Kaya nating magkaroon ng tapat at mabuting bansa. Kaya nating mangarap ng magandang buhay para sa ating mga pamilya at kaya ring maaabot ito. Kaya nating magsama-sama at magbuklod para sa ikararangal ng bansang Pilipinas. Kaya nating iahon ang ating mga sarili ng may dignidad mula sa kahirapan tungo sa kaunlaran at katiwasayan.
This was the battlecry of the Pilgrimage Run of the 5 Basilicas of Rome for the Philippines and the OFWs initiated by Atty. Arnel P. Casanova held last Set 15 . Atty. Arnel is one of the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) training resource persons and now head of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) in the Philippines. Atty. Casanova, Esq. graduated from Harvard University (MPA, Finance and Leadership) and is a graduate of the University of the Philippines (Law, Urban Planning).
Aimed to lift up in prayer the OFWs concerns and the Philippines in general, the run was dedicated to encourage the OFWs to pursue their dreams of a better life for themselves, their families and ultimately the dream of a better Philippines as a nation.
LSE Rome and partners successfully supported the Pilgrimage with a number of LSE course graduates and friends who joined the run from San Paolo Fuori le Mura, to St. John Lateran, to San Sonia Jess Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, to Santa Maria Maggiore, side trip to Santa Pudenziana, to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. It is a pilgrimage from the tomb of St. Paul to the tomb of St. Peter, the two pillars of the Church.
According to Atty. Casanova , “Reflecting on the significance of the places and the run, these two apostles and martyrs were migrant workers in those times. They migrated in a foreign land to build the Church of Christ and in so doing, helped in changing the world through the work for the salvation of our souls. It is providential as well that the Filipino Migrant Center in Rome is located in Santa Pudenziana which was the sanctuary of Sts. Peter and Paul when they were being persecuted in their apostolic work. Now, it is serving as a place for refuge for every Filipino in Italy.”
Atty. Casanova exhorted the modern day migrant workers, urging them to reflect on the lives of these two apostles as they relate their everyday work and sacrifice to pursue their dreams of better lives for family and country. “Most of us who work in building and keeping the homes of our employers must see and uphold always the dignity in ourselves with excellence and dedication in our tasks. There is honor and sanctification in labor, regardless of what your job is. Marangal ang anumang hanapbuhay”, he added.
The Pilgrimage Run for the Philippines and the OFWs is anchored on the belief that “…while Sts. Peter and Paul offered their labors and their lives to their task of building the Church, we shall be mind-ful that our tasks in a foreign land is also to build the church within our families and in the families that we work for. In so doing, we are building the strong foundations for our country’s progress as well and for the future generation of Filipinos.”
Among those present to greet Atty. Casanova and OFW-runners and friends at the Vatican grounds-end of the run were Consul General Danilo T. Ibayan and Florita M. Icasiano of the Embassy of the Philippines to the Holy See, Labor Attaché Cho-na M. Mantilla of the Philippine Embasssy in Rome, Consigliere Romulo Salvador, OFSPES President Maris Gavino, Mr. Ed Valenzuela of FAO, who is also an OFSPES member and resource person, Filcom leaders Pia Gonzalez and friends of Sky net, and other OFWs, LSE graduates.
The group proceeded to pray at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and then went to the Basilica Sta. Pudenziana for a brief meeting-fellowship with OFWs and leaders. During said meeting, Atty. Casanova further encouraged the OFWs, saying, “Hindi biro ang mag-lakas ng loob sumubok sa bansang banyaga na ang bukas marahil ay hindi tiyak. Subalit ginawa ninyo yan ng may tapang, pag-asa, at pagsisikap, magtrabaho man ng gabi’t araw at mawalay man sa ating mga mahal sa buhay. Nawa’y patuloy pa rin tayong mangarap ng magandang bukas at huwag mawalan ng pag-asa. Nawa’y palagi rin ninyong paniwa-laan ang inyong lakas, talino at kakayahan sa bawat gawain at kung saan man din kayo makarating.”
The meeting concluded with the thought that we can achieve whatever dream we set for ourselves, as a country and as a people. All we need to do is to believe in those dreams, believe in our capabilities, and work hard to achieve them in dignity. God is always with us.
Kaya Natin Pilipinas!!! Forza Filippine, ce la facciamo!!!