Photo Courtesy: Pastor Matio Morales, Bro. Jake Rabelas, and OPIF Correspondent DP Lester Soleminio
Above photos were taken during the OYCM Congress 2021.
M.E. Regional Conference – The OPIF Youth and Children Ministry Congress 2021 has unleashed astonishing number of talents as the young people from different sectors of different regions participated in the Apostolic Preaching, Apostolic Art, and Apostolic Band Competitions held last December 17, 2021. After four months since the Rules and Guidelines for the three competitions were handed over to OPIF NC Philippines, five (5) individuals and a band had emerged victorious as the first champions. Bro. Micael Ver Rendon (OPIF ME S5), Sis. Micah Naz (OPIF ME S4), and Sis. Sheila Gemina (OPIF ME S4) were the winners in the Apostolic Preaching Competition for Categories A (3-12years old), B (13-19years old), and C (20-39 years old), respectively. On the other hand, Sis. Princess Planas (OPIF ME S9) and Bro. Zander De Paz (OPIF ME S5) won the top places in the Apostolic Art Competition for Categories A (Kids) and B (Youth). And lastly, Fortress Band of OPIF ME S4 arose as this year’s champion for the Apostolic Band Competition. Special prizes were given to Bro. Daniel Rendon (Best Vocalist), Bro. Micael Ver Rendon (Best Drummer), Sis. Johannah Matthea Morales (Best Bassist), Sis. Maria Gadiela Naz (Best Guitarist), and Bro. Miguel Dayanghirang (Best Keyboardist). First three aforementioned are members of the 5th Commandment Band of OPIF ME S5. Sis. Naz and Bro. Dayanghirang are from the Fortress Band of OPIF ME S4 and 3G's Band of OPIF ME Circle 2, respectively. Trophies and cash prizes were awarded to all winners of the competition.
Pastor Matio Morales, BOD – OYCM, decided to create a core group three months before the big event for the delegation of tasks and responsibilities to ensure the success of OYCM Congress 2021. The Communication Team includes Sis. Jessa Quijano as the C1 Communication Head, Sis. Sheila Gibas and Sis. Shierly Planas, both functioning as the C2 Communication Heads, and Sis. Roxanne Asio and DP Kemp Jayzer De Alday for Philippines Communication. A Technical Team was also created which includes Pastor Raymond Reyes (BOD – Education) and Bro. Jake Rabelas, both for Video and Graphics and Bro. Ian Sayson for Sounds and Effects/ Wirings. While Sis. Myra Ciceron (BOD Secretary) headed the Production Team which includes Sis. Noriza Gulferic and Bro. Pete Naz as the production’s crew members and Bro. Marcelino Gado and Sis. Shierly Planas as the Tabulators. Bro. Ronald De Paz (Purchaser/ Treasurer) and Bro. Thirdy Bueno (Logistics/ Supplies), on the other hand, were part of Supplies and Logistics Team. And Bro. Rene Ramos being the one responsible for the Safety and Stage Decoration. Pastor Michael Sanchez, BOD – HM, was also part of the team being the event’s Script Director. Immediately after the creation of the core group, a long list of action items with its target dates was handed over to each of the committee.
One of the first instructions given by Pastor Morales to the Communication Heads was to coordinate with the pastors in their respective area to encourage the young people to register for the competition. Invitation posters with the rules and guidelines for the three competitions were then posted to the OPIF Global Community FB group to promote the OYCM Congress 2021. Following this was a number of young people from SEA and ME Regional Conferences who had expressed their interest to join. There was a date for the submission of entries but because of unexpected mishaps encountered by the contenders from the Philippines, an extension for the submission of entries was requested which was then approved by the Technical Team responsible for the editing of the videos, having understood the situation of some of the youth.
Three days before the event, Pastor Morales called for a Prayer and Fasting for the members of the team. The purpose of it was to pray for the victory, safety and security, and for all plans to go smoothly on the day of the event. True enough all prayers got answered after all hard work paid off during the day of the event. Nearly a hundred faithful attended the OYCM Congress, not to include the number of those who have joined the Zoom meeting and those who have watched via FB Livestream.
The event’s program started with a prayer and followed by the Director of OYCM giving his Welcome Remarks. “Today we will be witnessing our youth and children showcasing their talents for God’s glory with OYCM slogan ‘Where Future Apostolic Leaders are Made’. This platform serves as their training ground to be the future leaders of our fellowship”, Pastor Morales said as he formally opened the OYCM Congress 2021. After which the judges of the different competitions were introduced. First group which includes Pastor Emiliano Neric, Vice Chairman of the Board, Pastor Jhun Sta. Ines, BOD – Evangelism, and Pastor Raul Macahilo, formerly OPIF ME NC Home Missions Director, were to judge the entries for the Apostolic Preaching Competition. Second group of judges to decide the winners for Apostolic Art Competition includes Pastor Michael Benito, BOD – World Missions, Bro. Alfred Pamaqued, OPIF ME NC Home Missions Director, and Sis. Sheila Gibas, OPIF ME Circle 2 Youth President. And for the Apostolic Band Competition, the judges were Bro. Eluard Figueroa, one of the musicians of NC Music Ministry and OPIF ME S1 Home Missions Director, DP Lester Soleminio, Director of Desert Psalms, and Pastor Rey Mangubat, resident pastor of OPIF ME S10 and mainstay bassist of NC Music Ministry.
