News Release

Young Single Adults Race Around Taguig to Build Skills and Faith

Young single adults performed difficult tasks in different areas in Taguig

The Taguig Philippines Stake (Diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked off its annual Young Single Adult Conference, for men and women ages 18-30 years old, with an Endurance Race on 25 May 2019. The YSA activity, dubbed as the Endurance Race: Build Life, Build Faith is the highlight of the stake’s six-month-long series of YSA Conferences.


“YSA Endurance Race has been planned two years ago. We thought this would be different but exciting,” said Jaime Rivera Jr., President of the Taguig Philippines Stake. “Not only will it build camaraderie, unity, physical and mental agility and sportsmanship amongst each team and all participants but, more importantly, it will help them build their faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.”

“For the kick-off in May, they will experience a balance of physical, mental and spiritual challenges. This our first time so we hope and pray it will all be worth it,” President Rivera said during an interview before the opening.

The kick-off opened with a special ceremony held at the Taguig Philippines Stake Center, which will be the start and endpoints of the race. A total of 115 participants were divided into 10 groups and were given bull caps of varied colors to identify their teams.

From 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, the teams raced to 10 different stations by foot and by using public transportation, such as jeepneys and tricycles. Expert facilitators administered diverse tasks which were in line with the 2019 mutual theme, “If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

In some tasks, the teams were asked to perform family history work. To do so, they had to proceed to a computer shop where they had to do indexing, which is a transcription of historical documents so they can be published on the FamilySearch website

Afterward, teams traveled to Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery) to take photos of tombstones and upload them on the BillionGraves app for documentation and record-keeping.

During the race, the YSAs learned disaster and emergency preparedness skills. They were challenged to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the Bicutan Meetinghouse, rescue swimming at the Philippine Navy Swimming Pool, and firefighting at the Taguig Rescue Center.

Furthermore, the young adults learned self-reliance and survival skills by learning how to catch a duck and chicken, butcher and then grill the meat at a vacant lot next to M.L. Quezon Meetinghouse.

To gain camping knowledge and problem-solving skills, participants did compass-reading tasks and solved puzzles at the Heritage Park Service Road. They also learned self-defense techniques by taking the Arnis martial arts sports challenge at the Signal Village Meetinghouse.

As wellness and sports play a key role in an individual’s health and well-being, each player experienced golf driving at the Philippine Army Golf Course and went to the gym inside Grace Mall.

The activity proved to be a refreshing experience for many young adults. Clark Denolo shared that it was a “new and fresh experience for all of us.”

“Friendships were formed and there was unity among the teams. Our physical and spiritual endurance were both tested. Although we experienced exhaustion, hunger, time pressure and even lack of money for transport, we still persisted to finish each challenge. The race can be compared to our earthly life. We need to endure every trial until the end,” he said.

Pizza on wheels was the perfect treat to cap off the grand opening of the first-ever series of Young Single Adults Conferences.

When asked how they were able to organize such an elaborate activity, Lance Aquino, the Taguig Philippine Stake Activity Chairman said, “We have prayed and deliberately brainstormed to come up with a unique concept for the conference. Our goal is for the YSAs to improve in all aspects and to be anxiously engaged in a good cause.”

According to Aquino, the Amazing-Race inspired activity was an ambitious goal two years ago. “This year, in collaboration with Alexander Villalon of START Rescue, we were able to turn that dream into reality,” he said.

Furthermore, President Rivera stated that the teams will have other tasks each month prior to the second main event of the conference where intellectual, mental and spiritual capacities will be tested.

Typical young single adult conferences of the Church consist of only two full days of activities. This year, the Taguig Philippine Stake diverted from the norm and planned to have monthly episodes of the conference to help the young adults develop strong bonds with each other while increasing their faith and testimony of Jesus Christ.

In June, the stake held a forum on positive mental attitude and the power of good habits. In July, they must be able to submit names in the temple and perform ordinances or religious rites by proxy. In August, participants will write letters to full-time missionaries. In September, each team should hold an evening discussion with a member of the Stake Presidency or the Bishopric.

The special edition of the Endurance Race will culminate in October with an overnight activity.

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