Saturday, September 19, 2015

CCSC Holds Marriage Strengthening Event

Emee Rose Mondejar and husband enjoy a light moment
during the CCSC Couples' Night.

Music for the evening was provided by a band called The
Coves, composed of pastors from Tanza, Cavite. 

Factory workers being ministered to by the Covenant Community Service Cooperative (CCSC) recently revitalized their commitment to their spouses during an evening event called, Through the Years: A Celebration of Love and Marriage that Shines Brightly for God. 

The event, attended by 43 couples, featured a worship celebration highlighted by praise and worship, a message from God's Word, and a ceremony purposely designed for the strengthening of the marriage relationship. The second half of the program featured dinner, an audio-visual presentation, musical serenades and several minutes of dancing. 

"We wanted to provide the couples with a meaningful and joyful occasion where they could refresh their commitment to nurture their marital vows," said Froi Parado, CCSC general manager.

That purpose was met, according to appreciative feedback from several attendees. Rodeliza Marfil from a factory in Carmona, Cavite said, "The Through the Years event helped me and my husband realize that we love each other more than we care to show in our day-to-day living."  

Arnold Taqugue who works with a factory in Mandaluyong said, "Thank you for the opportunity to recall happy memories and to bring warmth back to a relationship that had grown cold."

Zeny Hernandez, worker for a clothing factory in Dasmarinias, Cavite, said, "It was the first time in 19 years that my husband and I went out on a date.  We were touched by the message and music." Her co-worker, Nellie Baustista, said, "Dates with my husband are not part of the family budget because all that we earn is spent on our children.  We thank the Lord and CCSC for giving us a very happy time together."  Bernard Jacoba, also from Dasmarinas, said, "My relationship with my wife became even stronger, thank God."  

"It was the first time ever for my wife and I to attend an event of this kind," said Roderick Guardian, employee of a Quezon City factory.  "I hoped to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary through something like this, and that dream came true through the couples' night."

The event was held at the Golden Mile Business Park in Carmona, Cavite on June 20, 2015. 

CCSC, an organization of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries, serves factory workers through such programs as spiritual development, cooperative education, counseling and savings mobilization. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

20 Couples Wed in Solemn Group Wedding

Twenty couples being ministered to by the Covenant Community Service Cooperative (CCSC) exchanged vows of lifelong love in a beautifully solemn wedding ceremony held recently in Tagaytay. 

CCSC, which serves workers of two garments factories in Cavite, organizes group weddings among its members to give them the opportunity of experiencing the blessings of a relationship recognizing and yielding to God’s authority.   

The foot washing ceremony symbolizes
humility and service.
“What made this group wedding solemn were the smaller ceremonies within the wedding rite,” said Froi Parado, CCSC general manager. “We chose not to hold the veil and cord ceremony, but we held a ring ceremony, candle ceremony, Bible ceremony, and foot-washing ceremony because of their significance. These were specially meaningful to the couple in view of the fact that they have been living together and raising families for more than a few years, and understand the meanings behind the symbols.”

All the couples underwent marriage counselling with pastoral staff of the service cooperative prior to the event.

The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Benhur Garcia, Rev. Fred Crespo, and Rev. Eloi Cabillan and was held at the CCT Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center.

This is the second group wedding organized by CCSC in as many years. The couples were required to get a marriage license after filing individual certificates of no marriage record (CENOMAR). Those who had been living together as husband and wife for more than five years were required to submit an affidavit of cohabitation. 

As in the first group wedding, CCSC staff attended to such details as hiring a videographer and photographer, choosing the wedding cake, flowers and d├ęcor, and inviting musicians. 

Froi Parado said the next group wedding will be held in 2016 and a marriage vow renewal ceremony will be held in 2015. 

CCSC is a member of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries. 

Back row:  Officiating ministers
Rev. Fred Crespo, Rev. Eloi Cabillan
and Rev. Benhur Garcia. 

