Bisan Saging, Basta Loving
Most Cebuanos my age grew up with a saying that goes “Bisan saging, basta loving.” This saying means that even when the family is eating bananas all the time, as long as they love each other, the family is okay.
The passage, Proverbs 15:17, “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred” reminds me of that old saying. It also reflects on the situations CSC’s children came from. Not the whole, but the part about bananas and hatred. The kids at CSC have come from different situations of poverty, neglect, abuse, and abandonment. Some of the kids came from loving situations that deteriorated because one parent died suddenly. The one parent left behind could not cope up with trying to earn a living while taking care of the children at the same time. Some of the kids came from broken families. Most of them were abused before being cast aside when a parent got involved in a new relationship.
Bisan saging basta loving. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. Some of these children did not have anything at all, no bananas, no vegetables, no fattened calf, no one to turn to, and most of all, no love, but had an abundance of hatred at times.
Kindness, understanding, patience, hope, faith, joy, grace, and most of all, love. This brings to mind that this is what CSC is all about. It is not because of the beautifully maintained houses, medical building, and school, nor the playground and other things, though all of these have helped. But, it is the people that made the shelter what it is. Feelings of warmth and welcome are created by people who are kind, generous, patient, hopeful, understanding, even-tempered, and most of all, loving. Different backgrounds, educated to the less educated, Americans and Filipinos, people who answered God’s call to pray, give generously, volunteer their time during mailings, and serve on the CSC Boards both here in Cebu and in the US. They came together to serve in a ministry that not only provided a roof over the heads of these children, but the loving-kindness and the grace of God that the children had not experienced before.
At CSC, there is no “bisan saging basta loving,” and “no better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” CSC is a big home, a big family that God has blessed with His love and grace. Thank you Lord for the people who answered Your call to serve in this ministry.