(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!”