How Do Candles Light a Life

By Mary Joy Rile


The author is assistant editor of and Columban Mission. She visited Light The Life Candles Community in Novaliches and in another occasion was able to interview two mothers. The sharing by Mrs. Joy Price Sullano was published in September-October 2017 issue of Here is the second one, a sharing by Mrs. Emerlyn Pollescas.

Emerlyn Pollescas (left) and Joy Price Sullano (center) on their visit at Misyon office in Singalong
In the picture, Emerlyn is showing the author the candles that she made.

How do candles light a life? To name some: it may brighten a dark room or maybe the darkness within; it may lit up somebody’s hope and bring ones prayer intentions to God. But for a woman I met, candles gave her a chance for a living, a new hope, and reconnected her with her children.

Emerlyn Pollescas is one of the mother beneficiaries of (LTL) Light The Life Candles in the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy. She joined LTL on May 5, 2015 when Anna Noh Hyein, a Columban lay missionary, brought an application form inviting her to join the team. Along with other mothers, Emerlyn didn’t have any idea on candle-making. The only requirement was for them to attend the intensive training for two weeks at St. Peter Parish in Commonwealth Ave. Afterwhich, they started making candles at a space offered by the nuns at Holy Angel's Convent. They stayed there for five months until they acquired a rented space in Ramirez Subdivision, Novaliches in October 2015.

Light the Life Candles in Ali Mall, Quezon City during the Likhang Pilipina: Women's Marketplace Exhibit, 2016
L-R: Anna Noh Hyein (Columban lay missionary from Korea); Irene Gorembalem, Emerlyn Simborio and Joy Price Sullano (LTL mothers); Rustica Eufre (Columban worker); and Nanise Mo’unga (Columban lay missionary from Tonga)

“Mahirap po sa simula. Pero kung isasapuso mo, kung nandun yung sipag at tiyaga, yan po ang puhunan ng bawat nag aapply doon.” Emerlyn is grateful for the opportunity to earn an income that enables her to extend help to her family. She feels blessed that her son, Jason, is one of the 12 scholars of LTL at present. She is most grateful to God for sending her and other mothers the help that they need in the person of Anna who brought the candle-making project to their Basic Ecclesial Community.

The LTL is also faced with challenges in working together. Misunderstandings come once in a while due to individual differences but they are able to solve the problem with proper communication. They learn to accept each other. Emerlyn emphasized the need for unity, “Ang mga katrabaho mo, mas higit pa sa pamilya mo kasi buong araw mong nakakasama kaysa sa pamilya mo na gabi lang kayo nagkikita.”

Another challenge confronted Emerlyn when she didn’t have someone to look after her baby. She thought of giving up the work to take care of her youngest child. But God sent her her neighbor and that solved the problem.

Light the Life Candles Recollection, 2017

Emerlyn believes that with God, every problem will always have a solution. Her very prayer was answered recently when she was able to communicate with her three other children whom she left in Ozamiz. At the beginning, they kept in touch with each other. Unfortunately, they got disconnected when their cousin who had Emerlyn’s number left to work abroad. Every day of her life for five years, she suffered with that longing to be in touch with her children again. Wherever her work took her, she always prayed that one day she would again be able to communicate with her children in Ozamiz. Through facebook they were able to reconnect and started exchanging messages, and eventually talked with them over the phone. They were overjoyed. It is a dream come true. This is the best gift that she received while working with LTL. She remains grateful to God who truly listens and answers prayers. The answer may not come instantly but as long as you keep the faith, it will come in due time. Now she is more motivated to work better.

Emerlyn, a mother, prays to God entrusting her children, “Lord, kahit wala ako sa tabi nila, gabayan nyo po sila palagi. Yakapin mo sila na tulad ng pagyakap ko sa kanila gabi-gabi, at bawat oras ligtas lang po sila.”

Emerlyn with white candles that she made

Emerlyn used to work in a fastfood chain. She loves cooking. She shares that in cooking, you need to give love. It is the same with candle-making, you need to love your work in order to produce beautiful and well-crafted products. Making white candles makes her think of peace. It also gives her the fondness imagining that other people lit the candles she made with love.

For every candle that the mothers of Light the Life Candles are making, it is with great hope that in its simplicity, it will also bring others the blessings they need, that God may grant the desires of their hearts as they lit each candle with loving intentions. May it also spread the kind of light that will illumine somebody’s life.

Light the Life Candles