TAS stands for The Awkward Situationer which is another category I’ve added to my list of blog categories here. Just to make it clear:

TAS – The Awkward Situationer. Stories and thoughts from events I’ve attended or just me being a stiff, poker-faced, uptight, and uncomfortable girl at socials.

Meaningful everyday conversations – Letters for people I’ve shared a meaningful conversation with during the day. These letters express my reply to whatever it is they’ve shared. This could be told in story form, too.

Unnecessary Exploits – Fictional prose written by me just for fun.

Words of the Idler – My take on giving life advice.

All these categories have been brought about by the best catalyst for anything that is not essential in life – procrastination.

So, the Fourth Engineering Charity Ball. As a whole, I would deem the event a success. Congratulations to the project heads and the King and Queen of the Ball, Lloyd Chua and Jenica Almazora. To my org’s EB, congratulations as well for pulling this off. The attendance spiked at the last minute and I can only thank the Lord for that. As far as profit is concerned, I think we made enough not to lose money on this event and we even had enough to give to our charity, World Vision. We were able to send 22 kids to school by our ticket sales.

Now, speaking of World Vision… To make a long story short, this org mainly helps kids who are in need of the basics – food, shelter, clean water, and education. World vision ties up with these kids, their families, and their communities to give sustainable and long-term solutions to alleviate poverty. They have direct ways of helping, such as taking volunteers to the slums and hosting livelihood projects in the area, but for people who do not have the time to go to the poorest regions of the country and to do manual labor, there is another method of sending help indirectly, and this is through monetary donations.

World Vision gives people the option of sponsoring a child. You could donate 600 Pesos monthly, 1800 Pesos quarterly or 7,200 Pesos yearly to help send a child to school. You are also given the freedom which child you would like to sponsor since you can choose from the provided profile cards of each little boy and girl.

After the representative from World Vision gave her speech at the ball and showed the org’s video, almost half of the people in the room stood up and headed over to the World Vision booth at the entrance near the stairs. Everybody started getting pamphlets and filling up forms. There were couples who decided to share a child while others chose to sponsor individually or in groups. The whole area surrounding the World Vision booth was so cramped, and everybody were on their toes and they just couldn’t wait to sponsor their own kid.

It’s funny though. As much as I want to believe that every single person who signed up for World Vision tonight did so out of the honest goodness of his or her heart, I just couldn’t swallow it whole. This much people, suddenly getting up and hurrying to donate to a charity that they may have only heard of that night? This much people, willing to give away 600 Pesos every month to an unfamiliar org (at least maybe to them. World Vision is pretty famous.) with unfamiliar processes and subjects? Did these people even think this through? Did they even read the fine print, or were they just jumping at the chance to donate because everybody was doing it, and they just wanted everybody to know that “Hey, I want to be generous so I’m sponsoring this kid. You’re generous, too? Cool, I’m generous, too!” In other words, were they just jumping on the bandwagon?

Call me a skeptic, or a pessimist, or just another selfish bitch, but if another person asks me one more time, “Are you sponsoring a kid?” with that sugary sweet smile on his or her lips, then I’ll say it again, “No.” And I’ll tell you why.

For me, giving away 600 Pesos monthly is actually a huge deal. I have a bank account that almost runs empty every month, so I really don’t have the capacity to give away 600 Pesos. I’m a student and money is scarce for me, since I don’t have a source of income just yet. Moreover, my parents are not exactly flexible when it comes to giving me cash or anything for that matter. I use my own money to buy stuff I want. I hate how the emcees and the World Vision rep (and most people in general) assume that all LaSallians are rich because, well, we study in La Salle, which is an expensive school. Yes, it is an expensive school, and so most of my family’s funds go to my education and that’s pretty much it basically. They’re like, “Oh, what’s 20 Pesos off your allowance? It’s not a big deal. You’re rich anyway.” Excuse me, it is a big deal. I don’t know how many other people in the room know the value of 20 Pesos or realize how Magnum ice cream is such a rip-off at 50 bucks, but I do. I know full-well the value of a single Peso, and I know the difference it can make in my life. Because I know this, I also know how much a single Peso can affect the lives of the kids from World Vision. I know that they need money to get a better future, because whether we like it or not, this whole world runs on money. To get anywhere, you need money, and that is why the rich survive and even thrive, while the poor suffer and are stagnant.  I know that they need money, and I do want to help them… just not like this. This will be explained by my next reason.

To be honest, after watching the videos, I wanted to help immediately. I wanted to send a kid to school, and I wanted to be part of ensuring that she lives comfortably, where all her basic needs are met. I wanted to make a child happy, even if she didn’t know me at first. Then, I saw the horde of people signing up at the booth, flaunting their forms and pamphlets. Goodness gracious. If I were to sign-up, I would do it quietly, without making a big fuss, hoping that no one would notice. I don’t want to just sponsor a kid for the sake of looking cool or “good” in other people’s eyes. Also, I do not want to be peer pressure-d into sponsoring a kid. Stop asking me if I’ve signed up/will sign up just because you already did and deep inside, you just want me to ask you in return and give you a pat on the back for being so noble. No, I haven’t signed up/won’t sign up, and I will not do so until all you people are gone from the vicinity and until I am sure about making a commitment and taking responsibility for a child in need.

I believe that true charity is done without boastfulness or false humility, and so I am going to stick by that. I’m not calling all the people who signed up with World Vision tonight hypocrites. I’m sure there are some who just truly felt the urge to reach out to a child, and this was their first and perhaps only opportunity to do so, or maybe this option seemed to be the best fit for their capacities, financially, physically, schedule-wise, etc. , and I thank those people. But for those people who jumped on the bandwagon tonight, come back to me after several years after  personally meeting your kid and showing me how involved you were in helping him or her finish until high school or college. Then, I’ll admit I was wrong about you and you can slap me in the face for being so judgmental. However, first let’s see if you can sustain your efforts, and we all know that the only way of doing so is having true passion and dedication for what you’re doing. If you can’t sustain your efforts after a couple of months or years because you just got bored or forgot about the whole sponsorship deal, then, well, I didn’t want to say it, but I told you so. Come to terms with the fact that you joined World Vision out of false causes.

I made a promise to myself tonight that when I start working and finally have enough income to set aside, one of the first things I would do is sponsor a child with World Vision. Aside from the fact that I’ve always wanted a daughter without having to go through the rigors of pregnancy, I really want to help a child realize her dreams and get the best this life has to offer. I want to help her overcome setbacks like poverty which might have thrown her off at the beginning. I don’t think people see how serious of a decision they are making by signing up for World Vision, and that’s a problem. By signing up, you’re giving a child hope, and you have to sustain that hope until it is fully realized. You can’t just stop half-way and take away that child’s hope all of a sudden. Even you wouldn’t want that to happen to you right? It is for that reason that I want to be fully aware of all the details of my agreement with World Vision in helping my kid. I want to know how my money is transferred and spent on things that could help her. I want to hear how she’s doing not just every year, but even every month. I want my decision to be conscious, sound, and voluntary. When I want to help someone, it’s because I genuinely want to do it, and not for any other reason but to make the lives of others better.

Gosh, I’ll probably get shot for this post, but I highly doubt that anyone would read it. Currently, it’s around 1,696 words long. Another TL;DR post (Too Long; Didn’t Read). Ha. Ha. Ha. At this point, I would like to say a bunch of nonsense to my non-existent readers.

First and foremost, thank you. Lastly, I like bunnies.

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