January-February 2005

From The Mountains To The Seas

By Sister Elisa C Caballero OND

Sr Elisa on one of her home patrols in a remote village in Papua New Guinea

On 4 July 1995 I arrived in Papua New Guinea with great hopes and open to encountering a new culture and environment. I welcomed the many experiences of culture shock. After a few months of adjustment, and learning to speak Pidgin English, known in PNG as ‘Tok Pisin,’ I learned to let go, accept and understand the realities of mission life.

Awards for Father Niall O’Brien, Haydee B. Yorac and Judge Ma. Nimfa Penaco-Sitaca

By Father Seán Coyle

Father Niall O’Brien

Ateneo de Manila held a Special University Convocation at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, 15 September at which the Bukas Palad Award was conferred posthumously on Father Niall O’Brien, founding editor of Misyon who died on 28 April. At the same convocation the University gave its Government Service Award to PCGG Chairperson Haydee B. Yorac. By happy coincidence, she had been a good friend of Father Niall.

‘Hidden’ Women

By Rowena ‘Weng’ Dato Cuanico

Rowena Dato Cuanico is a Columban Lay Missionary from the Philippines on her second term in Fiji.

When Beth Briones, another Columban lay missionary from the Philippines, and I arrived in Holy Family Parish, Labasa, on our first term, we spent our first six weeks at Holy Cross Catholic Community (Sector 11) in Naleba. This was to help us understand better the culture of the Indo-Fijians as well as improve our fluency in Fiji-Hindi. Being new, I felt very excited in getting to know the community. Since their names were foreign to me, remembering them and pronouncing them correctly became a challenge.

‘Jesus, Je T’aime’ ‘Jesus, I Love You’

By Sister Emma de Guzman ICM

Kwada is 4-years-old and her brother Kodji 6. They are the two youngest of a family of eight children of Delu and Kudji, the couple working with us at Okola.

Different tongues

When Delu and Kudji arrived from north Cameroon about 15 years ago, they had only two children, Tije and Mossi. Tije was left in the north and Mossi, then a little girl of 4, grew up with us. When her parents were very busy, we in the community baby-sat her and, later on, the other children. In my baby-sitting time, I taught Mossi how to say short prayers. The shortest was ‘Jesus, I love you’ in English and French. I then added it in Ewondo and then in other languages. The two youngest children, Kwada and Kodji, can now say it in 12 languages.

Trapped In Belgium

By Louis Marièn

Father Apolo de Guzman of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, chaplain to the Filipinos in the Archdiocese of Mechlin-Brussels, Belgium, sent this article. He is the brother of Father Efren de Guzman SVD and Sister Emma de Guzman ICM, both frequent contributors to Misyon.

She’s reduced to tears. She hasn’t seen her children for three years. Carina is a Filipino who worked as a housekeeper for the ambassador of an Asian country who locked her up in his house like a slave for six months. Washing, cleaning, cooking, ironing, from six in the morning to eleven at night. She was paid only €200 (a euro is worth about P70) per month while others were receiving around €500.

‘There are 5,000 Filipino migrant workers in Brussels. Seventy percent of them are women. And mistreatment is routine,’ says Father Apolo de Guzman, chaplain of the Filipino community. ‘The women in particular, and they are the majority, are sometimes the victims of exploitation. It’s not difficult for an employer to keep someone under their thumb. He can take away their identity card and work permit, and detain them. Housemaids have no way out. If they run away without papers, then they are here illegally.’

Working Sisters

By Little Sister Goneswary Subramaniam LSJ Sister Gones stars with a quote from the mission statement of the Little Sisters of Jesus to which she and Sister Annarita belong. You can find out more about their congregation at http://www.rc.net/org/littlesisters/

“Because of Jesus and His Gospel, in a desire to follow Him closer in His 30 years at Bethlehem and Nazareth, the communities of the Little Sisters place themselves among the ordinary masses of society, may it be rural, urban slums or elsewhere.”

An Evening With Mrs Misho

By Father Jude Genovia SSC

Father Jude Genovia’s missionary journey has taken him to Japan as a seminarian (1995-1997) and to South Korea as a priest (1999-2003). From there he went to ChicagoUSA, for studies that he is now continuing in the Philippines.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD


One Monday evening I had dinner at the Columban House in Singalong St. Manila. Sitting beside me was Maria, a Columban Lay Missionary from Fiji, working in Manila. All of a sudden while we were eating, she started texting the Misyon promoters, telling them in all excitement about me. They told Maria to ask me what the correct spelling of my name was, as they had been discussing this earlier. Was it ‘Joeker’? ‘Joker’? ‘Jawcare’? Well, well, well. Why don’t you just call me ‘Joe’?

‘The face of my beloved christ’


Father Anthony has written for us a number of times. His ordination to the priesthood by Bishop Prudencio Padilla, Vicar Apostolic of Tabuk, on8 November 2003, was the CICM bishop’s first. This is an edited version of the speech the new priest gave after the ceremony.

My sister Chato made use of the image of marriage. A love relationship is at the very heart of marriage. My love story with God started in this chapel almost ten years ago. Young as I was, idealistic and full of passion, I found myself confronted with the classic question: What do I want in life? A very existential question that could have been answered by: marry your girl, rear a family, and be happy in your career. Or by: use your talents; make a lot of money; travel; be famous and powerful. A strange inspiration dawned on me while I was contemplating the question in this chapel a decade ago. Why not live a simple life dedicated to pure service and unconditional love for the poor and the lonely? The third option was appealing but I knew it was difficult and would entail much sacrifice on my part. Yet I was bent to give it a try, if only to fulfill a dream, if only to accomplish a mission.


By Aida P. Lucasan

In complicated situations, we sometimes find it hard to let things go back to normal. We often just say,‘katalaka,’ and aren’t inspired to face life, which we think is a continuous and never ending heavy load. If we only try to recall and appreciate the best things that have happened in our lives, we can keep on moving forward. We can make our best efforts to help others as we serve God wholeheartedly. But most of us find ourselves looking back because we keep on recalling the trials and troubles we’ve experienced, resulting in self-pity instead of self-esteem.


By Nelly D. Guinid

Mrs Nelly Guinid is the mother of Vanessa. Her father was a pagan high priest who asked for baptism when dying. As the Catholic priest was too far away, Mrs Guinid baptized her own father. You may contact her at NellyGuinid@dti.dti.gov.ph  or at: bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection, 2nd Floor Trade and Industry Building, 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, MAKATI CITY.