Shortly after was the event’s competition proper. Four young people competed for Category A of Apostolic Preaching namely Sis. Aileen Rose Homeres (OPIF Ph S4), Sis. Johanna Matthea Morales (OPIF ME S5), Sis Jirah Lyne Galang (OPIF Bahrain), and Bro. Micael Ver Rendon (OPIF ME S5). On the other hand, seven hopefuls had competed for Category B namely Bro. Marcelino Aguirre (OPIF Ph S4), Sis. Mary Jane Lacorda (OPIF Ph S6), Bro. Joshua Joven (OPIF Ph S3), Sis. Micah Naz (OPIF ME S4), Bro. Daniel Rendon (OPIF ME S5), Sis. Hannah Galang (OPIF Bahrain), and Bro. RJ Mayo (OPIF Ph S9). And for Category C were Sis. Shiela Gemina (OPIF ME S4), Sis. Honey Las Piñas (OPIF Bahrain), Bro. Ramil Conde (OPIF ME S11), Sis. Rodelyn Gangan (OPIF ME S11) and Sis. Ma. Ricel De Alday (OPIF Abu Dhabi). The aspiring preachers were judged in the following criteria: 20 points for the Title and Introduction, 10 points for Gesture and Body Language, 40 points for Spiritual Impact, 10 points for the Use of Speaking Area, and 20 points for Conclusion. The top three scorers for Category A were Bro. Micael Ver Rendon (94.67%), Sis. Jirah Lyne Galang (90.33%), and Sis. Johannah Matthea Morales (87%). For Category B, the top spots went to Sis. Micah Naz (95.67%), Bro. Daniel Rendon (95%), and Sis. Hannah Galang (92.33%). And for the last category, the three contenders who outshone the others were Sis. Sheila Gemina (94%), Sis. Rodelyn Gangan (93%), and Sis. Honey Las Piñas (82.33%).
Next was the Apostolic Art Competition which was divided into two categories. Under the first category were Bro. Gabriel Naz (OPIF ME S4), Sis. Summer Galarosa (OPIF ME S11), Sis. Abigail Del Rosario (OPIF Abu Dhabi), Sis. Princess Planas (OPIF ME S9), and Sis. Zoelle Ryka An Abay (OPIF ME S9). While Sis. Chana Zadiah Naz and Sis. Maria Gadiel Naz of OPIF ME S4 and Bro. Zander De Paz of OPIF ME S5 fell into the second category of the competition. The criteria for judging were the following: 20% for Relevance to the Theme, 30% for Creativity and Presentation, 20% for Originality and Artistic Composition, and 30% for Visual Spiritual Impact. And the three hopefuls to score the highest for Category A were Sis. Princess Planas (95.17%), Sis. Zoelle Ryka An Abay (94%), and Sis. Summer Galarosa (91.67%). For Category B, on the other hand, were Bro. Zander De Paz (97.50%), Sis. Chana Zadiah Naz (90.67%), and Sis. Maria Gadiah Naz (89%). Pastor Benito, BOD – World Missions, who was one of the judges was really impressed with the artwork of the champion for Category B of Apostolic Art Competition that he’s considering it to be the World Missions Official Logo.
And finally, the Apostolic Band Competition, which was joined by three bands --- Fortress Band of OPIF ME S4, 5th Commandment Band of OPIF ME S5, and Give God the Glory (3G’s) Band of OPIF ME Circle 2. The bands’ performances were judged based on the following criteria: 20% for Planning/ Preparedness, 30% for Originality, 10% for Interface with Audience, 20% for Spiritual Performance, and 20% for Presentation. And after careful deliberation, the Fortress Band got the highest score of 95.67% while the 5th Commandment and 3G’s Bands got scores of 93.33% and 90.67%, respectively.
Before the announcement of winners, Sis. Joy Gibas, first champion of OMWF Inter-affiliate Singing Competition, graced the event and had offered a song unto the Lord. Sis. Jessa Quijano and Pastor Michael Sanchez had a song duet and Pastor Vergilio Rendon, OPIF ME National Overseer, for a change, chose to offer a song too instead of giving words of encouragement. The Chairman of the Board, Pastor Allyn Gagarin, very pleased with how the OYCM Congress 2021 went, had shared some words to encourage the congregation most especially the OYCM. The whole event hosted by Pastor Michael Sanchez ended with a Closing Remarks from Sis. Myra Ciceron, former Youth President of Circle 1.
"I am so blessed with the outcome of all your efforts, indeed you are all leaders", said Pastor Morales as he congratulated the OYCM Congress Core Group for a job well done. "There are things to improve but still the team did a great job", added Pastor Raymond Reyes. The OYCM Congress core group learned a lot from the said event which they believe will help them to make the next OYCM event even better.
---with reports from Pastor Matio Morales, Sis. Jessa Quijano, and OPIF Correspondent DP Lester Soleminio---