Good day to all!
This morning, I drove my son to school which is about 3 kms away from where we live. While driving along Calle Arturo Soria – a main thoroughfare in Madrid, I saw groups of teenagers walking to a nearby church, backpacks on, and wearing red and white t-shirts with a mark on the left side portion: “JMJ Madrid 2011” which stands for “Jornada Mundial de la Juventud Madrid 2011” – World Youth Day, now being held in Madrid. They carry a flag of their country and are obviously in the city to attend the event together with thousands others. Pope Benedict XVI who is taking part in this Catholic Church organized program, is due to arrive on Thursday, 18 August in Madrid at 12NN and shall be going through the main avenue Paseo de Castellana, on his way to the Nunciature of Madrid. Should you wish to be informed more about what is going on in World Youth Day, please watch a video of the event:
The youth groups came all the way from Korea, the US, South Africa, and from other South American countries like Argentina, Colombia, and from Europe – Poland and Germany, to name a few of the participating countries. Thousands are distributed in various areas in Madrid.
It was quite a sight to see teenagers keeping the religious tradition, faith and values of their country. I miss that in the Philippines.
Living abroad is actually a big sacrifice to any expatriate especially if you grew up in an atmosphere distinct in beliefs and moral values to where you have settled in. I speak of Filipinos abroad. And I take no exception. Because we have the tendency to “momentarily if not totally, “forget” our roots, and end up embracing almost everything the receiving country has offered, including the values. The outcome is well manifested in our children, if not to us. St. Ambrose said something to this effect and I quote in Latin: “Si fueris Romae, Romano vivitomore; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi”, in English “If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way, if you are elsewhere, live as they do there”. In my observation, a good number of Filipinos have in fact “interpreted to the letter” what St. Ambrose advocated.
But do you think it will do harm if we teach our children some of the good behaviour we learned in our childhood from our own country?. We valued respect to elders, family ties, religious beliefs, and a lot of other good conduct.
I am not saying though that what we are learning in our adopted country are bad, on the contrary, they make us become more matured, experienced, wise and cultured. What I am saying though is that let our children “savour” as well the good things we had in our lives back home. It need not be everything, but at least give them a chance to appreciate the “beauty” of what it is to be a Filipino. I leave the rest for you to contemplate on.
Have a wonderful day ahead.
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