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Family Matters
By: Antonia C. Siy, M.A.
Getting Back on Track with Family Counselingby Antonia C. Siy, M. A.CEFAM / Center for Family MinistriesAntonia Siy (Nina) is a CEFAM Senior Counselor ...
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      CEFAM is a place, an institution where I came to know who I really am.  It is a place where I was able to recognize all my good traits and underdeveloped virtues. I learned how to tie them all together, polish them and utilize them to make me a better person.

Before I knew of CEFAM, I have been working as a volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity where I became exposed to the emotional concerns of the unwed mothers and underprivileged youths. I dreamed of someday that I could help them overcome their sadness and restlessness. I found the way to help them in CEFAM. It became my training ground where I learned to listen thoughtfully, empathize genuinely, speak straightforwardly and counsel insightfully. The knowledge I gained from CEFAM empowered me to accomplish my perceived missions in life—to nurture and heal the woundedness of those whom God has given me to take care of.

When I entered the door of CEFAM, I was already a physician healing the physically ill. But when I came out of CEFAM, I became a total healer not only of the body but of the wounded spirit of others— and mine— as well.

                                                                                    - Dra. Lilian Collado


PD 2005

Apprenticeship 2006


A journey towards self discovery was the experience I went through in CEFAM. Learning, understanding, and putting into practice emphatic listening, devoid of pre-judgments and biases, is most significant to me.  As I try to listen more with my heart, I feel the remarkable improvement in my relationship with my family.

As a result, I have revolutionized the goal-posts of my marriage. For instance, each day I work on focusing on my husband’s goodness and work on straightening our differences to achieve a win-win solution. 

As a mother, there is a conscious effort to avoid an overly critical approach in relating with my children. Like all others they have started to wean themselves from the safety of the nest.  I know that I will not be able to shield them from experiencing life’s tribulations. The foundation of unconditional love I have built will see them through. 

I have gone back to practicing law now, but I see my profession differently especially in the way I deal with people. My classical training to observe cold rules have been softened a bit by emphatic listening. I am less jaded now and more caring now.                                                                  

Attny. Cielo Rondain

Assistant Solicitor General at the Office of the Solicitor General.





I remember about my goals when I came from Indonesia 3 year ago. I just wanted to study about family ministry in general, without any specialty. I only wished to increase my skills in family ministry, so I will be able to handle the family ministry which is the main apostolate of my Congregation.  I followed CEFAM’s program as an opportunity to improve my capabilities as a person with concern to help families, not to be a counselor. After one month, I could enjoy my study and thought that God calls me to be a counselor because through this way I will be able to share my priesthood to the families as God’s grace. This was my turning point to be aware that family counseling is the way to share myself to others and my personality will be growing through the interactive with them.

Fr. Tanseco, SJ, Fr. Arsie, MSC, Fr. Gascon, SJ, and other supervisors helped me to explore my experiences, so I was able to deal with my own feelings and realized who I am. How very thankful I am because of their guidance. At the end of the first semester I knew more about myself and learned many things about the family counseling and how to be a professional counselor.

I learned more about the counselor’s attributes such as trust, understanding, listening, confidence, acceptance, openness, and cooperation. By this attributes I am able to guide counselees to reach the goals of a counseling process.

Understanding is an ability, which was helping me to put myself into the counselees’ world, so that I could really be with, think with, and fell with the counselees (empathy). I learned it during the counseling practicum and from professors.

I learned also about acceptance as a willingness to accept counselees as unique persons and the counselees were willing to approve my guidance. Indeed I need the cooperation between I and the counselees to attain the goals of the counseling process.

In CEFAM I studied about establishing an openness, trusting and collaborative relationship, facilitating counselees to cognitive learning through reframing, feedback, insight, and assisting counselees in behavior changes through behavioral regulation, and addressing presenting problems directly. I learned and practiced these skills during the practicum and I am glad because I did them, even though not perfectly.

After the graduation I studied Tagalog Language and after 5 moths I was ready to be assigned in Ascension of Our Lord Parish, Greater Lagro, Quezon City as a Parochial Vicar and work for family ministry. My study in CAFAM is really useful and applicable in my service for parishioners, especially in the Family and Life ministry. Thank you very much to CEFAM and staffs and all professors, who guided me during my study In CEFAM. Thank God forever.



                                                -    By Fr. Lukas Huvang Ajat, MSF

PD 2009








CEFAM helps build relationships by giving hope to problematic families and encouraging responsible living starting from the core, i.e., in individuals, among other things.  I remember how Fr. Ted's Resiliency Class, which I attended for one semester, presented street smart people, single parents, and dysfunctional families who unabashedly spoke of their real life experiences before the class and how the programs of CEFAM tremendously changed their lives while gradually changing my own. Above and beyond instruction, CEFAM immerses in the lives of families.  No wonder its volunteers multiply in its outreach programs. Among the growing number it offers (Daluyan, Marriage Encounters, Discovery Week-End, Life's Direction, Agimat, On Fire, etc.), it is with Bayan Akayin Sa Abot Tanaw (BASA) that I took a special interest in and volunteered my services.  For 6 years, BASA  gave me very fruitful experiences - going around the provinces of Masbate, Vigan, Sorsogon, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos, etc. meeting people, talking with them, hearing their difficulties, joining in their activities, teaching them reading, helping them start their small libraries or reading centers –that made it easy for me to encounter God.  That was when I started to yearn for more.

Adjacent to the CEFAM building stands the Loyola School of Theology.   From CEFAM's BASA which conducts storytelling and reading workshops, I ended up enrolling and studying the word of God.  This time, my storytelling is anchored in scriptures with seminarians, religious sisters and volunteer catechists as my students from my teaching stints at San Carlos Seminary, the Scalabrini Formation Center and the Institute of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Manila (ICAM). 

My background with CEFAM & the Loyola School of Theology helped me know myself more, clarify for me what matters most, and to prudently act on these convictions, so much so that even in my other civic involvements like anchoring in a radio program with my husband in “Bro. John & Sis. Fel”  [Radio Veritas, 6 p.m on Saturdays], it is God we seek and the good of man. 

Thank you CEFAM especially to Fr. Ted’s BASA for bringing out the best leader in everyone.   This year, 2010, BASA has already given 5 reading workshops around the metropolis.  BASA team leaves for another reading workshop invitation in Laoag this July while we welcome our latest invitation to work in collaboration with Tony Maloto's GK scholars throughout the country with Vic Lorenzo, a pioneer graduate of CEFAM, as our link.

 -Marifel Castriciones





Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J. has traveled a long way. He joined the Jesuit order fifty years ago, after emerging from both Benedictine portals (San Beda High School Class 1949)...

Daluyan is a program under the Center for Family Ministries tasked to assist the Filipino Family carry out its role as Domestic Church...

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