#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast
At age 11, I already learned how to work, so I could have an allowance for my school expenses. I used to be an “extra” and spent 24 hours on TV show tapings just to earn 300 to 500 pesos.
Many people were asking why a boy like me had to work even though my father was in Saudi. Well, let’s just say that my mom and I were not on his priority list. Every time my father would send his “balikbayan” boxes to us, my name would not be in it but that of my cousins.’
When my father lost his job in Saudi, he simply said that I needed to stop schooling. Since I really wanted to finish my studies, I enrolled in a public school which was just a walking distance from our home, so I could go to it even without money. (This journey of self-supporting my studies continued until college.)
BIGGEST UPHILL BATTLE
February 2006. I carried my father on my arms to rush him to a nearby hospital. On his fourth day of confinement, he told me, “Babawi ako sa ‘yo.” For someone who hadn’t been on his priority list, I got excited deep inside because finally, I would feel my father’s care.
But that didn’t happen. At 11:55 that night, he started to vomit blood, and it didn’t stop even after the doctors injected different medications to prevent him from losing too much blood. He died the following day.
I was on my third year in college that time. I decided to stop going to school and just focus on taking care of my mother who had started to experience the complications of her diabetes.
To support our daily needs, I would go around our area to ask for plastic bottles, scrap metals, and old newspapers. Before 9 AM, I had to make sure I had earned at least 50 pesos from selling them, so I could go home and cook “lugaw” or “sopas.”
I fortunately got hired as a janitor in one established company. Yes, we were no longer eating “lugaw” or “sopas” for the whole day, but we still needed to buy medicines for my mom. So I tried my luck and submitted my resume in a call center. I’m not good in English, but I was overwhelmed when I got hired. Eventually, I transferred to another call center company where I pioneered as level 2 support. I thought it was a good start for everything.
TRYING TO START ANEW
2009. We found out that my mother had a heart enlargement. She was an only child, so I didn’t tell her that her mother — my grandma — was also at the brink of dying. I was afraid it would only make my mom’s situation worse. My grandmother died, and in February 2010, my mom followed.
I left everything behind to start anew after experiencing all the challenges I had. I moved to another call center; and since I’m already an orphan, I also thought of starting my own family.
2013. After experiencing a lot of heartaches, I thought this would be the year that I would find that so-called “True Love.” But the situation did not go as expected because she has a boyfriend in Cebu. Yet, I accepted it. Everything around us turned sour though when she got pregnant and went home to Zamboanga. Until now, they still don’t allow me to meet my child.
THE SEARCH FOR BRIGHT RAYS OF LIGHT
2014. I found out that my REAL FATHER is still alive and wanted to meet me.
Yes, I AM A RESULT OF SIN. A sin that was kept for 27 years. This revelation answered all my questions when I was still a child. Why I was not on the priority list of the father who raised me and why I was always the one who needed to sacrifice. I didn’t know what to do but cry.
I gave my real father the opportunity to meet me, so I could ask a lot of “whys.” But his family would get hurt every time he tried to approach me, so I just gave them the space they needed and didn’t bother them again.
I pursued my career until I got promoted as a quality supervisor. I felt the need to be at my best, so my real father and his family would not belittle me.
LIGHT IN TIMES OF DARKNESS
In search for answers to the complicated questions and healing from my past wounds, I went back to The Feast. I started serving under two ministries and also became part of the Singles Branch after attending the Love Life Retreat.
The Feast made me feel God’s comfort. I learned through it that the real meaning of trust is to know that God is in control, so I started to surrender everything to Him.
Since I became active at The Feast, the dreams that I wrote in my Novena to God’s Love started to materialize. I am now working as a freelancer supporting two clients, and my salary is way better than when I was working in a call center company. I also had the chance to share my story in the Love Life Retreat to heal others through my wounds.
Best part? After many years of delay, I have earned my college diploma! Not only that, I have also met the woman that I have been praying for. (She is also a Feast servant.) God gave me not just a girlfriend, but also a motivator and a best friend. I can’t thank God enough for giving me more than what I asked for.
These blessings made me realize that,
no matter how scarred you are, God will always be there to heal you and strengthen you.
God will comfort you during your heartaches. God will guide you when you are lost. He will be the light in times of darkness.
Like other extras, I finally got the main role, and this happened when I started to surrender everything to Him. I am His chosen servant. With Him, I always take first priority.
“I brought you from the ends of the earth; I called you from its farthest corners and said to you, ‘You are my servant.’ I did not reject you, but chose you.” (Isaiah 41:9)