Pinoy priest, leading Pinoy migrants in Korea

By ELIZER PEÑARANDA
“How lovely is your dwelling place Oh Lord, Mighty God, Lord of all.” It is worth- remembering the humility and music of a genuine love from a great servant of God – Fr. Salvador “Dong Marcaida, from the Missionary Society of the Philippines.

A native of Masbate, he is identified to have religious family members. In an interview, he shared his passion of becoming a priest since he was a dentist by profession. “Nobody convinced me to embrace the religious life but it was my priest uncle who greatly inspired me since he sponsored my education,” he added.

To serve people for the glory of God has been his desire like giving dental service when he was a seminarian until he started his missionary outreach programs.

He started his missionary work in South Korea in 2003. He was first assigned in Hyehwadong Filipino Catholic Community (HFCC) together with its chaplain Fr. Giovanni Glenn Jaron, MSP and became the spiritual adviser of El Shaddai Prayer Partners in Seoul.

His early stay was considerably challenging for he encountered problems especially in Korean language and culture.

“I had problems when the authorities seemed to be one-sided over some cases and the grievances of our migrants were never heard and for five years, problems like human trafficking in interracial marriage form, legalization still exist. Also, I pitied those who worked for 10-12 hours and received below minimum wage,” the priest commented.

“Lead me Lord, lead me by the hand and make me face the rising sun.”

However he is very positive on the current support from the Phil. Embassy and POLO and they should continue to focus on the current labor issues for the migrants.

Despite of the challenges, he becomes stronger due to his daily devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Blessed Sacrament and supportive communities like Changhyun, Chonmasan, Uijungbu, Guri, Dongducheon, Hyehwadong and Ilsan. However, he needs to be prepared for God’s another plan for he is leaving Korea for Cook Islands. While Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong, MSP will continue to uphold the Catholic faith and values among OFWs.

Fr. Dong mentioned the incomparable support from the communities and his co-missionaries upon receiving the plaque of recognition from the Philippine Embassy for his valuable contribution to OFWs in South Korea. “I am humbly leaving our church officials with public trust due to the instituted Christian way of living and I am looking forward to see them singing to bring the good times and memories back for the Glory of God,” the priest shared.

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