Island of Reflection

by Marjorie Culanag-Engcoy, Columban Lay Missionary

                The thought of going on a trip, going to other places excites me for I love to see new places, get acquainted with new culture, and learn traditions of others. This feeling is very evident most especially after having felt the heaviness of the processing for the first few weeks of CPE. After being given the background of the place and the possible activities that can be done during the trip, I was all set—to relax and to reflect.
                We set sail for Marinduque, an island south of Luzon, the island known for the Moriones Festival, for our midpoint outing.

Beautiful welcome
                I was very amazed of the beautiful welcomes I was fortunate to see. First was the beautiful sunrise which I anticipated so much. Second was the unexpected appearance of the friendly sea friends, the dolphins. Third was the advance party of the beautiful small islands which are part of Marinduque. Lastly was the sight of the giant statue of the Holy Mother.
                These beautiful welcomes I was fortunate to see seemed to remind me of the fact after all the things I went through in life, there’s always a beautiful morning that’s ready to smile at me; there’re always friends who will welcome me and still accept me for who I am, have become and will become; there’re always small things that will remind me to be courageous to take on big challenges one at a time; there’s always the love of the people who believe in me; and the love of God whom I put my faith and trust on.

Visiting the Past 
                The group had the chance to visit the amazing structures of the past centuries that lasted until now. The altar designs are almost alike from one church to the other. I was brought back to the past. Further it also told me of a realization that these churches wouldn’t last this long if these churches didn’t make any impact in their lives, either positive or negative. Just like how a person lives his or her life, he or she will be remembered of the things he or she had done when he or she was still living. And all of these will remain in the hearts and minds of the people he or she has met all their lives.

Rowing the Boat

                Boating is one of the activities that I anticipated during the outing. I would admit that I missed doing it with my sisters. But that time, it was different; I was doing it with my peers. I found delight with the fact that I miss the sea so much.
                Rowing the boat for me is the replica of how my life has been. The current was very strong, but because I am surrounded by people who trusted my capabilities and kept challenging me to do what I do best. I thank God for the presence of this people in my life. My independence is dependent on my dependency on the people who support me and love me; what a wonderful blessing!

Swimming in Blue Waters
                Well, what can I say more about swimming aside from the fact that it is one of the best things that refreshes me and just lets me be who I really am.  I just love swimming. I remember during the sharing of my life story, I told the group that I want them to remember me as the gushing water on the riverbed, going through and around the rocks that are on the way. Being with the water feels so cool and feels so me. For years, this element has taught me to fill into space, fit the shape, and or overflow to find some more space. Some say this somehow manifests not conforming to their idea of commitment, but it is not how I see what commitment is. Rather, it is my own practical view of what life is and how I should respond to circumstances that come. I am aware that I am misunderstood for this particular principle, but I see myself working better this way.

Bonding with Peers
                During the trip, I had the chance to converse with some of the peers, exchanged points of views, experiences, and principles in life. I could really the difference of each individual’s principles in words but in thought it’s just all the same rhythm; it’s all the same thought. It just differs on how the individual perceives it and puts it into living. But despite our differences in beliefs and principles in life, we still find ourselves connecting with each other because of the valuing of each other and respect. Yes, we question each ones life’s guiding principle, but no matter how much we question them, that makes them who they are.

                Overall, I loved the whole outing itself and the place of very hospitable people. I would never forget this trip to Marinduque because inasmuch as it refreshed and relaxed me, it also gave me realizations beyond saying and comparing. Some of them are worth sharing, but some are best kept and lived by and lived with.

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