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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How the Philippines changed me

A good percentage of this blog is pointing to acts of kindness I had done to help poor Filipino's but the reality is I had received far more blessings from you. These blessings cannot be purchased with money. These are riches that come through the unique culture you have.

It is really an incredible love story I have with you. I brought you my material blessings, good heart and energy to help you with your poverty and in turn you taught me that far more important than material riches are the love of God, Family and friends.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how blessed I was to be able to spend so much time with you. I discovered things in your poorness that I had never known before. Things that are pretty much absent from the fast paced culture I came from.

I tried my best to fix your problems using the proceeds from my work. The help I had brought you as far as dollars is concerned cannot compare the the wealth you already have in a culture of family and deep faith. I hope all of you reading this can truly see how rich you are. To be one in heart and value each other as members of a family is far more precious than owning a Mercedes and a nice house. You cannot buy with money what you have.

I saw this especially when I was donating in public hospitals. Families who would sacrifice to the fourth generation to be there for a suffering loved one. The love I saw with second cousins treating distant uncles and aunties with the utmost respect touched the deepest part of my heart.

Loving each other through the hardest of times
I had no idea how important our family was until I learned from you dear Filipino's about it. And you are right. There is nothing more important on this earth besides our relationship with God than our own family. I was so confused about my own family until you healed me with your culture. Now I have the best relationships, the deepest affection and strongest commitment. Before it was all about how much money I could make and what kind of fame I could achieve in the eyes of others.

You gave me so much dear Filipino's. I love you so much for that. I am truly humbled by the opportunity I had to serve you. For never did I realize that your people and country were going to give me the greatest gift that money cannot buy. That is the knowledge of the importance of our own families. The material world and going for the American dream stole that from me for many years. I was lost in a fog of thinking that material gain could provide me contentment. I was wrong. Loving my wife and daughter makes me happy. Loving my mom and dad and being there for them makes me happy. Appreciating people and accepting them for who they are now makes me happy.

Me and my wonderful nephew Joshua
I just want to tell you dear Filipino friends that whatever makes you smile in adversity, never lose that part of your culture. Whatever makes you sacrifice for your family, never lose that. Whatever inspires you to have faith, hold on to that and never let it go.

You are a powerful people, more powerful than most of you realize. This power is far greater than the things that keep you down. If you could see it as I do as an outsider whom you have touched, you would see that you are living in one of the richest cultures in the world. The riches you hold are rooted in love and there is nothing more powerful in the universe than Love.

"God is love"

Thank you for changing my life dear Filipino's!

1 comment:

  1. I am very proud as Filipino to know that a person from another race saw the goodness and beauty of our culture. You are amazing! Thanks for the beautiful words!