The couples and their guests were serenaded  with
 songs of love and commitment sung and played by
 Maribel Ararao and Monica Genzola, sopranos,
 John Pitas, baritone, Bernie Sioson-Tuason, pianist,
 Rainier Tolentino, violinist, Caithlene Perez, violinist,
 Martin Inanuran, violinist and guitarist,
 and Pio Genzola, cellist. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rice Farmers, Garment Factory Workers Celebrate Partnership

Ruth Callanta (right), president and chairperson of the Covenant Community Service Cooperative, meets
officers of the Kawanggawa Primary Multipurpose Cooperative at their headquarters in Lusok, Bongabon,
Nueva Ecija. 

In a partnership dubbed Project RICE (Rich in Christ Everyday), a cooperative of farmers in Nueva Ecija will directly supply a cooperative of garment factory workers in Cavite with rice.  "This is a milestone partnership between cooperatives from two basic sectors of Philippine economy -- rice producers and industry workers," said Ruth Callanta, president and chairperson of the Covenant Community Service Cooperative (CCSC). "This is the kind of helping relationship that the Lord wants to see."   

Froi Parado, CCSC general manager, said the provision of rice is an added service of the cooperative to its 4,000 members. "The workers are able to enjoy high quality yet affordable rice  because we sell it to them at the same rate at which we bought it from the farmers' cooperative. The payment scheme is by salary deduction on two paydays." The rice may be bought by the half cavan (25 kilograms) at P43.00 per kilogram.  "The farmers benefit from this partnership as well because CCSC pays in cash and they avoid the delayed payment conditions often encountered when dealing with commercial rice traders."   

Aris Balala, general manager of Kawanggawa Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative (KPMPC), said it has a membership of about 300 farmers who till an average of 1.5 hectares each.  "The rice we deliver to CCSC is P5.00 - P7.00 cheaper then the same kind of rice sold in supermarkets or public markets," he said.        

The Project RICE partnership, launched earlier this year, was celebrated in a thanksgiving ceremony held at the KPMPC office in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on May 10, 2014. Members of both cooperatives and representatives of the Bongabon municipal government,  Vivencio Mantile, municipal private secretary, and Lope Balmonte of the sanguniang bayan attended the celebration.

Attendees at the Project RICE thanksgiving celebration enjoy an action song.  In foreground, left to right, are
Dominador Moreno, KPMPC chairman; Pastor George dela Cruz of KPMPC; Vivencio Mantile,
 Bongabon municipal private secretary; and Ruth Callanta.
Children of farmers play traditional Filipino music during the celebration.  At right is rondalla leader
Marlon Sindayen.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Factory Supervisor Speaks of Life Changes

Jean Barrosa, a sewing supervisor who used to be called Simang (for simangot, the Filipino word for frown) by workers on the lines she supervised, shared the following story of how the Lord transformed her into a cold-hearted boss into a caring one, at the 22nd annual membership meeting of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries in March 2014.  To read Jean’s testimony in Filipino, click HERE.

Good evening everyone! It is an honor to be chosen to stand before you to share changes that have happened in me since I accepted the Lord Jesus into my life.

My name is Jean S. Barrosa, a sewing supervisor for the Covenant Community Service Cooperative in Dasmarinas, Cavite. I am 49 years old and have been married for 21 years.  The Lord has blessed me and my husband, Marlon, with two children.

I was born into a poor family so I studied hard, hoping to someday help my family rise above poverty.  However, I was unable to finish college, and at 19 I began to work in a garment factory. I became connected with several garment companies before joining Hoffen Industries as a sewing supervisor.

 I strove to do well at my job and to love it. I became obsessed with my position to the point of being unaware that my conduct was getting out of hand.  I was criticized for being cold-hearted and was called a lot of names behind my back such as ‘Dragon’ or  ‘Tigress’.  I was even called, 'Simang', for  simangot, the Filipino word for frown, because I was never seen smiling. 

I was never considerate toward colleagues. I fiercely defended what I was doing if I knew it was right because I yearned to change the course of my life.

