Tag Archives: DZ Q.Patriarca

Out of the abundance of the heart…

I have been tempted to blog on the kindness and generosity of people towards me in times like these. But I kept on resisting it, for some time, mainly because they don’t want publicity. Secondly, I don’t want to be misconstrued as encouraging others to give. But the latest overwhelming spontaneous and unexpected support from these kind-hearted people touched me so deeply that I succumbed to temptation.

One of my weaknesses is being poor in asking favour from others. Considerably, I am good in fund raising for a cause or for others as proven by successful fund raising projects undertaken by the organizations I have led or involved in. Not only because of our academic training as social workers to link the needs and resources to serve others. I have also attended various resource mobilization seminars, one of which was sponsored by Ventures for Fund Raising. Admittedly, I miserably failed in applying this for my self and my family. The most that I can do is look for loan or sign promissory note, when applicable.

Fund raising

I cannot forget the comment of a topnotch lawyer when I texted him after receiving the cheque of a requested loan in 2011. By circumstance, I was forced to approach him, overcoming my pride, thru text for some expensive laboratories: “That’s not a loan. Consider it a small token of appreciation for your support to Nanay and myself when I had nothing…. I have always wanted to help you, Nong. But I was also very careful knowing you. I did not also want to hurt your pride. But it’s good that you opened up to me. It liberates us both.”

Yes, I have difficulty in asking favour so much so that in my recent hospitalization much of the financial assistance coming from PCSO and Congressman’s Office thru the DSWD which helped settle my bills were done by the initiatives of my masteral students and co teacher. Had it not been for them, my wife and I could have sought for additional loans from respective employment and elsewhere. Few days after my confinement, I was surprised to receive a call from my co teacher informing me that she was also hospitalized with an instruction that a masteral student would facilitate the requirements for she has requested assistance from a congressman for both of us. Indeed, the assistance came after some days. They supplemented  our resources augmented by the contribution of our respective siblings.

Talha

In not a few instances during confinement , either my wife or I received cash from colleagues in the academe and ministry who paid a visit. Few days after my discharge, a pastor friend paid me a visit at home. After a hearty conversation, he gave me a P500 bill telling me it’s all that he could share at that moment because of other necessities too. The amount appeared to multiply when I learned from him that he decided to forego a privileged trip abroad for spiritual enrichment as he felt uncomfortable to enjoy while others suffer including me. He then decided to use the funds he raised as counterpart for other purposes that would benefit others also. I was touched by his gesture, although I did not expect him to give because his companionship, moral and spiritual support during my sickness and prior to that, in many instances, are more than enough.

Blessings continued to flow when my brother paid me a visit at home coming from Bacolod City. He brought with him some envelopes containing cash gifts from a high school classmate and some town mates. Days later, some masteral students also came with fruits and some amount, followed by our retired maninay who still teach part time in the University.

inspiring words

When I resumed my work in the Department, cash gifts have been minimal as I return to the mainstream. But gifts continue to come in various form. The touching messages thru social media from former students, friends, colleagues and superiors including esteemed national figure in Social Work lift up my spirit. The gestures of students to express their concerns have been inspiring, as well. Some shared with me printed materials on health and healing, detoxification and use of natural healing process, herbs, fruits and vegetables coming from respective churches . Friends both here and abroad sent me related web links and stories of cancer survivors. Others came to my office after class asking me if they could pray for me. Some masteral students and colleagues gave me food supplement believed to be good for my particular illness. In another instance, my wife brought from Negros fresh honey given by a pastor in mountain churches.

round table

Most of the gifts were in kinds until last January 8 when I attended a consultation at the national office of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches that I was given a cheque and cash as gifts. Few days after, I received a text from a high school classmate informing me he was at home but intended to proceed to the office to see me before his trip to our hometown in Negros. When we met at the office, he gave me grapes and some amount. When I opened my FB account on same day I got a private message from former Social Work student who is now successful in her career, asking for my bank account so that she can send an amount with an inspiring message.

