This week we learned that Car-Car – my niece --graduated cum laude majoring in social studies at York University in Ontario, Canada!
What a fitting honor and blessing for Car-Car who opted to sweat it out with kids from informal settler communities under the unforgiving summer heat during the soft opening of our Kris Peace Library in Quezon City rather than shop at Benson & Hedges, Charbonnel & Walker, Louis Vuitton etc. at London’s Bond Street, Brompton Road, Burlington Arcade and other chick shopping places there.
Car-Car did not only provide “star power” in the launching of “Be a Robin Book Volunteer Movement” – which seeks to encourage the youth to help the transfer of books from the “have-to-have-no-books” sectors of society last May – but she also brought chocolates, ball pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks from Canada!
What’s great with her gifts was that she saved up money to buy school stuff for kids living in informal settler communities in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City while studying and working two jobs -- as office receptionist and store cashier -- in Canada. Imagine graduating cum laude while juggling two jobs! How amazingly inspiring!
“I work at least 18 hours a day. On top of that, I had to attend classes and study. I averaged only two hours of sleep each day, lost a lot of weight, and practically lived on Red Bull,” she amusingly recalls about how she saved up for the presents she bought for the poor kids.
Car-Car said she cannot watch on the sidelines while she sees Filipino children suffering from poverty, lack of education and employment opportunities; something she says children in Canada are fortunate not to experience. Wong is particularly concerned about the rise of Abu Sayyaf “child soldiers” in Zamboanga, where she was born.
Car-Car plans to take up law at the prestigious Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada and hopefully help strengthen international laws against child soldiers, who number about 300,000 in the world, many of them among the ranks of the MILF, the NPA and the Abu Sayyaf Group here.
“What makes a third-world country different from a first-world one is mostly education. I want to give these kids a taste of the many opportunities I am enjoying there in Canada,” Wong told us last May. What great wisdom from someone her age!
The good news about Car-Car came after my daughter and Kris volunteer/administrator Arizza graduated with high honors at the Philippine Science High School and made it among the topnotchers in the entrance exams at the University of the Philippines (among 60,000 examinees) and at the Ateneo de Manila University. More than half of Kris Libraries scholars and volunteers in Zamboanga also graduated valedictorians, salutatorians and top honors in public elementary and high schools.
And because Car-Car’s parents Nonong and Elma “Neneng” Nocum Wong are so modest to admit that Car-Car got her talent from them (Auntie Neneng was valedictorian and , I will attribute the explosion of good news for Kris volunteers to God’s blessings bestowed on all these kids who give time, money and effort to help kids poorer and less smart than them.
You too can be part of the Kris Blessings, please join us now and be a Robin Book volunteer by clicking http://www.krislibrary.com/volunteer.html or contacting Arizza at http://www.krislibrary.com/contact-us.html.
It’s only by sharing our blessings that we receive them in great abundance!