In places where visits were treasures-A A +A
By Nef Luczon
Monday, June 30, 2014
"ALLAH (SWT) is with those who restrain themselves." – Qur’an 16:128
IT’S the start of the Holy month of Ramadan this year where all Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset for about 30 days.
Doing such can be very hard, but in the end the joy and blessings it bring is unparalleled to any worldly pleasures, as it did to me for many years now.
May this year’s Ramadan will be a time for enlightenment and understanding for all Muslims and even non-Muslims, especially to those extremist fanatics who think that killing will please Allah (SWT), and using the name of Allah (SWT) for political and selfish cause, thus the impression of tainting the name of Islam in the bad light that resulting to bias and discrimination to all Muslims in general. It hurts, but it is real.
Last week, we had the opportunity to visit yet another “rural” area of Barangay Digkilaan in Iligan City together with the officials of Directories Philippines Corporation (DPC) that runs the Yellow Pages in the country.
It is still part of the city however it is already situated in the outskirts near the boundaries of Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Cagayan de Oro City, thus the privileges of the city life is not quite reached in this village.
My team and I were commissioned to make a documentary feature for DPC as they have donated a reasonable amount that was coursed through a non-government organization, the Children’s Hour, in the construction of classrooms besides the Our Lady of Fatima parish, which was currently headed by Fr. Adam Bago, a Tanzanian national.
And with the documentary feature the company hopes to call for more companies and organizations to help with Fr. Adam’s cause in rehabilitating the community and help children go to school and learn.
Meanwhile, Fr. Adam, was perhaps one of the few priests I have met with a very sunny disposition sharing his experiences about the Digkilaan community especially during and after typhoon Sendong struck the residents near the river.
Many residents praised Fr. Adam not just to the Catholics but also to the Muslims and Lumad communities living there as he can be the only person who would visit on far-flung communities that never had concrete roads, much more on government services such as health and education near them.
Fr. Adam even donated a lot and constructed a mosque for the Muslim communities and called for teaching volunteers to teach the children and train adults for skills development that can be used for income-generating livelihood. Fr. Adam was a wonder worker, despite that the government seem to care less of the people in Digkilaan and nearby barangays.
It was in Fr. Adam that my thoughts that religion can be of secondary importance when it comes to humility and humanity can be very real, I thought that idea only exist in a surreal idealism but in Fr. Adam I have seen how it is done.
I would like to extend my belated greetings for the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro family on its 19th anniversary, through the days of dark and light, may it always banner truth and freedom to the communities.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 30, 2014.