Then on Friday afternoon, a pastor friend came to our house with a white box and started counting the amount as love gift from the faculty of the Department of Religion and Ethics. I was elated. Yesterday morning when I opened my FB account, I got a private message from a US based pastor friend asking me to whom he would address the amount he intends to send thru West Union. In his follow up message, he promised to reveal the name of the giver* once I get hold of the amount.

I have been so overwhelmed with these goodness shown that I succumbed to the temptation of publishing a post on human kindness as expression of my thanks to all who shared their resources, love, concern and prayers. I look at this outpouring of support both in its immediate material benefit and beyond. For me, it’s another indication that I would still survive. An answered prayer for God’s provision and support from the community of faith.

Out of the abundance of the heart, my mouth, my mind, my blog speak. To thank all those who, out of the abundance of the heart, generously give. Thank you very much for your kindness. You know who you are. Your prayers, encouraging words, gifts, be it in cash or kinds- all  contribute to my inspiring journey towards healing. I pray that God bless you more.

________________

Note: Gifts continue to come in after this article was published which necessitates a sequel to this post. My US Based pastor friend revealed the *unexpected giver as we do not know each personally. She only knew me and my condition from a pastor friend. Although I know  about her principled stance, humility and magnanimity thru Positvely Centralians FB Group. A fine lady who loves to help/give in secret.

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True service*

The scriptural basis for this message, as requested, was Luke 5: 1-11. Inexhaustible, I love this text as I have preached many times on this passage in various context. One of the provocative titles I used is Rock the Boat in two separate occasions but both city churches. One needed a reminder on a change of perspective in order to go deeper towards productive endeavors. This was exemplified by Jesus in the story when he transformed the boat into a pulpit which eventually resulted to paradigm shift of fishermen to fishers of men. The other one was beset with conflict including legal battle that needed more rocking in order to go back to their senses.

As I prepare for this message, another enlightening took place. Hence, I want to emphasize the transformation of Peter and his company after enjoying the fruits of their adventure. Daring to challenge their own knowledge, ability and skills, even their own belief and reservations in order to respond to the needs, they experienced the life-changing encounter.

Using the acronym of the seminary –NETS, I have organized my points in the context of the story, as follows:

NEEDS

1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.

The first two verses present the needs of people and Jesus, as well as that of the fishermen. Jesus needs a pulpit to satisfy the cravings of the people for God’s words. In finding a boat, Jesus ably meet the needs both of the people and the owner of the resources. For Jesus also knows the needs of Simon and company. He understands that Peter and his coworkers are capable of bringing in a huge catch. But the problem is that they are absolutely convinced nothing is there to catch, having spent the whole night. There’s a need to overcome their pride.

A proud mentor. My wife, DZ, flanked by young graduates. DZ is one of the founders of NETS


ENCOUNTER

3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Such is the encounter of Jesus with the veteran fishermen. After the paradigm shift of using the boat as pulpit, Jesus moves on to the next level of change. In the guise of gratitude for the favor, he encouraged Simon to resume fishing for a compensated catch. With reservation grounded on experience and expertise, Simon dared to risk another attempt. Surprisingly, the cycle has been broken by such paradigm shift. An overwhelming catch rocked their boats.

The pioneer graduates


TRANSFORMATION

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

Humbled by the encounter, the veteran fisherman bowed to the carpenter’s son. It is safe to presume that Simon might have under estimated Jesus. A transformation takes place in Simon’s heart. But it was just a prelude of the real transformation in the lives of the fishermen. Thereafter they become fishers of men.

SERVICE

11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

This seals off the transformation process. Instead of savoring the gains of their catch, they forsake all and follow Jesus. Rather than advancing their needs and interests, they serve the interests of Christ – advancing the Kingdom of God.

True service is a by- product of transformation, resulting from a personal encounter with the One who knows our needs.
It unfortunate that there are some who see the need without any attempt to respond. Hence, they deprive themselves of the personal encounter. Some have encounters but without transformation. While others experience transformation but fail to actualize this through service.

