” Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up food in the summer. Hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags. Locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks. A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces. “
– Proverbs 30:24-28, New International Version
Last Sunday, our pastor talked about the significance of what we may think as “insignificant” creatures. That was the verse which propelled me to follow up my earlier post on “The Power of Small” into something that was made tangible right before my eyes. You see, the past few weeks was a flurry of events. It happened so fast, that I seriously sometimes believe in what we call serendipitous moments- when everything just aligns itself.
Original Image Courtesy of ZeroOptix
I met the following people in my life recently. They are Mr. Jay Jaboneta, Dr. Anton Mari Lim, Mr. Mark Bantigue, Mrs. Ysobel Hamidjojo, Marvin and Weena of LoudWhistle. It’s really funny how the story started. It’s almost as similar as the love stories my girlfriend goes mushy about. I simply wrote a post. It so happens Jay Jaboneta read my work, liked it enough and in just a few days, we “hooked” up and met up with all these passionate, powerful individuals over cups of yoghurt in Fully Booked at Fort Bonifacio, and everything just came into place.
When you read the story of how the Yellow Boat Virus started, it all started with a single heartfelt facebook update. The story was featured in Facebook’s best stories here. A Live video in Facebook’s headquarters can be seen here.
Short summary of the story can be found by watching this video by Yahoo! Philippines after recognizing the group in their efforts:
1.) Watch this 3 minute video:
2.) If you have time, I hope you can watch this “We Are One Filipino” speech delivered to Gawad Kalinga participants in the United States of America.
First part of the video below:
3.) They’ve been featured in Al Jazeera, Associate Press, CNN, as well as local fronts. I’m sorry I cannot link everything here. For more complete links: just simply go to http://www.jayjaboneta.com with the title post : “The Little Fund” – it completes it all.
What I want to highlight about this fund which was conceived by a simple facebook update was the way it has been empowering to me. All throughout every interaction with Jay, Anton (of Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids), Justin and Doc Ofelia Sy (Of Masbate Funds for little kids) and with the different tangible stories, and with the open groups in facebook , has shown me that there really is power in small individual acts.
Your Everyday Inspiring Heroes:
Here are snippets of conversations amongst the group: Let me highlight Ms. Ceny Bernardo and Mr. Anton Lim here. Please click the pictures.
Ms Ceny Bernardo’s Post: “I just got 3,491 children booklets (10 pages each) and 280 Math, Arithmetic, writing workbook, and other Educational materials from one school district. These will be disposed to the landfill. I am trying to sort and label before I sent them through the balikbayan boxes. The booklets start from Level K Book 1 through Book 15 (Pre-Decodable), Level K Book 1 through Book 20 ( Decodable), Level 1 …Book 1 through Book 118 and Level 3 Book 1 through Book 45. These are all Illustrated and brand new, except for 5 or 6 booklets. Each child will be able to go to each level until he or she will be able to read. It depends on each child how fast he or she will be able to comprehend. I’ll let you know the actual mailing and how long it will take. I pray that it will not get lost. It took me and my husband two trips from the school to get these books. I’m so amazed to see the whole room full of books and will just be thrown away. This is just 1% of the total books available.”
Mr. Anton Mari Lim’s Post: Pictures from Trash to Gold.
My personal analysis is that… We, Filipinos always celebrate the one hero- the Steve Jobs, the Spiderman, the Superman, Batman lagi…eh pano si Robin, si Butler?si Batcave? (pasensya kung corny ang joke). The true heroes are in each and everyone of us. The Grassroots movement is what is most inspiring. Jay is merely an instrument. If one can really see the way Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids sprouted, he only used his tool of empowering each one of us to find the hero in ourselves – that tool that he used was social media. That to me is what this group has been about. It’s finding each one of our strengths for being a solution to the Philippines.
I personally have found the “courage” in me to document all the interesting things I’ve been seeing in the group, now I find myself possibly being an author of their story so that we can use the proceeds to further their cause. The root of this idea was inspired with the Freedom Writers. This class room 203 is a very real story of how one teacher- Ms. Erin Gruwell’s crazy idea of making Blacks, Latinos and Asians remember to have hopes and dreams, and determination to pick up pens instead of guns pushed them hard into the value of education. Watch the trailer below:
My Favorite Quotes are:
1.) “I did what I had to do because it’s the right thing to do. Even an ordinary housewife, or a teenager, can in their own small ways turn on a small light in a dark room. – You are the heroes- You are heroes everyday.” – Miep Gies (Discovered and Preserved Anne Frank ‘s diary)
2.) “My crazy English teacher from last year, is the only person that made me think of hope. ” – Student of Ms. Erin Gruwell
3.) “To look me straight in the eye and tell me this is all you deserve, I am not letting you fail. Even if that means coming to your house every night until you finish the work, I see who you are. Do you understand me? I can see you. And you are not failing.” – Erin Gruwell (sidecomment: you have got to watch this scene! One of the most memorable ones in the whole film!)
4.) Erin Grumwell’s Toast for Change: “We’re each gonna make a toast for change. And what that means is, from this moment on every voice that told you “You can’t” is silenced. Every reason that tells you things will never change, disappears. And the person you were before this moment, that person’s turn is over. Now it’s your turn.”
I’m passing the baton now to each and every reader of mine. It’s your turn. You can share this post, join our group, drop a comment, google and search for the links I’ve shown above. Do something.
Recent Post by Dr. Anton Mari Lim : “Our point man at Mababoy uncle Justino Cabarles the great found and prioritize 11 indigents families who needs yellow boat to transport their 3-4 school age kids to school and at the same time use it for for their livelihood. The families are from 5 different sitios in the island. Most of them are from Sitio Guinhalupihan. This sitio has more hopusehold thatMababoyIsland. We have found a donor who will donate 3 boats so we need 8 more boats at @7k per boat. Any good samaritans f who wants to save kids from having to swim to school? Thanks”
*As of current writing, Faceless trader has pledged 3 boats for the group. Gerry Gamez contributed again. Mr. Antonio Ingles of Aral Pinoy.org also contributed. A lot of people from all over have just been sprouting up.
You are not obliged in any way to do anything. The truth is, let me end with Mr. James Altucher’s post “Why Donating to Charities is never a good thing”.
It’s time we stop blindly believing in mythology. I’m not saying don’t give. I’m not saying don’t be spiritual or don’t be good. But do it with thoughtfulness, with true spirit, with a true desire to help, because more harm than good is done when you blindly throw money at most charities. – James Altucher
Put that dollar/peso/singaporean dollar/hongkong dollar to work by just simply making your friends feel happy. Charity is too old fashioned and filled with bureaucracy. If you want to change a life, just simply start with the ones nearest you.
As we speak, please check out isanglitrongliwanag.org too, How To Build a Solar Bottle Bulb
– The Faceless Trader