Last week, I came across a friend’s post in a social media site stating that she has participated in a “pay it forward” chain. Possibly inspired by the 2000 film carrying the same title as the novel it was based on, this chain urges people to send surprises to friends who are supposed to pass on the gesture to 5 more of their friends and so on. This reminded me of another film released in 2007 – Evan Almighty – with the message that changing the world can be done with “one single act of random kindness at a time.” Inspired by these reminders, I decided to introduce a new section to this site to invite your attention to individuals who and pursuits which could benefit from an act of kindness.
Our first feature is Lyca Gairanod, one of four finalists in The Voice Kids Philippines Season 1. All the finalists’ stories manifest the indomitable spirit of the Filipino (Juan Karlos never met his father who abandoned him and his mother died just last year, Darlene’s father is a tricycle driver, Darren’s parents went to Canada to pursue work opportunities), but it is Lyca’s story that has decidedly hit closer to home. You see, she is from Amaya, Tanza, Cavite – the same town my father-in-law hails from. Being based in a coastal town, it comes as no surprise that Lyca’s father is a fisherman. Tatay’s father was likewise a fisherman. Lyca has been helping her mother collect, rummage through and sell junk, while Tatay’s childhood years had likewise been spent doing hard work. They both pursued their dreams despite their circumstances and the lives they were born into. Tatay fervently dreamt of being a lawyer, and become a lawyer he did. He did not stop there either as he found a way to be able to take up his Master of Laws degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. Whenever I watch Lyca perform, I am reminded that sometimes, people with nothing but a dream and the will to rise above their circumstances just need a break.
And what a break Lyca will get indeed should she be hailed the first grand champion of The Voice Kids Philippines. Prizes at stake are: One Million pesos in cash, a one-year recording contract from MCA Music (Universal Music Philippines), a house and lot, a home appliance showcase, a musical instrument showcase and One Million pesos worth of trust fund.
In performing a random act of kindness, the recipient must have no way of repaying you. I suspect, however, that it has its own rewards. In Lyca’s case, while her audition piece (“Halik”) showcased her vocal prowess, it was her rendition of “Pangarap na Bituin” in the semi-finals which got me. She touched my soul with her clean rendition of an OPM classic the caliber of which sadly seems wanting in modern day emphasis on prurient desires and glorification of foreign culture. What we have in Lyca is not merely a charity case, but The Voice that resonates with the Filipino soul.
This weekend being the Finale (6:45pm on July 26 and 6:15pm on July 27), it would be an opportune time for you to show a random act of kindness. As many of you may be aware, the voting public determines the winners in the live shows of this franchise. So check out the voting mechanics below and help make a Little Superstar’s dream come true.