Two years ago, I thought it was all just for show or to increase her popularity. A year after, she was there again. And again same time of the month this year. For three consecutive years, tv/movie personality Bea Alonzo was celebrating her birthday at Preda Foundation unannounced to the public. Preda is a non-government organization committed to women and children’s rights, fair trade movement, and social justice co-founded by my parents and Fr. Shay Cullen.
Preda used to stand for “Prevent and Rehabilitate Drug Abuse” in the 1970’s as a splinter organization of Bob Garon’s DARE. In the 90’s it was renamed “People’s Recovery, Empowerment, and Development Assistance” and from a drug rehab center it focused on providing shelter, legal assistance and education to street kids and abused women. They were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize back in 2001 and 2003 and won several Italian and German human rights awards. Unknown to many, the Preda team was instrumental in converting the then Subic U.S. Naval Base into SBMA as an industrial hub and tourist destination as it is today (my father and Fr. Shay actually wrote the draft/diagrams of how SBMA was to be made into an economic zone, which it is now). They were also the team who drafted the R.A. 7610 and more recently R.A. 9344, all for the protection of children which was lauded by UNICEF, a close partner.
Preda has earned several powerful enemies specially in the local government of Olongapo after battling the pedophile sex-ring and the rich and politically protected bar owners of the red light districts. But the struggle continues, and they continue to work silently. Let BantayBata, Kapuso Foundation, politicos, etc. take all the credit from their hard work, they remain dedicated to their cause.
Like Preda, Bea Alonzo is also silently dedicated to this cause. No media with her, no press releases, etc. when she visits the center. I initially had an uncomfortable image of her because of how she portrays herself on camera, but that image is meant for public consumption and the paying masses and screeching fans. She is very down to earth, humble and approachable actually. Never mind her gifts, donations, etc, her mere presence alone just to be with the kids deserves applause. She has a heart that cares, silently but dedicated.
In our day to day activities, passions and commitments, we don’t need a shout out every time and every chance we get. Doing good things, even small simple things like giving some bread to a beggar doesn’t need to be bragged about especially in social networking sites or in blogs. Let someone else acknowledge your deed, instead of announcing it to the world yourself earning praises in the process. Good deeds with genuine good intentions will get noticed over time, just keep silent and dedicated.
Photo Credits: Preda Staff and Joan Almazan Conanan