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July 22, 2017 (Saturday)

Carmelita Hotel

Good morning brothers and sisters!

At first I was hesitant to unveil my life in public like

this, but that feeling I have was overcomed with the
scripture in the bible Sirach 105 which stated that,
Remembering the past can be a prayer if you think that
God was instrumental in your success in your life journey.

Brothers and sisters in the BCBP, sharing our life

experiences never end, because sharing the good news
and miracles of God in our lives is what the BCBP culture
is all about. It is the way we evangelize others. As role
models through us, others are inspired and reminded of
Christ to follow him and hopefully others will do the same.

I was born in Caba La Union on January 14, 1940 with

a zodiac sign of Capricorn, coincidentally during the
outbreak of world war two. My father, Maximo Gagtan
comes from Luna La Union and my mother, Petrona Obra is
from Caba La Union. (Both are called by the Lord in his
Kingdom to rest in peace.) Life was so difficult at that time.
At an early age, I was taken cared by my Lola and Uncles
who pampered me with love and care.

After the war, we transferred to Bauang La Union,

where I finished my elementary education. I have four
younger brother and a younger sister.

My parents are hard working. My father sell ice cream

in push cart, while my mother raised pigs at our backyard
and sell to augment our financial needs. When we were
young, our parents taught us how to pray, advised us to
attend mass, observed the 6:00 oclock angelus, and love
the Lord, values of respect for elders, and love of brothers
and sister, honesty, and humility and love of work, were

inculcated in our minds. We maintained a simple way of life
and we lived with a happy atmosphere.

When I was in high school I enrolled in a Catholic

School which is a stone throw from our house, and also
near the Catholic Church in our town. I enjoyed my high
school life with my friends, and before graduation we
planned our future to become all professionals. In high
school we experienced religious activities like religious
retreat, meditation, attending novenas and first Friday
mass. We taught Catechetical instructions to elementary
pupils and inculcate the love of God by teaching the basic
prayers like Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. I seldom go
out with my friends during their semestral break. I usually
find so many excuses and often misunderstood.

It was my dream to become a nurse, but this was not

realized due to financial problem. My parents advised me
instead to pursue a teaching course or take up commerce
but I did not like it. I stop for 3 years after high school, to
give way from my younger brother to enroll in Manila to
take up civil engineering. This brother of mine however met
an accident in December 1961. He was bumped by a taxi.
He had a long hospitalization and died and was brought
home on his birthday December 14. Mark Chapter 13
verses 32-33 states, Regarding that day and that hour, no
one knows when it will come, not even to angels, not even
the son, but only the Father. Be alert and watch for you
dont know when the time will come.

My brothers death brought much anguish and sorrow

to our family. We felt very sad of his untimely death. After
the burial of my late brother, our emotional stress did not
end because my parents have to go to Manila and attend
the court hearing whenever they are notified. It is in the
court proceedings where the hard-earned savings of my
parents was spent.

Soon our family recovered little by little and my

parents thought of making four more. Ice cream Push-
Carts for my poor relatives to augment their means of

livelihood to survive. Life went on smoothly. In Psalm
chapter 46 verse 2: states God is our strength and
protection, and even present in time of affliction.

In the school year 1961 after passing the entrance test

I enrolled in La Union School of Arts and Trades to take up
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education major in
Garments Technology. Immediately after graduation I
applied in 3 schools. With Gods blessing I received a
Telegram from Cagayan Valley College of Arts and Trades
in Tuguegarao Cagayan for an interview.

I had a mixed feeling at that time because it will be my

first time to travel alone to an unknown place. I traveled in
Luzon Bus Line bound for Tuguegarao.

On my way, there were so many questions that came

into my mind for a stranger like me traveling to a place not
familiar to me. What time will I arrive to my destination?
Will I be safe in my way? Where will I stay?, and who are
the officials I should talk to. As I keep this questions in my
mind, the more I felt stranger to the place I should go.
However, I prayed fervently to the Lord that those
questions will be answered. In psalm chapter 86, verse 7
states, I call on you in time of my trouble for you will
answer me, and show me the way.

