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     A Giving to 
     Remember

               by SERAFIN G. AQUINO JR



IT WAS a strange Sunday shortly af ter I started my private practice in the Philippines in 1957. I brought my family home for good from the States after staying there for more than five years. Our family finances had gone awry and Cely and I found ourselves in Central with no money except the P50 she had in her handbag. The tuition fee had to be paid for our firstborn Bim in the old American school on Donada St. in Pasay near the Rizal Memorial Athletic Complex where my father lived and served for many years as the Executive Secretary-Treasure of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation. Our savings account at Citibank was very near the penalty level and I was too proud to borrow any more money from my father and stepmother. No money was coming on Monday either because there was no notice from any of my clients of scheduled payment for my professional services.
It was offertory time and the offertory usher was just two pews away from where my wife and I were seated. We looked at each other deeply concerned about what could happen if we let of our last P50. I watched Cely getting the P50 from her handbag and then with our hands tightly clasped together, she bravely let go of our last money on the collection plate. We left everything to God. We never felt so miserably poor in our own country. Surprisingly, we left Central after the service with gladness in our hearts. We now how much we trusted in God.


 


Upon waking up the following morning, I thought I caught a glimpse of a familiar limousine parked in front of our house in Paco. The driver had obviously come too early so he just waited there until I woke up. “Good morning sir, I have a letter here from my boss (a prominent Bacolod landowner) and he is requesting you to write him back.”
I thanked the driver and then went up to open the letter in front of Cely. It was thick with something which I thought was his project feasibility study. When I pulled out the thick thing, it turned out to be 100 pieces of new P50 bills. Our instant reaction was to kneel down beside our bed with Cely’s hands clasping mine tightly, sobbing all the while. We never felt so rich in our own country. In between sobs, Cely told me, “Hon, how great God’s faithfulness truly is.
 
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