The Words of the Batino Family

Esther Faith Batino's Testimony

I was just a happy "colegiala" cramming on exam days. I was a member of the charismatic movement fellowship at a Catholic church, on the next block to San Carlos University with my faithful brother and sisters! In general, I was happy with life although sometimes, disappointed with my brother who loves loud music, which seemed especially when I needed quiet the most to focus on studying school materials (I was BS Bio - Pre-Med).

One bright day I met my spiritual parent and after I joined the 2-day DP work shop at a mountain camp location, I was convinced to joint the movement! After a few weeks in the center I decided to visit my parents. However when they learned of my determination to join the movement they detained me from returning to the Cebu center. I decided to cooperate with them and work to improve my family's lifestyle into a more heavenly way.

I had a long talk with my parents, what I would like to change at home, and just to make me happy and forget about what they thought was, "this crazy talk of Unification" they attempted to make many of the changes I requested. They were serious but, I know deep in my heart that everything would be too complicated to really make a significant change.

They were business people selling cigarettes, all kinds of soft and strong beverages, wine, and all kinds of magazines. I told them anyway -- we have to stop selling those! Of course, they just couldn't. What else do I want to do or change? I told them, you know at our church center, we exercise and everyone has to help doing the chores. Next day my mom's cousin who was a martial arts black-belt was in my house / store so early to guide the stretching and exercising that everyone has to attend... to the joy of my dad who found company in his morning ritual... he does this stretching alone before going to his tennis club, while the rest of the household is still snoring.

Then, afterwards, everyone found their assignment to clean, sweep, empty the garbage and whatever was the task given to them. Our neighbors were so surprised because, even my grandfather was cleaning the streets in front of our store... he never did before!. That was so exciting part of my life, because, I thought I could do a center, too, there at my own house. It went on everyday for a few days and still, I felt like I want to hear the lectures more.

I couldn't -- I'm days away from the nearest center I know (in Cebu, Mindanao is a night away travel by boat to Cebu. Every time I read the Book of Tradition, Vol. 1 (the only material I got from the center, when my parents took me home), I couldn't stop crying -- that was taken away, for it was a source of my agony!

I try to look for a Bible to just have something to read, especially if I'm in my room for days (nagtatampo!) That Bible made me cry, too -- so, those were taken away, too. I didn't like to work at the store anymore because, I don't want to sell: cigarettes, wine and other harmful to the spirit merchandise. I was idle and getting crazy but, I was hanging on and tried my best to be sensible and normal, for people are thinking now that I must be deprogrammed and half-crazy or really acting funny!!! Talking of some kingdom of heaven and the messiah is here stuff!

Life went on in my little hometown and things started to get back to normal and then, the arranged marriages ideas started pouring in! Several serious families were trying to tie their boys to my hand, hoping to save me from further misery and forget being a missionary... well, they were so serious, may baka pa nga, hindi pa ako naka-oo, kakatayin na ang bakanila! Naku!!! Kaya, dahil diyan lumayas talaga ako!

Was it really a sin, to skip that part of my life, I was not ready to dive in! at that young age, I already knew that even my parents don't really know what's the best for the future of their "little princess" that's me... for all you know. In my case, parents are great, parents are wonderful but, sometimes, they can't really see what's more in the future for their young ones, except their old-age traditions, they have to follow! Now, we know better... I'm right and I made the right decision to insist, it was not a temporary whim, just an illusion of a better world out there, I want to find so!

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