For the short time we have been in the Philippines, one thing that amazes me is the devotion and faith of the LDS Filipino youth. To gain a better understanding of the basis of their faith, I’ll share some of the things we’ve learned about the Filipino youth since our arrival.
In the US, and throughout the world, the Church focuses on our youth because they are the rising generation and face monumental challenges in the future as they seek to find their way in the world. In the Philippines, there’s an enormous amount of effort put into ensuring that Filipino youth have positive role models, activities geared to strengthen their faith, and activities that assists them in setting each young man and woman up for success in the future.
For example, we attended a Tagalog ward a few Sundays ago, one of the young men that passed the Sacrament proudly wore a tie with the inscription on it that said (look on his tie below) MTC 2029….signifying this young man is planning to enter the Mission Training Center (MTC) in the Philippines and to be a part of the class of 2029 which is in about six years when he turns eighteen years old.
MTC Class of 2029
One thing that I didn’t realize until recently was that stakes and wards in the Philippines send their youth to boys’ and girls’ camps as they do in the US. Somehow, I never consider the possibility that these types of activities were available here. I was dead wrong.
To ensure that the youth have access to outdoor experiences, local wards and stakes plan trips to the mountains for their youth to experience camping in the great outdoors. While not all Filipino youth have this type of opportunities because they live in rural areas which are poor and where there are few members of the Church, many that live where the church has a large number of youth do have these types of opportunities.
Not too much different than a youth outing in the US.
A Youth Group from a Metro Manila Stake – Three-day Hike in the Mountains
Sunrise at a Youth Camp Site in the Mountains
For the Strength of Your (FSY)
As I’ve shared before, and I’m sharing a little more information again about FSY. We have been to Tanay (pronounced Tan i) where the For the Strength of Youth facility will open this month for a two-month run where over 4,000+ youth will spend a week over six consecutive weeks in workshops, events, activities, and taught by inspiring leaders.
The past two weeks, we have been at the FSY facility several times training about fifteen volunteer members that will each spend 2-3 weeks manning the Church History Center in rotating shifts as the youth visit the center during their week stay at FSY.
Check Out this Strength of Youth Campus article/video: https://shorturl.at/tEJP8
Post Training FSY Center Lunch/Dinner
After a training session at the Strength of Youth campus at the Church History Center, we asked the local Filipinos that were at the FSY facility with us where the best place to eat was and we were told to dine here for authentic Filipino food.
Check out this video on where we dined on authentic Filipino food.
Things We Continue to Learn About the Philippines
4th of July
One thing that I didn’t expect in the Philippines was a 4th of July celebration locally put on each year for mostly expats that live in the Philippines. We thought we would crash the party to see what was going on.
The 4th of July has been considered an important national holiday in the Philippines because it celebrated the Philippines’ Independence Day in 1946 when the Philippines was recognized as an independent, sovereign country by the United States when the US withdrew its ruling authority. Now the date is celebrated in June.
The history of this holiday is a long one but in short, the US received the Philippines as a colony at the end of the Spanish American War in 1898 from Spain and ruled over it until 1946. There was a celebration in Makati (a suburb of Manila) which was very modest by US standards but nevertheless a celebration that we attended, more out of curiosity than anything else.
A 4th of July Celebration Band
A Little of Jimi Hendrix – a Star Spangled Banner Guitar Solo that took place before the fireworks