My Journey With PEBA

I always wanted to work with migrants. As a young seminarian back in 2006, I always imagined myself serving my dear kababayans in foreign lands. It was perhaps due to the many missionaries who informed me about their mission works with migrant Filipinos.

Ministering to their spiritual needs in another country must be very interesting and at the same time, very challenging. That is why, when asked in 2008 to write my superiors about my preferred country to go for mission work, I selected two countries where there are many Filipinos – London and Italy.

I had high hopes that my superiors would grant my petitio misiones. However, I was surprised when I was assigned to the southern part of the Philippines. It was a “homecourt mission,” so to say, as I am a Cebuano-speaking Dabawenyo assigned in the Cebuano South. I simply consoled myself with the thought that perhaps, migrant mission was not really for me. Perhaps God had other plans for me.

My superiors assigned me in Olutanga Island after my priestly ordination. On the first day of June 2008, I reached the island. To my great surprise, many of my parishioners have members of their families who are overseas Filipino workers. More noteworthy are their epic stories of family members who entered Sabah via backdoor in Tawi-Tawi (read: “illegal entry”) to look for more high-paying jobs in Malaysia. Some of them were actually deported. Thanks to the internet and facebook, many of my OFW parishioners also became my friends later on.

I never thought that touching and sharing lives with migrants can also happen online, but it was indeed happening. The determination of the OFWs never failed to amaze and inspire me. It made me appreciate all the more my dear relatives who also left our country for greener pastures. I became aware of their hilarious, complicated and dramatic plight as they work like carabaos for their families back in the Philippines. I was inspired by their hard work, dedication and their love for their families. They are indeed modern heroes.

When PEBA (Pinoy Expat Blog Awards) opened the Non-OFW Category last year, I immediately submitted my blog and it was accepted among the nominees. The support I received from my many OFW parishioners and blogger friends abroad was overwhelming. I was very thankful for the support I received. To cut the story short, my blog won the top spot and also received two minor awards. I was so happy because I did not really expect it. My co-nominees were equally deserving.

More than the honor, however, was the experience of meeting wonderful people who shared with my passion in blogging – my dear fellow bloggers in one big night. It was indeed an unforgettable experience I will forever cherish. I dedicated my awards to my OFW parishioners. They were in my mind when I accepted my awards. They were my inspiration. They made me realize that migrant mission can be possible online. Now I realized why God put me here: he did not end my mission with the migrants but He made it even more rewarding.

► About the Author:
Fr. Felmar Fiel, is a missionary assigned in a very small island in the Southern part of the Philippines. He started blogging in 2006. His blog Felmar's Missionary Journey won the PEBA OFW Supporter Award. Visit his new website:
► Read Fr. Felmar's previous articles here.

0 Reactions:

Post a Comment