The PLDM is a step closer to achieving its 20 year old dream – the Pastoral Center.
Last Sunday, September 10, 2017, PLDM celebrated an important historical milestone – the Topping Off Ceremony of the much awaited PLDM Pastoral Center. This event marked the last pouring of cement on the top floor of the building, signifying that the main construction is over and the finishing phase of the interiors will start. At this point, the total construction was at 64%.
The event was held after the 6AM Mass at the roof deck of the building and was attended by parishioners, donors, guests and volunteers of the Parish.
At the roof deck, seats were set up infront of a makeshift stage, opening up to a breathtaking vista of Quezon City. A short program was emceed by Sis. Olive Garcia and started with the Opening Remarks given by our PPC Coordinator Sylvia Posadas. Sis. Sylvia explained the significance of the ceremony saying, “we express our excitement about the Center and our sincere appreciation for the impressive work that’s already been done on it…the Topping Off ceremony uniquely honors the accomplishment of the construction crews. It gives credit to those who do the actual work of constructing our buildings.”
At the same time, Sis. Sylvia said that, “through this ceremony, we express appreciation to EVERYONE who has helped with this Project.”
The construction of a building, as mentioned by Sis. Sylvia and our Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Steven Zabala, goes through three milestones: the Groundbreaking, the Topping Off Ceremony, and the Blessing or the Grand Opening.
A year and a half ago, we had the groundbreaking ceremony on 06 March 2016 which also marked the 49th birthday of Fr. Steve. B y 03 March 2018, Sis. Sylvia announced that we will have the Grand Opening of the Pastoral Center for the community back to back with the 51st birthday of Fr. Steve.
Sis. Sylvia also thanked Fr. Steve, the “prime mover and champion” of the Pastoral Center, for taking up the challenging task to put our 20-year old dream into a reality. More so, she thanked everyone for helping in achieving our dream, saying, “The center is 64% complete. We still need 13 million more for the completion of the project. There is still more work to be done but we are proud to celebrate this momentous occasion and look forward to bringing this center into life. We are blessed indeed that everyone has embraced the project and everything has fallen into place. We have faced some challenges…but overall, it has been a pleasantly smooth ride.”
This was followed by a moving message from Fr. Steve who had mixed emotions: he said he was very happy to be a part of the fulfillment of PLDM’s dream but at the same time, sad, since he knew that he would already be leaving the parish soon.
He shared that the people helping the Church are not doing it for themselves. But rather, they are doing it for the next generations. He mentioned Bro. Ador de Guzman, one of the prime movers of the construction of the PLDM Church, who would have come up to attend the event, but for his weak health. Bro. Ador told him that they were able to finish the Church construction in just two years, without incurring any debt. Fr. Steve pointed out that Bro. Ador is an inspiration because he, together with those in his generation, did a huge effort not for their generation but for the next generations. Hence, today, we have a place of worship.
Fr. Steve left an inspiring message to the youth, represented by PLDM Youth Coordinator Joice Geromiano: “I hope someday when you grow old, you will tell your current generation and future generation that the former generation did this Pastoral Center for us and that you will do the same for the generation next to yours.”
The Topping Off ceremony was participated in by representatives of key stakeholders who were called to make the ceremonial pouring of cement. They were as follows: Fr. Steve, Sis. Sylvia Posadas, New Kanlaon Construction Inc. (NKCI) Chairman and CEO Mr. Antonio Evangelista, Jose Aliling Construction Management Inc. (JACMI) representative Engr. Romulo Dela Torre, 5 IDEAS (Innovative Design Experts and Specialist) Vice President Architect Leo Carlos, Building and Physical Facilities Member Bro. Fil Viniegra, Finance Coordinator Sis Maiette Zee Se Ki, Donors’ Representative Sis. Angie Castillo, BEC Coordinator Sis. Jeannette Villacorta and Youth Coordinator Joice Geromiano.
This was followed by the symbolic planting of the narra seedling and raising of the Philippine flag symbolizing the birth of life in the new building, hoping that it will be everlasting. Likewise, these symbolized blessing for the building and its future occupants as well as continued growth for various ministries.
Sis. Maiette Zee Se Ki delivered the closing remarks. She shared, “It took us 20 years to have this dream put into reality. It took (former PLDM Parish Priest) Fr. Gigi Yabut to help us dream this Pastoral Center and of course, it took Fr. Steve to put this dream into reality.” She ended by encouraging everyone to continue helping to put this Pastoral Center into completion.
At the end of the historic event, everyone joined in singing the PLDM Hymn and released red and white balloons into the blue sky. It was a wonderful way of sending the parishioners’ wishes towards heaven.
Once the ceremony ended, the guests went for a more detailed guided tour of the building and enjoyed some refreshments at the first floor.
It must be realized that this Pastoral Center is not only about the comfortable space that it would give the Parishioners for meetings, events and assemblies. But, most of all, the Pastoral Center will help us build our PLDM community through the years. (Patricza Andrhea T.Braganza, PLDM)