Monday, April 28, 2014

KCAT CAN: The sincerity of children

The sincerity of children

Look at children. Of course, they may quarrel, but they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. — Dalai Lama XIV

One day, my friends wondered. “How does one feel when one is doing something just for the sake of getting the job done, to gain praises or popularity, without a bit of sincerity?”

Neither one of us could answer this question despite encountering people who’ve acted this way. We just don’t understand what they gain from it.

Our conversation went on until we came up with a conclusion that the sincerest persons, aside from God, are children. They show their emotions without hiding them and they mean what they say. They have the ability to make you feel better just by feeling their touch and looking at their eyes. They are able to enjoy small and trivial things with great happiness and optimism. Amazing, right?

Whenever my best friend Michelle and I are walking and doing our regular exercises inside our compound, there’s this little girl who always joins us and assists me in whatever way she can. When my cane slips from my hand and falls on the ground, Elay would immediately pick it up. As she hands it to me, her face would brighten up. It seems that she is happy to be of help. She never fails to greet me whenever I pass by their house and walks by my side until I am in front of our house. Even if it’s only a few steps away and what she does is merely walking and holding on to my wheelchair, I am able to see and feel her sincerity in her little gesture.

Some may say that children are still too young to understand what they are doing and mostly just imitate what they see in others or just do whatever they’re told to do. How then can they be sincere? In the end though, it is up to the receiver if he or she will accept this kind of gesture and deem it sincere or not.

I still believe that all children are sincere in nature. As they grow up and become more aware, this sincerity may increase or decrease depending on how the adults help, teach and guide them.


One of my NF Friends, Alex Cuartero is not in a good state. Her pain is unbearable and her health is rapidly deteriorating. Alyssandra Cuartero, 15, who we fondly call Alex, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Tumors were all over her body in 2011 and in the span of three years, she became weak and bedridden.

I got to have a long conversation with her last summer. I kept on telling her how I admire her perseverance, determination and strength. I told her that when I was her age and I was diagnosed with scoliosis, I was really lazy to do the exercises for my bones.

“I can do it!” she exclaimed. She shared that whenever her friends would ask her why she can’t walk anymore, she would feel sad but become more determined to get better. She has decided to take all the treatments she can have in order to regain her strength.

Even though our conversation was something serious and relevant, we were able to keep it light as I put in humor once in a while. Alex is a happy, funny, smart and selfless girl who wishes to be completely healed not only for herself but for the sake of her family and friends as well.

Alex is in the care of her grandparents in the remote town of Tandag, Surigao del Sur because her mom, Em, is working abroad. Alex needs to be brought to Cebu Doctors’ Hospital or Philippine General Hospital to get treatment but traveling by land would be too painful for her. Hopefully, someone could volunteer to airlift her. Her family simply couldn’t afford a chartered flight to bring her to any of these hospitals.

The family tried to bear the costs of her medication since her diagnosis but with the continuous medical bills, their resources are already running out. Em’s friend created a page in Facebook to share Alex’s story and seek help.

Her friend wrote, “I created this page to inspire people and ask from their charitable hearts to help her mother (and everyone who loves her) bring that hope for her so she can start her way to a better life. This is going to be a long journey, but definitely worth starting.”


It is only less than three weeks before our 8th annual gift-giving in Philippine General Hospital (PGH) or MAY Birthday Project is set to commence. As of now, the total number of items that we have is still not enough to give out to six charity wards. We still have 19 days and I hope you can help make my annual birthday project become successful again. My actual birthday is May 13 and you can still gift me with toiletries and necessities that we can repack and distribute to the patients. Please contact me at 0915-1325228 / 0923-5219600 if you want to join us by donating or coming to the event.

Let’s be like children and do all things out of the goodness of our hearts. Reach out, accept, but never expect.

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