(Sr. Dolly of Phils.)

On July 3 our course opened with Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF who encouraged us and actually led us to find God in the margins. He explained about our mission today and shared his experience. He opened our eyes and our minds to hear the cry of the poor. 

In this first week of our Euntes journey, we were plunged into the sea of innumerable faces of marginalized poor people in our countries and in our society that challenge us to hear their cry and find God amidst a heart rending deprivation and chaotic system.         

MFS July 012009 084It is so humiliating and humbling before the God who created us with equal rights that we live in the midst of poor people deprived of their power, dignity, well being and basic needs.

The cry of the poor is so loud and clear the world’s self- preservation and self-gratification has deadened the ears and numbed stone-like hearts to reach out.

The struggle and the initiatives of the missionaries and the many people who break barriers and bridge hopes are already a life giving water to the thirsty marginalized poor and a light in their dark fight to reclaim God’s given dignity and live creatively and freely.

Father Calvo guided us on a trip to the island of Basilan. The trip was symbolic of our call to go and reach out…the experience with the Badjaos and their situation in the village is a source of hope for them who have no common ground to call their own.

In the village we visited in Maluso their safety is secured, their livelihood is fluid, their social life is enhanced, their education and the education for their children is being guided, and they have the sense of freedom from oppression from other sectors of society. They have a community they call their own, a haven for other nomad Badjaos in the neighboring Islands of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

These Badjaos are thankful and really grateful that people like the Claretian missionaries are concerned for their miserable plight in society without the support of others Badjaos like them to commune together. Their culture is deteriorating and their groups are so marginalized by society.

Freedom of expression of their beliefs and lifestyle are enhanced as well as their culture is preserved. They hope that someday their children will also be teachers like us.




My reflection on the day of our Basilan exposure!

By:  Fr.  Goni

  “HABSUBO”  –  Good morning…

My compassion is for their misery and their misery is my call to mission!

MFS 2009 - CALVO 021The Badjaos people state of misery I saw yesterday on the Basilan exposure is beyond comprehension. To do something may not be enough, but at least I can say I tried…through those who are already there (the Claretians, nuns and lay people).

What stands out there is the simplicity and bareness of their dwellings that enrich them to be who they are and what they want to be… even if the world around them is changing rapidly like the fire that burnt down the government building of Isabela because of greed and lack of fair dispensation of the common wealth.

For the Badjaos, the rapid change of the world around them does not mean much because the waves of the sea are replaced all the time and never finish… So their living is wave-like and forgotten since there is no sense of state and belonging in the atmosphere of silence — What to achieve?

maimbong_2modTo be rich / to be poor  – this does not matter I still want be who I am – a simple sea dweller – the Badjaos. Yes, happiness is where you are and what you want to be – the Badjaos.

In the rage of religious conflict due to greed and misunderstanding between different factions of confused people of the Muslims and the Christians still does not affect the Badjaos as it seemed in the snap shot of yesterday’s visit… The Badjaos still remain simple but want to be understood to say that you are who you are, but please do remember me as I am like you… a creature of God who need a little share of what you enjoy…

The Badjaos is my identity because I choose to be living in this way flowing, sailing and dwelling the way of the waves and since you did not understand me, to share my portion of the common wealth then I am forced to be in this state as you rightly call me the “Marginalized” yet I remain happy forever… Despite your concerns regarding who I am and what I should be according to your flaring standards of modernism… I wish to come your way one step at a time…

This is my reflection of the days’ walk or journey into the margins of the Badjaos people of Basilan Island.

‘Magsukul’ – Thank you!


(Sr. Sobita of Bangladesh)

Three days ago I arrived here in Euntes Mission Center. 

I am a very happy and glad. Everybody is very helpful and friendly.  There are eight countries represented here.  Our Director and the Euntes Staff are very hospitable and so everything is ok.

MFS 2009 - CALVO 068Yesterday I was blessed with a very different experience in my life.  I saw real marginalized people. They don’t have enough food, shelter and education I am concerned for these poor people. I think God sent Fr. Calvo for these people.

Fr. Calvo’s session this morning and the other day touched my heart deeply.  Also Fr. Dennis, the parish priest of Maluso working with the Badjaos impressed me and inspired me.  It gives me ideas of how to help other poor people, though in my country (Bangladesh) the poor are not like the Badjaos.


Ms Yvonne

(Ms. Yvonne of Myanmar)

During my arrival here three days ago, I am very glad that everybody is friendly and helpful.  I enjoyed the sessions very much.  The trip to Basilan was also a very good experience; my heart goes out to them, the Badjaos. 

MFS 2009 - CALVO 083They looked so simple just like many of my people in Myanmar suffering from lack of food, clothing, education, medicine and many other things.

I thank Father Calvo and Miss Ting for taking us there.  I know God will not abandon the Badjaos. I can only hope and pray for them. Thank you.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sr. Genevieve Damaso
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 07:43:55

    Sr. Dolly…

    Ang cute cute mo pa rin… Hehehe..
    Padayon with your reflections on Finding God in the Margins….


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