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FMA Lifeline is the official news

magazine of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco) in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. FMA stands for Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice, the official Italian name of the Congregation founded by St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello in 1872 in Mornese, Italy. Today, there are 12,959 FMAs in 94 countries who are dedicated in varied ministries for the youth. __________________

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Provincial House 3500 V. Mapa Extension, Sta. Mesa 1016 Manila Tel. No. 714-5937; Faxphone 716-5097 www.fmafil.org.ph

EDITORIAL BOARD Sr. Ma. Socorro Bacani, FMA

Editorial Board Coordinator

Sr. Theda dela Rosa, FMA

Technical Coordinator

Sr. Florita Dimayuga, FMA Sr. Nora Hernandez, FMA Sr. Ann Lyn Rose Magno, FMA

THE COVER: Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA and FMA companions with two of the recipients of fishing boats in Tanauan, Leyte. The image of Mary at their back signifies our Lady’s presence in all our endeavors for the RECOVERY/ REHABILITATION of typhoon Yolanda victims.

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From the Provincial Superior

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A Miracle Amidst the Super Typhoon Yolanda

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Trust in Mary & You Will See What Miracles Are

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We Trusted and We Saw a Miracle

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by Sr. Maria Asela Chavez, FMA

by Ms. Ruby Tamayo-Patan by Mrs. Gemma Garcia Irene Dela Cruz

Our Mother to a mother by Mrs. Gloria R. Yumul / Mary’s Presence In Our Lives by Don Bosco School Manila My Soul Proclaims the Greatness of the Lord... by Sr. Maria Elizabeth Marquez, FMA

SPECIAL FEATURE:

Rehabilitation Phase of the DMTF

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Second Phase of the Disaster Management Task Force

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Summary of Consolidated Financial Report on the Recovery/ Rehabilitation Phase

by Sr. Catherine Urgello, FMA

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Financial Report on the Needs Assessment.../ Provision of Permanent/Temporary Shelters & Structures

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Photo Documentation - Provision of Permanent/Temporary Shelters & Structures

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Photo Documentation - Capacity-Building

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Financial Report on the Provision of Livelihood

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Journeying with a Light Feet and a Rich Heart

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Financial Report on the Provision of Education Leading to Employment

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The Faces of Hope

Financial Report on the Capacity-Building Photo Documentation - Provision of Livelihood - Fishing Boats

Bangka ng Pag-asa by Ma. Genina L. Lim

Photo Documentation - Provision of Livelihood Photo Documentation & Financial Report on the Child & Youth Protection & Medical Clinic on Wheels / Shelter Home for Orphaned/Abandoned Girls by Sr. Ann Lyn Rose Magno, FMA

by Sr. Ann Lyn Rose Magno, FMA

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Giving Up is Not an Option

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Rebirth of a Community after the Storm

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We are a Family that Belongs Entirely to Mary

by Sr. Ann Lyn Rose Magno, FMA Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA

Vocation / Home for the Elderly FMA


Only those who know what it means to live in the margins of one’s own life can “go there in haste” to meet the needs of people. Our journey as Christians, as Church, takes us necessarily to the choice to walk with our brothers and sisters in the margins, after the example of Jesus, who emptied Himself, becoming poor, like us, for our sake. To believe and follow a God of Love de-centralizes our self-focus. It leads us, humbled by the certainty of our being loved despite our fragility and brokenness, to the edges of our life, where we await His grace. Mary walked this path with a clear idea of what her faith was asking of her and where it was leading her. Thus, with her feminine sensitivity and delicateness, with exquisite charity, she promptly went forth from the margins of her life to respond to the cries from the margins, to her cousin Elizabeth’s needs. Typhoon Haiyan touched that sensitivity in our hearts, and from our margins as a Province, we beheld the sorrow and suffering of our people, initially with horror and disbelief at their fate, and then moved with deliberate haste to meet them where their needs were. The relief operations we were able to carry out were born of this attitude of Mary, whose experience of being the Lord’s handmaid impelled her to undertake a journey of solicitude and charity.

Almost a year after Haiyan, the first steps we took to “be Mornese in the margins” have flowed into the next phase of rehabilitation and recovery. In this phase we would like our response to touch and transform various aspects of life affected by the disaster in its wake: education, evangelization, child protection, rebuilding homes, livelihood and skills, community-building, health and hygiene… At the vigil of the anniversary of Haiyan, we repeat our thanks to Mother General and her Council, and all the provinces of the Institute, whose support has taken manifold forms, and without which we would not be able to reach out and offer hope to the real margins of our society. We were only channels of your own caring for those in need. I also wish to thank again the Sisters of our Province, especially the Disaster Management Task Force, and our educating communities, who have been behind the relief and rehabilitation efforts. Our gratitude also goes to all the individuals, groups and funding agencies we worked with for their generous help and their continuing trust in us. But perhaps the people we would like to thank most are the victims themselves of typhoon Haiyan in the islands of Leyte, Samar, Iloilo and northern Cebu, those to whom we have gone “in haste” to meet their needs, because it is they who have met ours – our need to hope again and again, to believe more strongly in God’s Presence and Providence, to expand our horizons from “tribal, to national, to transnational, to humanitarian,” opening our arms and hearts wider to include the whole world. The experience of going to the margins that have been there before Haiyan and that became harsher after it, provided us with a new perspective on our mission as FMA. It was a call for us to choose to be poor and grateful, and to form a heart that can contain and embrace the pain of humanity, as well as its hopes, with the paschal joy of the Gospel. And we thank Mary for walking with us and showing us the way to the margins – a place we can call a home of hope!

Sr. Sarah B. Garcia, FMA

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Marian Dimension of Salesian Spirituality By Sr. Maria Asela B. Chavez, FMA

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ove for God and Our Blessed Mother Mary is very strong in our family. My mother told me that when I was still in her womb, she has already entrusted me to Our Lady. This is the reason why I was named “Maria”. We would usually go to Mass and pray the rosary together since childhood. I was also a member of the Legion of Mary in the Savio Parish. Perhaps this is the reason why Our Lady is close to my heart. Now that I am a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, I personally experienced that she is truly a Mother who is always with me even in the ups and downs of my journey: Mary Most Holy was the Inspirer of our Institute and continues to be its Mother and Teacher. We are therefore a “religious family that belongs entirely to Mary (FMA constitutions Article 4) As an FMA and a religious educator, I believe that I have the task of spreading love and devotion to Our Lady among our young people: Trusting in Don Bosco’s words: “It is Mary who guides us”, let us cultivate a grateful, filial love for her and strive to pass this love on to our girls (FMA constitutions Article 44) Great saints are lovers of Mary The Salesian saints are! In his dream at the age of nine, Jesus and Mary pointed out to little Johnny Bosco his future mission of being a good shepherd among the poor and abandoned young people. Jesus gave him Mary to be his mother and teacher: Jesus: “I will give you a Teacher, under whose guidance you will learn and without whose help all knowledge becomes foolishness” Little Johnny Bosco narrates: At that moment, I saw beside him a Lady of majestic appearance, wearing a beautiful mantle glowing as if bedecked with stars. She saw my confusion mount; so she beckoned me to her. Taking my hand with great kindness she said: Mary: Look! This is your field, this is where you must work. Make yourself humble, steadfast and strong. And what you will see happen to these animals you will have to do for my children. Mama Margaret instilled in the hearts of her sons the love for God, importance of a strong

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sacramental life, love for prayer, devotion to Mary and the saints. On the day when Don Bosco received the clerical habit on October 30, 1835, Mama Margaret told him: “When you were born, I consecrated you to the Blessed Virgin; when you began your studies I told you to be devoted to our heavenly Mother; now I ask you to be hers entirely. Choose your friends among those who love her. And if you will become a priest, spread devotion to her.” When he became a priest, Don Bosco would inspire young people to have love and devotion to Jesus and Mary through homilies, catechesis, inspiring words and good night talk. Being a lover of Jesus and Mary, Don Bosco promoted Marian sodalities. The basic purpose of these Marian sodalities was to spread love and devotion to our Eucharistic Lord and to Our Lady, and at the same time, do good works and be a good influence to one’s peers. Holiness blossomed in Marian sodalities like in the case of St. Dominic Savio and Blessed Michael Rua, the future successor of Don Bosco, who frequented the oratory. On the 8th of December 1854, at the age of twelve, St. Dominic Savio entrusted himself to Jesus and Mary with the prayer: “Mary, I give you my heart, make it always yours. Jesus and Mary, You are always my friends, but for pity’s sake, make me die rather than let me suffer the disgrace of committing a single sin”. St. Dominic Savio, accompanied by the best boys from the oratory, found a Marian sodality named Society of Mary Immaculate in 1856. He told his group mates: “Why must we try to do good to others alone? Why don’t we-all the most kind-hearted young people-unite and become a secret society of little apostles among the others?” Don Bosco approved his proposal. Don Bosco built a church in honor of Our Lady Help of Christians, his mother, teacher and inspiration in his apostolic mission from 1865-1868. He was inspired by a vision on 1844 where he saw lambs transformed into shepherds who followed

him in his journey. This vision pertained to the future Salesians, as well as a majestic church with the inscription: “Here is my house, from here my glory will shine forth”. Don Bosco’s desire to build a Church in honor of Mary Help of Christians was reconfirmed and intensified when he saw another vision on 1845 where he saw many young people, a small church, a much bigger one and the Young Shepherdess (Mary) who steps on the ground and says: “In this place, the two glorious martyrs of Turin, Adventor and Octavius, suffered martyrdom. It is my wish that here God be honored in a very special way”. With only a few Italian coins in his pocket, he entrusted all his concerns to Divine Providence with the help of Our Lady. Don Bosco was able to build the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin (Italy) with the donations of generous people and those who were miraculously healed by Don Bosco through God’s grace, and the motherly intercession of Mary. It is mainly during these three years of hard work and trust in Mary that Don Bosco learned that the maternal presence of Mary was the strongest assurance that his work was willed by the Lord: “Mary did everything. She is the Mother and support of our Family; we cannot go wrong because it is She who guides us. Each stone, each ornament, recalls a favor of Hers.”; the expansion of the Salesian Family is her work. She is the Foundress of our works. She will also be our Guide, our Teacher; in heaven we will be astonished to see all that she has done; she loves us almost to excess. Mother, Mother! (MB passim) (cf: 3 Quaderno - ADMA Traduzione inglese ufficiale by Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB) Don Bosco would always say that all his undertakings were made possible through the inspiration of Jesus and Mary. One of Don Bosco’s last recommendations was: “Make her known, lead young people to Mary, allow Mary to carry the Gospel to the ends of the world.”


