- The Contents
- Regular Sections
- About us
- Misyon Forum
|Missionary Sisters of St Columban|
By Andy Gregorio
Andy Gregorio and his wife Nora have been involved for many years with Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Dumaguete City where they live. They also served a three-year term in national leadership of the movement.
I have experienced deep poverty in relationship. Due to poverty and my great desire to become a professional, I was separated from my parents at the age of six. My father was a simple fisherman and my mother a housewife taking care of us their eight children. Life was so difficult for us, trying to make both ends meet daily. Even more difficult was our schooling. With this situation I decided to go with my uncle who offered to help me in my schooling in faraway Palawan.
The ordeal of being away from my parents, brothers and sisters was very difficult. I couldn’t depend on my uncle for my school expenses because he also had eight children to support. My uncle was only a government clerk with an income barely enough to support his own family. At the young age of ten I had to sell bread at dawn on weekdays and go fishing during weekends in order to have money to buy clothes, school supplies and other needs.
To make matters worse, the line of communication with my parents was cut-off. Not hearing from them, I experienced being ‘orphaned’ and left on my own. In those days there were no such things as cell phones or email. I finished elementary and high school on my own without the support of my parents. It was then I felt the craving for the care, support and love of my family, especially of my parents. I felt abandoned and the extreme poverty not only of material things but most of all the poverty of love, care and support. I suffered in silence and this craving for love, care and support slowly turned into a feeling of hatred.
I hated my parents for I judged that they had abandoned me, hadn’t supported me in my schooling, and had given me up while I was still very young. In my elementary and high school years and even when I was already in college, I envied my classmates whose parents were present during their Honors Day and who attended PTA meetings and other important events where parents are expected at the school. In fact I finished elementary, high school and college without my parents attending my graduations. This poverty of love, care and support was clearly manifested when I decided to get married without informing my parents or seeking their permission. I got married without parents or relatives, with only officemates and friends attending my wedding. Mabuti na lang pumayag si Nora!
Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) played an important role in my healing. Our beautiful weekend experience started the process of healing, Various WWME enrichments, especially the ‘genogram’ or ‘family diagram’, helped me to discover more about the kind of person I am. My feeling of hatred lessened and I was slowly healed from the poverty of being uncared for, unloved and unsupported. Our WWME values such as ‘God does not make junk’, ‘Let your sacraments shine’, ‘Love is a decision’ and many others played an important role in reshaping my life. At least before my mother died we bridged the broken relationship we had. In fact she spent the last part of her life with us.
Looking back, I now realize that giving me up to my uncle when I was very young was the best option they could see at that time. Maybe if my parents hadn’t let me go, I would be like my brothers and sisters who were never able to finish college.
You may email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org