After watching the Gawad Kalinga film PARAISO, I had this "then what?" feeling. Where do I fit myself?
The movie, I reckon, was made to help raise fund for Gawad Kalinga. By watching the movie, I hope I did my share in helping the cause. Then what?
Gawad Kalinga is already a household name. Well, maybe for us the middle class. We know they build houses for the poor. We know that rich people donate land or go to GK sites to contribute sweat in building houses. We know that a lot of Filipinos overseas support GK. We know that this is all about volunteerism where many companies have made Gawad Kalinga part of their corporate social responsibility program. Then what?
I have heard of Gawad Kalinga maybe since the time they first hit the news. It has been many, many years ago. Since then I have been an outsider watching or reading about them in the news and newspaper articles. Their website provides enough information about what they have accomplished and what they still intend to do. So much has been written about Gawad Kalinga but I never had the opportunity to be a part of it.
At the end of the movie, there was a message stating that they seek donations from those who have more. Unfortunately, I don't have more, only enough to keep me going. I am not "Micheal V" or "Cesar Montano" characters of the movie. I am just me, an ordinary individual living an ordinary life. So where do I fit?
There are many perspectives on how to appreciate what Gawad Kalinga does. It may be appreciated from the spiritual point of view having been formed by members of Couples for Christ. It may be seen as an excellent CSR opportunity. Or a reflection of the collective desire of the Filipino diaspora to help the motherland. But for me, I see Gawad Kalinga, or the people behind this cause including volunteers as practitioners good citizenship. Since my personal advocacy is good citizneship, I look at Gawad Kalinga from that point of view.
The practice good citizenship is not a monopoly of Gawad Kalinga. There are thousands of groups, NGOs, foundations, rotary, lions and jaycees chapters, alumni associations, and inviduals who do their share in nation building be it medical missions, protecting the environment, giving awards to outstanding citizens, providing scholarships to the poor, doing small acts of heroism and good citizenship. There are thousands, if not, even millions among us who have felt frustration but still hopefull that we, as a people, can do something for our country. There is not shortage of good citizens among us. The problem is, we cannot connect the dots.
The biggest dot of them all is Gawad Kalinga. But there are many, many other dots around us. It may be a very miniscule dot representing an individual who lives a simple life, helping his neighbor when in need, following traffic rules and being a good father to his children. It may be a medium sized dot like GILAS or ROCK ED. All medical missions, feeding programs, volunteerism, shoclarships, bayanihan efforts, pakikisama, coming on time, falling in line, respecting the flag, not giving or taking a bribe all represent a dot. There are a lot of groups in cyberspace being formed by Filipinos everywhere trying to do something for our country. All we need to do is to connect all of these dots. Being disconnected, each dot, even if in millions, don't mean much or will not affect our collective psyche. Connect the dots and national transformation will be very possible. That is where I will fit myself, to connect the dots where Gawad kalinga is the biggest dot of them all.