Mga Pinuno ng Relihiyon sa Pilipinas Nagkaisa sa Panalangin laban sa COVID-19

On September 17 and 19, an online interfaith prayer meeting was held where religious leaders from the Christian and Muslim communities in the Philippines joined to be one against COVID-19. Chairman Man Hee Lee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) proposed it to unite the religious community in battling this pandemic.

Noong Setyembre 17 at 19, nagkaroon ng isang online interfaith prayer meeting na kung saan ang mga pinuno ng relihiyon mula sa mga pamayanang Kristiyano at Muslim sa Pilipinas ay sumali upang maging isa laban sa COVID-19. Iminungkahi ito ni Chairman Man Hee Lee ng Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) na pagsamahin ang pamayanan ng relihiyon sa pakikipaglaban sa pandemikong ito.
During the first part, the religious leaders earnestly prayed for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for the wisdom to find the cure for it as soon as possible. They also prayed for the Philippine government, medical front liners, and the families who lost their loved ones because of the virus.

Sa unang bahagi, taimtim na ipinagdasal ng mga pinuno ng relihiyon ang pagtatapos ng pandemikong COVID-19, gayundin para sa karunungan na makahanap ng lunas, sa lalong madaling panahon. Ipinagdasal din nila ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas, mga medical front liner, at mga pamilyang nawalan ng minamahal sa buhay dahil sa virus.

Pastor Bjorn Capiendo, one of the participants, encouraged everyone to be “blessed peacemakers who strive to prevent contention, strife and war”, especially during these trying times. He added that this is the right time for people from different sectors in the society to use their influence “to reconcile opposing parties and to prevent lawsuits and hostilities in families and neighbors

Si Pastor Bjorn Capiendo na isa sa mga lumahok ay hinimok ang lahat na maging “isang pagpapala na tagapamayapa na nagsisikap na maiwasan ang mga pagtatalo at giyera” lalo na sa mga pagsubok na ito. Dagdag pa niya na ito ang tamang oras para sa mga tao mula sa ibat ibang sektor sa lipunan na gamitin ang kanilang impluwensya “upang magkasundo ang mga kalabang partido at maiwasan ang mga demanda at pagkagalit sa mga pamilya at kapitbahay”.

And Mr. Roberto Mata, operation manager of ISCAG (Islamic Studies Call And Guidance of the Philippines), also shared a short message regarding prayer. “It is very important that in every prayer in and out the body of a person should be cleaned” according to him that people should always pray completely and with sincerity in everything to God.

At si Brother Roberto Mata, ang tagapamahala ng operasyon ng ISCAG (Islamic Studies Call and Guidance of the Philippines), ay nagbahagi rin ng isang maikling mensahe patungkol sa pagdarasal. “Napakahalaga na sa tuwing tayo ay nagdarasal, ang katawan ng isang tao ay dapat maging malinis sa loob at sa labas” ani niya na ang mga tao ay dapat palaging manalangin ng buong buo at may katapatan sa sa Dios.


Former Rebels in Leyte receives Livelihood Kits from DTI

In 2019, more than 200 rebels surrendered in San Isidro, Leyte and were commended by President Duterte for cooperating with the government in ending local communist armed conflict through E.O. 70.

Through this whole of nation approach, the Department of Trade and Industry Region plays part in providing livelihood opportunities for these former rebels (FRs). DTI provides entrepreneurial training through the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay and livelihood start up kits under the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program.

A total of forty five (45) FRs from the municipalities of San Isidro, Calubian and Tabango Leyte received Livelihood Kit (Sari-sari Store). This is the first batch of the 262 rebels that will be given livelihood starter kits by DTI Leyte.

The activity was grace by DTI Leyte OIC Provincial Director Araceli D. Larraga, Hon. Remedio B. Veloso, mayor of San Isidro, Leyte and the 93 Infantry Battalion. ■


Living the good life

Edith Christmae Tan flashed a smile while talking about her experience as an entrepreneur and a mother. Behind her, the faint cry of her baby was heard. Edith has just given birth to her second child three days before her guesting in DTI Northern Mindanao’s teleradio program. She could have turned down the interview, but she still agreed without hesitation and without the slightest hint of fatigue in her eyes.

Her journey of being an entrepreneur started when she came across organic farming in her search to do something that does not only benefit her family but would extend to the community as well. “If you start with organic, maka-offer ka sa imong pamilya og goods and products that are safe to eat, and, in turn, you can also offer a safe working environment for the farmers (If you start with organic, you can offer your family goods and products that are safe to eat and, in turn, you can also offer a safe working environment for the farmers.)” Edith explained.

That, for her, was the ripple effect of goodness, which she eventually materialized into a business. The Good Life Nature Farms is a six-hectare farm in Claveria, Misamis Oriental that practices a mix of natural and organic farming technologies that aims to provide all-organic quality herbs, spices, and meats to its customers. It started with cayenne peppers and turmeric as its first produce in April 2016, along with lettuce and other crops that were initially grown for family supply. It has since expanded to provide quality spices for its business partners while still growing its line of produce and showcasing the products in trade fairs and exhibits.

As if balancing a business and a family was not hard enough especially in the time of pandemic, Edith pushed herself further by joining the first online Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program as one of its mentees. She regularly attended DTI’s bi-weekly mentorship program without a single miss.

“Nagbed rest ko pero naminaw gihapon ko kay gusto man jud ko (I was on bed rest but I still listened because I was really interested).” Edith answered when asked on why she continued the program even when she was already heavily pregnant at that time. “Niingon jud ko, humanon ko ni (I told myself that I will finish this).”

The pandemic challenged her hands-on type of management as she was not allowed to travel to the farm because of her condition. Sale of goods or crops went down because of the strict quarantine measures that limited the movement of buyers and even resulted to temporary closure of malls where vegetables of The Good Life Nature Farms were being sold. However, the pandemic was also an eye-opener for Edith not to rely on fresh produce alone and to start shifting to e-commerce.

“It’s hard to put all your eggs in one basket; I was always worried that everything might topple off with this one sales channel that I have. I wanted to go online but the nature of my produce being fresh prohibits me.” Edith shared. “Gut feel urged me to have a presence online so I thought of products that I could sell and logistically possible to deliver. That is why selling vermicast and potting online was thought of. I wanted my online store to be more diverse so I started distributing natural amendments through it.”

Edith admitted that the shift to digital platform did not pick up right away. “I had to establish it for a while; I’m actually still establishing it now. I had to promote my store online through social media accounts and learn the ropes of the online platform to make it work. After a while, I started to have orders through it. I was thankful that even if I spend most of my time at home, I still managed to create another income stream aside from the fresh produce.”

The shift to e-commerce allowed Edith to reach out to distributors of fresh produce who already have established markets. “It was all business to business transaction. They had better access to the buying public despite the restrictions and I was able to course my goods through them.”

She credits the KMME program for motivating her to find the meaning of her business. That plus her determination to push herself to success and ask for help when she needed it allowed her to continue her agribusiness in the time of pandemic and even finished the KMME module, becoming one of the 40 mentees who graduated in the first online KMME of DTI Northern Mindanao.

“Pagkabalo ka sa imong gusto, mangita jud kag pamaagi. Mangita kag solution sa mga challenges (If you know what you want, you will always look for a way. Look for a solution to the challenges).” Edith said.

“We can all have reasons to give up but never stop.”