IYBA 2013 Day 7

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It was a perfect way to end the week. Day seven of the International Young Brothers Assembly (IYBA) was the Young Brothers’ Cultural Exposure Day.

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

En route to Manila

The Young Brothers boarded their buses at 8:00 a.m. and headed for La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) in Metro Manila. The group arrived ahead of schedule, allowing them a short tour of the campus before heading off to the school chapel, The National Shrine of the Divine Child, for their mass. The Young Brothers had the opportunity to meet and interact with the Lasallian alumni community, together with their families, and hear Sunday mass together.

Afterwards, the delegates had lunch with the the president of La Salle Green Hills Alumni Association, Dr. Rylan Flores, and the president of the De La Salle Alumni Association, Prof. Derrick Yu, along with Brothers from the Philippine Sector.

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

Sunday Mass with the family, a Filipino and, also, a Lasallian tradition in the Philippines.

After lunch, the group departed for Intramuros, the oldest district of Manila. Known as the “Walled City”, this part of the Manila hosted the seat of the Spanish government during the Spanish colonial period.

The Brothers were then divided into three groups, according to their spoken language. Spanish, French and English speaking guides were then assigned to their respective groups. As they made their way to Manila, the guides gave short, fun and historical tidbits about the Philippines.

The Brother’s first stop in their tour was the Rizal Monument in Luneta. The memorial consists of a bronze sculpture of the national hero, with an obelisk as the backdrop, set on a pedestal upon which Rizal’s remains are interred.

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

Monument of the country’s National Hero – Dr. Jose Rizal

The Brothers then continued on to the National Museum. As a cultural center, the museum studies and preserves the country’s rich artistic, historical and cultural heritage. The groups visited several galleries and were able to experience the works of National Filipino Artists such Juan Luna, Vicente Manansala and Fernando Amorsolo.

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

Juan Luna’s Spoliarium

From the National Museum, the delegates paid a short visit to San Agustin Church in Intramuros. Originally known as “Inglesia de San Pablo”, it is the oldest stone church in the Philippines.

The delegates then proceeded to Fort Santiago, also in Intramuros. The fort is a historical site in Manila. Named after Saint James the Great, the it is located at the mouth of Pasig River and served as the premier defense of the Spanish Government and was also used in World War II by the Japanese. The fort was also where Jose Rizal, National Hero of the Philippines, was imprisoned before his execution in 1896.

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

Following the last steps – literally – of Jose Rizal

After their Intramuros tour, the Assembly went to the Mall of Asia. Some of the Brothers took this opportunity to buy gifts and souvenirs for their loved ones back home while others rested in preparation for the group’s trip to De La Salle University (DLSU).

IYBA 2013 - Day 7 - Manila Exposure Trip

Dance lessons before leaving for De La Salle University

De La Salle University hosted the IYBA’s evening prayer and dinner. The evening prayer was held at The Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Before the prayers began, Br. Bernard Oca FSC, President of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), explained the significance of the chapel to the Brothers in the Philippines.

On 12 February 1945, 16 Brothers and 26 civilians hid in the Chapel, thinking that it would offer protection from the Japanese who were occupying Manila at the time. However, this was not the case; the Brothers along with the civilians were massacred on that day. Three days later, when the Americans arrived, there were only a few survivors. Because of this tragedy, the chapel is a symbol of the dedication of the Lasallian Brothers here in the Philippines.

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A symbol of Lasallian dedication.

Under their newfound reverence for the chapel, the IYBA delegates began their evening prayers by lighting the IYBA Paschal candle. The prayer revolved around the importance of the Lasallian Community, and they read passages from St. La Salle’s meditations, the Bible, and the writings of Pope Paul VI and St. Agustin. At the end of their prayers, after extinguishing the candle, the leader read,  “The light of this candle is now extinguished, but the light of Christ in each of us must continue to shine in our hearts, in our lives and in our communities.”

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The light continues to shine in their hearts.

The Brothers then had dinner at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, DLSU’s newest building. DLSU President, Br. Ricardo Laguda FSC, welcomed the delegates. Their evening was capped off by a visit to “The Grove”, the roof deck of the new building and, afterwards, the Brothers returned to De La Salle University-Dasmarinas (DLSU-D).

The entire day not only gave the delegates a glimpse of the historical and cultural aspects of the Philippines but also of the Filipino Lasallian Community.

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Cultural differences and cultural similarities

 

 

 

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