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Saint Paul Seminary held its second annual Philosophy, Communication, and Culture Conference  (PCCC) at the Alberione Formation Complex in Silang, Cavite, last March 1-2, 2019 with the theme “Mano Po: P/Reaching to the Post-Millenials in the Philippine Contemporary Culture”. Convened by Rev. Fr. Norman Melchor R. Peña Jr., SSP, Rector and Dean of Studies of the seminary, the two-day event hosted different plenary talks and concurrent sessions focusing on how best to involve and engage the youth to be at the forefront of the continuing development of the society and of the Church.

On the first day of the conference, his Excellency Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Pasig, gave the keynote address carrying the same title as that of the conference. Using the theme of the local Church’s celebration of the Year of the Youth as the leitmotif for his talk, he shared his opinions and experiences regarding how best to preach and to reach the youth in an increasingly digital contemporary society and culture.

The roster of plenary speakers featured Sr. M. Nimfa Ebora, PDDM, LSBA, who gave a talk entitled “He Grew in Wisdom and Age: Understanding the Youth through Sacred Scripture”. She was followed by Mr. Dennis Prince Germano, DBA, who discussed how to understand and use post-millenial slang in order to better relate and engage them. Mr. Ramon Cualoping III, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary, shared his insights regarding the Philippine government’s program against drugs through his lecture entitled “Rehabinasyon: Explaining to the Youth the Duterte Administration’s Whole of Nation Approach Against Illegal Drugs.”

The second day plenary speakers included Rev. Fr. Maxell Lowell Aranilla, Ph.D, who discussed about the implications and significance of the philosophy of education in relation to the youth of today. Mr. Mark Edwin Aspra, Ph.D. then followed and shared about the notions of gender identity among Filipino post-millenials, while Mr. James Loreto Piscos, Ph.D., talked about popular piety and devotions as a manifestation of power relations among millenials. Lastly, like Bishop Vergara, Rev. Fr. Norman Melchor Peña, Jr., SSP, Ph.D., shared his thoughts and reflections regarding the belovedness, giftedness, and empowerment of the Filipino youth through the lens of the popular anime series “Naruto” and Dragon Ball Z”.

The concurrent sessions featured both undergraduate and graduate paper presentations which dabbled into how philosophy, communication, and culture can affect and further help understand the phenomenon of the post-millenial youth. A number of Pauline aspirants have presented their respective papers, including Sem. Jack Shoeven Baclaan, with his paper entitled “Explaining to the Post-Millenials the Application of Nietzche’s Will to Power to Ecological Responsibility”; Sem. Jean Carl Nathaniel Supan, with his paper entitled “Preaching to the Post-Millenials: An Analysis of Youth Groups on Evangelization through Storytelling”; Sem. John Christian Lacap, with his paper entitled “SKL: Explaining to the Youth the Philippine Political Disinformation in Post-Truth Society using Baudrillard’s Social Theory” and Sem. Earlson Jay Reyes, with his paper entitled “Lowering the Age of Criminal Responsibility in the Philippines: A Study Using Ratzinger’s Critique of Secularism.”

The two-day event concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by Rev. Fr. Jose Aripio, SSP, the Provincial Superior of the Philippines-Macau Province, and attended by many of the participants, including faculty and alumni of the seminary.

The PCCC is an annual conference of Saint Paul Seminary in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission on Culture, which aims to bring people together to initiate meaningful discourse regarding prevalent and relevant issues and concerns in order to serve as a catalyst for informed and reasonable action for social transformation.