IN THESE times of hardship, a good soul discovers the innate ability to become a philanthropist. It does not matter if a person helps feed a small family or a whole community, what matters is that he gives sincerely, feeling the pain of others, and actually cares enough about their needs.
No, this is not about traditional politicians who pose for the cameras for a photo opportunity with the hope of seeing their faces on papers the next day. A tradpol gives because he wants to be recognized. And more often, it’s not actually giving because some items were already given by private donations and a meaty chunk of what these gators in position should actually serve to their constituents has already been diverted to where the public could not notice. These political crocs are not worthy to be compared to people who really express philanthropy. An American journalist Gamaliel Bailey once wrote that “never respect men merely for their riches, but rather for their philanthropy; we do not value sun for its height, but for its use.”
While it’s rather more important for some to post or broadcast what they give, others tend to help anonymously... and these few who give or serve in silence are the type of modern heroes whom we should not forget.
Various community pantries have been shown on prime time news which became an accepted way of helping people who suffer from hunger. The usual well-known service organizations like Rotary Club and Jaycees have been consistent and reliable during these challenging situation. Some fraternal organizations like the Knights of Columbus, the Order of the Knights of Rizal, and Freemasonry also do some regular charitable activities to their target communities. The Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Angeles City despite being hit with the economic effects of pandemic never gave a second thought of lending a helping hand to their home city.
Notable personalities also went out to help without needing to shine in public. Angeles City’s mogul, Dennis Anthony Uy, has been consistent in his advocacy to provide connectivity to the poor community including the remote areas in the country. Aside from his long term goal of letting the less fortunate gain access to his reliable Fiber technology, Converge’s Dennis Uy has been consistent in helping our frontline health workers and various communities all over the Philippines without all the noise. The Fil-Chi community in Angeles understands how to give back. Special mention to Eddie Tan, Mariano Chua, Allan Uy, and the late Freddie So.
This next person is also of Chinese descent but very Kapampangan with local adjective of mamaltuk. He is Marc Cruz of MS and BP Cruz Builders who at the start of the pandemic especially during the enhanced community quarantine days was almost automatic to help and he personally delivered relief goods and medicines not only for his fellow Angeleños but also many other different communities in various provinces. Cruz feels the pain and suffering of the people and he knows what needs to be done. He is the kind of person that deserves a seat in either the city council or in government service.
Another silent philanthropist is this educator who is also a proud Kapampangan -- Ma. Felisa “Leigh” Jocson. The VP of the Jocson College never ceases to look for opportunities for her students to have a promising future. Leigh also cares for preservation of Kapampangan heritage and culture and she has a soft heart for the solo parents.
And speaking of solo parents, the people of Angeles City must never forget the father of the solo parent ordinance, the indefatigable Councilor Amos Rivera whose efforts and ideas created large impacts that polarized not only in his city but also through other LGUs across the nation. He championed the rights of the people to have homes, the rights of the jeepney drivers and tricycle drivers, and he helps empower the solo parents. Rivera may not be a Nepomuceno or a Pamintuan or a Lazatin but he holds his own. He continues to transcend as an elected public servant despite being an opposition and having been stripped off from his committees by the incumbent administration. His campaign of wearing and distributing free face masks is already on batch 22 and still ongoing. His tireless distribution of vegetable seedlings has created not only aid in food security but also awareness of the public on the importance of urban gardening. A truly remarkable elected official who might be destined for something even bigger and more challenging in the future.
These and many more kindred spirits who prefer to serve silently should be recognized properly. May they inspire more people.
Kuya J Pelayo IV is a Kapampangan broadcast journalist. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at email@example.com.