Book launch caps Megamall Chapel’s Silver Jubilee

In a jubilant ode to faith and fortitude, the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord shimmered with pride as it capped its Silver Jubilee celebration with the launch of “Becoming the Eucharist for a Hungry World,” a coffee table book that stood as a testament to a quarter-century of unwavering devotion.

The grand book launch was elevated by the esteemed presence of His Eminence Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, DD, the distinguished author of the foreword. The event was gracefully led and orchestrated by chaplains Rev. Msgr. Noly Que, LRMS and Rev. Fr. Mark Lemuel Tibay.

Paulette Dimaano, a warm and gracious professional host, lit up the chapel as she took on the role of leading the ceremony. Her presence added a touch of joy and elegance to the event, making everyone feel welcome and valued.

Fr. Tibay warmly welcomed the audience and shared the inspiring backstory of the book’s creation. As the publication’s lead writer and editor-in-chief, I then delved into the publication’s purpose and unveiled the significance behind its title, while Msgr. Que graciously expressed gratitude and recognized the countless contributors who made this project a reality.

The Lighter Side Movement (LSM), one of the award-winning choral groups renowned for their performances and services at the chapel, enraptured the audience under the baton of Ma. Rhina Palma-Cruz, an esteemed conductor hailing from the European Grand Prix Batch of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, a group that has proudly brought prestige to our nation.

The choreography of “Magdiwang, Magpuri,” a timeless choral masterpiece composed by Jay-El Blaza Viteño and brought to life by Jacky Tongol, garnered resounding applause from the captivated crowd in the packed chapel.

LSM continued to captivate the audience with their rendition of Willy Cruz’s “Bituing Walang Ningning,” skillfully arranged by Robert Delgado, a well-celebrated piece recognized in the choral scene.

As the culmination of the evening’s festivities, Palma-Cruz moved the audience with a heartfelt performance of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Memorare,” while Dr. Alfredo and Dr. Yvonne Guevara, the stewards behind the coffee table book’s printing, led an offering of flowers to the image of Our Lady of Fatima at the main retablo, which was designed by our mainstay florist, Rodrigo Delos Reyes.

The Inception Stage

The inception of this literary endeavor can be traced back to a meeting in the third quarter of 2023, where Msgr. Que and Fr. Tibay embarked on a mission to capture the essence of the chapel’s 25-year journey.

Following the initial brainstorming phase, the project gained momentum as the duo sought input and insights from the community. Their goal was to spotlight 25 individuals with faith stories and answered prayers, symbolizing the chapel’s 25th Anniversary. Tasked with leading the project, I embraced their vision and crafted an outline during my work break, laying the foundation for the book’s table of contents.

A dedicated chapter chronicling the chapel’s history was included to encapsulate the pivotal events that have shaped its identity throughout the years. This comprehensive account not only delved into the spiritual essence of the chapel but also unveiled untold tales of resilience, generosity, and unwavering devotion.

At the heart of the narrative were the unsung heroes and heroines who selflessly contributed their talents and resources to enrich the chapel, including the Sy family and pioneer servers like Corazon Tandoc and Boody Panganiban, who breathed life into the chapel’s noble mission.

Vocation stories were also highlighted, featuring Fr. Tibay, Fr. Michael Ortega, and Fr. Michael Dexter Linga, MS, along with the recently ordained Fr. Christopher Crucero, all of whom had previously served at the Chapel before embracing their vocations.

The book also includes a contribution from Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, the current Bishop of Pasig and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of San Pablo, who was a past chaplain of the community.

Additionally, messages from previous Archbishops of Manila such as Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD, Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, DD, and Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Charles J. Brown, DD, can be found in the opening pages.

The book also highlighted the chapel’s exceptionally talented choir members, some of whom have garnered acclaim in choral competitions regionally and globally. Their artistic endeavors brought a melodious dimension to the unfolding chapters, underscoring the transformative power of music in worship and communal jubilation.

Furthermore, the coffee table book spotlighted the chapel’s diverse ministries, embodying a spirit of compassion towards those in need within and beyond its confines. The foundational values of service and kindness embedded in the chapel’s outreach initiatives underscored its enduring commitment to embodying the teachings of charity and empathy.

The importance of the chapel’s publication

In community storytelling, Komunio emerged in 1998 as a vital chapter in the narrative of Megamall Chapel, under the editorial stewardship of luminaries like journalist Louie Eugenio and actor Ed Finlan. The Tibay family, alongside pioneers Panganiban and Tandoc, championed this cause, setting the stage for a new era.

As the baton passed into the capable hands of Sonya Dasmariñas-Ligot and Rea Eraña-Medina, the legacy of Komunio continued to blossom, weaving together the voices of a diverse community into a rich tapestry of shared experiences.

Though its ink may have aged and its pages yellowed, Komunio remains a treasure trove of wisdom, offering a glimpse into the heart of a vibrant community where ordinary moments sparkle with profound insights. It transcends being a mere newspaper to become a living testament to the joys, struggles, victories, and losses that shape the collective journey of the Megamall Chapel community.

Within the faded lines and evocative headlines of Komunio lie the stories that bind us—stories that transcend time and space, carrying the essence of our shared history with grace and reverence. Through the art of storytelling, Komunio serves as an ever-present bridge connecting the past, present, and future of a community bound by a common thread of narratives.

Against the backdrop of today’s fast-paced world, the archives of Komunio stand as a timeless sanctuary of connection and reflection, reminding us that the stories we tell today will echo beyond our time, shaping the legacy we leave for generations to come.

Under my editorial leadership post-pandemic, Komunio has undergone a transformation, becoming a vibrant platform for storytelling and community engagement that led to the creation of the coffee table book “Becoming the Eucharist for a Hungry World.”

This evolution aims to represent a chapter of growth and resilience, highlighting the enduring power of storytelling to bring people together, spark inspiration, and shed light on the path to a better future.

The Power of Print Media

In a world where information flashes before our eyes at the speed of a click, the essence of print media emerges as a beacon of permanence amidst the transient digital landscape. While social media platforms reign supreme in their immediacy, the written word captured in ink on paper stands as a testament to unyielding endurance and profound impact.

As we find ourselves engulfed in the constant barrage of fleeting updates and momentary snapshots of reality, the significance of print media grows ever more poignant. It serves as a stalwart guardian of stories, ideas, and truths that deserve to be etched into the fabric of history, rather than dissipating into the endless scroll of virtual oblivion.

Amidst the ephemeral allure of social media’s virtual realms, the tangible weight of a printed page carries a gravity that transcends the fleeting impulses of the digital age. It beckons us to pause, to reflect, and to engage in a deeper, more meaningful dialogue with the narratives that shape our world.

As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape of communication, let us not overlook the enduring power of the written word and the profound impact of print media in fostering a culture of contemplation, connection, and lasting legacy. For in the quiet rustle of turning pages lies a world of knowledge waiting to be discovered, cherished, and passed on for generations to come. (By Arjay Ivan Gorospe/SOCOM-Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)

 

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