Mary Jane’s joy in helping the Mangyans
HELPING the Mangyan tribe has been the mission’ of Mary Jane ‘Mjane’ Cahilig for three years now, bringing her joy and happiness. Mary Jane is 37 years old and a mother of two who hails from Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro (at Sitio Sawmill).
Coming from Mindoro, she knows well the province’s indigenous people, saying “I love the Mangyan people. I come from the same province where they live. I love to help them in the best way I know”.
Mary Jane first arrived in Hong Kong in 2010 and worked for a local Chinese family until 2012. Ang pangalawang contract niya was for an Indian family until 2014. Pero ang sumunod niyang contract ay maituturing na special contract. Ito ang naging daan upang maisakatuparan niya ang kakaibang misyon. Paano nga ba itong naging espesyal para sa kanya? On wanting to have a better and a kinder employer in her next contract, she prayed to God and promised that if her wish would be granted, she would give food to 100 Mangyan people.
God answered her prayer because she was hired by an American family living in Muiwo, Lantau. And true to her words, she fulfilled her promise beginning in 2015 when ‘Mission 1’ came into operation as she, together with friends who called themselves “The Mangyan Tribe
Team”, visited Matabang Abra de Ilog to do feeding program and sharing activities for the Mangyan community. This charity drive was followed by two missions in 2016.
On September 2 this year, she again led her team to visit the community at Pola Balansay, Mamburao for their Mission 4 charity. The meaningful and worthwhile journey was clearly reflected in the uniforms they were wearing which states ‘I learned to give not because I have many but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing’.
Paano nila pinasasaya ang mga kabataan at pamilya ng mga tribung Mangyan? Sabi niya, “mayroon kaming mga feeding program, nagbibigay ng mga used clothes, mga toys, bigas at sardinas. May kusang nagbibigay rin mula sa kaibigan na pinamimili po namin ng kagamitan at bagay na itutulong sa kanila”.
Dagdag pa niya “kahit simpleng mamamayan lang ako at kami ng mga kasama ko nakakagawa kami ng paraan para mapasaya naman ang mga Mangyan na pinupuntahan namin.” The charity work of Mary Jane has touched the heart of her then American employer, the Welch family, that the family with their younger kids joined her in their charity trip to the Mangyan community during the Mission 2 in 2016.
For Mary Jane, who now works for another American family in Lantau, coming home for holidays is always a happy and fulfilling occasion. Makikita na naman niya ang kanyang pamilya at maraming bonding moments na naman ang kanyang sasariwain. More importantly, what makes this Mangyan project special is the involvement of her daughters to the cause as they are able to see the value of sharing God’s blessings in their lives.
Suportadong suportado siya ng kanyang mga anak sa gawaing ito. Ang panganay na si
Debbie, 18 at kapatid niyang Rachelle, 16 ang natutuwa sa kanilang ‘family bonding with a purpose’ moments. Thankful sila kay mommy dahil sa maagang edad ay ipinamulat na sa kanila ang pagiging mapagmahal at matulungin sa kapwa.
Mary Jane hopes to continue these noble projects in the future. She says that as long as she gets blessings from the grace of God through her working overseas, it is her turn to share these blessing to others who are in need. “When God’s blessings flow, helping others follow” seemed to be the motivating line of Mary Jane’s generous heart.