Submitted by Sr Paola fcJ to mark the Season of Creation. Paola works at the FCJ Learning and Development Center in the outskirts of Manila.

I was walking around an area where I work today, visiting families. The place is bleak, everywhere ramshackle houses, rubbish, broken things lying around and, because it was raining, mud! I see this place every day but somehow today it struck me in a new way and I suddenly felt so sad. Why do people have to live in these conditions?

But then all around were the warm and friendly smiles and greetings of the people (in spite of the masks). I came upon a group of middle-aged men who had obviously been enjoying a drink. They were playing some Filipino music and were dancing in the traditional way, even though some of the steps were a bit shaky! It gave them and us, the bystanders, a light-hearted moment of joy in the midst of a grim reality. And then, suddenly I saw the most delicate orchid in a pot outside a house, placed there for all to enjoy! Sudden beauty, such a gift! Here it all was, jumbled together – CREATION!

All of it, the orchid, the mud, the music, the people, the fun, the indomitable human spirit that somehow not only survives, but enjoys life against all odds.


I can only wonder and give thanks that I am part of it.



The FCJ Learning and Development Center was founded by the Sisters FCJ in 2002 near one to the dumpsites in Manila. It offers an integrated community development program to communities in Barangays Bagong Silangan and Payatas, Quezon City, serving more than 750 families.Visit FCJ Learning and Development Center on facebook. Watch a video to see their work and involvement in the Bagon Silangan community. Follow the FCJ sisters in the Philippines on facebook @FCJsistersph.

Photo by Tatiana on Unsplash.