By Carol Bumanglag
It was Penuel School of Theology that honed me to think critically and to appreciate the word of God and be engaged with the marginalized groups. As a Christian Education student of Penuel, we were encouraged to immerse ourselves in community. In 1998, after my graduation, I used the knowledge and wisdom gained from my studies in Penuel and continued to serve as administrator and preschool teacher in our church and in other communities and in my current work as the Executive Director of Lilok Foundation, a faith based, non-profit organization that seeks to serve urban poor leaders, through modeling, transformative education and mentoring programs.
At present, as Executive Director of Lilok Foundation, I am not only involved in management but also actual community work. A crucial part of my engagement in urban poor community is educating children, youth, and adults for community transformation. This includes facilitating liberating and transformational trainings for community leaders and capacity building as well as strengthening networks thru establishing linkages with other NGO’s. Central to my community work is my passion for teaching children at the margins of society. I taught diverse ethnic children in Muslim communities in Quezon City and Manila. Confronted with compelling socio-cultural issues in teaching marginalized children, I pursued my MA in Reading Education at UP Diliman. Using my on-the-ground experience as a teacher of migrant Muslim children, I conducted an ethnographic research on reading and writing practices of migrant Muslim Filipino families that deepened my understanding of the socio-cultural issues that informed my research agenda. My research won the best thesis award at the UP College of Education in 2012.
Now, with Penuel, being located within my neighborhood, I have been given the opportunity to share the learnings and experiences gained throughout the years by being a part of its faculty. Thank you Penuel for faithfully journeying with me.