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A Life with the Poor


Written by Didith T. Rodrigo

Illustrated by Mheri-Anne Andes

Short story/biography of Sister Mary Christine Tan, R.G.S.

Amanda Tan was born on November 30, 1930 to an upper-class Chinese Filipino family in Manila. She finished her primary, secondary and tertiary education in St. Scholastica’s College. She graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, after which she joined the Religious of the Good Shepherd, and was given the name Sr. Mary Christine.

In 1984, she, along with five other RGS sisters, established the Alay Kapwa Kristiyanong Komunidad. Its mission was “to improve the lives of the urban poor by providing them with livelihood and spiritual growth.” To this end, Alay Kapwa provided the urban poor community with spiritual enrichment programs, aid such as feeding and day care, and educational scholarships. Alay Kapwa also initiated and managed income generating programs such as the production of soap, candles, snacks, and crocheted items.

Even in the post-Marcos years, Sr. Christine continued her fight for reform. She represented the voice of the urban poor as a member of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 constitution. As a member of the board of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes under the Estrada administration, she gained national attention when she brought irregular fund disbursements to light.

Her work inspired rich and poor alike. Former Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino praised her as a great woman with true integrity, patriotism, selflessness and dedication.

ISBN: 978-971-569-659-3

Copyright © 2008

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