I Can Fly Program, Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Airways Manila held its third I Can Fly Program on July 24-29, 2017. As in past years, PCCCI coordinated with and volunteered to help i.. more
The Start of a School Year in FPTI-ERDA Tech
Ms. Elena Ongkiko-Santos of PCCCI visited FPTI-ERDA Tech to hand over financial support for its old and new scholars... more
Letters from Our UPHSI Scholars
It is so heartwarming to receive letters from our scholars in Iloilo, whom we are unable to easily visit. At the start of a new school year, they wrot.. more
PCCCI caught up with its UPIS scholars to get their take on the new program and curriculum... more
Any one who ever knew Pearl, flew with her, or even just spoke with her will tell you Pearl was one of the coolest, kindest, gentlest persons one could hope to meet. One would never believe that behind that serene facade was a lady who had faced great challenges and difficulties in her life. But one would quickly believe that here was a woman who loved people, had great compassion, and would go out of her way to help others.
And so she did. Pearl is acknowledged to be the founder and force behind the PCCCI. It was a privilege to have worked with her, shared her passions, and enjoyed life with her.
Her family has graciously shared some of Pearl's writings from when she took up post-graduate studies after leaving Cathay Pacific. Pearl wanted to be a pastoral counselor, and she enrolled in the Center for Family Ministry. She passed away on September 18, 2012 due to cardiac arrest. How ironic that a lady with such a large, dynamic heart for others would have a heart weakened by years of illness. We do not know why the Lord took her at the cusp of a journey that could have only blessed so many, but we can only, as Pearl always did, trust in a loving and sovereign God.
May you remember Pearl as you read through her essays, and be blessed.
Note from her husband, Noel:
Thanks so much for putting much value in the wisdom of Pearl. Strange that she wrote that piece 13 days before she passed away as a requirement but with a prophetic note that someday it might be used to help heal and inspire others. I have known her for 30 years and looking back I am still in awe at her selflessness, her empathy, her readiness to give to others before herself, and her unwavering faith in God. I have found another gem "school paper" in her email. Her post grad schooling at the Center for Family Ministry where she wanted to be a counselor trained them to "know themselves" better hence the papers they wrote where along those lines. It has helped me to know the other facet of Pearl, though sadly, we were both so busy with our work then that when she asked me to improve her paper I tended to view it as more of an editing job than anything. Others I did not see at all until she died. Pearl had always wanted to be a woman for others. I remember a message our ninong, who was my immediate boss (he was the secretary of health (1988) and the father and architect of the generics law) telling us... the five most important aspects/milestones/choices in life to make a human being WHOLE were birth, education/value formation, career, marriage, and legacy. Most of us have gone through the first four (the last three of which are choices). It is perhaps everyone's responsibility to give back a part of what God has blessed us with, and hence fulfill the fifth.
I have known at a young age what pain and suffering is about. I lost my father at the very young age of six and experienced the pain of my mother who had to fend for a family of eight, living with limited resources and uncertainty. I have also experienced physical suffering at the prime of my youth when I was diagnosed with thymoma, a rare form of cancer of the thymus. I was given six months to live. I live with the reality that my life would be taken away anytime. For years, my body was subjected to radiation and chemotherapy, which has somehow affected me to this day. As a woman and a parent, I have lost a child in my womb. As a daughter, I lost another parent, my mother, a significant other whom I considered my fortress. And as a mother, I too felt emptiness when I lost many chances to be with my children when I decided to take on an airline job. All these sufferings will always be a part of me and my existence. I have learned to accept and deal with the pains, and sometimes befriended them; for amidst all the grief and pains, I know that in the process, my faith in God has enlarged in depth.
It is probably because of my earlier and unique experiences that I have developed more caring, sensitive and compassionate interpersonal relationships with people in my workplace, my ministry and my family. People come to me not so much for guidance (as my knowledge to give psychological and spiritual advice is very limited) but primarily just for me to listen to them especially when their pains are too deep to verbalize. I see myself in the process of journeying with them as they deal with their own pain. When I listen to them, I am reminded of my own sufferings and trials too, urging me to feel, think and see their hurts and pains in their stories. If there is probably a gift that God has blessed me in this area of counseling, it is this desire to understand the other person’s experience while acknowledging my own. However it is also while listening to people that I falter because I find myself listening to my own story instead of the other person’s. I remember and use my own experiences to understand them. In reading Kornfeld (Caregiver As a Counselor), he said that emphatic listening is paradoxical.
While we feel for the counselee, we should acknowledge that their experience is not like ours. Thus, I should be more aware that the counselee's story is not my story and vice versa. I hope to be more sensitive in this area. I wish to learn and improve myself in carrying my task as a future counselor.
I have chosen to study pastoral counseling for the simple reason that I would like to continue to learn and be helped so that I can understand others. In so doing, I can journey with them in accepting their own struggles and hopefully experience their conversion. Everyone has a story to tell, or a segment in their past that needs to be confronted. How better can I encounter the loving grace of my Creator but through others. Wounded as I am, I would like to be a healed healer.Pearl Litan