By Virgenia Oral Vidad
Virgie’s involvement with the Columbans started when she was in college. She used to go with Fr Don Kill in selling and promoting Misyon on Sundays. She joined the Columban Familia Misyon under Columban Sister Tammy Saberon. It was an organization of college students who volunteered to visit children with disabilities in Ozamiz City in their homes. She now works with the Pedaling to Live community set up by Columban Fr Oliver McCrossan.
Father Oli with children in the community.
I come from a very poor family in Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur, my father being a farmer. He worked very hard to provide us with food. He usually woke up at 4am to work. My mother took care of us while we were studying. Sometimes she would help my father on the farm. At weekends my brothers and I would help him, especially during the planting and harvesting seasons. I can’t imagine how I survived the heat of the sun during the planting season.
When I was eleven I left home and went to Buug, Zamboanga del Sur, with my brother and was in Grade Six in Buug Elementary School. That was my first time to sleep without my mother beside me, a very painful year that helped me to grow more mature. I finished high school as a working student in Sominot National High School. I stayed in the house of one of my teachers so I didn’t have to spend for daily transportation. In spite of these difficulties in my elementary and high school years, I was determined to pursue college.
In June 1993 I enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Immaculate Conception College, Ozamiz City (now La Salle University). I graduated as a working scholar in October 1997 and the following month started as a secretary of the President of the school.