Of Stories and New Breed of Community Workers

Stories.

They have a way of transcending mere facts. It gives us a broader picture of people, things and events. It gives us insights and a dozen or so learnings along the way.

On August 18, I had the privilege to be invited as guest in Mr. Chinkee Tan’s early morning radio show called Chink Positive to impart my story.

I excitedly shared about The Appledrive Project advocacy, and how it has blossomed from being a mere experiment, to being a passion and more. The hosts asked how it all started, how it was like growing up, and how things have come to eventually be.

Chinking Posi+ively

I came from humble beginnings. I grew up in the province of Pangasinan in the Northern part of the Philippines. While my folks had a panaderia business back home and life was relatively comfortable, coming from a huge family, we had little room for more than the necessities.

Even back then, I have always had a penchant for apples. And having my nanay bring me home an apple when she got home from the market was more than a luxury for the young kid that I was.

I suppose that was where it all started, so when I had the opportunity to do it, together with some friends, we gave away apples to some elementary school kids, not knowing they have never tasted one in their whole life.

What struck me most after having shared my story on radio on how this whole Appledrive started was a message I got from this girl. She had never tasted an apple as a kid. She had never asked it from her mother either, because she knew that the cost of an apple meant one meal for the whole family already.

The first time she ever tasted one was when she was 19, on Christmas when she worked as a house help in Cebu. She couldn’t contain her happiness the first time she was able to eat an apple.

Somehow, I feel blessed that my simple story had touched someone’s life out there. For me it meant a lot.

New breed of community workers

I remember having been interviewed and featured in some magazine a few years back about this new wave of emerging community workers.

The article says that many Filipinos feel abysmally frustrated about the country’s current social conditions. Yet somehow, the Filipino spirit remains intact and optimistic that things would not forever remain this way. They continue to believe and aspire that the country will be restored to its former glory. They would like to be an inspiration to others who have given up on their dreams for a better life.

I believe we may not immediately see the small changes happening in our country and our progression towards becoming a well-developed and sufficient one. Perhaps we might not even see it in this lifetime. But we should not just sit back and do nothing. We should always–always find ways, no matter how small, to create and effect change. It is the best legacy we can leave behind for the future generations of Filipinos.

As for me, I will continue to do this thing I love to do and share the apple love to more kids. It may not seem much right now, but I know that doing my share in the bigger pie of things will create a ripple effect. And that ripple effect would hopefully continue to touch more lives and give hope and inspiration to others, most especially to the kids.

Doing good? Making an impact? One doesn’t have to start big. Start with what is manageable, and take it ifrom there.

My challenge to you, dear reader, is this: how can you, in your own way, create and effect change, for a better and brighter tomorrow?

With Mr. Chink+, Chinkee Tan and co-host, Cristina Lazo

With Mr. Chink+, Chinkee Tan and co-host, Cristina Lazo


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