The Association of Mary Help of Christians On the 18th of April 1869, Don Bosco founded a Marian group open for lay people, the Association of the Devotees of Mary Help of Christians, with the same purpose in mind as the Marian sodalities for youth: to promote love and devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord and to Mary Help of Christians. It is presently known as the Associazione di Maria Ausiliatrice (ADMA). The group was officially established at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, Italy. Being an FMA delegate to ADMA for 5 years, I met a lot of people from different parts of the world with great love and devotion to Our Lady. An unforgettable event took place last August 2011 which was made possible through God’s grace and the motherly help of Our Lady. It was the ADMA International Congress which took place in Czestochowa, Poland. Poland…a land that loves Our Lady and gave the world the soon-to-be proclaimed saint, Blessed John Paul II....The sanctuary of the Black Madonna would always be filled with people holding roses and rosary as they reverently pray as a family… including the numerous ADMA families from Turin, Italy who happen to be our travelling companions during the said congress. Even if we are coming from 41 nations, with different colors, languages, culture and background, yet we are united by God and the maternal love of Our Lady. The Living Monuments of Gratitude to Mary Don Bosco also wished to have living monuments of his gratitude to Mary Help of Christians by founding a religious congregation for women, that is, the Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice (FMA), also known as Daughters of Mary Help of Christians ( Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco). They carry out the same educational mission for girls as the Salesian Fathers are doing for boys. St. Mary Mazzarello (or Mother Mazzarello), who belonged to the first group of girls who

made their religious profession as a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians on the 5th of August 1872, became the Cofoundress of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with Don Bosco as the Founder. Since childhood, Main (Mother Mazzarello’s nickname) showed great love for Our Lady. There was a tender love and devotion to Mary Help of Christians among the people in Mornese. A small church dedicated to Mary Help of Christians located in the hamlet of Mazzarelli was opened to the public on May 24, 1843. Little Main often attended the recitation of the rosary and votive masses in the said church. Together with her friends, they would usually play in the little courtyard in front of the Church. She would usually stop, look at the fresco of Our Lady on the façade and pray the Hail Mary. At times, she would sing popular hymns to Our Lady which her mother taught. As a young lady, she became a member of Daughters of Mary Immaculate who dedicated their lives to the Blessed Virgin. Their group had ardent commitment to cultivate and radiate purity in the name of the Blessed Virgin. They regularly give catechesis to the children and assist the sick. When she became a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Mazzarello instilled in her students the love for Jesus and Mary: What wouldn’t Mary Mazzarello do to enable her girls to honor the Blessed Virgin in the month dedicated to her! How fervently during the day did she speak to them of Mary Most Holy. How enthusiastic she was in animating them to receive Jesus with love and to offer their hearts to the Blessed Virgin. (Cronistoria volume 1, 124.) Another proof that saints had great love for Our Lady is Blessed Laura Vicuna. She nourished in her heart a tender love and devotion to Our Lady which was deepened in her CLE class. On the solemnity of the

GAZE OF LOVE

By: Sr. Maria Asela B. Chavez, FMA She it is whom God has chosen To be the Mother of God-Son, the Begotten, At the angel’s announcement, she responded, “Be it done unto me, according to Thy Word”. Blessed is she who believed That God’s Word in her would be fulfilled Help us, Lord, to have faith like her That in everything we do, to You, we may offer. United in Mary’s Love Let us turn our gaze on Jesus That we may be imprints of God’s love In everything and to everyone. A look of love, a gaze of love, A love that bears, serves and rejoices! In the manger, both lowly and bare, You gave birth to Him, the Precious Gem, most rare, With a gaze of love, you adored the God-child, To us you gave Him and all humankind.

Immaculate Conception in 1901, she was admitted to the Marian group “Children of Mary”. She received the medal and the symbolic blue ribbon. Laura was aware that this implied the call to live as Mary’s child with innocence and holiness of life. Hearing all this, we can truly say that love for God and Our Lady is deeply rooted in our Salesian Spirituality. We need to pass on this filial love for God and devotion to Mary to the young people entrusted to our care as well as to the people around us especially our lay collaborators. The Social Dimension of Marian Devotion Love and devotion to Our Lady will always have its social dimension, that is, Love for Others. She will not be happy if our love for her will be fruitless and just mere sentimentalism. During her visit to Elizabeth, Mary lends her helping hand and made herself available to the needy. Like Our Lady, we are also called to love and serve others especially the poor and the needy. The Second Vatican Council teaches us what true devotion means: True devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to recognize the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love towards our mother and to the imitation of her virtues. (Lumen Gentium#67) Karl Rahner affirms: “If Christianity is the radiating influence of one’s own grace in unselfish service for the salvation of others, Mary is the most perfect instance of what it means to be a Christian.” I would like to summarize the role of Mary in our lives and in the salvation history through this poem:

Teach us, dear Mother, to fix our gaze on Him, That in us, He may dwell within, To the poor and the lowly, we may bring Him, That everyone may find true joy and eternal life in Him. At the Cross where He hangs, there she is, A gaze of love on the Son who bleeds She who partakes on His suffering in love’s name Invites us, till the end, to do the same. Teach us dear Mother to have faith like you, That to Him we may offer, everything that we do, Help us, dear Mother, to be courageous like you, That to others we may bring Jesus and you. In young John’s dream, there we see, Our Mother and Teacher, Jesus says you’ll be, To the lowly and abandoned youth, shepherds we may be, Who never abandon the mission, how difficult it may be. Teach us, O Mother, to give love and humble service to thee To the world’s most unforgotten, there we may be That God may be pleased in everything that we do Since we do everything for Him and for you! March - October 2014

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By MRS. RUBY TAMAYO-PATAN Registrar of Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc.

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e braced ourselves for the super typhoon Yolanda that will greatly hit Central and Eastern Visayas. I was in Minglanilla, Cebu but my family is in Jaro, Leyte. The night before the dreaded November 8 catastrophe, I was in constant communication with my sister. I kept on reminding my family through her to be prepared. I also told her to look for the image of Mary Help of Christians and to repeatedly pray the “Entrustment of our Home to Mary Help of Christians.” At 5:00 a.m. of November 8, I was able to talk to my sister and she assured me they are fine since the rain and the wind are not that strong yet. That was the last time I spoke to her that day. After some hours, I became afraid for I can no longer contact my sister or any of my relatives. I was so worried because my sister was eight months pregnant and her husband was away for work, my mother had hypertension and my father was also sick. I was very anxious especially that prior to the news black out, I saw on television the inconceivable devastation of our place and the numerous dead bodies scattered everywhere. I decided to go home. Together with my cousin, the early morning of November 9 – Saturday, we left Cebu. We arrived in our place on November 11 - Monday. It was a very long and tiring travel. Roads were impassable, debris were scattered and the destruction was indescribable. There was no available public transportation. We were just so blessed because when we visited the church of Ormoc City, where we initially arrived from Cebu, the priests offered us a ride because they will be going to Palo, Leyte to check their seminary . It was a great relief, however, Palo Leyte is far from our hometown. We have no choice but to walk for miles until an owner of a private vehicle offered us a ride. When we finally got home, I was in tears to see my family and relatives complete. I was surprised to see our house with minimal damage as compared to the houses around us (especially the house of my grandmother) that were almost totally destroyed. I couldn’t imagine how our house survived knowing that it was surrounded by coconut trees. I asked my sister what happened that day and she told me that she just embraced the image of Mama Mary and continued to pray the “Entrustment of the Home to Mary Help of Christians”. Some coconut trees were cut off and blown away but did not hit our house. Some trees fell, but to the direction away from our house. Many were saying that it seemed that the typhoon spared us. We kept on telling them we were saved through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians. Since then, we propagate to families the praying of the “Entrustment of the Home to Mary Help of Christians.” Indeed, Don Bosco was right when he said, “Trust in Mary and you will see what miracles are.” We experienced a first-hand miracle through the intercession of Mary.

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By MRS. GEMMA GARCIA

Music Teacher of MHCS Pampanga

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ne Wednesday morning of July 3, my husband Bernardo complained of severe headache, dizziness and high blood pressure even after taking his medicines. I knew something was wrong but still I kept calm. I called our family physician and asked the best thing to do. He told me to rush my husband to the nearest Angeles University Foundation Medical Center where he was immediately ushered to the Emergency Room. After two hours he was whisked to the C.T. Scan Room whose finding showed blood on the right and left brain due to a swollen vein. I requested for a well-known neurosurgeon from St. Luke hospital Dr. Ludivico Villaruel. They called him up immediately and having been informed of the state of my husband he gave instructions that he be placed at ICU. He came to AUFMC and seeing the result of my husband’s C.T. Scan, he ordered that my husband be operated as soon as possible because his swollen vein might rupture anytime and if it did, it could cause his death or should he survive could be a comatose. To see more clearly the exact location of the vein, the doctor advised that he undergo Cranial Angiogram. He did. The doctor said that my husband’s surgery would certainly be a tough one because it involved the brain. He asked me to pray for him as well as the physicians who would also take part during the operation. Dr. Villaruel said, “kahit magagaling ang mga doctor na nakuha mo, pag wala kang pananalig sa Diyos bali wala rin ito. Kami rin ay nagdarasal bago magsimulang umopera.” My husband was scheduled to be operated on July 5 at 4:00 p.m. Then when I was praying the last decade of Sorrowful Mystery of the rosary at the ICU Waiting Area at 5:00 a.m., I heard somebody whispered to my ear. I opened my eyes and looked around as to who was whispering to me. To my surprise,

