The Personal Testimony of Sis Haydz Banigan, BCBP Las Pinas

“If there is anything you need in your life, pray to God for it” was what my mom taught us, her nine children. I grew up praying for everything I needed like “Lord, if you are going to give me a husband, don’t give me someone who womanizes or someone who drinks” and “Lord, let me finish my college education, have a job so I could send all my siblings to school”.

True to what my mom taught me, my prayers were answered. For thirty six years I enjoyed immensely the fruit of obedience, prayers, study and work. My husband’s income as a certified public accountant and a lawyer plus my earnings as an exclusive marketing arm for the first telemagazine show, The Probe Team, was more than enough for the whole family (three children) to enjoy a very comfortable life. We looked to the future, with much anticipation of a secured, happy old age together. When our eldest got married, we started to feel the effects of what they called “empty nest syndrome”. And we said, “kaya natin”.

However, God had other plans. Manny, my husband, died after a four-year battle with cancer, a year after our second child got married. His hospitalization drained all our resources and left us with nothing. Suddenly, I was alone. Our “kaya natin” did not happen, I was left alone to go through the “empty nest syndrome” and to grapple with loneliness, helplessness and grief.

In hindsight, our being invited to join the BCBP, a Catholic community, in l982 was part of God’s plan for me to see how I could cope, not only with my life as a wife and mother but more so with my life as a widow, a retired senior citizen receiving a pension that could hardly meet my basic needs.

What should I do with my situation … cry, be angry with the world, be resentful or despairing? Will any of these change my situation? I realized that no matter what I do, I wouldn’t be able to do anything to make and have the things I used to enjoy – a husband, money, children, a good life, etc.

I immersed myself in prayer because that is what God said in scripture, that He would take care of me. Even when I am old and gray, He will provide for me, and my life can still be beautiful because of Him.

As I look back on the last five years, I can not help but thank our Lord for having brought us to the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and the Ang Ligaya Ng Panginoon Community. The coping with what I thought was a “lonely life” was not as lonely after all. I have learned how to accept situations as they come (financial, physical), adjust to what I have and be contented with blessings coming from everyone, specially from my children, my siblings and my community. I am still active in attending and serving my brothers and sisters in community and I smile a lot because I no longer have expectations, I am just happy with who I am, what I am now and what I will be in the future.

Sis Haydz is the widow of Bro Manny Banigan, the first president of the BCBP. Sis Haydz continues to be active in her BCBP chapter as an action group leader for single and widowed women. May the Lord continue to bless this very inspiring sister in the Lord.

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5 comments

joe coruna October 23, 2011 - 1:37 am

Sis Haidz, the BCBP CDO will never forget you and Tatang manny, as he was fondly called. You have both left us with an indekible imprint in our walk with God.

Alow me to rewind some of the most unforgettable experience that we ahd with him.When the brotherhood finally put down the policy towards masonry, He was instrumental in resolving the problem we had in Iligan. He was the true epitome of Christ’s disciple, of speaking boldly for the Lord. He was courageous, brave and bold even under fire. Ultimately, Christ’s mission in Iligan was accomplished and the rest is history.

I am sure that tatang is now there with the Lord.When he meet Him at the gate, He said to him, ” Welcome into my kingdom my good and faithful servant, YOU have served me well.”

We love you sis Haidz.

Chapter Joe N sis Hedy

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pete medina September 12, 2011 - 3:39 pm

hi ate haydz,

greetings of love, joy and peace from our LOrd Jesus.

while reading your sharing, i can’t help but recall the times that i ‘worked’ with kuya manny like when we were paired to do ‘some fieldwork’ as part of our deliverables as participants to the first BETP. i do not know if he related this to you but here it goes:

our main task is to bring the good news of salvation to people we have not met, to knock not only at the doors of their hearts but literally at the doors of their houses, ala jehovah’s witness and the mormons.

before we embarked on this exciting but very challenging work, we agreed that bro manny will be the speaker as he is so ‘matatas’ in tagalog and i will be the praying partner.

after leading me to a short prayer, tho very meaningful prayer, asking the LOrd to lead us where he wants us to share His wonderful news. we went to the negihborhood to knock at the first door, and then the second and then the third, and in all instances, we were rejected; our requests for a few minutes of their time, denied.

as we walked towards the fourth house, we were both silent and praying for help and guidance from the Holy Spirit, na sana di kami po ma-bokya, hehe. and lo and behold, we were let in by a middle-aged woman who introduced herself to be the lady of the house and warmly welcomed us to their living room, where we noticed a man sporting a gloomy face on wheelchair, whom the wife introduced to us as her husband, and that he suffered a stroke and one-half of his body paralyzed and his speech impaired, from it.

as bro manny explained (while i was silently interceding and praying in tongues) to him in tagalog the purpose of our visit, he defiantly said some expletives, cursing his wife and blaming her why they have us for visitors, that both shocked me and bro manny, altho we did not show it, and just kept on explaining (while i was praying/interceding), that God loves him and Jesus is gently knocking at his heart to receive Him and welcome Him in his life.

it is after this point and after a few minutes, that we noticed tears rolling down his (the husband) cheeks with his shoulder shaking and after regaining his composure related who he was before his stroke, about his present health condition, and poured out everything to us, his resentments, anger, his weaknesses, his disability which feelings of helplessness,etc.

at this point, bro manny became bolder and seized the moment to ask him if we can pray over him and meekly replied yes, evidently surrendering his will and fate to our loving Father in heaven.

. and so we did and afterwards, we saw in him a face so peaceful and full of joy and shared with us what and how he felt while being prayed over; that he felt a kind of warmth flowing down from his head down to his body and believes that the Holy Spirit had touched him.

he was so happy and perhaps out of gratitude offered us thru his wife, some food and drinks which we politely refused since it was getting late and we need to go back and rejoin the other BETP teams.

i felt so blessed working together with bro manny in that evangelization training. as we in community are wont to say, i was ‘high na high’ after doing that wonderful duty.

and i believe that prayers really worked in that particular experience.
God is good, really, all the time.

have a good day, ate haydz.

love and prayers,

brod pete

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Ludy Z. Pardo August 30, 2011 - 6:11 am

Mama Haydz: Yes, we fondly call you Mama Haydz because this is how you are to us, motherly, caring and very loving. You and Papa Manny are our source of inspiration in the Las Pinas Chapter; we have always looked up to both of you. Your simplicity, your words of wisdom and your great love for God have always provided us with encouragement and hope. May God be always by your side. We love you!

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Hector Tina August 4, 2011 - 11:44 pm

Manny and Haydz have touched our lives in so many ways. For all of us here in BCBP Cebu, she will always be fondly called Nanay. One thing I have realized when we joined BCBP is that we will never be alone. Brothers and sisters, in their loving and caring ways, will always be there for us in times of laughter more so in times of tears. We love you and may God continue to bless and guide you.

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Tiara Banigan August 3, 2011 - 5:08 pm

You will not be alone in going through that empty nest syndrome Mom, even as I grow older through the coming years, I’ll stay with you and take care of you the best way I can. The Lord will not give us an empty nest because I believe he has great plans for us. As you said, he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us.

We all love you very much. God bless you always!

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