MANILA — Actress Ivana Alawi early this week personally re-packed and distributed relief goods to victims of Typhoon Ulysses in Isabela and Cagayan — a project she chronicled through a vlog released Wednesday.
In a departure from her fun entries on YouTube, Alawi shared in detail her charity initiative, from the bundling of the supplies, to the distribution to evacuees.
“I hope marami akong mapapasaya. Iyon lang naman ang gusto ko mangyari — to help people, to inspire people. No matter how small, how big it is, a blessing is a blessing. Life is beautiful, and life is worth sharing with everyone,” she said.
Alawi’s first stop was Santo Tomas in Isabela, where she met with displaced families and handed them the goods she had packed.
“It makes me really happy, ‘yung pagbigay ng tulong sa kapwa Pilipino na nangangailangan. Para sa akin, ginamit ako ni Lord para maging instrumento para makatulong sa iba,” she said.
“I feel really blessed and I feel really happy doing this, making other people happy, and knowing that maraming pamilya ang makakakain ngayong araw na ‘to.”
In coordination with the provincial government of Cagayan, Alawi then personally distributed goods at a covered court in Tuguegarao City.
However, due to the big number of evacuees, many of whom were eager to meet Alawi, physical distancing became a challenge to enforce. Alawi had to discontinue her personal participation in the distribution, and instead enlisted the help of local officials.
Within the same day, Alawi returned via chopper to Metro Manila, but not to her home address where she stays with her mother and two siblings.
“Galing ako sa labas, marami akong nakasamang tao. Ayoko lang i-put at risk ‘yung family ko,” she said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “Kailangan lang namin magtiis na maglayo muna until I self-quarantine, para lang safe na safe ang family ko.”
“I don’t mind myself. It’s worth it, what I’m doing, ‘yung na-feel ko kanina. Sobrang saya ng puso ko. Sana, ma-inspire din kayo.”
Alawi clarified that by sharing her charity work through the vlog, she is “not bragging nor showing off.”
“This is me inspiring other people to do what you can, no matter how big, no matter how small. As long as it’s from your heart, then do it. Because marami kang mapapasaya, marami kang mapapangiti, at marami kang matutulungan,” she said.