Samuel Goyvaerts

World Youth Day

By Samuel Goyvaerts

Samuel Goyvaerts is a Belgian university student. He wrote in the September-October issue about playing the part of Magellan in a Filipino celebration in his town.

I won’t forget quickly the experience of going to Cologne last August with 1,300 other young people from Flanders, the Dutch(Flemish)-speaking part of Belgium, for World Youth Day. One, for example, welcomed 100 young people from the Canadian diocese that had hosted its young participants in WYD 2002 in Toronto.

‘Magellan’ Was A Belgian

By Samuel Goyvaerts 

Samuel Goyvaerts, a Belgian, is a university student. His father, Jan, also has an article in this issue. 

‘Hello! My name is Ferdinand Magellan. I’m the one who tried to sail around the world, the first westerner to set foot in thePhilippines.’ Or at least I played him in the Filipino festival in Vilvoorde, Belgium, in September last year. My real name is Samuel Goyvaerts. I’m 18 and live with my parents and five brothers and sisters near the Carmelite monastery in Vilvoorde.

My siblings and I had to play and dance the Sinulog. Sister Carmela OCD told us the history and taught us the dance. Correction: taught my brothers and sisters. I, as a ‘western intruder’ didn’t have to dance. The eldest of the family, I had to play the role of the conqueror of the Philippines. I had to enter the scene with binoculars, a sword and a possessive look in my eyes. For me that didn’t involve much adaptation. I just had to play an all-knowing westerner bringing ‘civilisation’ to a supposedly uncivilised country. At least that’s what was always taught to us. But watching the play and learning from the Sisters about the Philippines, I realised that we should learn from the Filipino people, too.