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posted @ 6/01/2005 01:21:00 PM - 1 comments - share your thoughts

By: Bobby Quitain

When Michael Jordan was asked which was his favorite among all his dunks, he answered with a big grin on his face and said, “The first.”

Truly, nothing beats the first time. And Lingkod ng Panginoon-Quezon City’s (ALNP-QC) first year was no different.

In year 2000, ALNP-QC did all its “firsts” not with the fireworks and the showbiz glitz that ALNP-QC is now famous for. During those times, ALNP-QC boasted of only a handful members, composed mostly of the now-disbanded “Friends and Lovers in Prayer-Friends and Lovers of Prayer”, more commonly known as “Flip-Flop”. We were few then, but we sure had a great time.

Who could forget our first Christian Life Program? I would want to. Please don’t get me wrong. It was fun serving with brothers and sisters and it was a joy to see those who turned to the Lord because of that CLP. However, I would be lying if I say that it was one of my best organized CLP’s. For instance, we witnessed a “That’s Entertainment” type of attendance throughout the entire CLP. We had a “first Monday” group, a “second Monday” group etc., until we realized that not one of the participants ever completed all the CLP sessions. We literally had new faces every session.

"Ako lang ang kunan mo!"
I can also remember that famous ride to our first Unity Games in Los Banos, Laguna. The entire ALNP-QC was accommodated inside Jun M. (Mangalindan)’s L-300. Yes, we all fitted in there and with a lot of space to spare. We left QC at around 7:30 AM and arrived in Los Banos by 12:00NN, three hours late of the scheduled start of the Unity Games. We endured four hours of heavy traffic in South Super Highway and another thirty minutes devoted to changing a flat tire. We went home that day exhausted. Not to mention Jun M. hobbling due to a back injury.

Then we had our first way of life weekend. No, we didn’t do it in Lazo Farm, Fontana or in any of those exciting out-of-town venues where we’ve been holding our Way of Life Weekends in recent years. Instead, we held our first Way of Life Weekend in a dull and boring retreat house in the middle of Quezon City (I decided to wear my swimming trunks and spend extra long hours in the showers just to simulate the feeling of an outing). All founding members of ALNP-QC together with the first batch of CLP graduates, with some absences, participated in the event for a total of eight (8) people . In fact, Jopeng almost gave a one-to-one talk with Rocky for the first session.

Then came our first year Anniversary where we witnessed the blossoming of the talents of ALNP-QC. Despite our limited resources then, ALNP-QC managed to pull off our first talents night where Pom and Jun M. took home the best comedy performance of actors in a Drama in the fraternal skit entitled “Pataaay!”. In the Commitment Night, we saw the first batch of ALNP-QC members, which included the founding members, commit themselves to living out their Christian lives in the context of ALNP-QC.

Then the first Action Groups were put in place. God blessed me with a great bunch of guys as members. There was Paul, Amats, Doc Cris, Jun Davantes and Bobby Atayde. This group eventually became the now-famous Action Gwapo instituted by their next AGL Rommel Escoto.

Rocky with a serious look
"Kala nyo ganon lang kadali
magtayo ng branch... hmph!"
Finally came our first NLTC in Antipolo which was attended by Chris Rayala, Liz Bacus and Ella. Just like in all NLTC’s during my term as BL, the ALNP delegation was not headed by the BL (me). The same was true in 2001 in Cebu; my deep gratitude to Tere, who was then the BWM and who provided stability to the delegation, and Rommel and Rocky (who both willingly took on the role of delegation heads).

Indeed, ALNP-QC’s first year was replete with stories of 3 F’s--Frustrations, Fears, and Fun. But when all the frustration, fears and fun are placed in the proper perspective, we will realize that another “F” will surface--Favor. In all those trying moments of our first year, there was one thing that accompanied us from one activity to another --- God’s favor. Consistent, timely and overflowing.

That is why when we who were there from the start would be asked what would be the best year of ALNP-QC, our answer, with a short prayer of thanksgiving, would really be, “The first. It had to be the first.”Because for us, it really was.

Happy 5th Year Anniversary, brothers and sisters.