A not so Perfect Family

A perfect family picture was not always the case for the Manaloto’s. After almost 20 years, they were reunited again.
Angeli (daughter) and Digna (mother) will share their story with us.

Angeli:

As a child I grew up with my dad because my mom had traveled abroad to work. We weren’t financially stable, therefore she sacrificed and left the country, leaving my dad and I back in the Philippines.

At first I thought I was doing fine. Little did I know that living with only one parent would take a toll on me and affect me in a great way. I started to notice something was wrong when my school used to hold parent/children events and I was the only one without a mom, I only had my dad. I would often see my classmates bring their mother and I couldn’t because she wasn’t around.
No mom for my birthdays, family outings, school ceremonies etc., only my dad. This created hatred inside of me towards my mom.

I basically didn’t know my mom. She did come for my graduations; pop out of nowhere to take pictures with me, stayed for a month and then left again. I didn’t know her likes or dislikes, etc. She was apparently a stranger to me. Without even noticing, I grew up keeping a grudge against her.

In her mind I was being a good daughter, spoke to her on the phone, but I couldn’t care less about what she had to say. I never really understood the sacrifice she did because back then I was blinded by hatred.
I would find myself crying at night and blaming her. Nobody knew, not even my dad. Everyone thought I was okay, that I was doing fine.
When I went to college, I had the chance to live away from my dad. I would only go home on weekends. In my mind I was “Free!”

I was still pretending to be the good daughter so my dad would not send me home. I would go out with my friends, sleep overs without asking permission, I used to say to myself “He doesn’t know anyways”. So I would go out, party and drink with my friends.

angeli1

It came to the point where I would skip my classes just so I can go out and have fun with my colleagues. I eventually failed in one of my courses. I got a bit disappointed but it didn’t wake me up.

All of a sudden, a call came from my mom. She told my dad and I to prepare ourselves because we were moving to Canada. It was a shock for me. I hated it at first because I didn’t want to leave my life in the Philippines. Before I could get a hold of myself, I found myself drunk for 4 days straight, partying hard. That’s how I left the Philippines.

It was an awkward feeling for me to be living under the same roof with my mom. I was not used to it. But I tried my best to get along with her so when she told me to go to church I went.
She was already attending the UCKG at that time. I was not coming willingly at first, but listening to the messages in the church created within me the desire to change. When I joined the Youth Group, I saw myself being transformed even more. I started opening up and trusting God. As I continue to obey and apply what I learned, I was continuously being molded. With continuous prayers and participation in purposes of faith in the church, I broke free of the grudges and hatred towards my mom. I don’t have the desire to drink nor party anymore. Now, I love my mom. I recognized and thanked her for all her sacrifices for our family. It is truly amazing how God revealed this to me. I love my family!

Digna:

angeli2It was not easy being away from my family for more than 10 years. I had to leave my daughter and my husband behind. For many years I worked but it still wasn’t enough so I had to keep on working, and being far away from them. When an opportunity came to migrate to Canada, I grabbed it. I came to Canada for a better future for my family. I was invited by a friend to come to the UCKG. Coming to the services, I learned to take action and used my faith. After 2 and half years of working, I made an application to bring my husband and my daughter to this country. I also applied for my permanent residence. I waited for 2 years and nothing happened but I still continued to fight. I kept calling the government asking them the status of my papers but all that they told me was to wait. Everyone I knew said it’s going to take a while but I didn’t say a word because I knew God would answer my prayer. I participated in the Campaign of Faith. I challenged God. Five months after, I received a letter from the immigration stating the date of my interview. Right after, they sent my husband and my daughter’s VISA in the Philippines. Now, I am with my family and we’ll never have to be apart again.

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