In this year’s edition of its acclaimed Lenten Specials, Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) presents another stirring production for Holy Week 2018 with “Sangandaan: Paghahanap kay Hesus sa Camino Ignaciano,” an uplifting documentary centering on the trials and tribulations of a group of pilgrims as they retrace the route that St. Ignatius of Loyola once walked in 1522, in his quest to become a true soldier of Christ.
The pilgrims’ spiritual odyssey, highlighted by their compelling personal stories of struggle, determination, and conversion, until the completion of their 157-km journey of faith, will air over ABS-CBN Channel 2, on Good Friday 30 March 2018, 4:00-6:00 PM.
For JesCom Creative Director Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, the pilgrims’ journey deeply mirrors life’s unexpected paths on the road that leads to God. “The pilgrims that audiences will watch, they’re physically moving from point A to B. Much like in our lives, we’re always journeying regardless of which stage we are at. Ultimately, it is getting to know God more, connecting with Him—that remains to be our main purpose.”
The two-week traverse of the Camino Ignaciano, which took place last September 26 to October 10, 2017, began with a welcome mass at St. Ignatius’ birthplace, and passed through picturesque natural landscapes and scenic towns. Organized as a walking retreat, several stops for prayer were arranged at the same churches where St. Ignatius worshiped.
The route concluded in the town of Manresa, the place where St.Ignatius rested after his journey and gained profound spiritual enlightenment to compose his masterpiece: The Spiritual Exercises. Fittingly, the entire journey is paired with essential scenes from JesCom’s banner film project, “Ignacio de Loyola,” winner of the 2017 Best Film award at the Mirabile International Film Festival at the Vatican.
“The different scenes from ‘Ignacio’ are a good medium for the audiences to visualize what St. Ignatius actually went through, so as to illustrate valuable points for reflection,” explains Ms. Mangilog-Saltarin.
Under the direction of Fr. Louis Catalan, SJ, the pilgrims began each day with points for reflection to contemplate throughout their trek. The Spiritual Exercises then guided each pilgrim’s daily Examen and personal soul-searching, as they sought to “Find God in all things” during the Camino.
Ms. Mangilog-Saltarin further emphasized the importance of sound discernment accompanied by the Spiritual Exercises. “The Camino Ignaciano entails getting to know God, by following the method that St. Ignatius himself set in his Spiritual Exercises. As he went through conversion, we too experience changes that affect our decisions in life. All the more we need to listen to God’s voice, when facing choices, facing crossroads, or our sangandaan.”
As they walked the same path tread by St. Ignatius almost five hundred years ago, the pilgrims’ hopes, dreams, fears, prayers and petitions began to surface through their own discoveries and interactions with fellow travellers.
After accompanying the pilgrims on this “virtual pilgrimage”, viewers will surely be inspired to find courage, seek the Lord, and one day take the first step in their very own Camino.
“We really hope that through their immersion in this virtual retreat, audiences will take to heart our various points for reflection, as we ourselves (in the production team) experienced first-hand how it felt to walk in faith, with God by our side,” concludes Ms. Mangilog-Saltarin.
“Sangandaan: Ang Paghahanap kay Hesus sa Camino Ignaciano” is supported by Marly Camino, The Pilgrims’ Center and the Spain Tourism Board.
For inquiries about JesCom’s upcoming Holy Week special, “Sangandaan: Ang Paghahanap kay Hesus sa Camino Ignaciano”, contact Ms. Dit Sablan at tel. 426-5971 or 72, local 121, mobile number 0908-886-8447, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.