Opening Doors for Communication
By Lahtaw Aung Li, Columban Student
I am currently in Mindanao, Philippines for my First Missionary Assignment (FMA). I thank the Columbans for this opportunity to immerse myself into a new environment and culture. Upon reflection, I realized that by sharing with each other our own culture, language and food, we are still capable of keeping our own.
As part of my FMA experience, I am studying Cebuano (or Bisaya) at the Maryknoll Institute of Language and Culture, SVD Rest House, Talomo, Davao City. On my first day, I learned the greetings, “Maayong buntag,” and “Kumusta man ka?” which means, “Good morning,” and “How are you?” respectively. Now I use these as my starting points in starting conversations with people around me. Learning a new language is not easy but slowly, I will improve. As our teachers would say, “Hinay hinay basta kanunay ug sigurado.”
I enjoy learning Bisaya even though it is challenging and confusing. Aside from our formal classes, I also learn the dialect by listening to the people in our neighborhood. On weekends, I walk around the city, especially in the central area, to talk and listen to the local people. I also attend Cebuano Mass in the parish of San Lorenzo, Talomo.
I hope that my experiences will not only help improve my mastery of the language, but also grow my faith and identity as a Columban for the service of God’s Kingdom. So, I put myself in this journey through the guidance, grace and strength of God.
“Daghan Salamat sa inyong tanan!