“I want to be a philanthropist.”
This was my mother’s standard answer whenever people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.
The first time she told this to my sisters and I, I didn’t even know what the word meant. But as I got older, I learned that all my mother wanted to do was give to those who were needy, to bless the less fortunate. When I was about 10 years old, an elderly woman stopped by our home. She was frail and in tears from hunger and exhaustion. My mother got her a chair to sit on, and gave her water and food. This woman cried to my mom and her sister, Auntie Pruding, who was visiting us that day with my cousin Fides. Later on, when the old lady had regained her strength, Mom packed dresses and a tupperware of porridge into a bag for her to take as she went on her way. “We’re so good,” whispered Fides (who was also 10). It’s a memory that always makes me smile.
She always made time to give
My mother ran a travel agency with my dad and wasn’t a philanthropist per se, but she always found time to give. Before she passed away in July 2011, Mom and I worked on a manuscript of her childhood stories. Good Night, Lala was meant to be a book for her grandchildren to remember her by, but as destiny would have it, it has been published by Adarna House and is now sold in bookstores around the Philippines for all kids to enjoy. You can also order it online via the Adarna House website.
Now here’s why I called this “How Dreams Come True”…
My mother may no longer be here, but her dream to be a philanthropist is being fulfilled.
After I received my first check from my publisher, I donated to the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation — an organisation that provides boats and builds schools across the country — to buy two boats for the children of a chosen community. My mother’s boat, “Good Night, Lala” was turned over to the community in Labney, Mayantoc, Tarlac this month. I can only imagine her joy looking on from heaven — her eyes almost slits, her nose cute and crinkled and her smile huge like a silent laugh. Then she would most probably say, “Look at that” — the phrase that sums up her belief that all things work together for the good to those who love and trust God. And I’d tell her, “Look at that, indeed, Mom.”
Dreams come true when we share them. And when we live in a manner that makes others believe in that dream, others will join in to help fulfil it.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28 (The Message)