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AXIS EXCLUSIVE : R. I. S. E.
MAIRE AND KEN
AXIS EXCLUSIVE : GEIA
Axis Exclusive Third Month
April Food’s Day!
Celebrating EDSA through giving and sharing
Hindi lamang sa pagkain nabubuhay ang tao. Hindi lamang pagkain ang makakapagpabusog sa sikmurang walang laman at kumukulo sa gutom.
Ang kagutuman ay hindi lamang sa kawalan ng makakain nakukuha. Ang pagka-uhaw ay hindi lamang sa kakulangan ng maiinom mararamdaman. Tayo ay gutom at uhaw sa maraming ibang bagay.
Ang mga tao ay gutom at uhaw sa pagmamahal, pag-aaruga at higit sa lahat, sa salita ng Diyos. Kaya ang layunin ng aming samahan ay punan kahit sa maliit na pamamaraang alam namin. Naisagawa na namin ang aming unang outeach.
Ito ay naganap noong Pebrero. Ito ay sinundan namin ng feeding program kung saan nagpakain kami ng mga bata na inaalagaan ng isang foundation.
Ang foundation na ito ay Pangarap Foundation. Ang Pangarap Foundation ay isang bahay ampunan para sa batang lalaki na naninirahan sa kalye, ulila at mga batang inabuso.
Kami ay nagpunta dito upang magpakain ng kaunting tanghalian sa kanila. Nagbigay kami ng pambili ng ilulutong mga pagkain para sa munting salu-salo na tinawag naming April Food’s Day na aming napagdesisyunang ganapin noong April 1.
Dumating kami sa foundation isang oras bago ang itinakdang oras ng aming salu-salo. Habang naghihintay kami ay inasikaso ng mga bata at mga empleyado ng foundation. Sila na rin ang nag-ayos ng lugar na pagdadausan ng aming salu-salo.
Nang oras na para sa aming kainan, kami ay nagdasal muna upang magpasalamat sa biyayang nakahain para sa amin.
Ang kanilang inihain ay isda at gulay.
Masarap at masagana ang aming naging tanghalian. Ang lahat ay nabusog at nagpapasalamat para sa pagkaing inihanda sa hapag kainan.
Busog ang mga tiyan naming lahat. Ngunit higit sa lahat nabusog ang aming mga puso. Nabusog ang aming puso dahil sa pagmamahal, pagtanggap na ipinadama at pagbibigay ng pasasalamat sa amin ng mga tao sa foundation.
Hindi man naging malaki o magarbo ang outeach na ito, alam namin na ito ay tatatak sa puso ng mga batang aming pinasaya. Sa simpleng isda at gulay na aming inihandog sa kanila, sila ay aming napasaya. Napunan namin ang kanilang pagkagutom at pagkauhaw. Hindi lamang sa tubig at pagkain ngunit maging sa pagmamahal, pag-aaruga, at pagkalinga.
Ang tao ay hindi lamang nabubusog sa pagkain. Ang tao ay nabubusog din sa pagmamahal at pagkalinga ng ibang tao at higit sa lahat, ng salita ng Diyos.
“Whatever you do to them, you did it to me.”
AXIS EXCLUSIVE: R.I.S.E. (relates, influence, serve and execute) to the challenge of building unity and equality.
—Ken and Maire
We celebrate April Fool’s evey 1st day of the month of April.
During this day, people do pranks or practical jokes to another person in order to make that person laugh or to simply enjoy the day.
This year, we, geias of AXIS EXCLUSIVE decided to celebrate April Fool’s day on a different way.
April 1, 2011 will not be April Fool’s day for AXIS EXCLUSIVE, rather, it would be, April FOOD’S day!!
April Food’s day is an outreach program hosted by AXIS EXCLUSIVE. It would be held at Pangarap Foundation, an institution for teenage kids during lunch time for us to be able to feed them with healthy foods that are rich in nutrients which they need the most.
April first is not just all about practical jokes, one can celebrate it by sharing a part of what you have to other people. After all, happiness is not just achieved thru jokes or pranks. It can also come from being able to make other people happy.
Become other people’s happiness. Celebrate April food’s day with us. Be a volunteer.
Kapag naririnig ang salitang “charity work,” malimit na pumapasok sa isip natin at pagbibigayan at pagtutulungan. Para sa iba, ang pagbibigay ng libro, damit, at iba pa.
Subalit para sa iba, ang charity ay ginagamit nila upang maging sikat, magkaroon ng mataas na posisyon sa sosyedad at upang tingalain ng ibang tao.
Pero naisip mo na ba kung ano ang tunay na kahulugan ng charity work?
Ayon sa diksunaryo ang depenisyon ng charity work ay ang pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa kapwa mo.
Ito ang depenisyong aming pinaniniwalaan. Ito ang depenisyong bumubuo sa layunin ng aming grupo.