I was earning well but I was still always short on funds. My family had a lot of health problems.  I had to undergo D and C (dilation and curettage) several times until finally my uterus had to be removed. Then at about that same time my husband lost his job. 

I didn’t know how I would survive. I almost lost faith in God and asked him often why this had to happen to a hardworking person like me. I asked even more questions when Hoffen Industries closed. The separation pay I received was just enough to cover my debts.

Hoffen is owned by a CCT board member. I thank the Lord that the owner decided to open it again under a cooperative setup with the assistance of CCT.  We resumed work under the management of Covenant Community Service Cooperative or CCSC .

CCSC had some strange practices that I could not adopt to at the start. There was this concern for spiritual development. We had to come to work early for morning devotions. I considered it a huge inconvenience that workers were still not yet through praying when the workday should have already begun.  Management committee meetings began to be held every Wednesday and these would take two to three hours. Co-workers found it hard to convince me to attend these meetings. They needed to come fetch me from the production area, especially when I was trying to beat a shipment deadline. I reacted to these changes negatively. But little by little, I began to look forward to the meetings, especially the sharing of the Word of God.

Soon, I invited our Lord Jesus into my heart. I discovered how much I need Him in my life. I have learned about many of His promises. I am quite conservative but now I sing and dance to the Lord. I smile lot more often now than I used to. And above all I'm learning to love and to love my family and colleagues unconditionally. I still am a strict supervisor but no longer heartless. I now feel guilty whenever I yell at one of the staff.

I worry less nowadays and God’s blessings overflow. In less than two years time I purchased a new home in a good subdivision. I invested in two vehicles  that my husband uses in his business, and I moved my children to good schools.

My youngest son has also received the Lord and is graduating this year from a Christian school. My husband has also become a  CCT partner and now attends a Bible study in our area. Hopefully he will also receive Jesus. God is good!

The Lord prepared me too for a trial. Six months ago my eldest child eloped. She was just a college junior.  What she did was just so painful for my family. She has not come home yet but we are in touch.  She promises to come home after giving birth. I am excited about my new role -- one month from now I  will be a grandmother! I pray God will take care of my daughter  and that my husband will be able to accept what happened. He is quite affected because they were very close .

All these changes happened since I asked the Lord Jesus into my life. May I become a blessing to others .

Good evening and God bless you all !

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sewing Supervisor Shares Transformation Story

Jean Barrosa, a sewing supervisor who used to be called Simang (for simangot, the Filipino word for frown) by workers on the lines she supervised, shared the following story of how the Lord transformed her into a cold-hearted boss into a caring one, at the 22nd annual membership meeting of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries in March 2014. To read Jean's testimony in English, please click HERE

Magandang gabi po sa lahat! Isa pong karangalan ang  mapiling tumayo sa harap ninyo upang i-share ang pagbabagong nangyari sa buhay ko buhat ng tangapin ko ang ating Panginoong Jesus sa aking buhay.

Ako po si Jean S. Barrosa, sewing supervisor po ng Covenant Community Service Cooperative sa Dasmarinas, Cavite.  Forty-nine years old na po ako at 21 years na po kaming kasal ng asawa kong si Marlon. Biniyayaan po kami ng Diyos ng dalawang anak.                                                                                                                
Galing  po ako sa mahirap na pamilya kaya naging masikap po ako sa aking pag-aaral upang makaahon sa kahirapan. Pero hindi rin po ako nakatapos ng kolehiyo dahil sa kakapusan. Nineteen years old po ako nang mag-umpisang magtrabaho sa garment factory. Naging konektado po ako sa ibat-ibang malalaking kompanya bago mapasok sa Hoffen Industries bilang sewing supervisor.

Pinilit kong ayusin at mahalin ang trabaho ko para sa kinabukasan ng pamilya ko. Naging obssessed ako sa mga posisyong hinawakan ko. Hangang sa hindi ko na nalalaman na wala na pala sa lugar ang pag-uugali ko. Lahat na po yata ng negatibong adjective  ay naikabit na sa pangalan ko: masungit, dragon, tigre, walang puso. Sa isang company nga po, ‘Simang’ ang ibinansag sa akin dahil di po ako marunong ngumiti.   

