The Chinese-Filipino Catholic Apostolate in the Philippines concluded its national convention on September 30, 2023, with a 4 PM Mass at the Binondo Chinese Parish of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, recognized as the Mother of all Chinese-Filipino Catholic parishes in the Philippines.
The main celebrant for the Mass was Most Reverend Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD, DD, Bishop of Bangued, Abra. He was joined by the Parish priest of the Binondo Chinese Parish, Reverend Father John Vianney O.P., Reverend Monsignor Esteban U. Lo, LRMS of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz, and Reverend Father Aristotle C. Dy, SJ. The Mass was attended by priests from various Chinese-Filipino Catholic parishes in the Philippines, as well as officers and members of the Chinese-Filipino Catholic Apostolate in the Philippines, and parishioners of the Binondo Chinese Parish, led by its PPC President, Dra. Gladys So.
As part of the celebration, an announcement and presentation of awards were made to the winners of an essay writing competition with the theme “Virtues of San Lorenzo Ruiz: Freedom, Creativity & Synodality.” This competition was launched on September 28, 2022, by Saint Lorenzo Ruiz – Knights of Columbus Council 7344 of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Binondo Chinese Parish in partnership with the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz, in commemoration of the 35th Canonization Anniversary and the 385th Martyrdom Anniversary of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
The primary goal of this competition is to highlight the deep connection between the virtues exemplified by San Lorenzo Ruiz and the Chinese-Filipino Apostolate. San Lorenzo Ruiz, celebrated as the first Chinese-Filipino saint and martyr, holds a unique place in the hearts of the Chinese-Filipino community. This competition aims to inspire young minds to emulate and exhibit devotion toward San Lorenzo Ruiz’s core values, which include freedom, creativity, and synodality.
Invitations were extended to schools such as Xavier School, with campuses in Greenhills and Nuvali, St. Peter the Apostle School, St. Jude Catholic School, and Lorenzo Ruiz Academy. The competition was divided into two categories: Junior and Senior High. To ensure fairness and impartiality in evaluating the competition entries, a distinguished panel of judges was assembled, including:
- Reverend Monsignor Esteban Lo, LRMS – Rector of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz.
- Reverend Father Richard Ang, OP, PhD. – Rector and President of the University of Santo Tomas.
- Ms. Margaux Salcedo – Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Catholic DominusEst.PH.
- Professor Gabriel Ma. J. Lopez, PhD., EnP – A licensed Philippine Environmental (Urban-Regional) Planner, who also serves as an educator at Loyola School of Theology.
- Dr. Wilson Chua, PhD. – District Deputy of Knights of Columbus, District M43.
After a thorough screening process by the judges to ensure that only the most qualified papers were selected as winners, the following were chosen from among 20 entries:
Senior High Category:
- First Place: Jasmine Genevieve Q. Ong of St. Peter the Apostle School, Paco, Manila.
- Second Place: Rachel Ann C. Lim of St. Peter the Apostle School, Paco, Manila.
- Third Place: Amalia Lapid Juan of Xavier School Nuvali, Nuvali, Calamba, Laguna.
Junior High Category:
- First Place: Zayden Marcus U. Noguera of Xavier School, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila.
- Second Place: Kaneshiro S. Ong of Xavier School, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila.
- Third Place: Patricia Elizabeth Y. Yu of Saint Jude Catholic School, Ycaza street, San Miguel, Manila.
The awards were presented by Most Reverend Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian S.V.D., D.D., Bishop of Bangued, Abra, National Coordinator for the Chinese Filipino Apostolate, assisted by Monsignor Esteban U. Lo, LRMS, Assistant National Coordinator; Reverend Father Aristotle C. Dy, S.J., National Secretary; Sir Knight Henry Sy Go, Grand Knight of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz’ Knights of Columbus Council 7344 of the Binondo Chinese Parish and Sir Knight Dr. Wilson S. Chua, District Deputy M43