Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Of Giving

I am about to add in another year into my rollercoaster ride called life in days time. Being brought up in a family with modest financial resources, I was blessed with annual birthday dinners, sometimes parties, and treated to wonderful gifts. Year after year, I look forward to my birthday for numerous selfish reasons. It was MY day after all, why not receive all the love I can get, right? But then, that was the old me. This year has been a year of overwhelming personal growth and milestones. Finally, my God knocked the sense out of me. It was painful that I got torn into this little pieces of uncertainty and questions. Who am I again? Then, gradually, I found myself through other people. My friends, my family, colleagues and more through my enemies. Through these people, I've learned again how to become me and how to make better choices in life. I felt so loved by the people I previously took for granted. The scars of my pain and failures only magnified my appreciation of how much I am loved and how I overlooked so many things. I felt ashamed. I've been generously given and still receiving yet I am not giving at all. A deep desire to return and share my gifts was stirred. I decided that I want to celebrate my birthday differently this year. This year, I wanted to give.

My eager intention to share my blessings was further inspired by a friend of mine, Kathleen Madula, who also planned to hold a simple charity benefit for her birthday this year. She allowed me to join her benefit. She already accomplished solicitations for sponsorships, scheduling and logistics. On the other hand, I hosted our impromptu program, held a mini-lecturette/forum with Zenaida Gomez and prepared the prizes/goodies which were sponsored by Zenaida Gomez and Daven Arcega. Our simple benefit was held last October 29, 2011 at Grace To Be Born Shelter, Pasig City.

Me holding one of our gifts
On that day, I felt different. Yeah, I've been to this kind of activity before. I've went through lots of outreach programs and medical missions more than I could count but this was different. It was because we were there to celebrate our special day with people we don't know and give them a part of us. It was a day of  revelation for me. I came to give and impart a part of me but I received more. I felt their happiness and gratitude when they received our gifts, when they ate the food we prepared and when we were just chatting with each other. As we come to know their stories and took a glimpse of their life, I've realized these are strong women. Amidst adversities, they stand by their belief to keep their unborn child.  They smiled and laughed as if nothing is bothering them. They are happy and contented because they chose to be. They are true heroes of their own households. Strong women running against all odds. I realized that any one of them could be my hero.

Many people are seemed too keen to take "whatever they deserve" because it's their right. Yes, it can bring you happiness and contentment... but now I've learned that you get to receive more when you give. Generosity mirrors everything back to you in ways not understood by a selfish heart. I came there hands full of gifts for others and left with my heart outpouring and filled with love. This year is indeed the best year of my rollercoaster life. I am indeed blessed.

If you  want to know the details of our benefit, you may visit my friend Kathleen's Blog (link below):