Philippines – Journey with Bicol rural youth - 2000+ graduates of Don Bosco Legazpi

17 November 2017

(ANS – Legazpi) – Twenty years ago, the Salesians in the Philippines launched into their new direction: go to the poor rural youth. After the Don Bosco Training Center in Mati (Mindanao, FIS Province) in the early Nineties, an agricultural training center in Legazpi (FIN Province) was started circa 2000. The diocese offered the Salesians 12 hectares of land, where Br Luigi Parolin (76 years, Italian) spent the last 17 years, Bicol being one of the Philippines' poorest regions.

At present, the four-confreres-strong community - 2 Salesian brothers (Luigi and Henry) and 2 Salesian priests (Rector Fr Javines and Economer Fr Martel) - has embarked on this journey with 170 rural youth of the Agricultural Technology Center, and adjacent Don Bosco Demonstration Farm, that helps the 2,000 young graduates start their own livelihood. Indeed, the Legazpi experience extends to the families of our graduates towards use of the upland, organizing small cooperatives, sourcing micro-financing, assistance, and the marketing of their agricultural products.

As usual, the training center starts with one passionate Salesian Brother. Br Parolin's background was in the automotive sector and he spent his whole life in the Technical Vocation training centers, so this rural experience was for him a return to the youth experience of his home in the fields, and in the Salesian Brother Agricultural Aspirantate of Cumiana, near Turin, Italy. Then, slowly, work at the periphery became recognized in the broader provincial community.

The distance from Manila is bridged by consistent participation in all the province-level meetings, while the Rector is head of the Social Action Commission in the province. Every year, during the summer, our candidates are exposed to this rural experience, and we even already have one Salesian missionary ad gentes - Cl. Rodil Lladones, Middle East - as fruit of this work.

Legazpi is located in the Bicol region, about 12 hours by bus, or one hour by air, from Metro Manila. It is a true periphery of the FIN province, with the majority of Salesian centers located around the capital. Together with Manila, Tondo, Calauan, or Tuloy Sa Don Bosco is at the heart of the provincial community.

The most recent edition of the Salesian Bulletin of the Philippines (St. John Bosco Today, volume 47, n.2) is dedicated to 'The Salesian Family at the peripheries of society.'


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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