Ang Axis Exclusive ay aming itinayo upang ipakita sa buong mundo na hindi hadlang ang pagiging lesbian o bakla upang makatulong sa ibang tao. Nais naming ipakita na sa kabila ng diskriminasyong aming natatanggap araw-araw, tao parin kami na marunong magmahal at nagnanais iparamdam sa mga nangangailangan na may nagmamahal sakanila.
Ang pagkakawanggawa ay hindi nangangahulugan ng kasikatan o ng pagiging kilala. Ito ay hindi nangangahulugan na
may kapalit kang hinihintay. Bagkus, ito ay ang pagbibigay ng kung anong meron ka sa ibang tao at pagiging kuntento na napasaya mo sila.
Yan ang aming pangarap. Ang makatulong at maiparamdan sa mga taong kapos sa buhay na may nagmamahal sakanila kahit sandali lamang.
Hindi namin gusto maging sikat dahil sa sikat na kami sa sarili naming mundo. Si Ken ay dentista, si Maire naman abogada. Bakit naman namin papangarapin pang maging sikat gayong sikat na naman kami sa aming sariling mundo.
Hindi namin hangad sumikat dahil masaya na kaming makapagpasaya ng ibang tao.
Hindi namin ginagamit ang charity para magyabang at sumikat tulad ng sinasabi ng iba. Napakagago naman namin kung gagamitin namin ang ibang tao para sa sariling kapakanan. Hind namin ginagamit ang charity para tawaging sir o ma’am. Dahil mas mataas pa dyan ang itinatawag samin – attorney at doctor.
Makita lamang namin ang mga ngiti sa labi ng mga taong aming natulungan, nagiging masaya na kami. Dahil alam naming napasaya namin sila sa munting paraang aming nalalaman. Sa loob ng dalawang buwan, dalawang institution na rin ang aming napuntahan.
Ang Virlanie foundation kung saan kami ay nagvolunteer upang magturo sa mga bata. Ang Alay Pag-Asa kung saan aming ipinagdiwang ang ika-dalawampu’t limang anibersaryo ng EDSA. Kung saan kami ay nagbigay ng kaunting salu-salo para sa mga bata.
Hindi kami nakikipagkumpetensya sa kahit na sinong tao. Ang nais lang namin ay makatulong at maisulong ang vision mission ng aming grupo.
Hindi namin kailangan ng pagkilala dahil alam namin na kahit sa maliit na bagay na aming nagawa para sa mga taong ito, kami ay kanila pa ring minamahal at pinagkakatiwalaan.
About three days ago, a student from Miriam College emailed us asking for an interview regarding the goals of our group, AXIS EXCLUSIVE.
They told us that they were making a documentary as final examination for their subject, Philippine Government and Constitution and their chosen topic was about the rights of the people belonging to the LGBT community.
Given the fact that we were also students and we know how hard it is to accomplish the requirements for finals, we immediately decided to agree to their request and grant them the interview they asked from us. We scheduled it on a Sunday since Sunday was the only free day we have.
The group agreed to meet us at 1pm at Starbucks, High Street for the interview since it was the most suitable place where we could conduct the interview.
On the day of the interview, the group arrived a few minutes earlier than us.
We arrived at around 1:15 pm and upon arriving at the venue, they introduce their selves to us, asked us what we want to eat, treated us like VIPs and gave us seats to make us more comfortable during the course of the interview.
Since we were almost within the same age bracket, there was no pressure nor intimidation felt during the interview. It just felt like we were talking with friends on a Sunday morning regarding an academic and sensible topic.
We didn’t even notice that they were already asking us about the etimology of our group’s name, our vision-mission and our accomplishments.
We gladly shared them the information they asked from us. We told them that the name AXIS was derived from the fact that the earth rotates around its AXIS. This process is considered to be a very important process in the universe for if this process would stop, it would mean a destruction in the normal movement of the universe.
We adopted the word for our group’s name because we dream that one day the world would be able to accept the existence and rights of the LGBT community and one day people will realize that like the movement of the earth on its axis, our existence in the society is important.
We told them that AXIS is a group formed out of two people’s passion to help other people who are in need. Two people who would like to share a part of what they have to those who need it the most. That two people were us.
We told them that part of our dream is to open the whole LGBT community to the world. To let the straight people be part of our community for them to be able to see that we are also human beings who need to be respected, who can give respect and are capable to love.
As for our accomplishments, we told them that we have been a volunteer at Virlanie Foundation, did an outreach program at Alay Pag-Asa and contacted other people whom we could ask for help in order to succeed with our mission and achieve our vision.
As the interview goes on, a question regarding our perceptions on ladlad partylist was raised. We admitted that we joined ladlad recently for we believe in their goal.
One of the intriguing questions raised by one of the members of the group was about our insight regarding the churches’ influence on the government today. We told them that we personally believe that the Philippines being a religious country, cannot disassociate itself from the church. However, we believe that government officials or even other people may listen to their advices and suggestions but that doesn’t mean that they should always follow it.
During the last part of the interview, they asked for our final message for the society. Our message was asking for just one thing, RESPECT. For we believe that everyone of us, no matter what gender you are, should be respected.
