Troubles interrupted in Flores-Oebanda’s life even when she was so young. She was a child laborer at an younger age. After growing up, she fought against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The government tried to deviate her by killing two comrades while she was watching over them.
She was imprisoned with her family and it was at that time that she gave birth to her second child. Troubles doubled in her life as she had to spent four tragic years in prison.
But now when she speaks in the floor of Vatican’s Voices of Faith woman’s conference, a vibe of confidence is shining on her face. She could peacefully live today since she showed mercy towards those who were cruel towards her.
“Mercy is really about going beyond your own struggle, and your own pains, and your own disappointment,” she said. She believed that God intervened in her life for a “bigger purpose: to give mercy to others. You cannot give mercy without forgiveness, and processing that within yourself.”
“Mercy is not an easy thing for me after all,” Flores-Oebanda added, drawing inspiration from the experiences she had to face. “But, I believe that courage always began at mercy. And mercy and forgiveness always go hand in hand,” Flores-Oebanda was shairing her story at the Vatican-hosted Voices of Faith woman’s conference. She currently serves as the president of Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc, the initiative which addresses human trafficking and the exploitation of workers.