The 3rd day for the Systemic Change Philippines Workshop was a very full day yet the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn from each other did not wane down at all. Jim Claffey and Fr. Joe Foley, CM began the morning with brief inputs on “Systems Thinking in a Nutshell” and “Essential Elements of Systemic Change”, respectively, followed by the very inspiring Akamasoa Story. The experience of Fr. Pedro Opeka, CM and the Malagasy of Antananarivo was both touching and amazing because it clearly manifests that “the richness of good is love”.
The Philippines also has its own stories of systemic change and one was about the Homeless People’s Federation Experience from Ms. Ruby Haddad who is the coordinator of this group. This had its beginning in Payatas, Quezon City, Manila in 1991 through the efforts of Fr. Norberto “Bebot” Carcellar, CM who passed away last May. Through the years, the Federation has gone from community organizing and mobilization to the implementation of a savings program to land acquisition and housing for the urban poor to engagement with the government and alliance partnerships.
Dynamism, passion, hope and love marked the afternoon’s Systemic Change and the Adamson Community Program story shared to us by Fr. Atilano “Nonong” Fajardo, CM and the community leaders of the relocation site in Southville, Cabuyao, Laguna – Elizabeth de Leon, Roscel Badillo, Marcelina Pangaliman, Wenifreda Esguerra and Florinda Bautista. Listening to the experience of the community leaders edified us because we clearly saw how each one’s giftedness had been enhanced giving them self-confidence and trust. They were equipped with the knowledge on how to solve the issues and concerns in their community by “using our heart to help the community and connecting with people”. As the song of Michael Jackson goes: “Maybe you and I can’t do great things. We may not change the world in one day; but we still can change some things today in our small way.”
The day ended with the Holy Mass which included a Tribute to Fr. Bebot and a Sending on Mission as Day 4 will be a whole day immersion experience at Southville, Cabuyao, Laguna. It was an enjoyable dinner with a cultural presentation rendered by the members of the Adamson University Dance Troop and Acoustic Band. Check out the pictures and see how much fun Jim and Kerry had doing the Filipino “Tinikling” dance.
Ana Maria Escaño