The Silent Heroes: The Men Behind Our Early Morning Ward Seminary Classes

Everyday, at exactly 4:30 in the morning, my son’s alarm clock would sound, and Romelson would then, in a hurry, wash his face, change into street clothes, hold on to his scriptures, and sit to wait for President Marcaida, or Bishop Sacay, or Brother Ballados. Then, within minutes, we would hear the car of the brother stop in front of our house, and my son would then hurriedly open the gate and get into the car. You might be asking: where is he going? Well, he attends his early morning seminary class everyday with the help of these kind brethren. The same scenario happens in another part of the City where Brother Duria or Brother Labador picks up the rest of the seminary students of our ward.

Can you imagine waking up at 3 in the morning five times a week, drive your car around the city, and pick up 8 young men and young women for their early morning seminary class? This is what some of the priesthood holders of the Cagayan de Oro 1st Ward in the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Stake had been doing in the past 6 months; they have made a commitment to help the young people of our ward by bringing every single one of them to seminary class every day at dawn.

Each day, two brothers, in their own separate cars, would wake up at around 3 in the morning to pick up these seminary students, one by one, from their homes and bring all of them to the meetinghouse for their early morning seminary which starts at exactly 4:50. Then, after their class, at exactly 6 in the morning, these brothers will again take these students back to their homes so that they can prepare to go to school, while they, themselves, prepare for work.

Truly, these brethren are the silent heroes of the ward; they serve silently, yet valiantly. They do this everyday, five days a week, at dawn.

Now you might be wondering who these brethren are?

Well, one common thing about these brethren is that they’re all amazing husbands and exemplary fathers. One is Brother Peter, and he currently serves as the Stake Sunday School President. He has two primary kids, all boys. He works with Smart Telecommunications as Sales Executive and you can just imagine how busy he is. Yet he finds time to help the young men of the ward. President Joel Marcaida is also a father of two very smart primary boys, and he’s into sales too, for a chocolate beverage company. He’s with the Stake Presidency as Counselor and he’s a returned missionary. Bishop Edwin Sacay is the Bishop of our ward, and he’s into sales as well, working for a Pharma Distribution Company. He has 4 boys – 1 is already serving a mission; 2 young men; and 1 primary boy. Brother Jeffrey Duria is a new dad; his wife just gave birth to their very first baby girl less than a month ago. He’s a technology specialist and an entrepreneur. Brother Fred Labador is a businessman; he owns a manufacturing business and he is a member of the Stake High council.

Our love and appreciation also goes to the teachers who labor with their hearts to teach these young people of our Ward: Sister Tessie Maagad and President Joel Marcaida.

As a mother of one the seminary students who have been blessed by their service, I thank them for their dedication and commitment! Our ward and our youth are truly blessed to have them.Thank you brethren! May you be blessed as you continue to serve the Lord through His children, especially the youth of the Church. May your good example encourage others to “put their shoulders to the wheel” as well, and help build God’s kingdom here on earth.




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