Manila Bulletin

Of gratitude and goodness


THIS past week, had the honor of celebratin­g and officially ushering in the Christmas season with four of the communitie­s MovEd works with in The National Capital Region. Each year, it’s something I look forward to. While I do get to visit the sites and observe classes on a regular basis, it is definitely not every day that you see the students at their element: all excited to showcase the presentati­ons they’ve been so busily preparing for and well, Christmas just really has a way of tugging at our hearts and making everything that much more endearing. This year was even more special than the past few years because each Christmas party with each class was meticulous­ly and lovingly planned out and given by a specific donor. Without our asking, a few months back, a couple of very generous hearted individual­s approached us to ask if there was a possibilit­y of throwing our students some sort of Christmas party to kick-off the holidays. And more than willingly, of course, we wholeheart­edly obliged.

Seeing how much effort and painstakin­g attention to detail these people put into making sure everything would go without a glitch and that the kids would have the time of their lives was absolutely touching. Each one of the parties had its distinct identity that reflected the giver, but needless to say, each one of them was filled with heart and soul. Undoubtedl­y, the MovEd students who partook of the sumptuous meals prepared, the merry making and most especially getting to know the donors themselves and their own children who came along will never forget the treat they received. Likewise, it was most heartwarmi­ng to hear the feedback of those who decided to share their precious time and resources with the MovEd students, most especially the children. They were overwhelme­d, overjoyed and extremely fulfilled to say the least. Surely, it made their Christmas all the more meaningful, and is one they will most definitely never forget.

The act of giving is generosity personifie­d. And I am a firm believer that the only way to give meaningful­ly and substantia­lly is to do so wholeheart­edly. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Sharing a part of yourself to others – through time, resources, knowledge – inevitably makes you a part of their lives, so might as well make it worthwhile and memorable. If there’s one thing this past week has shown me (and quite my whole life in the non-profit sector) it is that so many people are willing to give, but are really just on the lookout for a worthy platform to be able to do so. And once they’ve found one that they are convinced enough about, they are willing to go above and beyond. That in the end, it’s the smallest gestures and the softest spoken Maraming Salamat Po that tugs both their hearts and likewise mine the most. It’s the unspoken words through the sparkle in their eyes and smiles that leave the longest lasting impact in our minds and in our hearts. That keep us wanting to go back, to give more and to continuous­ly count our blessings.

It is always so humbling to see so many people share the same enthusiasm for the cause I so wholeheart­edly believe in and have chosen to devote a substantia­l amount of my time to. It is quite an honor to be able to somewhat provide that platform to these wellmeanin­g and kind-hearted individual­s to be able to fulfill their dreams of giving back to groups who appreciate it most. Seeing life through the eyes of others – in the way they live it by appreciati­ng the smallest of things and through the outpour of kindness that exudes others – is a front row seat I am so privileged to sit in. And for these blessings – the platform I am able to provide, for the work that I do on a daily basis, the people that give, that I work with and those who allow us to be a part of their lives – I have been and will always be grateful.

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