Being a group that has only begun two months ago and having a group of students interview you because they believe in your vision and they support your mission felt really flattering and overwhelming. The interview might not be with a famous network station nor with a famous journalist but it really meant a lot for us.
Before we part, the group gave us a simple token of appreciation for granting them the interview. It may not be a big one, but it surely touched our hearts big time.
—ken and maire
We are two souls with strong faith in God and with one goal: to make other people feel even just for a day, that they are loved.
Last February 17, Ken suggested that we celebrate the anniversary of EDSA Revolution on February 25 in a community and give the people toothbrushes and toothpastes in order for them to have good oral hygiene.
To make this event happen, we decided to go to Divisoria to buy toothbrushes and Hapee toothpastes. We also sent group messages to our friends asking them for some donations. Ken’s friends donated books and clothes. While my friends, gave financial help.
We personally bought and prepared the things we need for the event because we want to be sure of the quality and quantity of the things that we would be donating.
For the venue, a friend helped us look for a community where we could conduct our outreach program. The community was in Pateros and the participants were 90 people composing of men and women from different ages.
The tarpaulin was designed personally by me and Ken. It was just simple but we made sure that it would reflect what we really feel. We called our event, “Celebrating EDSA” by which we gave a new meaning to the word EDSA.
For us, EDSA means Empowerment, Desire, Social Awareness with Action. This was what we aim on our event.
Empowerment would be achieved by donating books which could help the children in the community have a better and brighter tomorrow. Desire was the burning flame which made us push through despite the trials we encountered. Social Awareness was present in the two of us for we know that many people are in need of help and we, as blessed individuals could extend a little help for them. Lastly there is Action. We do not work with words. We act.
Everything was ready, the toothbrushes and toothpastes, the ingredients for the food, the tarpaulin, the transportation that we would use, except for one thing, the community.
It was Tuesday when my friend told me that the Bgy. Captain of the community did not give us permission to conduct our outreach on their community. Upon having knowledge about the problem, I told Ken about it and we had an argument. She was so pressured because she really wants to have an outreach event for EDSA. So she keeps on telling me that she was disappointed.
However, God did not let us down. He, through other people made his presence felt. Another friend helped us look for a new institution where we could conduct our program.
She gave us a site where we could find a list of charitable institutions with their telephone numbers.
I checked the site and started contacting then institutions in the list. Pangako Foundation was the first institution that I contacted.
They were not confirming my request so I looked for another institution. That was when I saw, Alay Pag-Asa Chistian Foundation.
Alay Pag-Asa Christian Foundation is located at Arayat st., Mandaluyong City. I contacted their office and was able to talk with their director who, upon reading my email and hearing what I have to say, approved our request.
They asked me if we were from a certain school or from a certain company. I told them that we were a lesbian group with a mission to show the world that we could touch other people’s lives despite being a lesbian.
On the day of the event, I asked the taxi I rode going to Ken’s house to bring us to Alay Pag-Asa. It was not hard looking for the institution since it was known by the people living within the area.
We arrived 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of time so we decided to arrange our things at the venue they have prepared for us.
Ken and I personally prepared the food for the event. We personally made the sandwiches, sorted out the clothes and books. We ordered pancit from Ken’s friend. At first, we thought that it will not be enough for everyone. However, while putting pancit in the styro, it seems that the pancit is not lessening. It was like the event in the bible where God had to feed five thousand people and all He has was five loaves of bread and two fishes.
The staff helped us arrange the chairs and the tarpaulin we brought. They even made a welcome message for us with our names cut-out and placed at the back of a re-used tarpaulin.
The kids arrived at 10 am and the program started at 10:30.
We were both nervous because there were seventy children and all we have was the two of us.
We held games such as question and answer, bring me, and longest breath. Special prizes like brownies, Hershey’s kisses, toothbrushes and Swish mouthwash were given.
In turn, the kids performed an action song for us.
Their presentation was touching for they made us feel how welcomed we are and how grateful they were for having us that morning.
Together with them, we prayed to thank God for the food that we have brought for them. The staff with San Beda volunteers helped us distribute the food.
Watching them eat was fulfilling. Knowing that they loved what we have prepared for them.
After eating, the director of the institution visited us and gave his message of gratitude. He also told us that they could not give us anything in return but prayer. Everyone then stood up and prayed for me and Ken.
The feeling was overwhelming. At that moment, we felt so blessed and loved by these people who have known us for just a couple of hours.
Then came the time when we have to bid them goodbye. While Ken is saying goodbye to a kid, the kid asked her “San na po kayo pupunta?” she told her that we were going home. Then the kid replied, “Sama ako.” This conversation touched our hearts and made us cry. It simply shows we made her happy. And while we were going out of the room, the kid is still holding Ken’s hand while looking at the pancit we gave them. Her mother also looked for us but was too shy to approach us.
The day may be tiring and all our energies were used up but nothing can ever replace the overwhelming and fulfilling emotions that we felt upon seeing the smiles in their eyes.
Maire Mañosa and Ken Santos