At St. Aloysius Gonzaga College in South Jakarta, Indonesia the Gonzaga Festival 2023 was held from the 28th of October until the 4th of November 2023. This Festival was managed by the students and was also guided by the teachers.
In the Gonzaga Festival 2023, there were many external competitions not only in education but also in sports and arts. In addition, there were many performances as well, not only dancing and singing but also performing arts that were prepared by full-hearted students to bring up Indonesian culture. Hence, Gwen Phedra Carmelli Tangke Alo, the chairperson student committee, wants to share her experience especially her feelings about managing the event along with her friends.
Everything Comes in Waves
by Gwen Phedra Carmelli Tangke Allo
Oceans hold a special place in my heart. It was the first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about what I wanted to say through the Gonzaga Festival 2023. Exploration is the one important thing that I want to share with everyone who participates in the event. At the very beginning, initially, it was just about exploring and appreciating Indonesian culture. In fact, it turns out that it is much bigger than that. It is about discovering our own potential through the exploration process. Because just like the sea, there is so much left to discover. I never imagined that I would also find the most valuable treasure through this exploration. I found and understood the beauty of becoming.
The first wave that I faced in this exploration was the feeling of doubt. I fought my fears and anxieties. I doubted something that I thought I had all figured out this whole time. It turns out that when a dream is right before your eyes, it feels scarier than when it was just wishful thinking. “What if I fail? What if I fall?” That was what haunted me when I was called to lead this event. Hopes and dreams that were too big brought an expectation that became heavy baggage for me. But there was one question that I forgot, “What if all of this leads to amazing things?” There was nothing I wanted to do more than bring joy, happiness, and blessings to others. Hence, I chose to keep going.
The second wave I had to go through was higher than the first. It is the waves of unpredictability. November 4th, 2023, is the day that I am going to remember for the rest of my life. Plans that have been prepared for approximately 5 months can be swept away by waves just like that. While the event was running very well, the rain poured and everything was all over the place. I am forever grateful that God has blessed me with a really great team. Instead of giving up on the current uncertainty, we opened all doors of possibility and looked for the best solution. If at that time someone had told me that the show would go on and everyone could smile again, I would have laughed and not believed it. Yet, I am glad that I was wrong. When nothing is certain, anything is possible. Because our ship sailed, the event went on, and we learned valuable lessons.
I found God through the rain that poured that night. “Focus on Me, not the storm” (Matthew 14: 22-23). I have faced the scariest waves and storms in the Gonzaga Festival 2023. I barely recovered from one when another one rolled in front of me. I felt so powerless when all I thought about was the rain that stopped all plans. However, when I took some time alone and tried to understand what God was trying to tell me, I remembered His promise that He would never leave His children alone, and I believe. I believe that whatever happens in the future, it is God’s plan and it is always better than ours. This was proven by the warm atmosphere that occurred at the end of the event, where everyone smiled, sang, and danced together. The most beautiful rainbow came after the rain that night.
The most valuable treasure that I found was the understanding and faith that God is always in control. All waves will pass, no matter how high. This event was born from a love for the sea and Indonesian culture. Everything that happened made my love for it bigger. I thank God every day for this beautiful experience. As water finds its way back to the sea, I have found my way back to having faith in what is coming next.