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Posted by kahitanoito - - 7 comments

The moment I saw the My Shirt Story contest posted at Tatak Digitista Blog, I already set to myself that I will join this contest. Not really for winning the contest (but if I will do it will be really great) but more for the great concept of paying forward. I never knew though that in the process it will be really hard to select which story I will post and also willing to share and give hope to other people.

I think for the people close to me they know that I'm very sentimental on things that I am so attached on people or things. I find it hard to let go even on small items (e.g. boarding pass, receipts during my 1st trip, etc.) because I want to treasure the memories that is embedded on it. No wonder you see a lot of "clutter" on my desk or cabinet because all of them seems relevant for me. I actually had hard time choosing the shirt that I will enter this competition not because I don't want to share but more of the memories that is engraved on it. I just then talked to myself that in the end, the simple shirt that I'll be sharing could change the life of the person and further engraving more memory on the shirt...
Me (carrying a plastic bag of goodies) passing relief good to the truck that will be given to the victims of Ondoy
*Taken during the Operation Tulong Bayan at Whitespace, Makati

Since the promo is about giving, I though of the shirt that I always wear when I'm volunteering...my white Disney shirt. I always wear this shirt because it is very comfortable to wear and at the same time it somehow gives a positive energy. I think you have read from my previous posts how I love Disney as it creates a positive aura and inspires you to do things of infinite possibilities. I think the magic of Disney is encapsulated on the thread of this shirt that's why it always gives me a positive attitude whenever I wear this shirt.
Shows only a portion of the relief goods packed by the volunteers as some has been loaded already

This shirt is also special to me because it is something given to my by relatives in the US. If I remember correctly this is part of our X-mas gifts when we used to have our Lolo and Lola a few years back. This shirt bring back memory as well of my 2 angels in heaven and how I truly miss them. I know they are very happy with me sharing this shirt for others.

Me at the middle waiting for the relief goods to be passed for the waiting truck

I have chosen this shirt as well because of the story behind it. As you can see from the images on this post, the shirt has been an instrument of hope during the time of crisis. It was September 2009 when the country was hit by the tropical Storm Ondoy. I was very thankful that our location was not badly beaten by the devastating storm that month. However, a lot of Filipinos are not as fortunate and a lot lost their houses and even lives of family members for some. After the storm, there are a lot of donation drive going on throughout the country. I'm thinking initially of just giving financial aid but made me realize it would be better if I also give my time and extend my hand to those people directly helping them. I really have a busy schedule that time but together with my friends we went to Whitespace in Makati to join the Operation Tulong Bayan. I immediately changed from my office clothes to my Disney shirt upon arrival seeing the heavy task ahead. I think somehow the shirt helped to pump up the adrenaline within me and help me to overcome the challenging repacking and release of relief goods for the victims. We are also time pressured that time as the trucks need to leave soon in order to arrive at the earliest possible time to the evacuation centers, most especially at the Northern regions.
Me (standing) on a candid shot while segregating the goods.

My shirt is drenched in sweat after packing hundreds of goods and lifting/passing them to be released on the truck but I never felt tired or exhausted. It was a very challenging endeavor but I was amazed by the strong will of Filipino volunteers just to extend their help. There are even rich and famous people but all of equally share the work with the end goal of bringing hope to the families who will receive the goods. It was almost midnight when we finish without having dinner yet but our soul and spirit are filled with high hopes during that time. We know that with this simple gesture, it will give a spark of hope and from there start a new life.
Another shot of me hurrying as we need to transport the good soon

As I saw on the news the following day how these relief goods were given to family, tears started to form on my eyes. I know that a simple gesture I did made a long way for them... A simple relief to uplift their hearts on times of crisis, a simple act that paved the spirit of volunteerism on this nation. We might be divided by controversies but Filipino heart beats as one to help each other proving "bayanihan" tradition is still within our veins.
Me with my friends not feeling tired while helping out!

Since then, the shirt has been a reminder for me of my duty to be a positive change for others. It inspired me to act on things and have a positive attitude and be the catalyst for social change. I might not win this contest but I'm fully satisfied already knowing I can help improve the life of an individual...that alone cannot be matched with the prizes at stake. I hope whoever will get this shirt will have the same spirit within and help change this world for the better...

I love this shirt! Now I want someone else to love it too! I support the Electrolux Wash-athon Clothes Donation Advocacy.

7 Responses so far.

  1. From what I see, that shirt really looked comfortable. And I love Disney, too! ^_^

    I hope the person who'll receive your shirt will take care of it, too, considering the fact that the owner gladly gave it away even with all the sentiments that go along with it, something I can completely relate to. My bro actually started calling me a hoarder for having too many keepsakes. LOL

    Good luck! :)

  2. Thanks Mhel. I really appreciate it. :)

  3. PS: Thanks to my friend (Carlooos) for the pictures used on this post.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You're welcome Kahitanoito! :) Saw the thumbnail, and I recognized my photo hehe

  5. Thanks once again. Sorry that I almost forgot to credit you for it. :)

  6. great story behind the shirt. very inspiring :-)

  7. rdnofera says:

    It's cool to contribute during times of crisis, wish I could do something like that too sometime...

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