Sep 27, 2020

22-year-old SK councilor bucks disability to help in the frontline

Aldren, described as cheerful, optimistic, and an active youth leader, said Monday that his disability never stopped him from joining dance competitions and even sports competitions in the MIMAROPA and Palarong Pambansa.

Photo of Aldren Pawa during the repacking of relief goods for San Pedro residents. Photo Courtesy of Roy Oniot, Jr.

“May kakulangan man, pero sa mata ng Diyos hindi ka kulang,” these are the words by Aldren Maat Pawa, a 22-year-old Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) councilor turned active frontliner who is helping in the relief mission in Barangay San Pedro despite his disability.

Aldren, described as cheerful, optimistic, and an active youth leader, said Monday that his disability never stopped him from joining dance competitions and even sports competitions in the MIMAROPA and Palarong Pambansa.

He was born without limbs, but this is not a condition that he minds to live a normal life.

On April 13, Aldren went viral when pictures and video clips of him were posted by San Pedro barangay councilor Roy Oniot Jr., showing him packing food items and goods for distribution to residents.

“Dahil sa physical na kalagayan ko, hindi po maiiwasan ‘yong panglalait — nasasaktan ako, pero naiisip ko na kung patuloy akong maapektuhan, masasaktan sa mga sasabihin nila, paano na lang ako? Paano ang pangarap ko kung papatulan ko sila? Kaya sinabi ko sa sarili ko laitin man po nila ako lahat, lahat hahayaan ko na lang sila,” he said.

Aldren said a few days after he was born, his father died. His mother, a vendor, is the only one who worked to support all six of them until two of his siblings also died.

Aldrens’ helpful nature is something he learned from her mother, whom he characterized as a superwoman in helping people who are in need.

He believes helping people is according to the teachings of the Bible.

“Nakikita ko si mama lagi po siyang tumutulong sa ibang tao. Sinasabi ko po sa sarili ko bakit si mama tumutulong siya kahit wala namang kapalit? Nabasa ko rin kasi sa Bibliya na kapag tumulong ka hindi kailangan ng kabayaran, dahil ang kabayaran ay nanggagaling po sa akin. Yan ang sinasabi ng Diyos. Kaya sabi ko gusto ko maging SK, gusto ko pong tumulong ng walang kapalit, bukal sa puso ko ang pagtulong ko,” he said.

 

Photo Courtesy of Roy Oniot, Jr.

Aldren had to stop attending school as a Grade 11 student because the classroom he was supposed to attend was located on the highest floor of his school. He said it was hard for him to climb the stairs in his condition.

However, he wishes to continue it in the coming year.

“Sa akin maisha-share ko lang sa buhay ko, kung mahina ang loob ng isang tao magdasal lang kay papa Jesus, dahil walang mahina sa Kanya. Kumbaga lumapit lang tayo sa Kanya at doon tayo lalakas. ‘Yon lang po kasi ang way para lumakas tayo at maging matatag,” he said.

“Ipakita lang po nila kung ano sila dahil sa mata ng Diyos hindi sila kulang. Wala pong kakulangan, disable man tayo pero may kakayahan naman tayo na hindi naman nila kayang gawin, kaya sa mga nahihiya o mahina ang loob maging matatag lang, laitin man nila tayo, hayaan lang, hanggang sa mapagod sila, ipasok sa kabilang tenga, ilabas sa kabila,” Aldren added.

Aldren expressed his gratitude to those who watched his videos and sending him admiration and support for what he is doing.

He also thanked their barangay chairman Francisco Gabuco and the SK chairman Xanderson Palatino for helping and supporting him.

But most of all, his mother who celebrated her birthday on April 14. She has been his inspiration to work hard and be himself.

“Thank you, ma, kung hindi po dahil sayo wala ako. Ikaw ang tumayo bilang ama at ina ko sa buong buhay ko, wala man akong ama ngayon hanggang sa pagtanda ko, ikaw naging ama ko sa puso ko,” he said.

Oniot said he uploaded Aldren’s videos because he was inspired by his hard work and he will encourage other persons with disabilities to live as normally as they could.

“Ito po ipinakita namin na kahit sa maliit na bagay hindi hadlang ang kung anong meron ka sa katawan o disability para tumulong. Maraming paraan para tumulong sa panahon ngayon. Para rin magising ang mga ilang kabarangay namin na nagrereklamo para makita rin nila kung gaano kahirap ang dinaraanan para maideliver namin ang mga food packs. Para rin po ma-inspire ang mga katulad ni Aldren, ‘yon po ang pinaka objective namin, na hindi hadlang ang kapansanan, marami ka pa ring magagawa, may ma-iicontribute pa rin sa gobyerno, sa munting kaparaanan mo,” Oniot said.

“Actually si Aldren kung makikita mo parang normal lang, kaya nga po ako natutuwa sa kaniya na iinspire ako sa kaniya, pag kumilos po yan siya parang normal lang, ayaw niya pong inaalalayan siya, kaya niya pong gumalaw na parang normal lang, yan po ang nakakainspire at nakakatuwa kay Aldren,” he added.

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