After the mass and over lunch, I told my children that God gave them talents for a reason and that they must not only develop them but share them to other people. For one, I said, we should all take time to again activate the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library advocacy which we recently became too busy in our individual businesses, works and studies to attend to.
I told my daughters Arizza and Ashia that thus far, God has been blessing them so much with both of them having received at their young age local and international awards – including citation of honor from the Philippine Senate – for excelling in academics, public service and junior golf here and abroad.
I said this only means they should give more as much have been given them, just as the Bible says.
Both of our daughters promised to find time within their busy schedules to help the poor and needy being assisted by our non-government organization Kris Library.
It was amid this conversation that Arizza received an email from the prestigious Singapore Management University (SMU) informing her that she was among three students from the Philippines chosen to represent the country as among the pioneering batch of the Southeast Asian Global Undergraduate Leadership Program or SEAGULL!
“God does act fast in giving blessings to you and our family,” I told Arizza, exclaiming in joy.
Information provided by SMU shows that SEAGULL is intended to train the next generation of leaders in Southeast Asia, the rising tiger in the world stage.
“SEAGULL aims to develop your capacity to be a societal leader by providing you with high-level analytical skills, exclusive opportunities to be mentored by some of Southeast Asia’s most prominent personalities and a chance to exercise those insights meaningfully with actionable projects for important causes,” the SMU invitation said.
“Southeast Asia needs a new generation who understands that leadership is not confined to political office or the highest echelons of the business world, but thrives in the hearts and minds of the purposeful. SEAGULL will convene the next generation of societal leaders for the most populous and promising region in the world. You will be part of the first cohort of the SEAGULL network.”
An “exclusive, fully-sponsored leadership development programme,” SEAGULL will gather together “22 handpicked change makers” from “11 Southeast Asian Countries” who will undertake a cross-country immersion program starting in Singapore for a one “life-changing experience.”
This morning, with excitement yet heavy heart, we saw Arizza off for the week-long SEAGULL immersion session in Singapore to be followed by two more immersion period in different Asian countries in July and September.
Although happy for her, we knew this is just the beginning of our daughter’s global adventure as she will also be leaving for Thailand next week to represent the University of the Philippines (where she is a junior industrial engineering major and Oblation Scholar) in another academic undertaking. It was only a few months back when we also saw Arizza off for a trip to London to represent the Philippines in a global public speaking competition.
We will be missing our daughter more and more but we know she is in God’s good hands as she had been working and sacrificing much to spread the blessings arising from the talents and abilities God has given her.
Last December, the family had to forego of a planned “winter wonderland” vacation in Japan after Arizza insisted that we should go to Zamboanga City to spend time with our families there and so that she, the Kris scholars and volunteers can proceed in distributing 30 boxes containing 8,000 books to six poor public schools in conflict areas in Zamboanga City for the benefit of thousands of students.
You can also share your talent, time and resources by becoming volunteers or sponsors of Kris Library. You may do so by contacting Arizza via her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parable of Talents simply boils down to the Law of Karma – the good you do comes back to you a million times.