She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. … (Proverbs 31:26-31)
I can’t help but be touched by a young Filipino who came to Food Haven yesterday and bought a whole Ube cake.
They live in Oamaru, an hour’s drive from Timaru where Food Haven is located.
Ube or purple yam is popular dessert ingredient in the Philippines. It’s even a staple food for some Filipinos.
For most Filipinos living in New Zealand, having Ube Cake is a special treat.
There’s no doubt that the son’s mother will be overjoyed this Mother’s Day for her son’s thoughtfulness.
I’m very sure that each and every one of us has his or her own way of remembering and appreciating our mothers.
Happy Mother’s Day to all
Additional information about Ube (Dioscorea alata) from Wikipedia:
Purple yam is used in a variety of desserts, as well as a flavor for ice cream, milk, Swiss rolls, tarts, cookies, cakes, and other pastries. In the Philippines, it is known as ube and is often eaten boiled or as a sweetened jam called ube halayá; the latter is a popular ingredient in the iced dessert called halo-halo. In Maharashtra, the stir-fried chips are eaten during religious fasting. Purple yam is an essential ingredient in Undhiyu. Purple yam is a popular dessert in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_alata)
Indeed, when we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, there’s always peace and order in the community.
Committing to this law is much much cheaper than building a fence or installing a state-of-the-art security surveillance system.
Real estate developers in the Philippines try to recreate a neighbourhood and make “peace and order”, “security” and “safety” as their primary selling point. Some would even attach the term “exclusive community”.
We thank the Lord for making it possible for us to live in a community where neighbourhood values are very strong.
A schoolmate who lived in downtown Auckland, parking on the street for the night forgot to close his car window. He was so happy nothing was lost nor his car was ever touched.
Well, we could say he was just lucky.
How about these.
We were living in Forrest Hill, Auckland and we were about to sleep at past 10:00 PM when someone knocked on our door.
It was our Korean neighbour. She apoligised for disturbing us. Then she told us that we left our car door open.
Yes it was wide open because our 7-year-old forgot to close it after getting off the car and we’re just parking on the street.
Living in Timaru now, one of our Kiwi friends noticed how I would unlock and lock the door when he comes to visit.
I told him that it’s been a habit in the Philippines to always keep the door locked even if we’re in the house.
There was a time we get off my car as I parked on the side street. Then I locked the doors. He said out loud, “Oh Jonan, you don’t trust your neighbours?”
I blushed a bit and laughed telling him, “It’s just a hard habit to break, mate.”
Wilson Street Baptist Church, through Pastor John McMullan, Errol James, the Church Elders, and the members, supported the holding of the “Evening of Praise and Worship“, the first multicultural worship ever held on 20 April 2013.
We held the second multicultural worship on 6 July 2012. We have set our sights to holding the third event in November 2013.
The church has considered creating the multicultural response team that will stir up participation in pursuing the ministry vision.
The Lord God touched the hearts of a couple in Timaru after reading the article published in The Timaru Herald titled, “Pastor’s Blog Becomes Ad for South Canterbury. Learning about the ministry vision, the couple committed to giving financial support.
Then we created the Multicultural Response website. When Ross Waugh requested me to work on his website projects, I’m not so adept with wordpress themes, domain hosting and file management.
Thus, the Multicultural Response site became my learning laboratory while putting up online presence for the ministry.
Isn’t it wonderful to see God’s hand working through His people and many avenues? He is always in the lookout for hearts committed and passionate to serve Him.
As the song “Pass It On” says “It only takes a spark to keep the fire going”, I believe that God has more things in store now that the multicultural response ministry is ablaze.
Apart from being home to scenic spots, the place is also perfect for those with temper for insects. Why? Jonan said that since August last year, he never saw any cockroach, rat and even ants crawling on sugar or sweets.
“Migrating to New Zealand and moving to South Canterbury is one great journey for our family,” he shared.
His blog has testimonies of faith, hope and love with the prayer that those who read it will be inspired to go on with life and move forward despite difficult circumstances.
Lucky that NZ is a democratic country, Jonan was also able to continue sharing the same faith with his fellow Filipinos at JIL Life Group and Kiwi friends at Wilson Street Baptist Church.
FILIPINOS IN SOUTH CANTERBURY
Compared to other areas in the world, the number of Filipinos in South Canterbury remains minimal.
I see three types of Filipino migrants here in South Canterbury – Filipinas who married a Kiwi, OFW (overseas Filipino worker) on a work contract and Filipino professionals who migrated singly or with their family members.
Known for its vast pasture, there are also lots of Filipinos manning the dairy farms. Others work as labourers in big factories for potato processing and farm products packaging.
In the last quarter of 2012, there were 22 Filipinos who arrived to layout fiber optics cables in Timaru. There are also a few working in information technology jobs, administrative, health and social services.
South Canterbury is migrant-friendly. The NZ government has instituted the Citizens Advice Bureau to help her citizens including new migrants for common settlement issues.
Organized in almost every suburb, they have free seminars and orientation for newcomers. All you need to do is visit their office, enquire and enlist in the programs they are offering for new migrants.
Just like Filipinos, Jonan said that Kiwi people also greet each other on the streets.
“Besides meeting and getting-to-know us, they offered help if you need one. Because of that, we feel at home and it’s like we’ve been here for a long time already,” he said.
He also admired how the Kiwis respect their government system. While security in Philippine malls remains questionable, in New Zealand, there is no single security guard in malls and even in banks.
Aside from obedience of the law, Filipino values like “palabra de honor” and honesty are also practiced by the Kiwis.
PHOTO CREDITS: Jade Mark Jarbadan, Emer-son Reyes, Jewel Kwe
Karen Bermejo is a Filipino journalist, writing for The News Today, a local newspaper based in Iloilo City circulating in Western Visayas. She also writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She hopes to inspire people through her column “En Route”, which features stories of success, struggle and opportunity for Filipinos living, working and aspiring to go abroad.