Ingleside Vignette: Christina Ridad

Posted on March 22, 2010

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Christina Ridad has lived in the Ingleside since 1978

I met Christina Ridad at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church while covering the food program the church does. Initially we talked about what the program was and how long she had been doing it. I went to her home to get more background information on the church, but we soon talked about more than just food.

Ridad grew up in a rural town in the Philippines. Her town was so isolated that in the rainy season, no bus could reach it. The town could only teach until 4th grade and then after that you had to leave to the city to continue your education. She told me about her journey through school and how she came with her family to the Ingleside in the 70s. She said then they were poor and she was the only Filipino on the street.

She talked about how she didn’t talk to her neighbors for almost 15 years. She felt like an outsider, different than everyone else. However, that changed when neighbors began to bring her water while she worked on her home garden. She met friends and grew an extended family of people in the neighborhood.

When her husband died, she was devastated. “It was as if heaven and earth fell on me,” she said. This is when she began to serve at Ingleside Presbyterian. Though she’s a devout Catholic, she choose this church for its community and support. “They prayed for me,” Ridad said.

And now, 8 years later, she leads the food outreach team for the church and is working with a local organization to hold a Filipino Pride day on June 11.

And as for her home town?

“When I went there [several] years ago I saw bridges. And buses. God is good,” she said.

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