Capizeño prospers in Cambodia

Seeking for greener horizon, Pastor Melchor Panganiban, a native of Roxas City, Capiz, is now
making good in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, which is a three-hour flight from Manila.
After graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Education program at the Capiz State University (CAPSU) main campus in Roxas City, he was one of the many aspirants who was able to hurdle the needle’s eye
screening to become a teacher at the El Dream International School in Phnom Penh.
The school has a total population of 400 students, from kindergarten to high school.
He started as a science teacher at the secondary level.
He said he was lucky to land a job in Cambodia just before the pandemic started because entry to the country was suddenly suspended. So they conducted classes online until face-to-face classes were normalized. There are 40 teachers in their school, 15 are local and 25 are from other countries.
As a teacher, he finds dealing with the students less stressful because they are easy to get along with.
Pastor Melchor said Filipino teachers were the ones who pioneered in setting the school’s standard of education: teachers were made to prepare lesson plans for their classes, arrange a proper schedule, set classroom rules, and other classroom management policies that are beneficial to both students and
Considering that he was one of those who initiated reforms in the school system, he was designated as a secondary level director (high school principal in the Philippines). Out of 17 Filipinos in the school, there are seven Ilonggos working with him.
Prior to his Cambodia trip, Pastor Melchor was not yet a pastor but an active member of the Apostolic Jesus Name Church under Pastor Marlon Mirafl or. It is located at Hemingway Street, Roxas City.
It is where his faith in God was nurtured, earning the trust and confidence of his fellow church members.
He did not abandon his spiritual life when he arrived in Cambodia.
He saw to it that he attended church services there and participated in any undertakings of the church.
However, when the missionary pastor, also a Filipino, left to go back to the Philippines, the church leadership was entrusted to him, earning him the title of a pastor, who looks after the fl ock, and holds weekly services.
Therefore, aside from being a secondary school principal at El Dream International School, he also serves as the pastor of Apostolic Jesus Name Church (AJNC) – Cambodia.
Although Cambodia’s religion is Buddhism, Christians are welcome and can freely exercise their faith, according to Pastor Melchor.
He describes life in Cambodia as far better than what others perceive.
The economy is stable, commodities are very cheap, onions cost P50.00 a kilo only, and vegetables are
abundant. But the electricity is expensive.
Peace and order are evident. People follow the government, and avoid fighting it. Insurgency is less since they know they cannot overpower the government. Also people have less power and avoid fighting against the government.
Only a few crimes are reported, which involve car napping, theft, illegal drug use, and gang fighting.
In the meantime, he an other Filipinos/Ilonggos are enjoying their juicy job in Cambodia.
Pastor Melchor is exerting efforts to help his family lift themselves out of the underground economy.
His principle in life is to have intimacy with God, trusting and following Him, because God does not disappoint.*