Paskuhang Pathways celebrates on-site with 200 attendees
31 Dec 2022
The Pathways tradition of Paskuhang Pathways resumed its face-to-face celebration at the MVP Roofdeck inside the Ateneo de Manila Loyola Heights campus last Sunday, December 11, 2022. We were joined by over 200 participants across our four batches of students. The celebration gathered students from various universities and different year levels.
After holding most of our events online in the past two years, we took this opportunity to get to know the others in the community–both the new faces and the familiar. Our juniors and seniors took the time to catch up with old friends and meet their new Pathways siblings, while our freshie and sophomore bunsos (youngest siblings) saw the Pathways family culture in action. With the freshie and sophomore batches having only met virtually during the pandemic, we took the chance to get acquainted with each other more than online gatherings permit.
Like most Filipino Christmas parties, we played games that we hope helped remind the participants of the fun in our community. In true Pathways fashion, we also organized party games like human bingo which were not only fun, but were also packed with lessons. As the event host and Pathways staff, Kat Nabor, mentioned “We want you to remember that you are not alone in your experiences and that you have Ates and Kuyas (older siblings) who have been through similar things.” Her co-host and Pathways alum, Rodante Dulay, added to her statement “That’s the great thing about being in Pathways, you have all these other people who will understand you.”
Winding down from the excitement, we gathered in smaller groups to reflect on both our current concerns and what we were preoccupied with in the past year. Newly ordained Deacon Patrick Echevarria, former Alay ni Ignacio Principal, joined the discussion to highlight the importance of reflection during a Christmas celebration. He pointed out that gift-giving is an act of reflection on what we know of a person and that, further, the best gift we can give others are things that affirm their presence in our lives.
GBSEALD’s Fr. Francis Alvarez, SJ echoed this in the homily of the mass over which he presided. He shared that the lessons in the Gospel, where John the Baptist learned that Jesus is the Messiah, were advice for what to do when one is troubled. One should call a friend, tell stories, and be present. He shares with the participants that these are things that we try to promote in Pathways: a nurturing community where one will always have a friend who can listen and share stories.
As we listened and shared each other's presence this Paskuhan, we were also fortunate to have raffle prizes and gifts for our participants to take home. Among them were snacks from our friends at Alaska, Rebisco and Universal Robina Corporation, t-shirts and eco bags from Garena, and meals from Chowking. We were also able to distribute Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Dinner) packages and other goodies to each student through the generous donations of our Pathways alums and friends.
We ended the year with our biggest face-to-face event since the beginning of the pandemic in the company of our student community. It was a hopeful reminder that we are all part of a network of individuals bonded by gratitude and generosity.
As we ring in the new year, we hope that the Pathways community continues to journey together whether online or in person.
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