You are privileged to be part of the history, having been honored as the pioneer graduates. You have an obligation to spread the word of the NETS based on your actual experiences. You joined the NETS because of particular needs. Such needs have been met by personal encounter which have transformed your perspectives and lives. It is your turn to translate this transformation into true service. Congratulations and God bless you in your mission to spread the NETS story.

*Excerpts of my recorded video message during the First Commencement Exercise of the Negros Theology Seminary (NETS) held at Balay Kauswagan Sagay City, Negros Occidental on April 8, 2011. Photo credit: Maemeh De-maala Salvador

Breakthroughs

Mother and Son

Our youngest son, Krislenn Edz, who claimed to be an aspiring novelist, made a breakthrough by posting the first chapter of his “novel.” Born in December 1999, during the transition of millennium, my wife and I agreed to christen him with a combination of Christmas and millennium.

I have also populated the Published Articles with new links and added another page. Dubbed Breakthroughs, it will highlight significant initiatives that have contributed to the promotion of social work profession, as well as advocacies in development work. Soon, I will include milestones in my stint as national president of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA).

These breakthroughs share something in common. They are by-product of linkages and networking which, to my conviction, are the essence of the community of faith designed by God. Although known by various names in different circumstances or beliefs, the terms are popular in development endeavors.

My fondness in the concept of networking began while conducting a study on the subject as development strategy of non-government organizations (NGOs) for my Master of Social Work thesis in the University of the Philippines- Diliman. Since then I have internalized the learnings and live with it in whatever development endeavors I engage in.

Foremost, is the yearly observance of the Non-government Organizations and People’s Organizations (NGO PO) week in Iloilo every first week of December. During my stint as co-chairman of the Provincial Development Council, our network, Iloilo Council of Social Development, Inc. (ICSD) spearheaded a move for such declaration. Subsequently, it has been institutionalized by Provincial Ordinance No. 2000-042 and City Regulation Ordinance No. 2001-190 to give due recognition to the role in nation building. This gives birth to the broadest network of civil society organizations, Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON). ICON has become a point of convergence to enhance the participation of NGOs and POs in Iloilo.

Next, is the “Pilgrimage for Peace” to call and pray for an end to violence and for peaceful elections Initiated by Central Philippine University (CPU), CBMA and ICON in 2004, the pilgrimage is held every national elections in our country to dramatize the call for clean, honest and peaceful elections.

Thirdly, the Social Work Week in Western Visayas. I could still recall the event in 2005 while presiding the meeting of social workers in Region VI in 2005 to discuss and plan out activities to promote the social work profession. We wanted to highlight the Ruby Anniversary of the Social Work Law in that year. The Social Work Law (R.A. 4373) was passed on June 19, 1965 to regulate the practice of social work in the Philippines. However, it was noticed that the significance of the date of the passage of the Social Work Law had not been officially observed unlike other social welfare legislations which were passed even later.

Prof. Dz Patriarca-Lariza, leads the celebration of the First Social Work Week in Iloilo.


The consultation sparked the move to advocate for the declaration of June 13-19 as Social Work Week. It gained strong support from other social work-led organizations and alliances in the region, as well as government officials and NGO leaders in the Regional Development Council (RDC). The resolution was endorsed RDC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Soon, the move gained nationwide support.

As a response, almost all of the provinces and major cities in Region VI through respective Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panglunsod have already declared June 13-19 as Social Work Week in support of such initiative. Eventually, the national association of social workers has declared a nationwide celebration every June.

Other breakthroughs in succeeding blogs.

Angela: The Rainbow of my life

Like a rainbow. . . .
   you come, after the storm
        you accept me just as I am
            you let the sun shine through
                ……I am no longer the same.

Like a rainbow. . . .
   I wish the luster would stay forever
      inevitably, at times it disappears
   But I don't have fear
       I know its presence is still there
          to appear again after another storm
               ……….thereafter.

Like a rainbow. . .
   our relationship looks like a compromise
     between the storm and sunlight
       my life’s clouded with rainstorm
   	yours is brilliant as daylight.

Like a rainbow. . . .
   Our love will glow
      to prove the paradox of life,
         how contradictory forces harmonize
           to show the beauty in life,
             when unlike poles unite.