I was all alone in that dark room. So I closed my eyes again and continued praying, but I heard the same voice and I thought I was hallucinating. This time, however, while my eyes were closed I saw a Lady all dressed in white who opened her clasp hands and gestured as if she was going to hug me. She whispered, “Don’t worry, I will help your husband. I will be on his side during the operation and I will cover him with my mantle and save him.” At that moment I knew it was Mama Mary who intervened for us. I was really crying hard while talking to Her, until she vanished. The operation lasted for 13 hours. After the operation, Dr. Villaruel called me and my sister-in-law at the operating room and told us, that a miracle happened because the moment he placed the temporary clip, his vein ruptured but unexpectedly he was saved! There I remembered Mama Mary. I got my rosary in my pocket and profusely thanked Her. We stayed in the hospital for almost one month. Before we went home, the doctor told me to expect some behavioral changes from my husband. And so for two months all he remembered were his past. All day and all night he was always awake, he would go in and out of the house that at times I thought he was going crazy. Plunged in this situation, I felt so alone, stressed, depressed and just kept on crying. I still kept praying though but at times would question our Lord, “What happened? Until when will I suffer? We’ve lived as good Christians and regular church servers, then why this?” I was always crying but when I was at my lowest ebb I noticed that someone would be knocking at our gate; a friend would come and talk to me, giving me advice and lifting up my spirit. This happened many times, until I asked Mama Mary if She was the one who sent for my friends to accompany me during these trials in my life. Then I would cry and thank Her. After two months of struggle, my husband recovered gradually. He started to recognize people around him,

though he still has memory lapses. We could already manage to go to church and other places, and on his 3rd month, he was back serving again in the church as a Eucharistic Minister for the Distribution of Holy Communion. Our friends were surprised to see him, because in his case, the recovery usually takes 6 months to 1 year. It was almost 5 months now and looking back on those dark days, I could only ask Jesus and Mama Mary for their forgiveness. I felt so sorry of my lamentations and complaints that they had abandoned me when I needed them most and left so alone to fend on my own. I remember the song “Footprints in the Sand”, which says that “when we are in our darkest moment, Jesus is actually carrying us.” Yes! That was exactly what He did. I came to realize now that He never left me the moment my husband was admitted to the hospital. It was He who recommended the best doctors to handle my husband’s operation, and He who took care of all our financial problems. With these experiences, my faith grew stronger and fully convinced that the more I hold on to Jesus and Mama Mary never more will I be alone. I remember Sr. Yoly talking to me over the phone and said, “Stop worrying, cast all your burdens on Jesus. Everything happens for a reason known only to the Lord. Keep on praying, never lose hope and we too your Sisters assure you of our prayers for your husband.” Oh, Jesus and Mama Mary how could I ever thank you enough? Loving and trusting You are my overwhelming joy and blessed security in this life!

Gemma with her family

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We trusted MARY & we saw a MIRACLE By MS. IRENE DELA CRUZ

Provincial House Accounting Office Staff It was an ordinary day of November 4, 2012, Sunday, the weather was fine and it felt like you should sleep all day long. Around 8:00 I felt hungry so even half awake I went down to the first floor to find something to eat. At the first floor I’ve seen Ate Neng and Ate Annie already doing their chores (sister & cousin of the owner of the boarding house). After a few minutes we’ve noticed that there is commotion going on the street. Curious about what was happening, we went out. Then we found out that our neighbor’s house is on fire. The people were shouting, telling us that there was fire, and at that moment we felt shocked, we couldn’t believe it. It happened so fast that we didn’t know what to do. I was really scared and I couldn’t help but to cry, Ate Neng was telling me to get all the valuable things and collect them as fast as I could. In a glimpse the whole house and apartment near us turned into ashes. After few minutes the fire fighters announced that the fire is out, we saw how tremendous the damage was. We expected that all of our things inside the house got burned.

Miraculously our room and the room next to ours still remained intact as if nothing happened even though we are the nearest to the apartment where the fire ignited. But the fire jump to the next room after us, to which is farther caught fire. We could see the beds, clothes and other things damaged. During that time I already called my family in Pampanga. Almost 5:00 in the afternoon my mother came and was very worried about my situation. She even wanted me to go back to Pampanga that very night.

our prayers to Her. And that’s how we have witnessed the power of the prayer of entrustment to our Heavenly Mother for she had heard our prayers every night. That room which we occupied was spared from any damage and was protected from the fire. My life has changed and I realized how our Mother loved us so much. The assurance of Don Bosco will always be a powerful reminder for us: “Trust in Mary and you will see what miracles are!”

And it took me some moment before I’ve realized that our Heavenly Mother helped us. What made me believe she did? Because on the wall of our room hanged a prayer of entrustment of the home to Mary Help of Christians which the Salesian Sisters gave me. Every time we see Her and before me went into sleep we always whisper

Irene before the prayer of entrustment to Mary

Sr. Elsa Geroche, FMA

Sr. Elsa felt overjoyed for the prompt response of Our Lady. She is truly Our Mother who looks after our needs.

Sr. Elsa Geroche, FMA, has recourse to our Blessed Mother for everything. She recounts two particular unforgettable experiences when Mary came to her aid after fervently praying to the Lord through her intercession.

Reconciliation through Our Lady

A prayer request for fruit Sr. Elsa took care of Mo. Erminia Borzini, FMA Provincial China-Philippines 1964-1970, during the latter’s stay in the Pope Pius Community after her term, and when she started suffering from health problems. Sr. Elsa was the one who prepared Mo. Erminia’s meals, accompanied her to the doctor, and stayed with her in the hospital during confinement. One day in Pius XII Catholic Center, Sr. Elsa saw that there was no fruit to serve to the community in the evening. This is not an unusual occurrence since the community is poor. Sr. Elsa prayed, “Mama Mary, please inspire this woman, Mrs. Visaya (a friend of Mo. Erminia, and a benefactor of the community) to give fruit tonight because I have nothing to give since our community is poor; we have nothing.” At 3:00 in the afternoon, Sr. Elsa received a message that there were fruits delivered from Mrs. Visaya. Sr. Elsa immediately called the woman to thank her and also shared about the prayer request for fruit. The benefactress told Sr. Elsa not to worry about anything and to just simply call her for any need.

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Another miraculous story involves the parents of Sr. Elsa. Sr. Elsa received a telegram from her family one day to come home. She found out that her father was sick and was in the hospital. When she arrived, her sister told her that their mother hadn’t visited their father in the hospital. Sr. Elsa talked with her mother. It turned out that the couple had a marital conflict. Her mother assured her however that “I forgave him already.” “But you have to tell him in person,” said Sr. Elsa. Seeing that her mother wouldn’t budge, Sr. Elsa asked the help of her brother to speak with their mother, “Please convince our nanay to visit our father.” Despite the brother’s best efforts, their mother remained stubborn. Believing that everything is possible with God, Sr. Elsa prayed, imploring Mary’s intercession, “Mama Mary please, take my place; talk to my mother.” Sr. Elsa continually prayed this until she arrived home. When she saw her mother, she suddenly felt tongue-tied and couldn’t say what she planned to tell. Sr. Elsa kept on praying, “Mama Mary please, take my place; talk to my nanay.”


When her brother arrived in the evening, he said to their mother, “Nanay, let’s go now. We have transportation.” He meant that there was available transportation to go to the hospital. The mother surprisingly said, “I already said ‘yes’ to Sr. Elsa.” When Sr. Elsa heard her mother’s answer, herheart jumped for joy. She knew that she didn’t speak to her mother at all. It was Mama Mary. Being the Queen of our families, Mama Mary paved the way for Sr. Elsa’s father and mother to be reconciled.

Mrs. Annabella Alcasid Imanil Mrs. Annabella Alcasid Imanil is the mother of Sr. Gigi Imanil, FMA. Her devotion to Mary started in grade two which consisted of praying daily the rosary, the Angelus, and the weekly novena to Mary, under the title, Mother of Perpetual Help. She gives thanks to the Dominican Sisters at Sta. Catalina School for their spiritual guidance during her elementary years. Her relationship with Mama Mary deepened during her high school years which were spent at St. John’s Academy. She joined the Legion of Mary and became active in youth clubs of the San Juan Parish. At the University of the East, where she pursued a college degree, she became a member of the Catholic Action. It was at this point of her life when she began discerning about a possible religious vocation. This was not surprising, considering the growth of her spiritual life and her involvement in religious organizations. She had the opportunity to observe in a Dominican convent and even applied to enter a Carmelite monastery. She eventually discovered her call to be a married person. She, nonetheless, continued her religious practices, and in addition, has a devotion to the Sto. Nino, makes frequent visits to the Adoration Chapel, and is a third order of the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary. For 31 years now, she has been living with only one kidney. This is truly a miracle for she was, in fact, warned by her doctor that she has only a 10 to 15 year chance to live. Mrs. Imanil believes that Mama Mary is instrumental why she is still alive today. She presently resides with her husband and grandchildren in Cebu.

