Speakers and participants of the leadership course with a view of HappyNest B&B.

by Jaio Aquino

It is the morning after All Souls’ Day, a much-awaited long weekend. Instead of spending time at the beach or the mountains to enjoy the holiday, volunteers of the Santa Ana Parish Youth Ministry gathered together for a leadership course to help them reflect on the essence of their service at the parish and the chapels scattered around the municipality of Santa Ana, Pampanga.

The leadership course was held at the HappyNest Farm B&B, a serene farm ideal for family outings located at the heart of Santa Ana, Pampanga.  As the saying goes, best memories are made in the farm! In HappyNest, one would see animals roam freely, and yes, kids could play with them, and learn the peaceful and restful life communing with nature. This is the first time that youth volunteers gathered together in this place which is being packaged as a place for recreation, team building activities and seminars.

Mr. Oliver Butalid delivering his talk on being the best version of yourself.

Mr. Oliver Butalid, the host of the seminar, gave insights on how young people can achieve the best version of themselves. Some may not agree that it is “cool” to be serving in a parish ministry. But to some, it is authentic faith in action. With the Foundation’s goal of providing leadership courses to young people, Mr. Butalid tapped Universitas to provide a speaker for the event.

Universitas President & CEO introducing the talk on self-awareness and leadership.

The President & CEO of Universitas gave a presentation on the value of leadership in today’s world, highlighting on self-awareness, virtue and moral character.  He was introduced by Atty. Angela Butalid, one of the mentors of Universitas and a member of the family that owns HappyNest. Citing a popular novel for young people, he encouraged the youth leaders in attendance to make the right choices in life, which will determine the future that they will have. He discussed with them the “triangle of leadership” whose summit is self-giving.

The speakers and the family of Mr. Butalid joined the participants for lunch. One of the dishes served was HappyNest’s specialty–organic lasagna! Yes, it’s lasagne but made of veggies gathered from the farm. It’s a must try!

During lunch at the restaurant and bar of HappyNest B&B.

The Executive Committee with the parish council met with the President & CEO of Universitas after lunch for some consultation.  They were joined later by the youth head of the chapel beside HappyNest.  Meanwhile, the other participants continued with some team building sessions with Diana San Jose and Rizza de Guzman.

A meeting with the parish priest of Santa Ana, Rev. Fr. Nolasco L. Fernandez (standing in blue shirt and black pants).

The Butalid family hopes that the day’s course would help jump-start a more developed and systematic leadership course for the young people in Santa Ana, through what they envision as the Santa Ana Leadership Training (SALT) program.  They plan to ask the help of Universitas in developing the said program.  It is a prospective partnership worth keeping in mind.

The talk given by the President & CEO of Universitas in this course is part of OUTREACH TALKS given by the officers of Universitas to various groups upon request.  Should you want to request a speaker for your event, you may send an email at info@universitas.ph.

NOTA BENE: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and the speakers mentioned in the article, and not necessarily to the Foundation.