Mr. Michael Frederic Catada
There's probably no other person on campus who has received the most number of smiles than Mr. Michael Frederic Catada. Without him uttering “CHEESE!”, every person who sits right across him volunteers what to Mother Theresa is “an action of love… a beautiful thing”. That — what with the work that he does that captures and immortalizes a face that one would have to wear for at least an entire school year.
Michael is a staff at the Office of Student Services, formerly Office of Student Affairs. He is in charge of the identification cards (IDs) of all personnel and students in the University. Every snap of his camera facilitates access to the campus. What his work produces becomes an instant memorabilia, a showcase of aging trapped in time.
His journey in Silliman began at the Silliman University Medical Center as a mail aid in 1988 — two years after graduating with a degree in information technology from then Central Visayas Polytechnic College (now Negros Oriental State University). In 2000, he transferred to the University as a postman. Four years later, he was assigned to help oversee the activities at the Student Center then located on the second floor of Hibbard Hall.
Michael admits to have been addicted to vices and living a life without direction fresh from college.
“Right after graduation, I was very carefree. I was always hanging out with friends,” he says. Michael only realized that he needed to put a stop to what he was doing when it dawned on him that he was already a family man. That was when he started praying for his life to take a complete turnaround.
Things became worse for Michael and his family when he got sick and his doctors could not give any clear findings. So his wife, Arlene, resorted to alternative medicine and consulted a quack doctor. Arlene would later come home crying after she was told that she would soon become a widow.
Upon learning of what the quack doctor told his wife, Michael gathered all his relatives.
“I called all my relatives to the house so they could still see me while I was still alive,” he shares.
Despite what seemingly was hopelessness, they still tried their luck with another quack doctor. This time, Michael found his cure.
“I thought to myself that this is a wake-up call. This is God's sign to me for me to change,” he says.
Now, Michael lives a healthier life. He shuns temptations that brought him what could have been his end. He keeps himself busy with a faith group, actively participating in its praise and worship services.
Michael and Arlene are blessed with two daughters: Mae Fredelene and Fearlie Mea.
Let’s get to know Michael more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Kind. Good-natured. Merciful.
What is your mantra in life?
To serve the Lord.
What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when my family is happy. I cry when we encounter problems in the family.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Sunday because that’s the time we go to the church. Wednesday, too, because that’s when we have Bukas Loob sa Diyos worship.
What do you love doing when not working?
Taking care of my two grandsons.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
The Oriental Hall.
What makes you blush?
When I encounter troubles at work, especially when the ID machine does not work properly.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I always blame myself whenever I commit mistakes.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
That would be every after hearing mass. That is when I really feel God's care.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I changed my lifestyle and embraced God’s love.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
Religious songs. “Change my Heart, Oh God.”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Pray together with my wife.
What’s your idea of a family?
A happy family!
(NOTE: “Colleague of the Week'” serves as a window into the life of the faculty and staff members of Silliman University. It seeks to showcase colleagues from different departments and units, and present them as “the” faces that form part of the foundation of Silliman. Featured weekly are faculty and staff who have committed themselves to providing members of the Silliman community a campus experience that cultivates competence, character and faith within one and all. We get to know them as people who like any of us also have their fair share of challenges, successes, and an inspiring story to tell. Not all of them may be popular, but not a single one of them lives a life without hope and meaning to share.)