The familiar feeling of being a fan suddenly rekindled in me. When I saw them about to leave the venue, I told my co worker and friend Merf that I wanted to have a picture taken with them. At first I was reluctant because I was shy to approach them. Thankfully, Merf was supportive that she encouraged me to go for it. With that, we rose from our chairs and went outside of the hall peeping through the entrance and watched their every move. They were being held by a few people while they were on their way out. We waited patiently for about five minutes and then we ambushed them while they were heading directly for the elevator. The door opened and as they were about to step in, I said the words with my voice shaking. I asked if I can disturbed them and just have one picture taken. He smiled and had to forego the closing elevator and he explained to her in sign language what I was asking for. He stepped aside, making her stand beside me and Merf had the camera in action…
Here is the result:
I was grinning from ear to ear because I had a picture taken with Ana! Who is Ana and why did I suddenly become her fan?
Ana Kristina Arce is a deaf advocate who stands for the cause of believing in the ability of a person, instead of focusing on the person’s disability. She graduated as the first Deaf Magna Cum Laude of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) and is currently the first Deaf Filipino scholar awarded with the World Deaf Leadership Scholarship for the Master’s degree in Deaf Studies of Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.
She talked about some of her personal experiences (including her challenges) and how she was able to volunteer despite her being not able to hear. She also encouraged us that we should think outside the box, make a difference and simply volunteer with a heart.
The opportunity to be moved and inspired by Anna happened when I attended Hands on Manila’s (HOM) 2013 VIP Day on March 25 at 12/F SDA Ampitheater DLS-College of Saint Benilde. This VIP (Volunteer in Person) Day is a gathering of old and new volunteers of Hands on Manila. The highlight for me was the inspirational message that I got from all five speakers. Other than Ana, we got to listen to the stories of Shaina Tantuico, Rendy Eligio, Ica Fernandez and Jose “Quest” Villanueva III.
There was also a volunteer fair where there was booths set up for HOM’s partner NGOs . It was a good way especially for the new volunteers to connect with these NGOs and know what possible volunteer works they can do with and for them.
Another exciting activity was the volunteer auction. The organizers presented amazing collectible items as well as language lessons from their foreign volunteers. Those who bid
the most amount of money the most number of volunteer hours, would get the reward should they complete the number of hours that they bid.
All in all it was a great and a worthwhile activity. I was glad to spend time with my fellow volunteer enthusiasts. It was a good booster and it really fueled our hearts to keep the volunteerism spirit alive!
I will win this amazing collector’s item should I complete the 25 volunteer hours that I bid!
Hope to see you in the next HOM volunteer activity!