Angels among us: Love, kindness in the workplace

Meeting RD Allan Farnazo in flesh one November afternoon
Angels among us: Love, kindness in the workplace
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TODAY I wish to reflect on angels. But not angels with wings. I wish to write about an angel among us in the flesh. As I count my blessings from last year up to today, this man will figure in the Top 10. 

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Sometime in November 2023, I met Regional Director (RD) Allan Farnazo. I have heard so much about him through my husband Nelson. RD Allan and Nelson go a long, long way back in their Passionist Seminary years. In fact, what touched me so much about RD Allan was way back in the pandemic, he reached out to Nelson and some friends. 

He opened his Davao home for them. He prepared a sumptuous meal for them. He touched base with them in the flesh. 

I am amazed at this bunch of humans. They are well-connected. Pandemic or not, they have very active group chats (GCs). Indeed, friends are a family we choose. That was what I experienced with RD Allan and Nelson. 

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Today, I share this page with my husband. I told him to write his reflection on the depth of their friendship with RD Allan. How can one gauge love and kindness in the workplace? We cannot quantify it surely. 

But meeting one person in his own workplace up close and personal will give you a glimpse of his Godly character. This angel among us is RD Allan.

​My blessing list will include meeting in flesh RD Allan Farnazo. This blessing took its root in my husband’s life history as a Passionist seminarian. During those formative years of Nelson’s seminary life, he met RD Allan. 

Of course, both RD Allan and Nelson did not end up as Passionist priests but by God’s grace, they are where they are right now, blooming where God has planted them. Nelson as an ADDU JHS Campus Minister and RD Allan, Allan G. Farnazo CESO IV. 

Since the pandemic, I would’ve wanted to meet him. But one afternoon in November 2023, it did come true. There was mutual joy in our meeting. I sensed excitement but also great respect. I love his smile. This man is truly an amazing one.

​Then we shared stories and anecdotes. I have never laughed so heartily than this one November afternoon with RD Allan. He welcomed us warmly in his office. He prepared for us a wonderful feast. He even cooked for us. 

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For one such man of high stature, his humility and warmth remind me so much of my husband Nelson’s own sense of humility and warmth too. Could this be the Passionist branding? I honestly think so. I definitely felt it in my heart too. 

How many of our well-placed high-ranking officials are this humble and kind? I wonder. And to top it all off, he ate with us. He regaled us with real-life stories of triumphs and trials he has been through. I enjoyed this lunch fellowship with RD Allan as one of the Top 3 blessings of my life. 

What was I most grateful for in this experience? I am grateful for the warmth of human persons in high places of government, especially RD Allan. I am grateful for his availability and generosity. 

How was that lunch meeting forged? It began with an outreach activity organized by the ADU JHS CMO office through Miss Jewel. And to make the long story short, love begets love, RD Allan wanted to say thank you by inviting them to his office.

​Fast forward to 2024, I turned 46 years old on January 15 this year. After a long working day in the ADDU College, as we were going home to Catalunan Grande a little late at 8:15 p.m., I received a video call from no less than RD Allan himself. I am genuinely touched by his thoughtfulness. 

Of course, we shared the same zeal for the mission of education and we shared a hearty laugh again. Thank you RD Allan for your love and kindness to me. Your heart was big enough to include not only Nelson but also Teacher Nanan. You told me you knew of my life partly because of Nelson’s sharing with you. But I would like to describe our relationship as one of angels among us. We are sent by God to one another to minister to one another in love and kindness. By Frances Nina Fernandez-Bitang/Contributor

Part 2 would be Nelson’s sharing…

By Nelson A. Bitang

Last month of November 2023, I and my colleagues from Ateneo de Davao Junior High School Campus Ministry visited my friend, the big boss from the office of the Department of Education Region 11, Sir Allan Farnazo. He is the Regional Director of DepEd 11 at present. He was assigned to Davao in 2021 and I recalled that after a week of his new assignment here, he immediately met his brothers in the Passionist formation. The brotherhood is never forgotten.

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​I am really proud of this man. Allan and I were together in the religious formation at the Passionist Seminary way back in 1986. He was a sophomore when I entered as a freshman in seminary formation. From that time on, I knew this guy would really soar high in whatever endeavors he may choose in life. 

What I remember most about him was that he was a very persistent person. He was not the best student in class but he was always consistent in his studies. He is really smart. He has also a kind heart to help others. He loves to talk to people young and old.

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​Though he did not become a religious priest, still he chose the path to holiness with what he is now — an educator with a very big responsibility on his shoulders. 

He went out of the seminary in 1992 when he was already in the Theology formation. But still, he lives a pious life with his own family. He goes to Mass every day and he still talks as a Theologian — sharing his religious insights during teachable moments.

Allan was also a Campus Minister in a private school in Gensan before he was elected as a municipal councilor in his hometown and a board member on the provincial level in South Cotabato.

​With this RD Allan Farnazo, I believe, we, students and educators are in good hands because this man has put into practice love & kindness.


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