides, considering the travel time via train from Christ the King parish to the city, where most of the major events were held, our time was already consumed.

Although we were not able to visit all the beautiful places in Sydeny, just being able to attend the major events of WYD, to listen and be inspired with the bishops and cardinals’ testimonies and teachings during the catechesis, to be adopted by kind, warm and hospitable host families even for just four days and make us feel that we are not away from home, to meet a lot of friends from different countries, to be with thousands of young pilgrims, see the Holy Father and listen to his homilies, to be able to renew and strengthen our faith and be God’s witnesses in our own homes and country, is already a great experience and it is an incomparable feeling with the joy felt in being able to see all the wonderful places in Sydney.


Being a WYD delegate and pilgrim is not easy, from the expenses, cold weather a strong heat of the sun (although its winter time in Australia), long hours of travel and endless walks, heavy backpacks, food that you are not used to eat as part of your daily meals, and mingling with different kinds of people, are just some of the things that make our WYD experience more memorable.

With all the fun and happy moments and with all the new friends, pilgrims and volunteers we’ve met, makes us forget all the hardships and discomforts that we went through during our WYD journey.

Most especially the renewal and strengthening of faith that took place during our journey, the precious and blissful moments spent together as a group, the friendship that we have established among ourselves (UST delegates), and the challenge to continue this great task of being God’s witnesses in our own homes and workplace, are the most priceless experiences and memories we will always be thankful for in this WYD ‘08 in Sydeny.

Maybe we can’t reach out to everyone to fulfill the task of becoming God’s witnesses, but we can always start with our own families, friends and colleagues by sharing our happy experiences during the WYD and by showing to them how it has inspired us. That being able to join and be a part of this journey is a blessing, an opportunity to strengthen our faith and truly an enriching and transforming.

*The author is currently a professor at the College of Science

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