Sunday, August 25, 2013

Paying It Forward.

Yesterday, I joined the batch 100 and donated some stuff to True Manila to help flood victims of the typhoon Maring that hit Philippines recently. I made good use of my idle time to make my Sunday extra ordinary...and it was. 

True Manila is about Sharing and Friendship. By showing around foreigners (and locals as well) for free and sharing a little help to poor families and street kids, everyday making a difference by helping others and to pay it forward to more people who need help. 

I felt my tears about to crawl down my face while Edwin, the founder of True Manila, told us the story behind the non-profit organization he created. I was dumbfounded... 27 years ago, there is a kid playing in the street, while playing, he saw two foreigners walking on the street looking around and taking photos of the neighborhood. For the first time, he saw a tall, white skin, blonde hair man and woman. He was so surprised to see them and the foreigners were so happy to see this kid smiling looking at them too, the kid followed the two foreigners, he kept following them wherever they go, and because of that, they become friends, the two foreigners helped this kid by teaching him first how to speak English, how to brush his teeth properly, how to exercise and how to be a better person, they also bought a guitar for him and teach him how to play guitar and sing, after few months they went back to USA, the kid was left alone and back to the street working by selling newspapers, cigarettes and collecting garbage, but the two foreigners kept helping the kid by sending some financial support for buying some things he needed for school, the kid grew up and he continued studying high school until he finished college. Now that he is all grown up and that kid is Edwin, that is the reason he is doing it for free, because they (the foreigners) planted a seed of kindness in Edwin's heart since he was 9 years old, and he is here just to pay it forward, so that maybe everyone will do the same to other people. And that is the main reason why Edwin is doing it almost everyday. And it really moved me and inspired me to do a lot more for these people who needs help. I'm really grateful to our eternal Father for giving me much blessings and a chance of life to share them. 

Here's Edwin Pamanian's own words to reach out to you what True Manila's main priorities are:

"I want you to experience what I have experienced in this country for 36 years of my life, and I can only do that if we can show you to the places that you don't know, not on a guidebook, this is the real thing, I am not your regular tourist guide, this is not a sight-seeing tour. Reality is what we want to show you, I am here just to share to you our culture, our life, how we work, how we cook our food, where we live, why people are poor, why people are living in the street, under the bridge and in a very small space with big family members. If someone will show and explain you this, you can understand more, you can see the reason why Filipinos are still smiling, friendly and happy even if they are suffering from poor life, you can meet hundreds of kids, they are our true Manila kids, our goal is to make them smile, teach them how to be a better person, and play with them, spend a little time with them and you can also meet the neighborhood, talk to the neighbors, and introduce friendship. Like what the two foreigners did for me.

The more you know about my country, the more you will understand us and see how lucky you are living in a simple and nice life in your country, this will make you appreciate your country and your life.

We are not blaming the government, we are not blaming other people, if we can do something to make this country or the whole world a better place to live especially for the kids, we are here to help. We are here to volunteer and to teach kids.

True Manila is new, but we would like you to know that there are about 30 countries around the world who are a part of it already. And it doesn't matter if your skin is white, black or brown. You are always welcome to join us. Everyone is invited. So it doesn't matter if I don't know you, what is important is how I can share you something and you, if you can do the same to other people, then slowly...we can change the world, a world with RESPECT and DESIRE to HELP OTHER PEOPLE THAT WE DON'T KNOW... It can be started today if someone share some help to people who needs it most without expecting anything in return." - Edwin Nombre Pamanian

I'm posting this to raise awareness to everyone of what really is happening here, this not only applies to Manila or the Philippine nation, but with the rest of the world. Like what the saying says, BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

I'm more than happy I joined this project and cheers to new friends I made during this experience! Thank you Edwin and the rest of True Manila!