Mrs. Rosalie Santiago Mrs. Rosalie Santiago is an educator of Don Bosco School Manila and the younger sister of Sr. Rachel Flor, FMA She testifies that her family is a true devotee of Mary. The recitation of the rosary was introduced by her father to the family since she was a child. She remembers this one time when she even tried to escape by appearing to sleep early so as not to join the family prayer. It took a while before she finally understood what having a devotion to Mary is about. She once saw this quote from a school diary that her Ate Rachel owned; it was Don Bosco’s maxim: “Have devotion to Mary Help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are.” She was struck by the message, particularly the promise it holds. When her Ate Rachel joined the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, her sister invited the family to further spread the devotion to Mary by reciting daily the Consecration of the Home to Mary Help of Christians. During Rosalie’s college years, she joined the Legion of Mary until a time when she was already working. Changes in her work schedule led her to give-up her membership, but the recitation of the rosary continues at home. When she got married and became a mother, she introduced the devotion to Mary through the praying of the rosary to her new family. Rosalie shares, “I know and feel that Mama Mary has been guiding me wherever I may be. I felt her powerful presence on several occasions at home where she saved my family’s life and our property. • One afternoon, after arriving from school, I noticed that a saucepan containing cream soup was on top of our lighted gas stove, and had almost dried up due to too much heat. I learned that my mother forgot that she was heating soup for dinner. • I was cooking boiled rice one morning for the kids and for my baon to school. I was hurrying myself so as not to be late. I packed my things and went off to school with my kids,unknowingly leaving the pot with boiled rice still on the stove on low heat. Meanwhile, my parents are regular Mass goers. According to my mother, she’s used to checking the kitchen stove before going to Mass every day. That morning, she forgot to check the stove. Immediately after Mass, she asked my father to go home at once because she needed to check on something. When she came home, she found the pot with burnt boiled rice still on top of the lighted stove. “I am so blessed because Mama Mary saved our house, not once, but twice from fire. She saved our neighborhood as well. Let Mary live in you and you will see what miracles are!” March - October 2014

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School I am deeply grateful for I believe in Don Bosco’s words, “Our Blessed Mother brought you here.”

By MRS. GLORIA R. YUMUL MHCS Pampanga Past Parent, Parent Volunteer Catechist & Salesian Cooperator

Way back many years ago I remember attending the Holy Mass every Wednesday in devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Ever since I was in the elementary, I found my days incomplete without asking our Mother for help and guidance. I would devotedly listen to Mass ever Wednesday together with my sister. When I was in high school, I am very proud to say that this devotion of mine to our Lady didn’t cease, rather it grew stronger. I remember then that I asked her to give me a partner in life who is good, caring, and especially loving. For countless times I’ve prayed for a family man. I married the man of my prayers at 27 years old, and after two years we were blessed with a son. My devotion to Mama Mary during this time had grown stronger because I knew that as a mother now, I have her as Model to imitate on how she raised our Savior. For 7 more years though, we never had a second child

and I had always wanted to have 4 kids. This made me an ever stronger devotee of our Lady, and after almost 8 years, she granted me and my husband another son. After two years I became pregnant again with a boy, and I kept thanking our Blessed Mother for granting us three sons. My fourth and last child is a girl, and I was happy beyond content when I gave birth to her because for two years after my youngest son was born, I kept praying to Mama Mary to grant me a daughter. I’ve always dreamt of having a baby girl because I wanted to dress her up, and, with my boys being rowdy and loud, I wanted a most gentle and refined family member. And after 2 years of waiting and praying, she finally arrived. Now, I can say that I am a happy and fulfilled mother. I know that I have raised my children well, and even though they have their downfalls, I am proud to say that they are all good and God fearingchildren. Having sent them all to a Marian School which is Mary Help of Christians

By CHRISTINE R. LEGASPI

Past Pupil of Mary Help of Christians School, Pampanga Prioneer Batch 1999

On 7 December 1998, a day before our last celebration of the Feast of Immaculate Conception at Mary Help of Christians School, we have made a vow to our Lady: A vow to live chastely, honoring the gift of our sexuality, and avoiding sexual intercourse outside of marriage. To this day, I call it my secret weapon.

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I can never accomplish what I have done if not for the example of Mary in raising Her Son Jesus Christ. She is also a part of my strength, because as a mother, my children count on me for support and Mama Mary has always been there to help me get through my problems not just as a mother and wife, but as a whole person. She has been and will always be a Mother to me because I am sure that She has heard my deepest cries and wiped away all my sorrows. My devotion to Her has truly helped me become a good daughter, mother and wife.

Gloria with her husband & 4 children

At home and within the walls of MHCS, it was not difficult to keep this promise. My family and the whole Salesian community provided unrelenting guidance, formidable shield from temptations and showered me with love that I did not have to look for it outside of home. But with changing times, temptation also evolves. It becomes more inviting, enticing and stronger that it makes something wrong appear right and abnormal becomes normal to everybody. So strong that it makes you doubt your beliefs and question your values.

Looking back, I feel blessed to have developed a deep relationship with Mary. Each year during the Feast of Immaculate Conception, I read the vow I made to our Lady (vow written at the back of the holy picture of Mary Help of Christians - see photo above the title of the article). Every year, I am reminded of the promise I made and every year, I keep on choosing not to break this promise. I repeat, repeat and repeat making the right choice until it became a habit. I do not have to think twice when faced with temptations because in my mind and heart, I know what is right.


By SR. MARIA ELIZABETH MARQUEZ, FMA (1st FMA Filipina missionary in Ukraine)

Ma name I

aria Elizabeth,

received at Baptism not by chance. But it is a name which continually leads me to a life of gratitude as I experience in my daily lifethe joyful meeting of Mary and Elizabeth in Ain Karim . . . the spirit of the Magnificat. It is with gratitude for all the things the Lord has done to me in my lowliness that I want share with you some of my little experiences WITH and LIKE MARY. I learned to thank God through Mary long before I knew how to walk, how to speak, how to pray. Every month of May, my grandmother would gather all her children to pray the novena (on Flores de Mayo) and rosary, a promise she kept to thank the Lord for keeping all her children alive during the war, especially my Daddy and eldest Auntie, who were sent to the province. The month long prayer always ended up with a family reunion on May 31. The tradition was handed over to us, and though circumstances now would not allow us to be all united on the last day, the tradition and the awareness of praying to and thankingour Lady is very much present wherever each one finds oneself. My younger years were spent near Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Quezon City. From our windows could be seen and heard the church bells ringing. They were years spent with growing awareness on Mary’s presence in my life. My family enjoyed the processions and the pilgrimages to Marian sites. There I learned to pray the novena and the rosary as I also saw my Mom praying her Marian prayers before doing her daily household chores. In 1983, we transferred to our new home in Antipolo, near the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage – the Lady who accompanied me to make the first step in my journey of following and committing myself to His will as a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians.

he was working, and it was witnessed by a lot of people. I knew something unexpected would happen then. I had the premonition as it pained me so much to see my parents as they left the Novitiate after the funeral of my grandmother who died October 24, 1989, barely 7 months before his death. But I did not expect losing my Daddy that soon and I was not ready for it. However I really felt so close to Mama Mary at that time. When I opened my rosary purse to look for a medal to put on my Daddy’s remains, I was surprised to find the sailboat medal with Mary on its sail. Mama Mary was telling me, “Don’t worry Sr. Beth. I am taking your Daddy from the waters and I am bringing him home with me.” True enough, as Don Bosco also promised, spiritual and material graces supported my family leaving me no room to decide to leave the novitiate and help my family. Another simple but significant thing again happened on May 31, 2012. I had around 10 hours stopover at Korea (also a sort of day of recollection) on my way to Jerusalem. It was the Feast of Visitation, my feast day (Maria Elizabeth), an opportune day to be travelling with Mary on my way to give service, to be available and to give thanks (Magnificat) for all the good things the Lord has done for me. The plane arrived on time at Tel Aviv but, unexpectedly, the special van going to Jerusalem took almost 2 hours to be filled up. When I reached our place there were road repairs going on so I have to walk along the street with my luggage. But since I arrived very late, the Sister waiting for me fell asleep and could not hear my doorbell. It was already a little past midnight but I did feel secure as there were still people working around. I told our Lady, “Mama Mary I had such a beautiful day with you, I just wonder how this day would end.” When suddenly out from nowhere, a lady with a cellphone passed by, and luckily asked me in English, “Sister, may I help you?” “Yes please, can you call our Sister inside?” And presto, the door was opened. Truly in our daily life, there are lots of experiences which need faith. But in this journey of faith, there is always our Blessed Lady who accompanies us. It is the same assurance that I received when I arrived in Lviv, Ukraine on June 28, 2013 for my mission. When I entered the Church and I saw our Lady of Pokrova (meaning “veil” or “protection), I could hear our Lady’s words, “Be not afraid, Sr. Beth. I will take care of you and will protect you from harm.” So wherever the Lord sends me, from Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage to Our Lady of Palestine and Our Lady of Pokrova, two places dear to me and which now need prayers for peace. I will always be a grateful Daughter of Mary Help of Christians. “Yes, Lord... Thank You, Lord”. Sr. Elizabeth with the young girls of Ukraine

There are concrete experiences of Mary in my life which I could not explain. Allow me to share you these two. It was on a first Saturday of the month, May 5, 1990, when my daddy got drowned, maybe due to a stroke or heart attack. It was during an outing/excursion of the company where March - October 2014

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SECOND PHASE of the DISASTER MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE By Sr. Catherine Urgello, FMA

We wish to report to you how we journeyed with the second phase of our commitment to the survivors of the typhoon Haiyan in the islands of northern Leyte, Southern Samar, northern Cebu and Iloilo. In December, 2013, we consulted experts in development work how to proceed to the Recovery/Rehabilitation phase after such a massive disaster. The first thing we learned was that the critical factor is time. The response should be immediate because disaster is an emergency situation. Thus, a month after the disaster the master plan was presented and, subsequently, it was approved by the Provincial Council. The plan is outlined as follows: 1. Needs assessment 2. Networking with NGOs, LGUs (Local Government Units), concerned Dioceses and local Churches, etc. 3. Provision of Temporary/ Permanent Shelters and other Structures 4. Capacity-Building 5. Provision of Livelihood through Micro-credit, micro-economies, entrepreneurship training 6. Child & Youth Protection Clinic on Wheels 7. Shelter Home for Orphaned, abandoned, abused children 8. Education leading to self-employment and sustainability

social workers of VIDES Philippines facilitated the orientation on the needs assessment

Sr. Jojo Carrasco, FMA, Project Coordinator, with the 3 field workers: Hajji Ryan Avila (for Samar), Maridel Capeding (for Leyte) and Cristy Aguirre (for Iloilo)

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In February, 2014, we hired 3 field workers: two are community organizers by experience in Samar and Leyte; while one is a fresh graduate of B. S. Social Work, in Iloilo. They had their orientation on the vision-mission of the Task Force and of the Congregation. Since it is their first time to work with the Salesian Sisters, they underwent a “crashcourse� on our Salesian charism and spirituality. To equip them for their task in the field, particularly on communication and documentation, we provided each of them with a laptop, a digital camera and a simple mobile phone. Before they left for their assigned communities, they received each 3 sets of uniform and an Identification Card. Upon arriving, they introduced themselves to the local government leaders and the parish priests, with whom the FMAs have initially networked during the relief operation phase. The first task they accomplished was the needs assessment of the communities assigned to them. They then came up with the profile of the target beneficiaries. The FMA Project Coordinator, Sr. Josefina Carrasco (or Sr. Jojo), and the members of the Provincial Council validated their findings and recommendations by visiting the sites.


