The people whom my parents had helped but who persecuted us became my motivation to achieve the goals I had in mind.
By Cathrina Magbanua
I am Cathrina Marie Magbanua. I am 29 years old. Many people say that my name suits me because it tells much about my personality. They are referring to a cat. A cat for them is graceful, cunning and mysterious. I see cat as an affectionate animal. However, I consider myself never like that.
I was brought up in a conservative Christian family. My parents are very religious. However, as Filipinos, it is ironic that we have not practiced close ties. I have two brothers and two sisters – none of us are closely knit together. We were raised independently from each other. Perhaps, that’s the reason why I didn’t make a lot of friends. I didn’t even allow myself to have any special relationship. I am just happy being with a few people for just sometime. I have always believed that I am a traveler – people come and go, but life has to move on.
I could say that I have become self-reliant and I am very responsible when it comes to doing my tasks. Even since I was in high school, I didn’t depend on my parents that much. When my dad lost his job abroad, I tried so hard to keep up with life. I had my own job and I joined organizations for scholarship. It was really a struggle.
I still could remember the times that we were very poor. The little money that I earned had to go to my parents for some expenses at home. There were a lot of times I blamed my parents for our situation. I hated them for being negligent.
I thought we had lost everything when we became very poor. Grudge was in my heart. I rebelled against my parents. It was very difficult for me to accept our situation. There came a time when we had to stop from attending school because my parents could not afford our education anymore.
In anger, I set my mind to do the best I could to retrieve everything we had lost. The people whom my parents had helped but who persecuted us became my motivation to achieve the goals I had in mind. I looked forward to the day when they’d all swallow what abuse they had done to my family.
As I progressed, I saw how our name and reputation was being rebuilt. Yet despite the success, I was very lonely. I then saw myself alone with a family too far away from me. I realized how hatred has made me into a different person. I became afraid.
One day, I passed by a building where I saw a billboard of Ang Dating Daan. I remembered the face of my dad. When my dad was baptized in the Members Church of God International, it was the happiest day of his life. I wanted to follow suit and experience that happiness he had.
I had three jobs then. I could barely have some time to sleep. I knew that my schedule was very hectic for me to find time for indoctrination. Despite the sleepless nights and weariness, I did strive to finish the indoctrination sessions until I was baptized on December 18, 2002. I thank God for His love and mercy.
I was reunited with my family on the thanksgiving which followed after my baptism. I learned to forgive and have compassion. These things are being taught by the preacher, Bro. Eli Soriano. Now, I may still have the same goals, yet they are directed to a different intention and purpose.
I am not motivated in anger anymore but in love. My mind is set now to achieve my goals to do the best I can for the glory of God. I would like to be useful to fulfill God’s will and purpose for mankind. With my little talents, I would like to contribute to help save souls.