Wala po talaga akong konsiderasyon sa mga kasamahan ko. Naging palaban ako basta alam kong nasa tama ako. Iyon po ay  sa paghahangad kong baguhin ang takbo ng buhay ko.

Kumikita  nga po ako ng maayos pero lagi pa ring kapos. Madaming problemang dumadating sa pamilya ko lalo na sa aming kalusugan. Nagkaroon po ako ng problema sa matres.  Ilang beses po akong niraspa hangang sa kinailangang magpaopera upang alisin ang matres ko. Kasabay nito ay nawalan pa ng trabaho noon ang asawa ko. 

Doon ko po naranasang halos di ko na alam kung paano makaka survive. Halos nawalan na ako ng pananampalataya. Tinatanong ko na ang Dios kung bakit nangyayari ito samantalang nagsisikap naman ako. Lalo na po akong tagtanong ng hindi nagtagal ay nagsara ang Hoffen Industries. Ang perang ibinayad sa akin ay naging pambayad ko lang sa mga naging utang ko.

Ang Hoffen ay pagmamay-ari ng isang board member ng CCT. Salamat sa Panginoon na nagpasya siya na magbukas ulit sa pamamagitan ng kooperatiba sa tulong ng CCT.  At nag start nga po kami sa pamamahala ng Covenant Community Service Cooperative o CCSC.

Naging kakaiba po ang  pamamalakad ng CCSC na talagang hindi ko ma adopt noong una. May Spiritual Development -- kailangan kong pumasok ng maaga for morning devotion. Naging negatibo po ang aking naging pagtanggap. Itinuring ko itong isang malaking abala  dahil dapat start na ng trabaho pero di pa sila tapos mag dasal. Lalo na po nang mag-umpisa ang mancom meetings tuwing Miyerkules. Tumatagal ang meetings na ito ng  two to three hours.  Nahihirapan po talaga silang kombinsihin akong umattend. Kailangan pa nila akong sunduin sa production area, lalo na kapag may mga hinahabol akong shipment. Pero unti unti, na mimiss ko na ang meetings, lalo na ang sharing ng  Word of God.

At dumating po ang araw na tinangap ko na po ang ating Panginoong Jesus  sa puso ko. Noon ko napatunayan na wala pala akong sapat na kakayahan kung wala Siya sa buhay ko.  Marami na akong naririnig  na pangako buhat sa Kanya.  Conservative po akong tao, pero kumakanta na pala ako at sumasayaw para sa Panginoon.

Marunong na rin po  akong ngumiti na dati ay naging napakahirap para sa akin. At  higit sa lahat natututo na akong magmahal at magbigay ng unconditional love sa pamilya ko at mga kasamahan ko sa trabaho. Mahigpit pa rin po ako sa trabaho pero nagtatrabaho na po pala ako ng may puso. Nakakaramdam na po ako ng guilt kapag naka sigaw ako ng tauhan ko.

Unti-unti, na realize ko na nababawasan na ang aking mga alalahanin. Naranasan ko ang walang tigil na agos ng blessing mula sa Kanya.  In less than two years time po nakabili po ako ng bagong  bahay sa isang maayos na subdivision, nakapundar po ako ng dalawang sasakyan na ginagamit ng asawa ko sa kanyang negosyo, at nailipat ko po ang aking dalawang anak sa magandang eskwelahan.

Tumangap na rin po sa ating Panginoon ang aking bunsong anak isang lalaki na graduating na ngayon sa isang Christian school. Ang akin pong asawa ay isa na ring CCT partner at kasalukuyang uma-attend ng Bible study sa aming lugar at hopefully ay tatangap na rin kay Jesus. Talaga pong kay buti ng Dios! 

