Six days we spent feeling the cold atmosphere of the airconditioned vessel. Six days we breathed fresh air that were brushing to our bodies, the wind so strong it almost carried us. Five nights we were wearing pajamas under a thick blanket. Five nights we curled up to get warmth from our very body. For a total of six days and five nights, the YFC members from Metro Manila and Luzon were together in Super Ferry 18 for a cruise intended to praise our Captain.
Excited for Davao
Not everyone in the vessel was YFC members. Nevertheless, it was as if were the only passengers. We went up and down the ship, in and out to the deck area. Everyone was excited to reach Davao! But before we can reach our destination, we have to wait for three days and two nights. That’s why everyone was excited to see dolphins along the way! Maybe you would ask, “What would you do in a ship for that long? Isn’t that boring?” everyone who was there would tell you, “Nope! You’re largely mistaken. We actually had loads of fun!”
Yep! We did have lots of fun. The Praise Cruise service team prepared several activities for all of us to enjoy and learn from. There were workshops like “Servant Evangelism Workshop,” “Worship Workshop,” “YCOM Workshop,” and “GKY Workshop.” There was also a contest-Praise Cruise Big Brother and Big Sister-that everyone enjoyed. Our very own Manny Benito became a finalist and really, the Central B (with other Manny fans), were the loudest during the finals night. We did learn and enjoy from all those activities, but it wouldn’t be a Praise Cruise without the worship every morning after breakfast at the sun deck and the Holy Mass at three o’clock in the afternoon. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was also made available to every passenger and crew on board.
Home we go
Everyone was hyped up by the ILC. We were eager to go back to our areas of service to share the love we have experienced, so that the message will spread to all our brothers and sisters who were left home. However, the cruise on the way back was intended for the delegates to rest for three days and three nights so that our energies would be fully recharged when we reach home.
They only retained the morning worship, Holy Mass, and the Confessions, so as to prepare our hearts and souls for the holy week. However, it was all different for Central B. One of our delegates, Karla Capco, was celebrating her 18th birthday right there on the ship. The whole sector, Metro Manila Praise paraders, and other YFC friends joined efforts to surprise her. Josh Garcia, her partner, spearheaded everything, talking to several people to be part of the 18 roses and 18 durians (substitute to the 18 roses). He even reserved the Horizon Café, the fine dining restaurant inside Super Ferry! Some went up the café clueless, while others were excited to see Karla’s reactions.
“The effort to surprise me was well appreciated. I know my partner will do something for me that night, but I didn’t want to spoil all the fun so I kept quiet as if nothing was going to happen. I admit that I did not expect it to be that way. I am thankful to God for blessing me with such friends, who made me happy and at home even if I’m away from my family,” Karla said.
After six days and five nights, it was already Maundy Thursday. Every one of us excitedly went down the ship to meet our families who were waiting for us at the gate of the pier. Everyone was eager to spend the rest of the Holy Week with our families. All was eager to share their experiences to everyone who would listen, not just the six days and five nights they were in the ship, but most importantly, the three days and two nights of the conference itself.