Tuesday, October 19, 2010

KCAT CAN: Rockin' My World

ROCK N ERA - October 8, 2010
Super thank you to Malen and Infiniteam!

by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
October 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Since 2005 when my Mom and I started our fund drive for my medical needs, whenever we saw a benefit concert, we would always say to each other, “Sana tayo din no?” So after five years, the heavens granted our wishful words. Last Oct. 8, 2010, my dream of becoming a concert beneficiary became a reality.

Malen, a schoolmate, sent me an email and told me how she had been inspired by my strength. She said that she would definitely think of something in order to help me. After a few weeks, she sent me another message saying she belongs to a group of young professionals who organize benefit concerts. They wanted me to be one of their beneficiaries. My mom and I were so happy when we read her message and learned that three of the country’s top bands, The Dawn, True Faith and Bamboo, were going to perform in the concert. Rock N Era, the concert, was made possible by Uno1One Productions in cooperation with Infiniteam Enterprise Ltd. It was held at Metrobar in West Avenue, Quezon City.

Since I did not become deaf until 2006, I was quite familiar with most of the songs that the bands played. My cousins would tell me the titles of the songs and played the songs in my own mind and imagination. Some of the songs I remembered were: The Dawn’s Enveloped Ideas, Iisang Bangka Tayo, and Salamat; True Faith’s Perfect, Muntik Nang Maabot Ang Langit, and Dahil Ikaw; Bamboo’s Hallelujah and Tatsulok. The stage was filled with fireworks when he sang Awit Ng Kabataan. It was awesome!

Thanks to my cochlear implant, I was able to hear the music. Although the music was not so clear and I did not understand them, nevertheless, I heard some beats, and that was enough for me to enjoy the night. My cochlear implant ran out of battery on the third act of the concert. I felt the thunderous beats but I immensely enjoyed the night despite being deaf. My eyesight was blurred, I could not see in the dark. The entire venue was surrounded by many bright colorful lights and that allowed me to see everything — not with thorough clarity, but good and well enough.

Before the program started, I stayed at the lobby so that I could see the people who were coming in. I wanted to greet them all and thank them for coming to the concert, and of course, to take pictures with them. From somewhere, someone came in and happily approached me. He looked familiar like I had seen him somewhere in the past. Heavens! It was Kenneth Ilagan, the lead guitarist of The Dawn! He told me that he was so touched and was so inspired when he watched the episodes in ANC and ABS-CBN’S STORYLINE where I was featured. He even purchased one of my hEAR shirts! Nice guy! Lucky me!

After the concert and the picture taking spree, it was time to go home. While my family and some friends were cleaning up our booth where we sold my items (with me just sitting on my wheelchair, of course, and waiting for them), I looked around the place and found it so surreal. The last time I had been to Metrobar was in 2005. I watched a comedy show with my friends. That was my last night-out before I was admitted to the hospital and got so weak.

In one part of the concert night, one of my cousins approached me and told me that she was so proud of me, and that I had come a long way. I told her, “Wherever I went, you have all been with me since I am stuck on a wheelchair, and I needed to be pushed.” And then I uttered the word, “Email.” She nodded. My exposure to the public started with an email of my story that I sent to my friends and relatives. I asked them to pass it on to their friends. It eventually caught the attention of the media people. From then on, I have been blessed with kind supporters who have been cheering me on, and have been praying a lot for my recovery. I have also inspired and touched the lives of many people.
During my lone moments, I often find myself thinking, “Wow! A lot of people are inspired by me; therefore, I must be doing something great.” But in reality, I am not doing something great. I choose not to merely exist as a human being with disabilities; but rather, I am living my life to the fullest. I do what I want to do, what I need to do, and what I CAN do. It is what makes the difference.

Life is indeed a circle. What goes around comes around. They have rocked my world that night. It seems I must have rocked their worlds too. We complete each other. We amaze each other. We give fun to each other.

I thank God — my indomitable Rock — for making a wishful thought become a rockin’ reality. God is my Rock. Without Him, I am nothing, not even an abnormally normal being with the desire to live, and make a difference in this world. To my Rock be the Glory!

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