With Gods help, a man employed in CVCAT was riding

in the same bus, ask my purpose of going to Tuguegarao, I
answered him that I applied for a teaching job at CVCAT
and that I received a telegram for my interview.

Then he informed me that schools Superintendent

was expecting me. Furthermore there are also two lady
teachers from La Union teaching at CVCAT. After
approximately 15 hours of traveling I finally arrived in

I rode on a calesa to Photo Arts Studio where my two

teachers province mate were staying, and fortunately I was
also accepted to board in the same house. I cannot

describe how I felt at the moment. However I am reminded
in Sirach chapter 5 verse I, states that I will give thanks to
you oh Lord and king, I praise you, my God and Saviour.

The next day was Monday morning, my friends

advised me to report to the Late Superintendent Agbayani
for interview. Before I entered the office I prayed my simple
prayer to the Holy Spirit to overcome by shyness and to
give me courage and wisdom. Sirach Chapter 2 verse 6
says Have confidence in Him and he will care for you,
follow the right path and hope in Him, and the lord
answered me I was accepted and given a teaching position
in CVCAT, in September 20, 1965.

The first day I reported was a regular activity for

CVCAT administration to conduct a monthly teachers
meeting to update the faculty members of new policies and
information. It was during this meeting that I was
introduced personal to the whole faculty members of the

After that meeting, unexpectedly, a male teacher was

introduced personally to me.

Several months later, I have developed a friendly

relationship among my co-Teachers in school.

One morning, after the Flag Ceremony, and as I

entered my room, I saw a bunch of fresh red roses on top
on my table with a short note From someone who cares.
While that gestures of admiration was maintained for
several months, it was difficult for me to discover who was
the sender. Until one morning, a student with a bunch of
fresh red roses mistakenly gave it to a co-Teacher whose
family name is TAN instead of MISS GAGTAN.

The scripture in the bible says in Matthew Chapter 10

verse 26 states There is nothing covered that will not be
uncovered and nothing hidden that will not be known. It
was then that time that I learned that the sender of the
flowers I have been receiving came from a secret admirer

names JOE BANCUD, a co-teacher in school. Thats how
our LOVE STORY BEGUN. And after two long years of
courtship, it ended up in a wedding celebration held at
Bauang St. Peter Catholic Church. We are blesses with five
intelligent and beautiful children and two apos.

Sometime in February of 1998, Sis. Remy Agsawa

invited us to attend a BCBP breakfast meeting at
Pampangea Restaurant. It was February 14, 1998. A very
significant day for couples in love. From the beginning
there was harassment. I was going out from our house
when I stumbled, fell and all my things and dress was
soiled with mud. However this did not discouraged us to
attend the breakfast meeting for there was so much
excitement in my heart which I cannot explain. I changed
my dress and we attended our first breakfast meeting. The
Lord called us, we responded and we were very much
welcomed, in the community. I postponed my plans to
enroll in my doctoral classes to be able to attend the BLCP
CLASS no.7.

All the talks during the CLP sessions inspired me. The
speakers and sharers touched my heart and learned more
about God. After the CLP 7 wonderful changes took place
in me. Whereas before I rarely opened my Bible. I now find
delight in reading the word of God every night.
Communicating with the Lord becomes a daily affair. I now
believed in the Healing power and the gifts of the Holy
Spirit which I received on Baptism of the of the Holy Spirit.
I became more understanding to people whom I am in
contact with and specially to my students when I was still
in service. I make it a habit to attend all BCBP activities.
Because if I missed one activity, its just like missing my

Through the BCBP my life changed. My attitude, and

my outlook in life is inspired by the following in Sirach
Chapter 2 verses 1 to 3 which states, My son, if you have
decided to serve God, prepare yourself for trials, Keep
your heart upright and remain resolute; do not be upset in
time of adversity, Hold fast to the Lord, do not separate

yourself from him so that you may be successful to the end
of your days.

Thanks to the BCBP because my prayers were

answered and most importantly my five children finished
degree courses and gainfully employed. They all financed
our travel abroad. God gave me a very good partner in life
who is responsible, a provider, understanding, a lover of
beautiful things created by the Lord including me of
course, and a very good personal and official driver and of
course ex-boyfriend and permanent roommate.

Good day and may the good Lord bless everyone.