(n) a Cebuano term which means ‘will’

I am Anna Mae S. Burdas, 22 years old. I arrived in CCF on April 17, 2007. 6 years I stayed in the foundation. I was 9 years old at that time.

My stay in the foundation was a saving grace for me. Prior to my admission to the foundation, my biological father wanted us, his 8 children, to stop studying. Looking at it now, I’ve understood why my father decided to do so. Considering the number of children that they had to sustain, that time was really hard for the family. The only source of income that my father knew was selling automotive parts, while my mother was a plain housewife. For all these reasons, sacrificing our studies meant being able to provide food on the table.

However, my mother and elder sister wanted us to pursue our studies despite all odds.  At some point, we experienced collecting bottles and scrap materials in the streets in the evening to sell them next day just so we can have our baon or snacks in school.

One day, one of the PSDP brothers at that time saw my sister and her bestfriend scavenging at one corner of the street. This brother gave them a calling card, and for all we know, it was that moment that would change the rest of our days.

Who would have thought that I could finish my studies and pursue Master’s degree? God is amazing. Everything falls perfectly in His time.

Life inside the foundation was such a blessing. In God’s providential ways, the foundation molded me to become the person I am today. The best thing they taught at my early age was being independent. And for that I thank them so much, especially for their patience for us all. They sacrificed a lot for us. I can still remember how the house-parents and our social workers cared for us when we were sick. At some point, they had to sacrifice their sleep just to look after us. They taught and reminded us to be a good person. Also, I can still recall the sorrow in the face of our administrator, thinking how to sustain our living. But God is great, He didn’t abandon us. He is truly a Provider.

During my stay there, I was fed not only with food but also with spiritual values. We had different activities that nourished both our body and soul. We had summer camps, at the end of each school year. It was one of the most awaited time yearly because, you know, it was a time for relaxation and a break from academic hassles. We shared sorrow, laughter, success, failure, and love. Among everything, sending us to school was the best gift that CCF ever gave to us.

As I look back to my timeline before, I couldn’t imagine how time flew so fast and put me where I am in the present. Who would have thought that I could finish my studies and pursue Master’s degree? God is amazing. Everything falls perfectly in His time. My heart gives thanks to St. John Calabria for founding a charitable institution run by Calabrian missionaries. They are truly instruments of making my goals in life more than just a dream. Indeed, if there is a will, God has a way.

My message to the CCF Kids

Just do well in your studies. Find time to play and relax your mind from any kind of distraction. Prayer is the highest ingredient towards success. Never forget to thank the people whom you are living with today. In school, whenever you accomplished something, treat yourself, even in simple ways. On the other hand, when things don’t turn out the way you want them to, try again. Awaken the courage within you.

Always remember this, “Muabot man gani ang problema na wala gi pangayu, ang blessings pa kaha nga gi-ampo. Dasig lang!”

Last Saturday, the Calabrian religious community (brothers and sisters) in Cagayan de Oro had their monthly recollection in Bayabas Community. It was facilitated by Fr. Jeffrey Singzon with the theme: “The Meaning and Purpose of Life”, with the inspiration of St. John Calabria’s thought, “What a great gift to be called to be part of this family! What a great gift, but what a great responsibility”. This spiritual activity also marks the gathering of the new set of religious communities here in Cagayan de Oro.

Cagayan de Oro City: Sr. Maria Chiara facilitated a session of formation with the two pre-novices (Ardiomer Amabao and Leanard Tadena) and the three 2nd year postulants (Kim Almacen, Joric Gabasa, and Amante Julaton) last November 19, 2020, held at the social hall of PSDP Novitiate House. It was also attended by Fr. Daniel Masin.

The topic of the formation was Personal Project of Life, a prayerfully discerned plan of life in the context of one’s on-going formation. May the things that our pre-novices and postulants have learned from Sr. Chiara may be of help to their growth as disciples of Christ.

Taytay: Last November 11, 2020 from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am in the following day, torrential rain and strong wind brought by the typhoon Ulysses caused the ground floor of the Bro. Francisco Perez Clinic and Calabrian Formation School building to submerge. While there was no major damage on our facilities however, massive floods in the surroundings left the neighborhood municipalities like Marikina City and Rodriguez, Rizal appealing for rescue, evacuation and food.

Calbayog City: Today, Nazareth Formation House (NFH) community celebrates the feast day of their founder and spiritual father, St. John Calabria. The eucharistic celebration in his honor was presided over by his excellency, Most Rev. Isabelo C. Abarquez, DD, Bishop of Calbayog and was concelebrated by priests from the diocese and from the PSDP congregation.

Despite the COVID pandemic, guests and visitors, lay collaborators and members of the NFH board of management came over to participate and join the community in this annual celebration.

Taytay: Last October 24, 2020 at 9:00 pm here in the Philippines, the entire Calabrian Family throughout the world was united to pray the Missionary Rosary with the theme: “’Here I am: send me’. Weavers of fraternity.” It was done with introduction led by the Casante Fr. Miguel Tofful and each Mystery was led by different designated delegations present in various continents. The fifth mystery, led by Fr. Randy Lingo, was assigned to Mary Mother of the Poor Delegation comprising Philippines and Papua New Guinea .