The initial recommendation in all the sites was first to focus on provision for livelihood for their daily means of survival over and above their shelter, so as not to be dependent on relief goods. We distributed relief goods especially to the remote areas until March 2014. Start-up capital was released to those who have formed their informal groups and have signed a contract of their commitment to undertake the “business” they have chosen and to contribute a portion of their daily income first as savings of the group where they can tap later as source of funding for loans and capital build-up by the group to further finance any other group interested to start a business. In this way, others, besides themselves will also be helped, and ultimately, the whole community will be sustainable. The following small enterprises were started: • Fishing • Livestock (hog and chicken) raising • Wet market • Garments trade • Backyard integrated farming (vegetable planting and livestock raising) • “Sari-sari” Store or Convenience Store • Hollow-blocks fabrication • “Tri-sikad” or Bicycle-driven means of public transport • School boats The regular follow-up and monitoring of the field workers by VIDES Philippines as well as the visits and immersion work not only of the FMAs, but also the different sectors of the Educating Communities like the parents, studentvolunteers, teacher-volunteers, past pupils, and donors, greatly encouraged these small enterprises to thrive successfully, inspiring others to also set up their informal groups to start the enterprise of their choice. At the same time, we sent our trainers from our Mindoro Agri-tech school to seminar-workshops on organic farming. Together with our graduating trainees, the trained trainers echoed the seminar workshop “Sustainable Organic Agriculture with Entrepreneurship” to 25 farmers in Samar, last June 1-5, 2014 in Barangay Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar. However, these farmers have committed to echo this seminar to the farmers in Leyte. Since March, 2014, we have been giving human and spiritual formation and leadership training particularly to our “adopted” barangay: Canyoyo in Marabut, Samar. The people has gradually gathered and pooled its human resources to be instrumental in rebuilding their community.

With the assured provision of their daily needs by their livelihood enterprises, the people are now ready to rebuild their houses and the different permanent structures of the community. This time, we distributed housing materials first of all to those whose houses were completely destroyed. Everybody in the community pitched-in their contribution in rebuilding the houses: the men took turns in going fishing and in doing the construction work; while the mothers and the children cook and distribute meals to the workers. The first permanent structure they asked us for help was the rebuilding of their chapel, which was completely destroyed. Again, they are providing the labor force and we supply them of the construction materials. At the same time, we have helped them build their multi-purpose hall where they can have their trainings, meeting, and most especially the celebration of the Holy Mass every Sunday. We have also built a staff house of light materials, for the visitors, volunteers, trainers and Sisters visiting the community. One of the priority areas we focus on is on Child Protection because in times of disaster the children, and young girls and boys are the most vulnerable. We set up the following to ensure protection of children and youth in times of calamity and disaster: • Child-friendly evacuation Centers • Child Protection Mobile Clinic on Wheels • Shelter Home for the orphaned and abandoned children and girls • Scholarship Program leading to self-employment and sustainability. The Evacuation Center in Cebu is now under construction in Minglanilla, Cebu, while the Laura Vicuña Foundation brings in the Child & Youth Protection Medical Clinic on Wheels in November 2014. Child Protection sessions will be conducted for the prevention of abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children and women as well as undertake medical missions and preventive health care in the areas. We just had the groundbreaking of the Laura Vicuña Shelter Home for the abandoned and abused girls in Cubao, last September 4, 2014. Last April and May, 2014, Sr. Ann Lyn Rose Magno, FMA, Sr. Leilani Barañao, FMA and a team of psychometricians conducted entrance tests and interviews of around 300 applicants for college and vocational scholarships in Samar, Leyte and northern Cebu. At the same time, the Ms. Cristy Aguirre, our social worker in Iloilo, conducted the tests and interviews in the island of Calagnaan, Iloilo.

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

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SUMMARY - Consolidated Financial Report on the Recovery/Rehabilitation Phase

At present, there are 98 scholars studying at Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women, (MOW TIW) Minglanilla, Cebu taking up various courses: 23 are taking up Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering; 27 in Industrial Electronics; 31 in Office Travel & Entrepreneurship Services; 13 in TVET (Technical Vocational Education & Training) Program for Industrial Electronics; 4 in TVET Program for Office Travel & Entrepreneurship Services. In Malihao, Victorias, Negros Oriental, Laura VicuĂąa Women Development & Training Center (LVWDTC), a total of 30 scholars are taking up various courses: 22 are enrolled in the TVET Program of Hotel & Restaurant Services; 2 in Business & Office Technology; and 6 in Garments Trade.

Activity 1

Needs Assessment, monitoring & Evaluation

2

Construction of Shelters & Structures

3

Capacity- Building/Formation

4

Cost as of August 31, 2014

TOTAL COST in Php

TOTAL COST in Euro

719,355.42

719,355.42

12.593,54

14,200,741.26

31,088,742.26

544.261,00

151,518.84

151,518.84

2.652,17

Livelihood Projects

4,903,612.20

4,903.612.20

85.846,05

5

Child & Youth Protection Medical Clinic

1,576,720.00

2,500,000.00

43.766.74

6

Shelter Home for the Orphaned & Abandoned girls

500,000.00

45,000,000.00

787.801,33

7

Educational Assistance

7,292,140.00

19,702,150.00

344.919,56

Php 29,344,087.72

Php 104,065,378.72

â‚Ź 344.919,56

TOTAL PROJECT COST

Students of Calagnaan Island, Iloilo have to ride a boat in going to school. Two school boats were donated by the students and Educating Community of Mary Help of Christians School - Pampanga.

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School supplies donated by Mother Maddalena Morano Educational Foundation, VIDES Philippines and the Past Pupils Federation


Disaster Needs Assessment/ Monitoring & Evaluation

Steps Taken

Cost Items

Amount

1 Hiring of Social Workers/ Community Organizers

Salaries & benefits

2 Orientation & Goal Setting of the Social Worker/

Travel Expenses of the Social Worker/ Community Organizers

3 Providing communication & documentation gadgets to the field

Communication & Documentation Gadgets

87,107.61

5 Fielding the staff

Travel Expenses

21,772.64

6 Profiling of the Beneficiaries

Transportation Expenses

2,680.00

7 Forming Informal cooperatives among the interested beneficiaries

Transportation Expenses

750,000.00

8 Coming up & signing of small enterprise agreements

Transportation Expenses

196,000.00

9 Site Visits of the Project Coordinators, Provincial Council members,

Travel Expenses

203,129.17

Community Organizers

staff: mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras

396,000.00 8,666.00

4 Signing of work contracts

Donors & Volunteers

Total in Php

Php 719,355.42

Total in Euro

€ 12.593,54

Provision of Permanent / Temporary Shelters & Structures

Construction Materials Provided

1 Roofs, plywood, cement, CHB, etc. for repair of houses

Cost

Donor

as of Aug. 31, 2014

VIDES Italy Charis Singapore

Housing materials & supplies

House with toilets

2 Houses for those living in tents

Total Cost

No. of Families

Location

344,976.39

344,976.39

50

Libertad, Palo, Leyte

1,050,000.00

1,050,000.00

70

Lipata, Marabut, Samar

Fundacion Madre Selva Spain

345, 182.52

345, 182.52

50

Kananga, Leyte

Various donors

226,000.00

226,000.00

48

Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

Jugend Eine Welt

1,273,198.88

1,273,198.88

240

Towns in northern Cebu

Charis Singapore

600,000.00

600,000.00

40

Catato, Samar

Charis Singapore

600,000.00

600,000.00

40

Amantillo, Samar

VIDES/Caritas

484,566.00

484,566.00

50

Tanauan, Leyte

VIDES/Caritas

600,000.00

600,000.00

25

Carles, Iloilo

Various donors

530,000.00

530,000.00

10

Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

5,708,741.26

5,708,741.26

TOTAL: Temporary/ Permanent Shelters Constructed

Structures

Donor

3 Construction of Staff

Various donors

4 Construction of Multi-

623

Amount

Amount

Location

80,000.00

80,000.00 Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

Jackie Stuve, HP Klughardt, & St. Joseph & Mary Church

150,000.00

150,000.00 Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

5 Construction of Chapel &

Falconn Cares (USA), Don Bosco School (FMA) Faculty, staff, students & EC core group, Angelica Santos (Hongkong), Julia & Heike Wegscheider, Fr. Francis Posluszny (Peru), St. Juan Apostol Pueblo Joven Santa Ana, Fr. Frederick Saviano(Diocese of Bridgeport, USA); MHCS, Pampanga & and from the survivors’ share (Php35,000)

422,000.00

650,000.00 Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

6 Evacuation Center - Min-

Jugend Eine Welt

House to accommodate volunteers, trainers, and visiting donors Purpose Hall

Acquisition of Generator

glanilla, Cebu & 3-storey Highschool Building for the Highschool Girls at Risk

7,840,000.00

TOTAL: Construction Cost of Structures

24,500,000.00 Minglanilla, Cebu

8,492,000.00

25,380,000.00

GRAND TOTALS In Php

14,200,741.26

31,088,742.26

GRAND TOTALS In Euro

€ 248.608,06

€ 544.261,17

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

FMA Lifeline

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House BEFORE

House AFTER

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Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

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After the typhoon, the Sisters provided us with fishing boats, as fishing is our main means of livelihood. Then we asked the Sisters to help us rebuild our chapel because it was completely destroyed. The Sisters thru their donors provided us with the materials. This challenged us to give also our personal contribution in terms of labor. Young and old alike and whoever has the heart to help gave their time and service. The men took turns in doing construction work, while those who were fishing gave a share of their catch to the families doing the construction, while the young and the women cooked food for the workers. The Sisters were glad to see how we put together our forces, so the more they were encouraged to help us not only to build our chapel but also the multi-purpose hall where we can gather and have a training center area too. Most of all, they also gave us construction materials for our own houses. A BIG THANKS to the Salesian Sisters and their donors for giving us BACK HOPE. - Melissa Racquiza (Brgy. Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar)

Chapel after typhoon Yolanda

the community helping to build the chapel

Groundbreaking Cermony Minglanilla, Cebu - May 24, 2014

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Seminar -workshop on Sustainable Organic Agriculture & Entrepreneurship (SOAWE) conducted by Sr. Ravena Dominguez, FMA and co-trainers for farmers of 7 baranggays of Marabut, Samar last June 1-5, 2014.

