Itong year 2016, Year of Mercy, there are so many instances where I encountered our Lord.
First, sa business ko where I was assessed a Million Pesos na wherein, during that time, mahina ang negosyo. I prayed to God na He help me na kung papaanong gagawin, na iguide yung examiner, iguide yung lahat ng taong involved sa pageexamine sa akin.
And through the assistance of so many people and of course--bago ko malimutan, naglagay ako ng prayer dun sa Sleeping St. Joseph–I really put a note there to help me to solve that case. So I was able to–of course, with the help, with the grace of God–we were able to solve the problems.
Now, our office is running even medyo difficult kami, meron kaming financial difficulties. But now, I heard from the new administration of BIR, that our office will no longer be assessed because we are complying all the requirements mandated by law.
Kaya sabi ko, “Lord, dininig Mo rin ang panalangin ko kasi taon-taon naghihirap ako para lang sa aking BIR Tax Cases.”
But now, coming from the mouth of the examiner, nang inassess nila yung aming company na we are really honest in declaring our taxes. So for the year 2015, hindi kami ma-aassess. We were assured that we will not be assessed.
And, of course, naencounter ko rin si Lord ng deeply nang mamatay yung kapatid ko.
And then my brother and my sister-in-law, nagkaroon ng hindi magandang relation, nagkasakitan ng loob. Yung kapatid ko nadepressed and he lost 25 pounds. Naandito ako sa Pilipinas wala naman ako magawa. What I did was I really prayed hard. I have prayed the nine hours Novena to the Child Jesus. Nine hours yun continuous!
Then I called my brother na ang sabi ko sa kanya na I am just praying for him, I can not help him physically because I am far from him. Now sabi niya, nagreregain na siya ng health niya and thanks daw for my prayer.
So middle of 2015, I received a call from Fr. Lando (Fr. Roland Jaluag) that he was instructed by our Bishop to to get my profile, to get my involvement in the parish, if so, kung meron akong awards na nareceive from the Church and also the seminars I attended, the positions I held from the Parish, Vicariate, Diocese and National.
Of course, naisubmit ko lahat iyon. Nasabi din sa akin I will be nominated as a papal awardee. Then I almost forgot it because it was almost one year no news.
But last October (2016), I received a call from Fr. Lando again, informing me that the Pope approved the Papal Awardee. And then the following day, Fr. Mar Sanchez, our Vicar Forane, went to our house and delivered personally the letter of Bishop.
When I received that, I just told Father, “Do I really deserve this kind of papal awardee?”
Because I cannot believe (it)–to be nominated is enough. And then, of course, I thank and praise God for that. And now, nalalapit na yung awarding, November 30, parang medyo excited ako.
And then, nagiging maingat ako sa kilos ko kasi lahat ng makakita sa akin, “Congratulations!” Para bang akala nila santa na ako–hahalikan ako, hahalikan ako sa kamay, sa braso. Sabi ko, hindi pa ako santa.
But then, siguro, to be a papal awardee is really something. So, masayang-masaya ako. At talagang I’m really proud because my family supported me all the way, because all my Church workers supported me–if not for them, I will not be a good leader.
To be a leader really is to get the support and cooperation of our co-workers. If not for them, I will not be a papal awardee. Kaya itong papal awardeeng ito, it’s not alone for me but for the whole Church, for my parish, for the whole diocese.
Estelita “Ate Lita” Macalaguim began serving the Catholic Church through her Parish, the Divine Savior Parish, in the 1990s as its first Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson (PPC Chair). From there, she was appointed to diocesan posts beginning with being President of the Council of the Laity of Novaliches (CLaN) in 2002 when the Diocese of Novaliches was established. She then moved to the National level as Board Member of the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (LAIKO) in 2008 while holding various posts in the Diocese, with the most recent being the Lay Coordinator of the Stewardship Commission. This is on top of the roles she had as entrepreneur, mother, and grandmother.