April 18, 2024

My child, conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins. (Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29).

Manang Citas Siw-ang worked in the vicariate for 37 years. She spent her first years at the Bishop’s House in Baguio City. When the Vicariate of Montañosa was divided into three, she opted to serve at the Finance Office of Bontoc-Lagawe until her retirement on Aug. 30.

Manang Citas is a manifestation of the meaning of selfless service. It was fueled by her strong faith in the Lord. Her daily life is not just passing days but learning from history to improve one’s attitude to influence others especially her colleagues to strive competing not with others but with one’s self to become better each day.

When the world around her was complaining, she remained composed. She does not allow herself to be affected by the negative environment and energies. She will always say, “Let us focus on the work. Let us finish something and be more relaxed tomorrow.”

For the many years I had been with manang Citas, I never heard her complain or speak ill of others. She indeed is an epitome of true service and sincere relationship.

Manang Citas finds joy in seeing old friends, especially priests whom she had worked with. She does not take people for granted. Work is not just a source of living but a place to realize one’s dignity and appreciate friendship. Indeed, life is short. Let us live it wisely, productively, and meaningfully. Spending life to hate people, to hurt, and despise people is to waste life, effort, and time.

Humility is a natural disposition of the soul to remain steadfast in the Lord as the source of everything. We constantly see ourselves as powerless and nothing but we lift these to the Almighty. We are weak but our humility makes us stronger because our strength is not our personal power but God operates in us. It is always beneficial to be humble.

Last Aug. 31, the vicariate offices organized a simple activity to thank manang Citas for her significant services to the church. Her colleagues and some priests expressed their gratitude to her. Many talked about her humility.

Being one of the oldest in the workplace, she did not use her seniority to impose and to solicit respect but used it to immerse with people and to their situation, to collaborate, and be a guide to the young.

Manang Citas is a straightforward person. In short, she is honest. When she knows the situation, she will not just believe in rumors. She will correct false information and tells the truth but with utmost prudence.
Honesty is the best practice of vigilance. Even without people seeing you, even without the boss commanding, even without the CCTV, or any monitoring devices, a person who lives in honesty will never go wrong.

During the program somebody asked her, “Manang, what made you stay long in the vicariate?” She smartly said, “Learning to let go of negativities taught me to love my work. That is why I was able to reach my retirement in the workplace.”

Manang Citas’ life and work is rooted in honesty, humility, gratitude, and love.

When we include in our daily life such values and virtues, we will surely overcome all the odds of life to bring out the best in us. We will endure in the workplace. Reach me at [email protected].