Monday, January 21, 2013

KCAT CAN: Modern-day Heroes

Mariya & Marco are two of the sweetest kids I know..

Modern-day heroes
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza 
January 21, 2013

"Indio” is the latest drama series on GMA 7 that is based on Philippine myths and beliefs with a twist of fantasy.

GMA described in its website that “the value of Indio’s beautiful story traverses through generations, as its theme of earning dignity through selfless sacrifice for loved ones resonates strongly even for audiences of today.”

Senator Bong Revilla, Jr., the lead star in the series said in one of his interviews, “Ang ‘Indio’ ay isang pagbubunyi sa pagiging marangal ng bawat Pilipino, isang pagkilala sa mga magagandang katangian natin bilang isang lahi mula pa noon hanggang ngayon.”

A day before its premiere telecast, GMA presented a special primer episode introducing the casts of the drama series and some of the modern-day Filipino Indio heroes, as well as behind-the-scene footages.

Ang lahing Pilipino ay lahing marangal.

Mang Jaime Mayor is a 48-year-old kalesa driver in Rizal Park who didn’t think twice in returning a wallet full of cash that his foreign passengers accidentally dropped in his horse-drawn carriage.

Maximo Anton is a taxi driver. When one of his passengers left a laptop and cash in his taxi unit, he thought to himself that his kids needed those things, but not in that way. So he returned everything to the owner. “Masarap ‘yung pakiramdam na kahit papaano nakagawa ka ng mabuti sa kapwa mo,” says Maximo.

Mang Jaime and Maximo were confronted with tempting situations but both remained true and dedicated to their jobs. This certainly was a reflection of the value of honesty over material gain.

Dr. Anton Lim from Zamboanga City, is the co-founder of Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, together with Jay Jaboneta.

At first, they thought of giving school boats to the kids of Layag-Layag, Zamboanga City, who had to wade in waist-deep water or swim early morning every day just to be able to go to school, while making sure their bags and school supplies don’t get wet. But they figured that it does not end there; the kids inspired them to do more. They continued to support them through provisions of other school supplies, medical/dental missions in their communities, scholarships and even livelihood programs.

“Madali lang talaga gumawa ng kabutihan, all it takes is for one person to make a difference,” says Dr. Anton. This shows how the spirit of bayanihan we once learned from our ancestors continues to live on.

Despite his unfortunate life, Cris “Kesz” Valdez, decided to give back the love and comfort he received during his trying times to less fortunate kids like him. He founded Championing Community Children, an organization that addresses the needs of about 12,000 street children.

“Marangal pa rin ang mga Filipino, dahil kahit sa dami ng mga taong mahihirap, may mga Filipino pa rin na tumutulong,” says the 13-year-old International Children’s Peace Prize awardee. Thus, poverty is not a hindrance to help others.

“Ang pagdamay sa kapwa, kahit ikaw mismo ang may sakit na iniinda, ay katangiang mamamalas sa ating Filipino.” That was the intro of Michael de Mesa before my interview was shown.

My story focused on the Neurofibromatosis support group that I started with my NF friends to help inspire and give moral support to one another, and spread awareness about this sickness.

“Nothing will stop me from moving forward. I will share my story, inspire and help with whatever I have, as long as I can. I ended my interview saying, “Ako si Kcat Yarza, nagbibigay inspirasyon sa mga katulad kong may karamdaman. Indio.”


When I was checking the updates of the NFF fanpage, I was struck when I read a message posted by an 11-year-old girl named Mariya Inocentes. She was asking help for her nine-year-old brother Marco who was diagnosed with NF2 and needs to have a surgery.

“I hope that you will help me save my brother. I want to do many things with my brother and I hope that I will spend my last breath with him. Please help me save my brother,” says Mariya.

I sensed her helplessness and felt uneasy about it until I and my mom were able to talk to her mom. We learned that Mariya has Beta-thalassemia, a blood disorder that reduces the production of red blood cells. Her condition requires a lifelong treatment. She is also sick but instead of asking help for herself, she would go around asking everyone to help and pray for her brother.

Marco was recently diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2. Although he doesn’t look sick and seems like any other kid his age, he has a couple of tumors on the delicate part of his cervical spine that needs to be operated on. Removing it could either prolong or shorten his life, but not treating it could also worsen his condition.

His family needs to raise $500,000 for his surgery which will be done in the U.S. His mom Mitch is a single parent and they need our help in this battle. If you want to help Marco, you may call Mitch Inocentes at 09178634141 or 09178636699.

You may send in your donations via
BDO (Savings Account)
Account # 002280171402

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