I grew up in the Philippines in a Roman Catholic family as one of nine children. My father helped people as an Assistant Provincial Health Officer (Doctor of Medicine) and my mother worked as an entrepreneurial pharmacist. While studying accounting in university, I aspired to do countryside development to assist farmers and fisherfolk and to earn an income. An apprenticeship opened my eyes to the gap between the rich and the poor.
After graduation, I worked at a bank where I went from project analyst to senior officer over 37.5 years. Back in 1983, a group started having lunchtime Bible study at work. I attended with the intent to defend my Roman Catholic faith. I thought I knew a lot, given my Catholic school background, but I was mistaken. I heard the gospel and decided to repent of my sins and follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. From there, I read the Bible often and saw God work in my life.
Over the years, I received many gifts and blessings by the grace of God. In 2005, I attended the Advanced Leadership Course sponsored by Haggai Institute in Hawaii. In the solitude of my room with a beautiful view, I talked with God and listened to birds chirping. There, I realized that this coaching and training enriched me for service and for equipping others.
Upon my return to the Philippines, God led me to serve on various boards. FOCIG gave me the opportunity to positively influence government officials. This shaped my life, transformed them, and blessed their families. God also used this service to open military and police camps and academies, and various government agencies to the sharing of the gospel and the possibility of enhancing the delivery of basic and critical government services.
The year 2016 marked a turning point in my life. I had to retire from work as I needed to have a kidney transplant. My family cried and sorted out our affairs in preparation for the worst-case scenario. Thank God, my operation was successful! After I recovered, I determined to give myself to helping people and organizations flourish by improving administration and oversight.
Then, God opened unimaginable doors. I got to mentor employees to help strengthen processes. I also coached K-12 student leaders and people in Christian ministry and government positions to transform communities. I served the poor at an orphanage and by chairing the audit committee of a rural bank. In each setting, I shared God’s Word and spread biblical principles of stewardship and good governance.
All this service made me so happy, but I was just getting started. In April 2017, Anjji Gabriel, the president of Christian Council for Transparency and Accountability (CCTA), invited me to an event at the Philippine Bible Society. There, I met Gary Hoag with whom I identified as an accounting professional. He advocated for financial accountability and good governance.
In 2020, Anjji urged me to participate in Online JOE (Journey of Empowerment) with him. It was facilitated by Gary Hoag and Ereny Monir from GTP. It was so enlightening. God used JOE to affirm many things I’ve been learning and to equip me to train others. Since JOE, Psalm 139:14 has been on my heart, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 was a key verse from the first lesson of JOE.
This verse confirmed for me that all people are special. We don’t have to compare ourselves to others and feel bad when we feel like we don’t measure up or when other people get recognized instead of us. After JOE, I switched from trying to be the best to concentrating on being the steward God made me to be and on doing the work He had for me to do.
The first time I went through JOE, I lacked focus and felt distracted by the technology. But, in the Training of Trainers (TOT), Gary and Ereny provided great coaching. I learned to be attentive and prepared by writing my remarks in advance. JOE opened to me a fresh way of facilitating that truly empowers others, so I agreed to facilitate an Online JOE group with Gary and Anjji.
Since facilitating JOE, I have admired how the GTP team works, unlike other experiences in my career. They invite the Holy Spirit to transform hearts, and they collaborate in a way that builds up and multiplies faithful stewards. This has fueled my passion to share GTP trainings and tools widely for serving the poor and transforming people, organizations, and communities.
In addition to JOE, I have also become interested in other trainings and tools that GTP has to offer. I attended their Template Training Tuesday series, invited my networks to join, and the impact has spread. This taught me the value of the GTP Diagnostic Tool and Templates and how they can help improve the organizations I serve and the people that I coach and mentor. I have gone from receiving instruction to replicating impact in individuals and institutions.
I pray God will continue to use me and my network to shape individuals and organizations in the Philippines and Southeast Asia empowered by the Holy Spirit and equipped with GTP resources. This change will take time, but God can do it. I know I am still in process. But if He can turn an unsightly worm into a beautiful butterfly, He can transform us for His glory.