My name is Bernard Lumantas. My friends call me Berning. I am 28 Years of age. I finished my High School Course and have had additional training as a welder. I had a much better life before. After High School I worked for several years on the family farm helping my parents to feed our family. Then, I got married and started my own life working in a mango orchard. The income was meager, but I could support my wife and four children. Then, one day, tragedy struck. As I stood, high in a mango, tree reaching out to harvest the fruit of the tree, the branch on which I was standing broke. As I fell toward the ground my legs struck a branch and my body turned so that my neck and back hit the ground first. The impact caused severe damage to my spinal cord. Since that day I had been paralyzed from the waist down.
Not long after this accident, my wife returned home to her own family along with our four children. I could no longer support them. I went to school in Oroquieta to learn how to weld using an electric welder. However, I could not get a job because I could not lift or carry the steel that was needed for fabrication. Abandoned by my family and unable to make a living, I soon found myself living on the street in Ozamiz City begging for food.
While living on the street, I met Dodong Tabibina and Reneboy Eramis. We lived together and begged together trying to survive. One day, Dodong told us he was going to live with the priest in a nice house in another part of town. His young brother was going to live with him also. We were happy for Dodong and his brother, but sad that we would be left on the street.
Some time later, Dodong came and invited us to go to a party for the birthday of the priest. That was the first time I met Lolo Father Kill. It was not long after that time that Lolo invited myself and Reneboy to join Dodong living in his house along with 24 students. We have our own room together and a locker for each of us in which to place our few things. Lolo gives us everything we need. Dodong and Reneboy are even going to school. I do whatever I can to help on the projects here, especially when there is welding to be done. I am so happy to be here and I thank God every day.
I also thank God for all of those who are helping Lolo to care for us. Without you we would have no hope, no place to live, no schooling. We pray for all of you who have been so good to us..
I have an e-mail address if you would like to write to me. My address is email@example.com.
Thanks and God Bless all of you,