I’m the first son of a simple and pious laborer-farmer, born in Lipata, Ibo Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines, on the 21st day of April 1972. My parents are Marcelino Rapayla Sr. and Aurea Arcilla both were not able to finish their grade school.
I was six years old when I started my grade school. I grew up as homebody kid but, I matured quite early because soon I learned to understand the word “poverty.” I stopped my studies and became a scavenger at the age of eleven, helping my mother scavenge some recyclable items (used bond paper, newspapers, plastic, cutting chips of steel and electric wire) from different garbage sources. There are times when we could only have one meal in a day. We could only eat good meat when we I got leftover from the garbage (we just wash it and re-cook). I went back to school after one year absent of my studies and completed my high school in 1989.
After graduation I experienced different kinds of job, laborer (road construction), machinist helper, and department store custodial trade work. In 1991, I joined United Technologies Automotive Philippines, Inc. now known as Lear Automotive (EEDS) Philippines, Inc. I started as Production operator then promoted to Resistance welding operator, Molding operator, Lead operator and to Engineering Aide and then to Process Engineer. Currently, I am holding the position of Engineering Car Leader – to support the Company Values Statement by leading the Cross-Functional Team (CFT) for specific projects to ensure that the product meets the company and customer specifications and that the program milestones are achieved.
Being the eldest of five, I feel responsible for supporting my family. When my mother passed away in 1993, I took over the responsibility of being “Ina at Tatay” to my siblings since my father decided to marry again. My siblings stayed with me, until I realized that they already knew how to catch their own fish. All of them are now employed and have their own family.
I decided to live separately then continue searching the path leading to my vocation. Year 1997, I started pursuing my college education at night but due to financial constraints I have only been able to continue my college when there were enough fund.
In 1999, I became an active member of the Charismatic community, SCI in Virgin De Regla (Our Lady of Rule) Parish, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, with the spiritual guidance of Rev. Fr. Rudy Ibale, MSC. SCI (stands for SERVANT COMMUNITIES INTERNATIONAL – the umbrella of various Catholic Charismatic servant community all over the world, which follows a common: organizational structure; leadership system; formation program; and direction. SCI’s vision is evangelization by building evangelized servant communities. It’s mission to evangelize in accordance with the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic Church, and using the method and system advocated by its Head Shepherd, Fr. Leonardo Polinar. This aims to work together with other groups evangelizing in the power and under the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. To develop and implement programs & to address the socioeconomic needs of its member-communities. The greater majority of SCI member communities are parish-based, operating under the spiritual guidance of their respective parish priests).
This membership involves me in various ministerial activities such as visiting the homebound and those sick in the hospital, jail, and prison. Exercising my apostolate through designing Internet websites http://journey.20fr.com provide wonderful and uplifting spiritual stored messages for those who need support and sending inspirational and uplifting information through emails globally.
In addition, I’ve been a blood donor to Red Cross hoping that in a little way I may able to promote life. I have also compiled my favorite inspirational and motivational stories and some personal written articles into a book entitled “Life is a Beautiful Journey: Make your passage through time an endless journey of love.” With a vocation to inspire people to share their gifts, touch other lives and bringing light to those in darkness.
I am grateful that I have embraced the challenges of my life because I believe; God has a purpose for all that happens. Maybe He wants me to learn and grow in faith by progressing through life while overcoming various difficulties and placing my faith and trust in Him. By myself, without Him, “What can I do?”