News Release

Go and Serve! Youth Celebration Showcases Youth Talents in Cebu

Different stakes from the Cebu City metropolitan area gathered at the Kamputhaw Chapel in the Cebu Temple Complex in Lahug Cebu City for a cultural show to kick off the "4600: I Will Go, I Will Serve" Celebration on Saturday, November 19. Youth from The Cebu City Stake (north Cebu City), Cebu Central Stake (downtown and south Cebu City), and Cebu Talisay Stake all showcased their God-given talents through song and dance in a one-hour program to the enjoyment of some 1000 members in attendance. 

Despite some moderate to heavy rain due to a Low-Pressure Area moving towards the time of the cultural show, members all over the Cebu City area and beyond still came to the Temple Complex to watch the youth perform.

In attendance were the Philippines Area Presidency led by Elder Steven R. Bangerter and his wife Susan and counselors Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, his wife Bon, Elder Carlos G. Revilllo Jr., and his wife, Marites. Also in attendance were Area Authority Seventy Elder Edmarc Dumas and his wife, Area Organization Adviser Donna Dell B. Dumas, Cebu Philippines Temple President Gomez Siady with his wife Liza, and various couple missionaries and Stake and District Presidents within Cebu. 

Amazing Youth

"This is the most amazing night ever! You are the most awesome youth on earth!" Elder Bangerter enthusiastically expressed after the Area Presidency requested that the youth performers gather before the stage to be thanked for their performance.

The performances vary from Filipino folk dances, a "Balagtasan" or Filipino verbal joust, heartfelt choir medley renditions of popular Church songs, and a short play on the struggles of a young man with a desire to go on a mission.

Traditional dances like the 'Tinikling,' performed by Camputhaw and Oppra Ward youth, 'Singkil' by Lahug Ward, and 'Carinosa' by Busay First Ward amazed the multicultural audience with their bright, colorful costumes and intricate steps with bamboo poles. 

Youth from Apas Ward performed a "Balagtasan," which featured a comedic verbal joust between the youth of the faith and those who do not see the importance of going on a mission.

The concluding statement said in Tagalog, "If we choose, If we would like, we can be part of this work, we can be part of something great, noble and divine. You are the Hope of Israel!"

The Cebu City Stake Choir performed a missionary medley composed of different missionary-themed songs, complemented by "I Love To See The Temple," as rendered by the Cebu City Central Stake Choir.

Better than 'BTS' 

After the performances, the Area Presidency requested that the youth performers gather around in front of them to address their thanks and appreciation. Elder Choi said, "You are amazing. I was so impressed! You are much better than BTS!" referring to the famous Korean Pop group, which the youth greeted with cheers. "Not only the three of us and our wives and all the audience but also Heavenly Father was happy today!" he added. "Why don't we present something?" Next, Elder Choi suggested to Elder Bangerter and Elder Revillo as they sing "I Love To See The Temple" as the rest of the youth sang along. The youth then began to chant "BCR!" referring to the first letters of Area Presidency's surnames to the style of "BTS" to the amusement of the Area Presidency and the audience.

"Tomorrow evening will be a miracle all throughout these beautiful islands in the sea." referring to the "Come Unto Christ: I Will Go, I Will Serve" fireside that will happen on the steps of The Philippines Cebu Temple with the Temple in the background. "A beautiful vision of the future in The Philippines will be set forth for all of us. We are thankful to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, for the blessing of having moments like this. Take the spirit of this moment to your families and your friends."

The Area Presidency then proceeded to give the youth pictures of Jesus Christ to serve as a token of appreciation and a reminder of the importance of The Savior in their lives as they focus on Him. 

Insights from The Youth

"I hope that the presentations will serve as a motivation for the youth everywhere." Dan Henry A. Nunez, 17, from Apas Ward, Cebu City Stake, when asked after performing in the 'Balagtasan' how he felt about the fact the members from The Philippines would see the performance on Facebook 

Youth and Single Adults from the Carcar Ward traveled two hours to the Cebu Temple Complex to represent the Talisay Stake to perform a musical skit where the main character's father dies after he receives his mission call, casting doubts he should continue to go and serve.          

"Sometimes, he had doubts and blamed others, but he had friends to help him overcome his trials despite his father's death. So the message we wanted to convey is that we know that Heavenly Father will help us," says Philip Laña, 23, who played the main character.

The "4600: I Will Go, I Will Serve" initiative was set on May 16, 2021, by then Area President Taniela Wakolo and his Counselors, Elder Bangerter and Elder Choi, to have 4,600 full-time missionaries in the Philippines by December 2022. The Cultural Show and celebration were designed to set the tone for the "Come Unto Christ: I Will Go, I Will Serve" Fireside to be held the next day to launch and announce the updated logo for the "I Will Go, I Will Serve" initiative. 

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