To begin with, I never volunteer for fame or to be recognised.
Since starting my journey back in 2013, I’ve had a fair share of hate and slurs. I usually ignore them. Those naysayers, they will never stop no matter what you do or say. But something from a particular someone broke me, literally into pieces. This is never meant to be a post defending what I do or how “godly” I am but maybe it can shed some insight for those who only know me, from the surface.
Volunteering changed my life. I thought I was going to change other people’s life instead it changed mine, for the better.
Volunteering has allowed me to really understand pain, struggle and appreciation for life. It has humbled me to appreciate every single thing I have in life. It has allowed me to understand life beyond just the need to work, buy and die. I remember arriving in the disaster in Ormoc, working on a site of a family who have nothing else besides the clothes on them YET they have this big, bright smile… reassuring me that things will be better. I remember a lady, with her precious smile told me “Walang pa, sa balai can be rebuild but my family can’t, okay na lang ako that my family are all okay” (loosely translated “It’s okay, I can rebuild my house but I can’t rebuild my family. I’m glad my family is okay.”). That kind of appreciation for life is just priceless. That’s what I learned on my journey being a volunteer. I learned to be less selfish, I learned to share, I learned to open up and I learned to learn about life.
This life, this very moment, I always ask myself “Have I done enough?Have I done enough so others have the hope or comfort to live another day of their life?” I am blessed, I’m writing this in a restaurant after coming back from a random trip to Singapore. Most people don’t even have the chance to see the city they live in.
Life is too short to live it just for yourself. That’s how I view it; how I see what I do nowadays. The world goes around, believe me. This is my path, this is what I’ve chosen and I’m happy with. I may not have the money all the time, a permanent house to shelter me or a car to drive around but I’m paid in smiles and hugs, I have had many “homes” I’m fortunate enough to take shelter in and I have my two feet to keep walking. I’m blessed. Because I’m blessed I want to give back to the world, nothing else.
I don’t know how much longer I will do this but I will keep doing as long as I have the means to do it. One day….one fine day, on my death bed… I’ll glee in smile for I had live this life to the fullest knowingly that I have done something for myself and others.
“I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be…”-Beyonce