MANILA, Philippines -- Former San Sebastian College gunner Allyn Bulanadi has always wanted to give back to the street children in Quiapo, even when he was just a student-athlete.
But as a teenager who moved from Davao City to Manila, Bulanadi only had enough resources for himself, and sometimes even less. This only motivated him to work hard so that he could one day share what he had with them
"Dati pa lang, gusto tumulong, lalo na sa mga bata sa Quiapo nung nasa Baste pa lang ako," Bulanadi said. "Pero kaunti lang din kasi ang mayroon ako at that time."
"You cannot give what you do not have, ika nga," he noted. "Ngayon, may trabaho na ako, masaya ang puso ko na nakakatulong na ako sa wakas sa ibang tao."
Two days before he celebrated his 23rd birthday, Bulanadi drove around Alabang-Zapote, where he is staying throughout the duration of the enhanced community quarantine, and handed out packed meals and soft drinks to the frontliners and the less fortunate.
"Maraming tao ang nagugutom at walang tirahan," said Bulanadi, who now plays for Basilan in the MPBL. "I've always wanted to reach out to these people and lend a helping hand, but way back my resources were only limited or enough to feed myself dahil ako, nakikipagsapalaran din."
"I can only watch them from afar and silently telling myself na if God will bless me more someday, I will definitely share it," he added.
It was also his way of paying tribute to his late mother, Erlinda, who taught him to be resilient in times of crisis while also extending his hand to those in need.
"My mom taught me to be resilient and never ever give up until I reach my dream. She was my inspiration kung bakit ako nagpursige kasi I'm doing this for her. Just like sa krisis na ito. Now is not the time to lose hope," he said.
With the fight against the pandemic at its peak, Bulanadi urged Filipinos to work with each other and practice proper sanitation.
"We should be each other's anchor at this time of the pandemic. Disiplina at sakripisyo pa, most importantly tiwala sa Diyos. We need to cling to that hope no matter how small it maybe," he said.
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