Inihanda Niya rin ako sa mga pagsubok  na syang nagpapatatag sa akin. Six months ago po ay nagtanan ang aking anak na panganay. Third year college lang po sya at naging napakasakit po ito para sa pamilya ko. Hangang ngayon po ay di pa siya bumabalik pero may communication na po kami. Pangako  po nya na  babalik siya after siyang manganak. So isang  bagong role na naman po ang aking haharapin dahil one month from now ay magiging lola na ako at talaga pong excited na ako. Dalangin ko po ngayon ay ang pagkalinga Niya sa anak ko, at sana’y matangap na rin ng asawa ko ang nangyari sa aming panganay. Siya po kasi ang  higit na naging apektado dahil sobra po silang close.

Ito ang pagbabagong naganap sa buhay ko  mula nang tangapin ko sa buhay ko ang ating Panginoong Jesus. Nawa po ay maging blessing ako para sa iba.

Magandang gabi po at GOD BLESS YOU ALL! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

29 Couples Tie Knot in CCSC Group Wedding

Obedience to the Lord’s leading was seen in the lives of  29 couples who pledged lifelong commitment to each other and to God at a group wedding organized by the Covenant Community Service Cooperative (CCSC).  

“We praise God for their decision to get married,” said Froi Parado, CCSC general manager.  “This is an indication of the spiritual growth of the couples, of a desire to live in accordance with God’s plan.” Twenty-eight of the couples had been in a live-in relationship.

Of the 58 individuals who got married, more than half are employees of factories where CCSC has ministry.  Two of the couples are from the Doxo factory in Manila, 10 are from a garments factory in Dasmarinas, Cavite, and 17 are from another garments factory in Carmona, Cavite.  All couples underwent marriage counselling with CCSC pastors Fortunato Bayucan, Jesse Malibiran, and Dr. Alfredo Crespo before the ceremony.

Cherie Carimpong, who works at the factory in Cavite said, "We were hesitant at first, but our kids overheard our discussion about finally getting married, and they motivated us to pursue the plan."  

CCSC is a member of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries. It ministers to informal service workers and factory workers through spiritual development, job generation,  social services, micro finance loans, and savings mobilization. 

Newlyweds Menardo and Dolores Alison said,  "Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sapagkat nabigyan po ng katuparan ang matagal  po naming hinahangad sa buhay. Dahil po sa abala sa trabaho at kakulangang financial hindi po ito matutupad kung hindi sa tulong ng lahat ng tao na tumulong na mabuo ang group wedding. God bless po! Satisfied at masaya po kami sa nangyaring kasalan. Nawa'y marami pa pong couple ang mabigyan po ng ganitong kasalan. Thank you po!"

This is the second group wedding organized by CCSC.  The first one, held in November 2011, was done in partnership with the Kaibigan Ministry of CCT which ministers to street dwellers. Read story here:
The wedding was held at the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center on November 9, 2013.

                                                                         Reporting: Elmer Valencia, Photos: Art Trinidad

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Factory Workers Donate Blood

Workers at two garment factories in Carmona and Dasmarinas, Cavite have donated a total of 66 liters of  blood  since they began a bloodletting partnership with the Philippine General Hospital in July of this year. 

No incentive is given to donors except the assurance that they may avail of free blood at the PGH blood bank when they need  it, as long as CCSC has enough reserves, said Noeh Vios, cooperative training officer for the Covenant Community Service Cooperative, apparel subcontractor for the factories.  “Relatives of blood donors may also avail of the blood,” Vios added.  “Beyond that is the satisfaction of knowing your donation helps save the life  of a sick or injured person.”   

“Blood donation is a nearly painless process,” said Dr. John Tabije of the Center for Community Transformation health team. “The actual collection of 500 ml of blood takes about 15 minutes and the only pain a donor will feel is something like a quick pinch when the needle is inserted.”  

According to the Philippine National Red Cross, healthy men and women 18 - 65 years weighing at least 110 pounds may donate blood.  Some 2,000 units of blood are transfused into hospital patients in the Philippines everyday.  One unit of blood measures 450 ml.

Another bloodletting  event  at the Carmona factory is scheduled for November 16.

 CCSC is a member of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries