Crystal Catalan is a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps in Baguio City, Philippines. Walk with her through an “average” (Crystal said no one day is ever really the same for her) day through this photo diary.
One of the biggest blessings I have here, is to be able to visit the Baguio City Cathedral whenever I want. I usually begin my morning, stopping by the Cathedral to ask for Mother Cabrini’s help during my day, and to feel the sense of being sent off to serve in mission, every day, by Mother Cabrini herself.
Starting the day off in a taxi making my way to our first stop, with Sr. Terezinha, MSC (Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) who has been missioned here to Baguio City, from Brazil
Sr. Terezinha usually starts off by teaching the first through third graders some basic catechism.
I follow by teaching the children some new music, with hand motions of course!
Then, after the first through third graders have had their fill, it was time to teach the fourth through sixth graders.
Catching up with the teachers and winding down our time at the elementary school.
The views of the Cordilleras are breathtaking. God’s creation is all over – it is impossible to not be captivated by the sights. It is indeed a visible reminder of God’s hands on everything here.
The part which takes the longest = waiting for transportation…
Back at the office, there are a lot of programs/activities that we provide our families throughout the week. Here, particularly, is our weekly dance class, where some of our parents are learning how to do different country line dances. Thank goodness for instructional DVDs!
While taking a breather from some dancing, I had to catch up on writing articles (for our Cabrini updates) and preparing for the next week’s lesson plans.
Meanwhile, while the parents are dancing in the classroom, we have our students with the Alternative Learning System, completing some of their modules in the kitchen. The Alternative Learning System is a program specialized for out-of-school youth, where they are to complete different modules, and once a year, they may take the national exam, and if they pass, they will receive the equivalence of a high school diploma, where they may then be able to apply to college.
After a full packed day, it’s time to head home. Jeepneys are the typical form of public transportation here in the Philippines. Jeepneys are leftover US military jeeps from WWII. They typically have religious mottos on them, sometimes paintings of their family members, and other images from pop culture.
I usually conclude my day with mass at the Cathedral, and sometimes I receive the grace of a beautiful sunset!
In the evenings, my community (an MSC and 5 young college women) share dinner together and then have prayer, and look forward to another day!
Crystal is a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps serving in Baguio City, Philippines. She started her mission in September 2010, and will be serving until September 2012. She served last year with Cabrini Mission Corps in New York at Mother Cabrini High School as a Health Teacher/Campus Minister, and wanted to continue doing mission work, and so, she had the privilege of being able to serve in the Philippines. Her parents are Filipino, but she was born and raised in California, but her heart and passion have always been embedded in her desire to live here – so this is really a dream come true to her.
The mission is Save Our School Children Foundation (it is an NGO that is co-sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) aka the “Cabrini Sisters”). They primarily help with educational assistance, as well as pastoral ministry, social work, and in particular, Crystal also serves in the jail through prison ministry, working with the CICL (children in conflict with the law). They support about 150 families through their foundation, and every Saturday, all of the children come in, for programming, activities, catechism, and feeding.
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