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA conducts Lectio Divina with the children and youth of Brgy. Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar. conducted by Sr. Eustacia Mendoza, FMA & Sr. Mariel Riceani De Mata, FMA last September 26-27, 2014 in Marabut, Samar

conducted by Sr. Ma. Victoria Sta. Ana, FMA & Sr. Candy Carmen Balverde, FMA at Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women last September 6-7, 2014

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

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Type of Formation / Training

Date

Donor

March 10-14, 2014

Various donors

Sr. Ravena Dominguez, FMA, & trainers of the 20,308.00 FMA Agricultural/Technical School in Calapan, Mindoro

June 1-5, 2014

Various donors

farmers with experience 44,010.84 in the 7 baranggays in Marabut, Samar

Fr. Romy Manzanero, the parish priest of Marabut, Samar; the parish catechists & lay ministers

On-going

Various donors

22,000.00

parishioners of the Parish in Marabut, Samar

Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA & Sr. Candy Carmen Balverde, FMA

September 6-7, 2014

MOHTIW Cebu

12,000.00

Scholars & parents from Samar, Leyte and Cebu

Youth Empowerment

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA, Camille & Cristy Labog

July 19, 2014

Cristy Labog

Youth Catechesis

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA

August 18-20, 2014

Various donors

Youth Called to be Saints & Heroes

Sr. Eustacia Mendoza, FMA & Sr. Mariel Riceani De Mata, FMA

Sept. 26-27, 2014

Various donors

Youth Spirituality - A Call to Holiness

Past Pupils of DBS

November 2014

Youth leaders of Marabut, Samar

Youth Catechesis

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA

January 2015

Parish youth leaders and of Canyoyo

Salesian Youth Spirituality A way of Life

SYM Youth Leaders

April 2015

Youth leaders of Marabut, Basey, Samar

1 Seminar-workshop

on Sustainable Agripreneurship Training

Trainers / Facilitators Mr. Mon Peñalosa of Peñalosa Farm of Victorias City, Negros Occidental

2 Seminar-workshop

Sr. Ravena Dominguez, FMA, on Sustainable trainers and graduates of the FMA Organic Agriculture & Agricultural/Technical School in Entrepreneurship (SOAWE) Calapan, Mindoro

3 Basic Ecclesial Community Formation

CAPACITY-BUILDING

4 Counter-Trafficking Semi-

nar: “Be Brave, Stand up for the Dignity of Persons”

Location

5 YOUTH FORMATION Parish youth leaders in 18,000.00 Osmena & Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar Youth leaders of Canyoyo 6,000.00 and the parish youth leaders 26,200.00

100 youth leaders from Leyte and Samar

6 ADULT FORMATION Responsible Parenthood

Cristy Labog

July 19, 2014

Lectio Divina

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA & Mrs. Marizel Matias

August 20-21, 2014

Food Preparation

Recci Oliveros & Sally Santiago

3,000.00 78 Parents - Canyoyo, Marabut Barangay leaders of Osmena and Canyoyo

December

parents who are interested

Called to Life & Love

Joji Racelis (CEFAM)

January

Parents from Marabut, Basey, Samar, & Palo, Tanauan, Leyte

Catechesis

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA & Mrs. Marizel Matias

January

Parents

March

Parent Leaders

Rights of Children & Women VIDES Philippines

20

Amount

Total in Php

151,518.84

Total in Euro

2.652,59

FMA Lifeline

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase


Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

FMA Lifeline

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L

by MA. JENINA L. LIM

ast January 2014, Sr. Marita R. Cedeño (Mary Help of Christians School, Cebu - principal) launched the Bangka ng Pag-asa project for the people of Daanbantayan, one of the severely affected areas by the supertyphoon, Yolanda. After the devastation, the people of Daanbantayan lost not only their homes but also their livelihood. Mary Help of Christians School, (Cebu) decided to help them start again by providing bangkas or pump boats for their fishing business. Each class from pre-school to high school was challenged to raise Php 17,000 for the fabrication of thirteen bangkas that will be donated to the fishermen of Daanbantayan. All “Batang Mary Help” were inspired to take various initiatives for this noble cause. They gave up their usual Christmas party and opted for a simpler one. The Juniors and Seniors gave up their JS Promenade hotel accommodations and celebrated it in the school instead. Indeed, they were able to make waves of hope and solidarity. The three groups from 10-Mazzarello class who won in CFA’s (Communication Foundation for Asia) song writing and video contest on good governance and engaged citizenship donated a generous share of their prizes for the project. The Seniors also took time to put up Solidarity Stores like “Siomai for a Cause” and other snack goodies. Ms. Angelica Cabiling, our Outreach Coordinator, set up a virtual race of boats for each class so that they can monitor their progress. The weekly Tuesday mission collection and other fund-raising projects during Boscolympics and Handuraw helped raise the amount for thirteen pump boats for the fishermen. Last April 2, 2014, these thirteen new bangkas were officially turned over to their owners. Gally Bohol, recipient of the Bangka ng Pag-asa project, with his own fishing boat (also see photo above - Gally is in the front row, 4th from right, wearing orange shirt)

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FMA Lifeline

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

“When I learned that Mary Help of Christians School, Cebu is giving us bangkas, I cannot help but cry. Though I lost everything, I gained hope and I was helped to stand again,” Mang Danilo Conjepepito, one of the beneficiaries said. 20% of the livelihood of Daanbantayan has yet to be revived because of the lack of materials. They had to stop sending their children to school so as to lessen their daily expenses. Furthermore, some of their children are still psychologically suffering because of the trauma caused by the typhoon; such was the case of Mang Rodolfo Pitugo’s child. “I did not know what to do. My children had to quit school and had to work to help me earn money,” he said. Inspired by the initiative of MHCS Cebu Educating Community, the Association of United Fishermen of Daanbatayan led by Mr. Basilio Marikit pledged to give Php20.00 from their daily income to their association to fund the construction of other bangkas for the remaining fishermen in their area. “As long as I have something to give, why wouldn’t I?” Mang Danilo said. They believe that their little sacrifice can help rebuild the lives of the people of Daanbantayan. Despite their difficult situation, these thirteen fishermen decided to remain in their homes rather than leave Daanbantayan. The whole educating community of Mary Help of Christians School, (Cebu) is amazed by their dedication, humility and perseverance. As Mang Basilio mentioned in his thank you speech, “We are not ashamed of our job as fishermen because without us and our fish, everyone would be suffering from high blood pressure.” He managed to crack a joke in spite of his predicament. Hats off to our thirteen amazing fishermen from Daanbantayan. Their faith in God and fortitude are truly an inspiration to us all. That is the Bangka ng Pag-asa spirit! Let’s continue to make waves of hope and solidarity for others!

Marciano Itang, Jr. (also see photo above - Marciano is in the front row, 6th from right, wearing red shirt)


Type of Livelihood Project

Donor

Amount as of Aug. 31, 2013

No. of Families

No. of Informal Cooperatives

Location

PROVISION OF LIVELIHOOD

1 Fishing Boats (as of August 31, 2014) 61 Paddle boats

Don Bosco School (FMA) Students, faculty & staff, FALConn Cares & UFAC CT/NY, ME groups & individual donors

366,000.00

19 motorized boats (23ft.)

Falconn Cares, UFAC CT/NY, Julia & Heike Wegscheider, MHCS Pampanga students

570,000.00

40

Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

10 motorized boats (23ft.)

Salamat Po Kai, various donors

303,000.00

25

Tanauan, Leyte

10 motorized boats (23ft.)

Peace & Happiness thru Prosperity (Japan)

300,000.00

25

Tanauan, Leyte

10 motorized boats (23ft.)

Handmaid of Sacred Heart (Japan)

300,000.00

22

Tanauan, Leyte

10 motorized boats (23ft.)

Various donors

300,000.00

20

Tanauan, Leyte

13 motorized boats (12ft.)

MHCS Minglanilla students

236,168.20

13

Maya, Daan Bantayan, Cebu

30 motorized boats (23ft.)

VIDES Italy

750,000.00

30

Calagnaan, Iloilo

Total: 102 motorized boats

3,125,168.20

180

223

Canyoyo & Tinabanan, Marabut, Samar

132

2 Sewing Machines 16 Hi-speed sewing machines

Jugend Eine Welt

196,000.00

16

Maya, Daan Bantayan & Borbon, Cebu

7 Sewing Machines

VIDES Philippines

40,000.00

7

Tanauan, Leyte

26 Sewing Machines

VIDES U. K.

