BCBP Sharing: I invite you to join the BCBP group in New York or in LA or in Chicago or Toronto or in any of the 52 cities in the Philippines.
It’s more fun in the BCBP.
( First part of my talk in BCBP New York April 12, 2014)
My name is Ed Canlas, and after retiring from my 25 years work at Xavier University, Cagayan and some 15 years as president of 2 state colleges and universities in Mindanao, I retired in 2001 when I migrated with my wife to the US in 2003.
First we were tourists, then I hooked up with The Ohio State University, where I was honored with the post of Visiting Professor, which gave me a J1 Visa, a visa they give to medical doctors, who are routinely required to return to their home countries, unless waived by both the originating and the host governments, i.e. the Phil and the U.S governments.
The Visiting Professorship was a great honor for me, but that was all it was, because having been given a desk with other professor emeriti in the Department, plus a computer and an assignment to do research about grains and marketing system of China, the professorship carried with it no monetary consideration.
I found this a most difficult challenge in my life because not only was I poor at the end of a rich career, but I was poor in a foreign land, with no resources except family.
The good thing was it gave my children and my wife a chance to become J2 visa holders, allowing them the opportunity to start a new life here, to seek and find employment, to study and what have you.
I was relieved to be given the chance to do research, because without anything to anchor my mind on, that is, if I did not have the chance to do the daily grind of returning to academe and doing research every day, one can always surmise what the consequences of such a kind of a life where one is very poor, very dejected and very alone without any dignity save an academic honor, and one can easily go, well, be going slowly, how shall we put it? Crazy?
The fact was, (1) I had a job, a university job at that
(2) It was a nice job, and something I was eminently qualified to do
(3) But then, it had no pay, but the good thing was, since we lived with my mother and my sister, Lita and I had no rent to pay and no board expenses, so OK lang.
(4) But the The Real Cost of this Job? Well, I had to work with no pay.
But the Real Pay or the Real Income, not the Nominal Income ($) for the job, was that My Children will have a chance to live a new life here in the U.S. So I reported to the university, looking like an honest to goodness professor, doing an honest to goodness research work, but with an honest to goodness “No Pay”. That was the Trade Off. Murag BARTER ba. No Money Involved pero naay DEAL.
But I was happy with the deal. I was to go to work. My children could come to the U.S.. My wife could work legally and now she can support me which she did and still does.
But I had to take the bus to Ohio State daily.. And I had to walk in the snowy sidewalks. And sometimes I would cry and wonder.
And so on that day, years ago I wrote my children this letter: March 05 2004 “Dear Family, Today I ask all of you to pray, to thank God, to reflect on His goodness to us. I said let us pray this Psalm 115 prayer:
“Those who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord for He is their help and shield
The Lord remembers us and He will bless us. He will bless the house of Israel. He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small.
May the Lord bless you more and more, both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the children of men.”
And so it happened. The children were able to come. Lita and I were able to get our permanent residents’ green cards, our children were able to study and to work, and just last month, some 10 years or so after this prayer and about one year prior to when we will finally get our citizenship, me and my wife were able to petition our now adult children, one of whom came back just in time last December 2013, in time to be petitioned by us after he obtained his degree and started a short career with a bank in Cagayan de Oro.Eventually, we obtained our US citizenship and exercised our right to vote during the last 2016 elections.
And I, I am still very much retired and dependent on my wife, but tho she can now support me, now she does not need to support me, because with our family’s recent turn of good fortune, now I do not anymore need to work but must remain retired. Scripture says that The Lord ” makes rich and he makes poor” or words to that effect. I testify that these words are true.
Indeed the Lord will always bless those who fear him.