In honor of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, the Fil-Am Interfaith Solidarity Missions presented “Libolong” –a solidarity gathering held at the Apo View Hotel last August 11.
The venue was filled with missionaries, various religious groups and persons from different places around the world. Libolong had three parts that were tributes to the late Fr. Pops.
The first part of the event was a photo exhibit at the lobby where they displayed pictures and memories of the foundation that was primed by Fr. Pops. There was also a stall that promoted native products and souvenirs.
There were ceremonies such as invocations by Lumads and Christians followed by messages and greetings from the missioners and organizers. The second part of Libolong was full of inspiring messages. “He does not only have a vision and a mission. He provided the platform for the very vision and mission. The man, Fr. Pops was both the message and the messenger. His life mainly provided the platform to nourish the poor, the deprived, the oppressed, the marginalized, spoke about their pains their hopes and their dreams,” Rev. Liberato “Levi” Bautista said in the Words of Wisdom, which was in the second part of the event.
“This mission seen after a few years have passed is a concrete expression of genuine solidarity as he is with our poorest people for it is born of consciousness of the existing reality of oppression and marginalization,” said Secretary-General of Panalipdan Mindanao, Sr. Stella Mutatina, OSB in her closing remarks. “Fr. Pops is the modern day avatar, ready to sacrifice his life to protect and defend the indigenous people and their land, their source and their freedom,” she added.
Libolong is a Manobo term for gathering. Libo in visayan or tagalong word meaning thousands, followed by the word long. “As we pay tribute to the life and mission of Fr. Pops, Libolong had also come to represent the thousands of life Fr. Pops has touch among the indigenous and farther communities in Arakan and other parts in Mindanao,” Sr. Mutatina said.
A missioner from the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, Taylor Altice, said that for just a short time of knowing something about Fr. Pops, he admired the advocacies that Fr. Pops has bestowed to the people. For Taylor, he realizes and begins to believe more in the golden rule that you must love your neighbor.
According to Alik Colet Azurin, the organizer, the solidarity gathering served as a welcome night for the guests from other countries, the 23 missioners in particular, who helped and donated a lot for their vocation. Making an effort to extend one’s hand in order to help is not an easy thing to do, and it is in this gathering that the Fil-Am Interfaith Solidarity Missions can show their appreciation and give importance to Fr. Pops who inspired them all.
The last part of the event was filled with musical performances. There were a couple of presentations from The Asidors, the Lumad, and also the organizers Adam Shaw and some members of the United Methodist Church Missionary.
Indeed, it was a night that filled all who were present with burning passion for the person who will function as a legacy and an inspiration to all, Fr. Pops.
More photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.461275343905495.110733.164207110278988&type=3