33 Sewing machines & 16 Hi-speed sewing machines

3 Hog-Raising

Various donors VIDES USA VIDES Philippines

186,000.00 422,000.00

26 23

78,000.00

26 13

40,000.00

17

436,544.00

various

Tanauan, Leyte

Libertad, Palo, Leyte Tunga, Palo, Leyte Borbon, Northern Cebu

4 Chicken Raising

Various donors

18,000.00

4

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

5 Vegetable Farming

Various donors

14,000.00

3

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

Various donors

33,900.00

3

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

Carabao - as farm asset

620,440.00

6 Mini-Convenience Stores

Various donors Don Bosco School (FMA) students, faculty & staff, FALConn Cares

17

30,000.00

23 5

310,000.00

40

Libertad, Palo, Leyte Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar

7 Wet Market

Various donors

60,000.00

10

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

8 Mini-Canteen

Various donors

25,000.00

5

Libertad, Palo, Leyte

Various donors

15,000.00

3

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

440,000.00

63

9 Pedicab

10 Hollow blocks making 11 2 School Boats

(25pax capacity per boat) Total in Php Total in Euro

Various donors

20,000.00

Various donors

36,000.00

6

Libertad, Palo, Leyte

VIDES USA

14,000.00

2

Tunga, Palo, Leyte

Various donors

66,000.00

MHCS - Pampanga students, EC

3

11

136,000.00

8

160,000.00

50

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

San Antonio, Basey, Samar

14 Calagnaan Island, Iloilo

Php 4,903,612.20 â‚Ź 85.846,05 Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

FMA Lifeline

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Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase


newly bought Isuzu truck ...future CYPMC on wheels

a peep inside the Child & Youth Protection & Medical Clinic on Wheels under construction

Child & Youth Protection & Medical Clinic on Wheels / Shelter Home for Orphaned & Abandoned Girls

Groundbreaking Ceremony Laura Vicuña Center - Cubao September 4, 2014 (in the photo - Board of Directors of the Laura Vicuña Foundation with other guests)

Type of Project Child & Youth Protection & Medical Mobile Clinic on Wheels

Date

Donors

3 years period

Jugend Eine Welt

Amount

Beneficiaries

1,576,720.00 Children, youth & mothers of Samar, Leyte and Cebu Php 1,576,720.00 € 27,603.16

Shelter Home for Orphaned & Abandoned Girls *Laura Vicuña Center - Cubao

on-going

CEI, Jugend Eine Welt, Vides InternazionaleMisean Cara, Star Foundation, Porticus & LVF

45,000,000.00 children & youth referred by CPC units, DSWD, & other NGOs working especially with trafficked children & youth

Php 45,000,000.00 € 12.593,54 Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

FMA Lifeline

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Journeying with a Light Feet and a Rich Heart By SR. ANN LYN ROSE MAGNO, FMA

W

hen almost everyone else is asleep, at three o’clock in the morning, a team of two and at times, four, travel from Minglanilla, Cebu to as far as 270 kilometers (Tacloban, Leyte); 304 kilometers (Basey and Marabut, Samar) ; 156 kilometers (Bantayan Island), 153 kilometers (Daan Bantayan); 92 kilometers (Borbon, Cebu), with an hour and a half sea travel going to Bantayan Island and seven hours sea travel to Ormoc, Leyte plus a 106 kilometers travel from Ormoc City to Tacloban City. It is difficult and many times inconvenient to travel (particularly through public transportation) but the motivation is far from difficult and inconvenient, especially that it is for a noble cause. From the outpouring generosity of our benefactors and donors who offered scholarship for young women from these devasted areas, how could one say “no” to such a selfless offer? Nothwithstanding the heat, fatigue from transporting the heavy boxes of testing materials and other inconceivable inconvenience, the journey is one with a light feet and a rich heart. Typhoon Yolanda had left not only more than 10,000 people dead, but it left behind wretched havoc in these disaster-torn places. However, amidst the piteous reality they are in, people in these places were not discouraged. The scholarship offered for their children is a ray of hope for their families. It is a renewed trust in the goodness of humanity for after all, “We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.” Although not all the more than 200 takers passed the scholarship exams and interview, we are more than confident that those who passed will be able to finish through with their scholarship with a renewed hope and renewed heart. We continue to visit these places for the formation of the parents of the scholars so that hand in hand with them, we will be able to create a brighter future for their children. A heartfelt gratitude to all our benefactors and donors. You have made a difference in the lives of these young women and their families. Their success is your success. May the wave of God’s gratuitous blessings be upon you.

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FMA Lifeline

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase


Type of Scholarship / Benefit

Name of School

Donor

Amount

Number of Scholars

Place of Residence of Scholars

23

5 - Leyte, 4 - Samar, 5- Daanbantayan, Cebu, 7- Bantayan Island, Cebu, 2- Borbon, Cebu

4-Year College Education

PROVISION OF EDUCATION LEADING TO E MP LOY ME NT

1

Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering First Year -Full scholarship

1,348,950.00

Mary our Help Technical Institute for Women, (MOH-TIW) Minglanilla, Cebu

Various donors

MOH-TIW Cebu

Various donors

2 Industrial Electronics- Academic

1,383,480.00

Engineering Tracking DepEd Year 11 (Competency in Consumer Electronics, Mechatronics & Servicing NC II, First Year- Full scholarship)

3 Office Travel & Entrepreneurship

27

1,616,340.00

Services - Academic Business Tracking (Competency in Bookkeeping NC III) DepEd Program Year 11, First Year - Full Scholarship

MOH-TIW Cebu

Various donors

31

TOTAL SCHOOL FEES in Php

4,348,770.00

in Euro

76,132.60

13 - Leyte, 4 - Samar, 1- Daanbantayan, Cebu, 6- Bantayan Island, Cebu, 3- Borbon, Cebu 14 - Leyte, 10 - Samar, 4- Borbon, 3- Bantayan Island, Cebu,

81

2 to 1 Year Technical/Vocational Education

4 Industrial Electronics - Vocational Tracking

MOH-TIW Cebu

Various donors

616,720.00

13

4 - Leyte, 5 - Samar, 4- Bantayan Island, Cebu,

MOH-TIW Cebu

Various donors

199,360.00

4

4 - Leyte

Laura Vicuña Women Dev. Training Center, (LVWDTC) Malihao, Victorias, Negros Occidental

Various donors

469,700.00

22

14 - Calagnaan Island, Iloilo, 8 - Punta Buri, Iloilo

Technology NC II, Full Scholarship - 1st year

LVWDTC

Various donors

41,000.00

2

Punta Buri & Cadiz

TVET Program - Garments Trade

LVWDTC

Various donors

123,000.00

6

5 - Calagnaan Island, Iloilo 1 - Punta Buri

MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu

Jugend Eine Welt

(Competency in Consumer Electronics & Servicing NCII (TVET Program)

5 Office Travel & Entrepreneurship

Services (Competency n Bookkeeping NC III) TVET Program, First Year - Full scholarship

6

TVET Program - Hotel & Restaurant Services NC II, Full Scholarship - 1st year

7 TVET Program - Business & Office 8

9 Highschool Scholars for 4 years

10

8,684,800.00

TOTAL SCHOOL FEES in Php

10,134,580.00

in Euro

177,423.01

GRAND TOTAL for SCHOOL FEES in Php

14,483,350.00

in Euro

253,555.61

160 207 288

Full board (Lodging & Meals) for Scholars in Cebu for 1 year

Mary Our Help Dormitory, Minglanilla, Cebu

Various donors

4,468,800.00

98

11 Full board (Lodging & Meals) for scholars in Malihao, Negros Occidental for 1 year

Dormitory, Malihao, Victorias, Negros Occidental

Various donors

495,000.00

30

4,963,800.00

128

TOTAL BOARD & LODGING in Php in Euro

86,899.74

School Items 12 13

Donor

Blackboard & school supplies School Supplies

Cebu

Amount

# of Scholars Place of Residence of Scholars

Mo. Morano Educational Foundation VIDES Philippines (w/ blackboards)

245,000.00

700

High school students National Osmena H.S.

Past Pupils Federation

10,000.00

120

Elementary students - Canyoyo Elementary School

TOTAL SCHOOL SUPPLIES in Php

255,000.00

in Euro

4,464.21

TOTAL EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE in Php

19,702,150.00

in Euro

344,919.56

820 1,236

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

FMA Lifeline

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I

n the aftermath of the catastrophic Typhoon Yolanda “Haiyan” which tumultuously devastated many places in the Philippines particularly Leyte, Samar, Northern Cebu and Iloilo, we organized relief operations to respond to the immediate needs of our brothers and sisters. With the help of generous benefactors, we adopted barangays and built houses for those who were left homeless and provided construction materials to rebuild houses that can still be restored. We gave fishing boats to affected fishermen to help build their lives through sustainable livelihood. We conducted and continue to conduct livelihood seminars as an upstart for our people, forming cooperatives within identified areas and employed social workers to assist and monitor them until such time that they can manage by themselves. We provided the basic necessities: food, shelter, clothing, medical assistance and livelihood. We offered young women education with a sure employment opportunity. The First Month Away From Home On June 1 and June 2, 2014, 104 young women from Leyte, Samar and Northern Cebu who passed the scholarship conducted by Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc., accompanied by social workers and some with a member of their family, were fetched by the college dean, Sr. Ann Lyn Rose D. Magno, FMA (who interviewed and admitted all the scholars) either at a bus station or a seaport and brought them to Minglanilla. The first month was a period of difficult adjustment for them. All except three have never been away from their families. One could just imagine the buckets of tears shed every night. Sobs are heard everywhere in the dormitory. Thus, the first month was a month of intense motivation from the Sisters and teachers. Sr. Aurora Roble, FMA, School Directress asked us to give extra love, patience, care, understanding, respect and concern to these young women, who may have been traumatized by the horror of the catastrophic typhoon Yolanda but are eager to build their lives and keep alive the flame of hope for a brighter future.

