Quietly, Looking Far Away

SHE sits at her favorite spot just right outside her cottage in Anawim, gazing beyond the greenery, her right hand inside her pocket, perhaps touching a little gift she hopes to give to someone– a loved one?– who might just come visit her… sit on the empty bench in front of her, chat with her…

Patrocinio Karaniwan was born on May 23, 1925. So, this coming May, Lola Pat will be 98 years old–the oldest resident in our Anawim Home.

She’s Catholic, so like most Catholics, she’s been given a Spanish name. Her first name comes from the Spanish word patrocinio, meaning patronage, support. And, she’s Filipino, so her last name is from the Filipino word karaniwan, meaning ordinary.

Everyone in Anawim know Lola Pat as lovingly supportive– yes, a patron especially for her younger co-Anawim. For that matter, she is not just ordinary.

Twilight Time

Old age already taking its toll on her memory, all Lola Pat tells us is she holds a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Commerce, and that she worked as a cashier in a private company. So, she merited a pension from the Social Security System (SSS)— which from Day 1 of her retirement has never been enough to make both ends meet for her.

She is single and she used to live with her nephew and niece– they already had family of their own to take care of. Their income spent on their family needs, they could no longer provide for Pat in her twilight years.

So, they had no choice but to bring Pat to an institution for the aged in need. They brought her to Tahanan Ni Maria located in Carmona, Cavite, way back 2008.

Name Above All Names

In 2016, unfortunately, Tahanan Ni Maria had to close. So, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which monitors services of charitable institutions—and thus also knows about Anawim– referred Lola Pat, along with 10 other elderly residents, to our founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez. And readily, he admitted them in our Anawim.

Ms. Arlene Gonzaga, social worker in DSWD Region IV-A which monitored the services of Tahanan, brought the elderly to Anawim on October 11, 2016.

In Anawim, Lola Pat has easily won the appreciation of lolos and lolas as well as the leaders and personnel and volunteers serving in Anawim. She always happily says “Thank you,” for their services.

Most important, although she can’t remember facts and figures about her past, in Anawim, she has well learned and has kept in mind spiritual lessons.

Yes, she may be Patrocinio, a patron. She may be Karaniwan, ordinary. But she knows very well she has a Patron for whom she has never been ordinary. One who has given her not only patronage but Unconditional Love. And she’ll tell you His name is Jesus, the Name Above All Names, meaning Savior.

And so now, saved in Anawim, she lives by her favorite Bible verse, Mark 12:30:

Love God above all.

Published by THE FEAST MERCY MINSTRY (March 12, 2023)