In partnership with the Episcopal Commission on Culture (ECC) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Saint Paul Seminary (SPS) focused its two day Philosophy – Communication Festival (Philo-Comm Fest) on current issues about life, human person and society, held November 11-12, 2016 at the Tanghalang Timoteo Giaccardo, SPS, Silang, Cavite.

Themed: “COGITOR ERGO SUM (I am though of, therefore I am) towards the culture of life- enriching the human person through philosophy and communication”, the event was endorsed by the Catholic Higher Education of the Philippines (CHED). Over 300 participants from universities and schools, seminaries, religious houses, and parishes listened and actively participated on the talks and workshops.

Cogitor Ergo Sum attempts to present a reminder to enrich the culture of life of the human person because it is given to us to develop and cultivate. It affirms the self with the other and biblically underlines one’s relationship firstly with God who has thought of “persons” and thus they were created. Enriching the human person is done primarily by the affirming the good about self and others amidst the currents issues of our world.

Speakers were: Fr. Melchor Bernal, SVD, PhD on “Philo-Psychological Dynamics of the Human Person”detailing how one can look into the human person, in his everyday life and through introspection, produces a concept of the self through critical evaluation of his thoughts and behavior; Fr. Norman Melchor Pena, Jr., SSP, PhD on “Sino ako, Sino kangaba? The End of the Human Person in Social Media”focuses on the identity we create in the virtual world and the future it has to thrive and develop; FAMAS best child actor turned life-development coach, Mr. Ramoncito “RR” Herrera, on his talk “Current Representations of the Human Person on Screen” compares the idea of whether reality still shapes fantasy or fantasy has already become the new reality, forum style; Most Rev. Oscar Cruz, DD on “Gender Identity Difficulty” pointed out current situations in relation to homosexuality and culture of  Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community, misconceptions and role in the society; Mr. Maxwell Felicilda, PhD critically analyzed the status of the President’s war on drugs on “Drug Problem in the Philippines: A Socio-Philosophical Assessment” and explains a historico-cultural critique of his behavior. Lastly, Ms. Marietta Llanos-Latonio, MA SocWorkshares on “Cogito Ergo Sum vis-à-vis Trafficked Women in their Own Words”  an analysis of human trafficking victims and implications affecting their concept of the human person, of themselves, of others, and above all humanity, after what they’ve gone through. Reactors to the talks were: Ms. Ilsa Reyes, DZMM broadcaster; Fr. James Andes, Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary Rector, Dr. Edwin Aspra, DLSU-Dasmarinas faculty and SPS faculty members: Ms. Michelle Sto. Tomas, Mr. Rodolfo Bagay, Jr; and, Mr. Ben Carlo Atim.

Talks transpired in the morning while workshops where held concurrently in the afternoon. These included: “Life Coaching” by Ilsa Reyes, “Creative Writing in Social Media” by Bro. Hansel Mapayo, SSP, “Human Dynamics through Playback Theater” by Cl. Edward Dantis, SSP, “Drug and Rehabilitation” by Dr. Bien Leabres, “Faith Film Images and Gospel Values” by Cl. Buen Andrew Cruz, SSP and “Sound of Music: Expressing Self in Songs” by Mr. Ronnie Ofalia.

Program started with a prayer presentation by SPS seminarians rendering an original song “Te Deum Laudamus” composed by Sem. John Paul Olea. Opening the conference was Fr. Raymond Ferraris, SSP, seminary vice-rector followed by Bishop Elenito Galido, DD, chairman of the CBCP- Episcopal Commission on Culture.

“Saint Paul Seminary has been a beacon of culture, not simply because of it being a Center for Culture as activated by the CBCP- ECC, but because in everyone’s heart there is the seed of a culture of life growing” said Galido.

SPS choir rendering Lion King’s The Circle of Life, Sacred Heart Villa School Boys Dance Group, and Seven Archangel choir refreshed the audience with their performances.

Moreover, SPS launched Aletheia, the official seminary interdisciplinary journal of philosophy, communication and culture. Unveiling the cover and first copy are Sem. Jerome Ypulong, editor-in-chief; Fr. Norman Pena, Jr, seminary rector and Bishop Galido.

Eucharistic celebration concluded the event presided by Fr. Norman Pena, along with Bishop Elenito Galido and guest, Fr. Edward Labadisos also from Diocese of Iligan. Labadisos gave the homily thanking the seminary for the heartfelt hospitality and time. Also, he stressed how Cogitor ergo sum, despite confusing and befuddling people, is indeed a proper theme. “In the beginning, God must have thought long and hard, what kind of universe He will create and He thought of you” affirmed Fr. Labadisos.

Attendees includes Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic School (OLPCS), Jesus Son of Mary Academy (JESOMA), Mater Dei Academy, Tagaytay City Colleges, Lyceum of the Philippines University – Cavite, De La Salle University – Dasmarinas, Rogationist College, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, Saint Peter College Seminary – Laguna, Our Lady of Pillar Seminary, Missionaries of Saint Francis De Sales, Mission Society of the Philippines, Tertiary Capuchins, Blessed Korean Martyrs, Divine Word Seminary – Tagaytay students, Caburlotto Sisters, FOCOLARE, St. John Bosco Parish, and St. John Marie Vianney Parish to name a few.