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By SR. ANN LYN ROSE MAGNO, FMA From June 1 to August 24, 2014 out of 104 young women, only 97 remained. The seven left particularly during their first two weeks in the dormitory (in spite of all the motivation) because they find it difficult to be away from their family. They thought they are strong enough to be on their own but a little rain would greatly bother them. They have a recurring feeling of anxiety about the safety of their family. Their spirits are willing but their emotions are weak, thus, they decided to go back home and chose to be close to their family rather than pursue their dreams. An Educative Home at Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc. For those who are driven for greater love of family and a brighter future, giving up is not an option. The scholars who are left with us are more than grateful to be given the opportunity to study, thus, in spite language barrier, difference in culture, great longing to be with the family, they chose to stay. Sr. Leilani Barañao, FMA and Sr. Janis Mia Aguirre, FMA assist them in their daily activities which include waking up as early as 4:30, breakfast at 6:30, doing assigned chores before going to school, school hours from 7:35am until 5:45pm, personal time, dinner at 6:30, rosary, recreation, goodnight and study period until curfew time at 10:00pm. As in a family, shared chores are done for the upkeep of the dormitory. Friday night is a respite for them from a week’s brain exercising activities in school. Every Friday evening, they are treated with a good movie in the St. Mary Mazzarello hall. Saturday is scheduled as a general cleaning day and after which they are left during the day to do their personal activities such as washing their clothes. Sunday is looked forward to not only because they have “special meals” but because the Eucharistic Meal (Holy Mass) is shared together.


Once a month they have a Sharing on the Word (Lectio Divina) which they find very inspiring and uplifting, thus, inspires them to move forward in hope. All Praises for the Scholars The BS Electronics Engineering scholars who do not have classes every Tuesday morning and the whole day of Wednesday have their class with expert part time engineer teachers every Saturday and Sunday. These part time educators who are teaching in other universities are all praises for the scholars such that they have never taught a group as eager, studious and diligent as our scholars. The passion and great thirst for learning of our scholars cannot but ignite these teachers’ passion for teaching, thus, they are challenged to also go the extra mile in teaching. Our teachers too are edified by the great effort in studies exerted by our scholars. They are all the more inspired to make their lessons more creative and substantial. Grateful Scholars One thing evident in the scholars is their sense of gratitude for all the blessings they have received from God through persons. They are grateful to all the benefactors and donors who had given them the opportunity to study. How they wish many other young people in their places would also be able to avail of the scholarship they are given. They are more than happy to be able to study at Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc. that offers them not only education and employment but also spiritual, psychological and intellectual growth; prepares them to face the challenges of life through the life skills sessions being given; upholds their dignity as women and as children of God. The sacraments are always made available for them that is why they felt much closer to God as compared to when they were in their high school days. Co-Curricular activities, liturgical celebrations and Salesian Youth Movement sessions are moments they look forward to because they grow from them. They are amazed at how they are able to live together in joy. “This must be the family spirit that the Sisters are telling us,� they said. The family spirit to them is not just a concept but a lived experience. Looking Forward to a Brighter Future We are still counting many months but with the good attitude and character of the scholars, we know that a brighter future awaits them. Seeing them happy, full of life and hope, we are confident that they will communicate this joy and hope to their families and the people in their places. We hope that this scholarship grant will continue every year through generous people so that hope will not just be a concept and a desire but that hope will have its faces. Hope is indeed alive and not buried in the rubbles of the disastrous typhoon Yolanda.

Hope is alive, we see them everyday.

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase FMA

Lifeline

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Giving Up Is Not An Option By SR. ANN LYN ROSE MAGNO, FMA LIFE BEFORE THE TRAGEDY

A NEW HOPE

Clean the house, cook dinner, prepare the table, wash the plates, wash clothes, study her lessons, wake up very early the next morning, cook breakfast and lunch, wash the dishes, then go to school – these is the everyday household routine of Genalyn Quirante except that these household tasks are done in someone else’s home. Genalyn is the 3rd of the seven siblings of her father who is a carpenter and her mother who is a housewife. Her parents, although both industrious, could not find a stable job since both were not even able to finish the elementary school education. Thus, Genalyn, seeing the difficulty of the family, sought to find means and ways to be able to study. Although from Leyte, she worked as a househelp for a teacher in Samar. The kind teacher and her family helped her in her secondary schooling. She juggled between household chores and studies but her dreams are bigger than her struggles – giving up is not an option.

The scholarship offered by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is, for her, a new beginning. She is one of among the hundred students out of three hundred who passed the scholarship. She was attracted to the fact that the scholarship at Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc. of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians will not only give her quality value-laden education but at the same time regular employment. She is the family’s only hope. Her elder siblings were not as fortunate as she was. Since they were not able to finish their secondary education, they are employed in menial jobs for the family’s daily food and for the education (at least elementary) of the younger siblings. Gen, was particularly close to her brother Jose, the second in the family, who works at a quarrying site. They promised one another to uplift the family living condition and not give up their dreams. Both are convinced that “Giving up is not an option.” If Gen will be able to finish and have a stable job, she will send Jose to school so that later, he can also find a decent job and not subject himself to the dangers of the quarrying work which gives him a meager pay.

THE SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA She was in her fourth year in high school when the catastrophic super typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippine Visayan Region. Swept by the gigantic rushing waters, she was saved by the family of her teacher. Her family, too, who were in Leyte, were able to survive the ordeal. Left with no home and dependent on help, she as well as everyone in their place moved on and tried to live their lives as normal as possible. Daily food was scarce and everyday living in the evacuation center with sub-standard condition was tough. Rebuilding her and her family’s lives seemed difficult to achieve especially that her father was killed in February of 2014. The only choice left for her that time is to abandon her dream of finishing her collegiate studies and look for work after high school graduation to help the family. However, an unexpected blessing from God came, which lighted up her flickering hope.

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THE REALIZATION OF THE DREAM When Gen stepped in the gates of Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu), Inc., she made a definitive decision that there is no turning back on her dreams no matter what is going to happen. “Giving up is not an option” even if three weeks in Mary Our Help, she received a phone call from her brother’s co-worker that her brother Jose was drowned at the quarrying site in Tacloban. It was a very painful news for Gen. Consoled by the Sisters, teachers and her companions, she was able to slowly overcome her grief. Jose did not live long enough to see their dreams realized, but Gen, with head held high and with undaunted determination is walking her way to success. Tragedy upon tragedy beset her, but she continues to tell herself with conviction, “Giving up is not an option.”


By SR. AILYN P. CAYANAN, FMA Sense of hopelessness The extent of human tragedy produced by Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a Yolanda, was so overwhelming that massive support was needed to rebuild lives. With faith and courage to face the adversity, our Congregation, the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, encouraged the members of our educating communities to provide needed help, according to their means, to restore hope and bring light in the seemingly dark and bleak circumstances of many of our people. On February 17, 2014, in a farflung Barangay Canyoyo, Marabut, Samar, our group coordinated with Fr. Romeo Manzanero, parish priest of St. James the Apostle Parish, who guided us around the barangay. We saw displaced families living in tents, or in makeshift temporary shelters made of cardboard boxes. We listened to their stories, learned about their struggles, and felt their mixed emotions: anger, helplessness, and sadness. God comes to the rescue Through it all, the people of Barangay Canyoyo held on to God’s mercy and compassion, believing that He is actively present in their situation, and that His love is greater than their misfortune. Thanks to Divine Providence, we were able to gather funds to rebuild the barangay chapel, a venue for community prayer and worship that became a symbol of their unity. Many offered help by sponsoring paddle and motorized boats, a cooperative store, and a training center where formation sessions, meetings and other functions can be held. Houses were repaired and those living in tents were given new homes. Furthermore, a seminar workshop for organic sustainable farming was conducted.

We witnessed the gradual transformation of the community. The people’s anger was appeased and they started becoming responsible and concerned for the welfare of their community. Those, who once considered themselves victims are now victorious for they were able to rise from their misery.

and inconsiderate. But God’s grace made it possible for us to change. We started showing concern for each other, and even for those families in other villages. We realized that Barangay Canyoyo, that was once an unknown place, has become a place of mission, transformation, and formation for others.”

Co-responsibility & Unity

Truly, we can attest to the generosity of the villagers. They share their extra paddle boats to the next barangay. They show hospitality to the participants of the formation sessions,welcoming them into their homes and adopting them for some days.

The villagers assumed the responsibility of being partners in the mission of transformation of their community. Everyone is trying to help in any way. We do not worry about cost of labor, for they give their service for free, willingly and joyfully.

The villagers see the difference now due to the great transformation that is happening. They had the choice to remain bitter and selfish, but they opted to become missionaries.

It is truly God who is leading the villagers towards restoration and integration.

A cooperative was established for the different livelihood programs implemented. It is earning because of the support of the entire community. Now the cooperative is able to provide for the basic needs of the members at a very low cost, and at the same time defray the other needs of the community without waiting for donations. The fishermen and the farmers are the ones supporting the lunch of the volunteers helping in the construction of various projects. Whenever we visit the village for monitoring and formation, they share with us joy the fruit of their labor and we always enjoy the fresh catch of fish and the newly harvested vegetables. In one of our Bible sharing sessions, one father shared with us the following, “Yolanda brought out the worst and the best in us. After the storm surge, we were like beasts roaring with anger, scratching whoever will come our way. We were selfish

New Hope is Born One of the most striking message of the Holy Father in Evangelii Gaudium is the challenge of the new evangelization. There is always a reason to rejoice and to proclaim that God is merciful, compassionate and loving towards His people. Nothing happens by chance.Even in not so good experiences, something beautiful can come out. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to God, because through Him, A TRULY INSPIRING AND LIFEGIVING COMMUNITY WAS BORN FROM A DEATHDEALING DISASTER…FROM THE DERBIS OF DESPAIR, HOPE IS HONED TO ITS SHARPEST EDGE!

Special Feature - Rehabilitation Phase

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Be

totally committed to

GOD for the YOUNG

Be a Salesian Sister! Contact us:

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco) FMA Provincial House 3500 V. Mapa Extension, Sta. Mesa, 1016 Manila ( (02) 714 59 37 FMA Vocation Directress 09151314058

Help us build the

“BAHAY na PANGARAP” (DREAM HOME for the Elderly FMA).

Sr. Jesusa Acevedo, FMA

Send your donation to any community of the Salesian Sisters nearest you. Or deposit your donation to: BANK of the PHILIPPINES ISLANDS - Araneta Branch Account Name: Mother Provincial of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Account No. 3271-0293-56

Any amount coming from the heart will surely count. For you and for your family may abundant blessings truly abound. THANKS for helping us realize our DREAM...

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FMA Lifeline - march-oct 2014  

The FMA Lifeline is the official magazine of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (also known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco)...