My first work after finishing elementary and high school with honors and a 2-year course in college was with the Philippine Air Force, assigned at the Edwin Andrews Air Base, Zamboanga City in 1975. It was there I met a petite beautiful lady who is now my one and only wife, Daie. Despite the objections of Daie’s mother, we were married on May 29, 1977.
The arguments about financial difficulties began several months later. I was pursuing my college degree because of the challenge posed by my mother-in-law, thus adding to those expenses to our meager salary that barely covered our daily sustenance. However, I was able to complete my college degree. I asked the Lord to make this achievement a tool for my career’s growth and most of all, let it enable me to be closer to my mother-in-law. God answered my prayer for when I was sent to Manila for a 6-month military officer’s training, I entrusted my wife and three children, to her care and she was very supportive of all my plans.
Upon completing the military training, I left the service because at that time, it was difficult to apply for an active duty as a second lieutenant in the Philippine Air Force. I took the Civil Service Examination, passed it, and applied at the Commission on Audit. After a few jobless months, I received my appointment as State Auditing Examiner III, assigned as a Resident Auditor of two agencies in Basilan Province. Promotions after that were fast.
To enhance my professional growth, I enrolled in the College of Law; the following year Daie also enrolled. We took the bar together but we both failed! That was not God’s plan for us because on the same day that the bar results were released, I received a message from the COA Central Office that I had been promoted.
Despite our professional growth Daie and I were having serious personal problems: impatience with the children, Daie and I would not talk to each other for days at a time, I even had an extra marital affair. But the Lord never forgot us.
We had had numerous invitations to attend and join religious communities, but we had always turned them down with the excuse that we didn’t have any serious problems. Little did we know that it was God’s hand leading us towards conversion through one of our Division Chiefs who kept on inviting us to a breakfast fellowship. Just for curiosity we attended a Saturday breakfast in May 1999. To our surprise, we were impressed and overwhelmed by the reception given us by people whom we did not know. The sharers from BCBP Mactan touched our hearts; we were amazed at how strong and humble they were to share their life story with people who were strangers to them.
That very afternoon we joined the BCBP’s Christian Life Program where we came to realize that it was not just enough to attend mass and light candles at the shrine of Fort Pilar; we needed to have a personal relationship with God. As our relationship with God grew, I found the grace to confess my sins to my wife, and by the grace of God, she found it in her heart to forgive me. As time went by through the teachings in the BCBP, I learned to control my temperamental attitude toward our children, enabling me to heal my relationship with them and with other relatives.
We have experienced so many trials in our life and am convinced that God never abandons his children in times of trouble, making ways to protect us. We have received death threats and bribery offers because of my job as an Auditor. Financial difficulties never seemed to go away, especially when Daie and our children were sick and needed hospitalization almost every month. Demand letters came from banks; we resorted to selling our agricultural lot but it still did not cover our obligations. In 2002 I suffered my first stroke due to hypertension and high blood sugar.
Despite the difficulties we continued to pray fervently to the Lord to release us, especially from this financial bondage. We continued to be active in the BCBP where we gained our strength from brothers and sisters in Community who were very concerned about our plight. Finally our youngest daughter was able to be employed as a nurse in a big hospital in Abu Dhabi. Isn’t God a good and great God?
My most recent trial in which God tested our faith and dependence on Him was when I had to undergo brain surgery due to blood clot and fractured skull because of a bad fall on August 31, 2009. Our brothers and sisters in the BCBP were the first ones who visited me in the hospital and they, plus members from other chapters, continued to hold us in their prayers and support us when we most needed it. Indeed, BCBP helped us not to lose hope and to depend entirely on our dear Lord. As a result my operation was successful and after two months I was back to work.
Daie shares that after what had happened to me, “I do really now understand that the reason for praying is not to have all we want, but to thank God for all He has given us and that every morning is a sign of God’s great love for us.”
For the eleven years we have been with the BCBP, we have learned that life only becomes meaningful when we live it with a purpose, when we survive every trial and anticipate positively every tomorrow with faith in God. Our life now is a daily walk of faith with the Almighty, full of surprises yet fulfilling, full of tests yet rewarding, and full of trials yet strengthening … especially when one is with a community like the BCBP that has helped us become more prayerful, humble and understanding toward other people.
We rely on God’s promise in Psalm 91:9-11: “If you have made the Lord your refuge, the most high your stronghold, no harm will come upon you, no disaster will draw near your home for He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways.”