The first time I have heard of Sister Angel Libron, I was at a hospital in Guri with my husband, and was told that I had to visit the doctor every week, sometimes on weekdays. That time, I was just learning Korean, so the doctor assumed that I needed someone else to assist me if my (working) husband could not do it. The doctor told me of a Filipina nun who usually comes to his clinic to help Filipina patients who can barely speak Korean. He couldn’t remember her name, but he said that she is the only Filipina nun in Guri who does that, so it wouldn’t be difficult to find her in Guri migrant center. A year after, I unintentionally found her on Facebook. I knew when I read her profile and saw her welcoming smile that she is the compassionate nun my doctor was referring to. I sent her a message, and she replied right away. We met in person after a couple of days and had a meaningful conversation. From that first meeting, a valued friendship ensued. Sister Angel is known for her humanitarian efforts in helping the Filipino community in South Korea, but more than that, she is a great listener and adviser, a sincere friend, an inspiring individual, a survivor, a woman of action.
When she bid farewell to the Onam community, I have seen how the people she has helped truly love her. The tears and speeches were enough proof of how much her efforts and contributions to the community meant to everyone.
Now Sister Angel is being given the recognition she truly deserves, and we are more than delighted and proud of her. Sister Angel is one of the recipients of this year’s Presidential Awards, a set of citations given to 33 outstanding individuals and organizations overseas for their personal and professional achievements, as well as for their contribution to the development of the Philippines and the welfare of their fellow Filipinos.
Sister Angel is to be given the Banaag Award, a commendation for Filipinos who or associations that have significantly aided a sector or lead the cause of overseas Filipino communities. I cannot think of a better recipient for this award than Sister Angel. She has helped build church communities for Filipino migrant workers, one of which I have attended a couple of times. She has rescued distressed migrant wives and provided assistance to foreign wives and their children. In her nomination, Gerlie Codilla-Kwon, one of the leaders of Filkor Community in Guri, was able to gather testimonies from 23 organizations and individuals Sister Angel have aided (6 from the HIV/AIDS ministry, 10 Filipina Marriage Migrants, 3 Migrant workers, 1 community, 2 charitable aid, 1 professor).
Perhaps not many people know that Sister Angel had her own battles to fight at some point in her life, but she remains undaunted and continues to serve and share her time, strength, love, prayers and wisdom with others.
Sister Angel will receive her award at Malacanan Palace on December 5, together with her mother.
Sister Angel, the Filipino community in South Korea thanks you for your dedication. Congratulations and may God bless you more.
Besides Sister Angel, other awardees from South Korea are Daegu Filipino Community Council, also for the Banaag Award, and Jasmine Lee for the Pamana ng Pilipino Award.
To view the other Presidential awardees, please refer to the following articles: