Every day, Fr. Silagpo drives 15km to the Bagsakan at Basilan Public Market.
“Most of them are Muslims and we became friends because I buy their catch. I met new friends every day. We are friends regardless of our religious belief and affiliation, sometimes they also shared their plight as some unscrupulous middlemen took advantage of them by taking their catch at a very low price; others went home with penny because they already took cash advances from the middlemen,” the priest revealed.
“When I am with them we talk about life, their journey and we never talked about the religion, because we respect each other’s belief, I learned from them and maybe they also learned from me, we build friendship and break our religious barriers.”
So, aside from earning Php1,000 to 3,000 a day [profits are bigger during paydays], Fr. Silagpo has also earned new friends in the Muslim community.
Recognizing his efforts, a lot of netizens donated to Fr. Silagpo’s cause. Many were amazed that a priest would literally get his hands dirty in selling fish so he could build a church! What an admirable man, right?
Asked how netizens can help, Fr. Silagpo shared the church’s bank account details:
San Antonio de Padua parish
Philippine National Bank of Basilan
Asked why he’s doing this, the priest replied, “If Christ can sacrifice for His people, then, I am just doing my share to my community.”
“In our funds, I am not a signatory, because I just help them raise it and the accounting and disbursement belong to another group, even in our bank account for the fund raising, I am not a signatory to ensure there is transparency,” he added for clarity.
Source: Newsline PH