Cebu, Philippines, 25 September 2023 -- On 23 September 2023, youth leaders and animators from various settings in the Cebu District gathered at Don Bosco Technical College-Cebu chapel to join the Leaders and Animators Formation(LAF) 2023 entitled “Upright: Be Good Christians and Upright Citizens”. It was a gathering to discuss many different topics regarding social realities, educative insights on voting, the application of the SYM Primer 2019, and the re-echoing of values by the achievements of the movement.
The day started with the arrival of the delegates and registration. The SYM Primer, a foundation document upon which all SYM activities are based on, was given to all attendees. The program officially started at 9 in the morning with unfreezers and icebreakers to the tune of Salesian music to loosen the nerves and hype the atmosphere.
Fr. Regino Godinez, SDB, gave a talk on voter's education in view of the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan election this October. Four key points were discussed in forming a moral choice:
- Being Filipino: emphasizing nationalism, citizens should choose a person of interest who can genuinely help in the process of developing the country as a whole.
- Church Teachings: discerning the candidates' campaign, the Church has a solid stand in preserving life and demoting any form of opposition to the gift of vitality to us.
- Salesian Spirituality: applying the five factors of Salesian Youth Spirituality, we are able to form a conscience to help in the process of choosing an upright leader.
- Candidates: the candidates should also be considered. Are their campaigns equal to your standards and values? Questions such as these are brought up when voting.
The attendees were divided into groups for their personal sharing. 2 representatives from each group presented to everyone their group insights.
The afternoon session highlighted the SYM Primer which Mr. Eudardo Empelis, a senior youth leader, talked about in detail. Fr. Vince Michael Sabal, SDB, SYM delegate, talked about the recently concluded National Assembly Days 2023 and he presented the manifesto. The celebration of the Holy Mass closed the LAF 2023.