|Nestor Siddayao shares his testimony at the dedication of|
the new Payatas Community Center in Quezon City.
Photo courtesy of Roselyne Ko & Therese Keirulf of WTRC.
Note: In 2013, 26 men from urban poor communities in Quezon City were given a month’s training in masonry and carpentry through Sipag 2, a project of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries and the Wholistic Transformation Resource Center. The men are husbands, sons, sons-in-law, and nephews of community partners (recipients of microfinance loans) of CCT Credit Cooperative (CCT Co-op) branches in Batasan, Payatas, Commonwealth and Bagong Silangan. They range in age from 20 to 55 and are a mix of grade school undergraduates, high school undergraduates and college undergraduates.
Twenty-four of the men passed assessment by the Technical Education Development Authority (TESDA)and received Level 2 National Certification from the agency. “This assures them of easier acceptance at construction-related jobs, since employers often seek TESDA skills certification from applicants,” said Goldy Valdellon, of the CCT Co-op. “The men are actually experienced workers but the training gave them knowledge of masonry and carpentry terms that will boost their confidence when talking with foremen, engineers, and architects.”
The men were then invited to help build the CCT's Payatas Community Center and were fully employed during the 11-month construction period. During this time their spiritual lives were also nurtured by CCT staff and pastors. During the dedication of the community center, one of the men, a welder, told of a desire and calling to be a pastor. Here is his story, in his own words:
Ako po si Brother Nestor Siddayao, member ng CCT Sipag 2 KMMC*, 51 years old, may asawa at anim na anak.
I am Brother Nestor Siddayao, 51, married with six children, and a member of the CCT Sipag 2 Kaibigang Maaasahan Multi-purpose Cooperative (KMMC)*.
Bago ako dinala ng Panginoon sa CCT Sipag 2 KMMC, wala po akong regular na trabaho. Noong panahong iyon ay kung kailan lang ako tawagin para sa aking pagseserbisyo, saka lang ako makakapagtrabaho. Hirap na hirap kami noon. Kinukulang sa pangangailangan sa buhay. Ang ganitong kalagayan ko noon ay nagiging dahilan ng hindi pagkakaunawaan sa aming tahanan.
I did not have a regular job before the Lord brought me to CCT Sipag 2 KMMC. I had work only if someone called for my services. It was a very difficult time for my family. We never had enough of what we needed. This led to misunderstandings at home.
Ang pinakapangunahing dahilan kung bakit ako nahikayat na sumapi sa CCT Sipag 2 KMMC, ay ang kagustuhan ko na makatapos ng pag-aaral ng kahit simpleng bokasyon. Ibig kong maranasan makatanggap ng kasanayan at diploma. Dahil mula pa sa pagkabata, ibig kong maging isang arkitekto. Hanggang sa may edad na ako ngayon, ito pa rin ang nasa puso ko. Subalit matupad man ito o hindi ang Diyos lamang ang nakakaalam ng tanging pinakamabuti sa akin.
The main reason I became interested in joining CCT Sipag 2 KMMC was my desire to study and have a simple vocation. I wanted to earn a diploma, because from my youth, I’ve wanted to become an architect. I may be already past my prime but this desire is still in my heart. And whether or not this dream comes true, God knows what is best for me.
Malaki ang naging kaibahan ng kalagayan ko noon kaysa ngayon: bagaman hindi kami naging mayaman dito sa CCT, nakatagpo naman ako ng kayamanang kailanman di lilipas. Ito ang Salita Ng Diyos. Dahil dito, napansin ko na hindi nagkukulang ang Diyos mula ng mahalin ko ang kanyang mga Salita. Malaki ang nabago sa pag-uugali ko sa pagsali ko sa CctSipagKmmc. Dati mapagmataas ako. Ayaw kong sinasabihan ako. Subalit ngayon, tinuruan ako ng Diyos na magpakumbaba.
Since then, much has changed in my life and attitudes. I haven’t grown rich working at CCT, but I have found eternal riches in God’s Word. I have found that God has never failed me since I began loving His Word. I used to be proud. I disliked being reprimanded. The Lord has taught me humility.
Dito rin sa CctSipagKmmc, naranasan ko at naramdaman na ako ay pahalagahan at irespeto bilang manggagawa, bagay na hindi ko naranasan sa ibang construction site.
Also, working here at CCT Sipag KMMC I felt that what I do is of value. I've been given respect as a worker, something I never experienced at other construction sites.
Loobin ng Diyos, ibig kong tumugon sa matagal nang sinasabi ng Diyos sa puso at isip ko. Ito ay tawag ng paglilingkod bilang pastor at tagapagturo ng Bibliya. Kung loloobin ng Diyos ay ibabalik niya ako sa sarili kong bayan sa Cagayan upang humayo at gamitin ng Diyos upang ipangaral ang kanyang Magandang Balita ng Kaligtasan. Papuri sa pangalan ng kataas-taasang Diyos. Amen.
I know it is the Lord’s will that I respond to his call. I know in my heart and mind that he has been calling me to be a pastor and teacher of the Bible. If the Lord wills, He will allow me to return to my home province of Cagayan where He can use me as a preacher of the good news of salvation. Praise the Name of God on high! Amen.
*Kaibigang Maaasahan Multi-purpose Cooperative is an organization of transformed street dwellers and skilled workers.