Below is the letter of my friend, Manong Joel, about his sister in need of our help:
I am very well adjusted with my own discomforts for so long now as a physically handicap, because it is my life. I never complained or even asked my Creator about it, coz I know I am here to find the answer. I know that my seemingly lifeless life as handicap is already a life to live on its own, but now I feel somehow very helpless not because of my physical disability, but just knowing that my sibling Lailane Tangunan Bonilla is suffering spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally and financially because of her condition. I’ve been into something like connecting the sick people to those people who are can be of help in any way through old I blog I used to do and spreading, reposting the blog of my friend’s blog of cancer patients just to find help, but I never thought and imagine that one day in my life that I would write a story about my dear eldest sister who is now sick of leukemia and pushing my wheels hurriedly to bridge her life in my own little way.
We live in a kind of a slum area in Tondo, Manila. In my recollection of her younger days as my sister, I heard that she was adopted and raised by a family friend and I don’t know the real story behind it, if it was true or not. All I knew when I was growing up, she was active, cheerful and friendly. I just have bits of pieces and glimpses of those positive characteristics of her during those times because of my very young age, as the youngest in the family, but I am very sure of those nicest things about my sister not because she’s my sister, but that’s how she really is. She has a lot of friends who love her. At the age of 13 or 14 years old, I was sent in an institution with an intention for my betterment as handicap. Since then, I never had a chance to know my sister deeper. All I remember that she graduated her college even if our parents are not financially equipped and she had an opportunity to work in La Tondeña, where she met the man who became her husband. They were blessed with three wonderful kids. When that company retrenched their people and eventually closed the factory near in our area, my sister didn’t find any job anymore and she became a full time mother, a beloved full time wife and a full time housemaid-of-honor. Her husband became a public school security guard and as expected, his salary is not enough to raise their children. My sister started to be a pawn broker, an agent or a dealer of any things, just to be able to help sustain a daily need of her family, especially her children’s fare, pack lunch and snack or provisions. She only gets 50 pesos and sometimes more for every transaction she deals, but most of the times she borrows money and she accepts laundries for extra incomes. It was the time her face was starting to be drawn and haggard from sleeplessness errands and chores she does everyday of her life and not appreciated.
I heard all these things she does first as a story from my family, relatives and friends, and after a very long time of not being with my biological family, I had a chance to witness every detail of the story from a far and from a silent pitiful observation of mine in my one year and a half of staying in Tondo with my wife. I don’t know first what to say, but all I asked to myself was, “is she martyr woman or just a loving person to her family?” There was no answer to that question of mine and I just accepted it in my mind that it is just a stressful way of life as a married woman like my sister. I am proud of my sister not because she is my sister, but because she does everything for her family to the point that she forgotten to take care of herself, as selfless as she can be. Now that she is suffering from leukemia, everyone in her family and ours are all finding spiritual, medical and all the help we can get for her recovery from that under the weather of her and our life. Now, I pray to the Lord not to comfort my sorrow of her situation, but to comfort the people I love very much who now sick. I pray to the Lord not to help me in my helplessness, but to help my sister attain the unfathomableness and enlightenment to help restrained her condition, yet I pray to the Lord to help me find people to help me push the wheels of my wheelchair with me for a cause to bridge my sister Lailane’s life and be able to cross the over troubled water.
When I read this on my friend, Kamalayan Kalayaan’s blog, I immediately asked Manong Joel about her sister and he shared with me his Ate Lailane’s story.. (I quoted some words of Manong Joel)
Lailane Tangunan Bonilla is the eldest among her siblings and even though they lack financially, she was able to finish college with her hardwork. She used to work at Latondeña until it closed down. That was where she met her husband and was blessed with 3 kids; Diane, Sherwin and Maria.
“Full time housewife siya and at the same time housemaid-of-honor, hehehe! Kimikita siya sa paglalaba, pagdi-deal ng mga sinasanla. Di kase sapat ang sahod ng asawa nya bilang guardiya sa pampublikong paaralan at madalas yon ang pina-aawayan nilang mga-asawa, isang tipikal na larawan ng pamilya na taga Tondo, kung saan stressful ang buhay.”
They believe that the stressful life she is living was the reason why she became sick.
“Lahat kami nag-iisip ng paraan kung saan makahingi ng tulong sa pang gamot niya. Para akong nakaramdam ng kakaibang lungkot noong nalaman kong may sakit si ate at gustuhin ko mang isipin na ang hirap ng buhay na dinanas niya ang nagbigay sa kanya ng sakit, e wala ring magagawa.”
When Manong Joel was still living with them (he now lives in Manaoag, Pangasinan with his wife), he was able to witness how stressful his ate’s life is..
“Nakita ko kung gano ka-haggard ang mukha niya at sa tingin ko hindi na rin kinaya ng kanyang sistema ang ganong klaseng pamumuhay.”
But Lailane is still a happy person despite of all her struggles and endeavors in life.
“Wala naman akong sinisisi sa nangyayari sa kanya pero gusto ko lang makita at iparamdam sa kanya kung paano matagpuan ang isang treasure sa isang box na punung-puno ng problema niya at sa ganong paraan ko gustong maiparamdam sa kanya ang aking pagmamahal hindi lamang bilang isang kapatid niya kundi bilang isang tao na nagmamahal at naghahangad ng pag-galing niya.”
If you wish to help, contact: Joel Tangunan
at 09235818987 / 09196988225
or send him a PM on Facebook.