second day. let's play!

1:32 PM

3 shower stalls for 32 people.

That was what we, around 28 Filipinas and four girls from another country, had to work with while living in the convent.

So what did this girl do? Wake up really early to get ahead of the pack.

No problemo as there’s something about traveling that turns on my inner alarm clock.

Send me to another place, another country, and I’d be as reliable and on to the minute as a Swiss watch. Maybe it’s because I know exactly what I want to see and do, not wanting to waste a single minute. (Why can’t I think like that when I’m home?!)

So early that first Saturday in Spain, I woke up just before sunrise and opened the tall wooden convent windows to darkness. The time on my mobile read 06:30 but I could barely see anything beyond the lit building a couple of meters away. Breakfast wasn’t until 08:00 (or was it 08:30?) but I knew I better get my hinny to a shower stall fast.

Breakfast was served at the school behind our convent. Like good soldiers, we queued for our turn to grab our meal from piles of crusty bread, butter, marmalade; pick up a cup of coffee or coco,  or a glass of juice. On the floor, we broke bread and soaked up the warmth of the early morning sun.

Our first full day at Mag+s started with everyone congregating in front of the stage to say Morning praise. After that, it was pretty much a free flowing day for all. There were talks given by Jesuits that one could attend. (I went to the one on discernment.) Our hosts also prepared games – like dodge ball, tug of war, and darts that one could entertain herself with. They also set up a bar at the far end of the field where one can down drinks and share stories with participants from a foreign country.

Cultural night, where a group had to present a number that characterizes their country, was scheduled after supper that evening. Presenters were picked weeks prior to Mag+s and well, we weren’t one of them.

It rained that night and the show was moved to the mess hall. Tables and chairs were piled at a corner to create enough room for everyone. We wormed our way into the center of the tent when coldplay’s ‘viva la vida’ suddenly blared out from the speakers. Everyone then started to jump, clap, and sing to the song at the top of their lungs.
And even when the song ended, everyone was still on a high that someone started a congo line. Eventually, we were pulled in and in turn we started pulling other people in. The line got longer and longer until it was so long that there wasn’t room for the head to take another step.

Eventually, our hosts were able to set up the makeshift stage and the show commenced. Hands down, the participants from Indonesia gave the best performance. It was a cultural dance, recently included in the UNESCO list, that relies on precision and teamwork. (The following day, we found out from one of the participants that they actually practiced that particular number for three whole weeks!)

The other performances were entertaining to say the least. We were all having a grand time watching until we realized it was thirty minutes shy of midnight. Convent doors close at exactly 00:00. Reluctantly, we headed back to convent because we’ll end up sleeping under the stars if we don’t. (That would’ve been a fine idea if we were not exactly in the mountains. Brrr. )

the school behind our convent

breakfast of spanish champions: crusty bread, butter, and marmalade

a good morning indeed! hamming it up for the camera with fr. xave

participants gather for morning praise


 leon from australia wanted to take my picture. took a photo with him instead. :-)


uncle benj and coni, proud to be pinoy!


people hanging out under all sorts of trees


shared  the lunch table with erick from venezuela

a group of belgian boys challenged the girls in a tug -of-war game for a round of drinks


the girls playing against the boys proved to be unfair so two equal teams were made. this is team A.

 this is team B.  sorry. can't remember who won. girls, who won?

trying to learn how play diablo

crowds at the bar

we went up st. ignatius's hill

katsy and sheep

on the hill, we bumped into sal from america

ate supper while sitting next to eduardo from chile. is it just me or he looksa bit like keanu reeves?

a packed mess hall

host country spain dancing the flamenco

group from 2013 WYD host country brazil

participants from indonesia wowing the crowd

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