by Mariah JC
In a dog-eat-dog world, some people will go to any lengths to achieve success. In a country where abject poverty is a common sight, Filipinos have the word “diskarte.” The expression which has no direct translation in English originally implied making do with what you have and being ingenious to overcome a difficult situation, but over time this expression has connoted a toxic trait of doing whatever it takes even if it means stepping on others. Poverty breeds hopelessness and desperation and it’s hard to blame people in less fortunate situations for adapting such a mindset, but people like Marlo and Gelai uphold that the only way to heal the world is through acts of kindness.
Marlo Flores and Gealdine Jorduela-Flores are truly a match made in heaven. These two kindred spirits from Makati City who found a new home for their family in Dingalan, Aurora achieved great success through their hard work and dedication with Marlo as a Sun Life unit manager and Gelai as a financial advisor in the same company. Growing up, the couple knew what it’s like to be dealt a bad hand in life. And now that they’re enjoying the fruits of their labor through their purposeful careers, they’re on a mission to spread the ripple effect of contagious generosity.
“Ako mismo nakaranas na tinulungan before, so alam ko ‘yung pakiramdam ng tumatanggap. Iba ‘yung joy, so gusto ko rin ‘yun ipa-experience sa mga bata (I experienced receiving help before, so I know what receiving feels like. It’s a different kind of joy and I also want to make the kids experience that),” Marlo said in an interview. The couple acknowledged that they would not be where they are now without the people who helped them in the past. On August 27, 2022, Marlo and Gelai celebrated their gratefulness for the blessings they have received by sharing it with 200 indigent students of Dikapanikian Elementary School and Paltic Elementary School who were gifted with school bags through a back-to-back bag drive made possible with the support of their generous friends and through their partnership with BEAGIVER.
There’s more than one way to make a dream a reality. Both Gelai and Marlo are certain that their good education was what paved their way to prosperity. This is why they want to inspire every child in the community they love to stay in school. They wanted to instill the value of education in these kids’ hearts as an empowering tool that can free them from the shackles of poverty. “Alam niyo dalangin ko sa inyong mga bata, ‘yung sigasig niyo ng pag-aaral sana umalab katulad o higit pa dun sa pangarap niyo (My wish for you is that your perseverance in learning will be as good as your perseverance in reaching your goals, if not better),” Gelai addressed the student beneficiaries during the bag drive.
The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but Marlo and Gelai who both experienced being a receiver and a giver proved that a little help can make this place a bit brighter. You too can be a giver. Through BEAGIVER, a social enterprise focused on spreading a culture of generosity by providing school bags to children in need, anyone can inspire hope and aid students in realizing their aspirations. Visit beagiver.com.ph now.