Just being here with my wife as we accompany our daughter Asia who qualified to represent the Philippines in the US Kids Junior Golf World tournament is honor enough. But on the personal level, the trip also fulfils a "Bucket List" to see the American "Old North State" I've read about in my childhood, hear about in songs and watch in the movies.
I love to travel and I thank God for giving me a good heart about four years after my five-vein and six-stent heart angioplasty operation. Back in the Philippines, my golf-playing doctors cleared me for travelling and even for carrying the 40-kilo golf set of my daughter Ashia.
I could not ask for more. I am just a poor barrio boy from far Zamboanga City who dreamed big by reading lots of books in my childhood, more so a borrowed Collier Encyclopaedia I read from cover to cover. I've toured the world and this is one more new place I can add to my list of wonderful places I've visited. Travelling is one of my biggest passions in life.
So then with my new place of conquest and pride for my daughter Ashia's chance of giving the country honor in sports -- along with the love of my entire family -- I ask myself: Is this all there is to life? Is happiness defined only by what one can accomplish or fulfill a childhood dream for himself and his family?
Thus, in this my special day, I thank, honor and pray for all those who have been supportive of our Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library for choosing to exercie their humanity by not only living for themselves but for sharing part of themselves through doing voluntary work, donating old books and computers; and giving financial support to the more than 100 Christian and Muslim scholars; and for the operation of its 5 libraries where students from far-away places with no access to books and computers can read, do research and be able to dream big as once did.
I thank all the donors from the Philippines and all over the world, most specially those who are as poor and ordinary people as we are but who have not allowed that circumstance from giving part of themselves to the needy children in the Philippines. Sorry if they are far too many to be mentioned, besides many would rather remain anonymous. Thank you all very much from the bottom of my operated heart.
Recently and now under the stewardship of my daughter Arizza Nocum, Kris Library has been attracting lots of volunteers from France, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Africa, India, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and many other countries, I wanna thank them too for travelling so far and spending for their own travel just so that they can give a helping hand to the kids being served and helped by Kris Library in a slum area in Quezon City.
This partly drives me and my family to not only live for ourselves but to live for others as well. Life is short, it will become shorter still if you don't live it fully and limit your accomplishments to self-preservation and personal enrichment. Nothing given; nothing received. That's the law of karma!
Carpe diem (French for seize the day)!
Thank you everyone for the birthday greetings and for helping Kris Library from across the seas!
Remember: Seize the Day!!!