Acts of Faith
By: Lorelee D. Asignacion

Every moment in life is an act of faith. Every inch of the cloak of courage we put on is sewn from the brand of audacity we muster. Though life in itself may give a whopping deal of stuff we don’t understand, God’s hands will deliver the best delightful smorgasbord which will lend additional hue to what has already been considered as our colorful existence.

Last October 19, while the City of Smiles was buzzing with excitement at the very day when I was also celebrating my fifth year as a columnist and member of the NDB family, I had no other choice but take the rerouted flights. I had to take the morning fast craft schedule, and catch my early afternoon flight to Cebu. I got to the Iloilo airport forty-five minutes before the scheduled check-in. Just in time when the airline staff was validating my ticket, two elderly came and asked if I could volunteer to offer seat as they were scheduled for medical examination and the flight was already overbooked. The staff told me that I’ll be rerouted to Manila on a 1:15 flight, and had to take the 4:00 p.m. flight to Cebu. At that time, it never occurred to me that there will be a big chance of delays due to air traffic. Just the thought that I’d be able to help was enough for me to say yes. Faith and the idea of helping in exchange of my convenience made it easier to just allow events to take its turn. Of course, there were delays. Good thing we have technology to back us up. One text and call away, Manila airline staff was already informed that Cebu-bound airbus has to wait. Literally, I ran from the arrival area to the pre-departure area of NAIA Terminal 3. Literally (again), I took breakfast in Iloilo, lunch in Manila, and dinner in Cebu. Three cities… one day… epic experience that earned me the “Rerouting Queen” title.

The Cebu trip was an answer to the urgent call made by the Department of Education Secretary, Bro. Armin Luistro, through the office of USec Mario Deriquito. With One Meralco Foundation heading the call to answer the need, the Lead Coaches, Global Filipino Teachers, iTeach and Mega Cebu participants trained under Coalition for Better Education were asked to converge at Crown Regency Hotel for the “Energy Camp” in order to develop learning resource materials for the 78 schools in Albay which were not holding classes due to the impending Mayon volcano eruption. There were 37 brave souls including me, who said “yes” to the quest (practically, nobody opted to be left behind). We knew before we left our respective stations that it’s going to be one week of sleepless nights and pressures but we never doubted too, that it’s going to be fun-filled nonetheless. Faith… that God would give us the wisdom as we craft everything from scratch made the dream into reality.

The days rolled fast as we wrestled with our ideas, battled against exhaustion, fought against the probability of not reaching the target, defied all the negative thoughts, poured and shared our inputs and just went on with the word “POSSIBLE” printed right on our foreheads. No questions, no doubts… just faith. Just when the last day was nearing its fold, we were stricken by worry as six campers were rushed to the hospital due to food poisoning. It was a test and measure of unity, considering the fact that all of us were away from our respective homes and families. Yet, each of us proved to be the source of comfort during that dire time. Everything was settled, save for one member from Cebu who was recommended for admission, and who also went home completely healed.

We’re back to our points of origin, back to the usual grind and had to catch up with the piles of work that had been lying in wait. The resource materials are on the final stage of corrections and validations before they get to the final printing. Faith and the constancy of burning the wires as we send and exchange files make it possible to still collaborate even when we are scattered.

One dream; few restless minds and indefatigable CBE staff (Sir Jeffrey O. Tarayao, president of One Meralco Foundation; Ms. Luchi Flores, CBE Executive Director; Sir Jess Babia, Ms. Chellow Ochea and Sir Ency Incinares); one Energy Camp; eleven regions; thirty-seven special and passionate public school teachers; three hundred fifty flash cards; five days… these brought us together to help make an ambitious difference… all because we BELIEVED; all because HE equipped us with HEARTS bigger than ourselves… something that makes us all grateful for being chosen because those who did have faith in what we can do.

Soon, the materials will find its way to Albay and to the rest of the schools all over the Philippines. We never thought we could go this far. It was just faith that we can deliver no matter how difficult that played a pivotal role in our frame of thinking. Of course, those who stood with us by giving us all the encouragements conspired with the will of the One who designed His handiwork through all those involved.

We all look forward to an Albay trip soon. I hope I don’t get rerouted by that time. I hope this piece will also inspire others to work with passion and faith- two things that need a lot of resolute spirit to be real. On the other hand, it’s also true: “You can never push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.” As for me, again and again, I don’t mind getting greased and inked under my fingernails. Let’s get to work, shall we? HE who started it all will surely take us all to the finish.

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