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Alvea Camille Cancino was on her way to LRT Katipunan when the jeep she was riding on accidentally hit 63 year old Guillermo Rojas. Ace, as the dentistry student is fondly called, came to the man’s aid. Using her handkerchief, she applied pressure on the head wound of Rojas who sat by the side pavement. This image, posted on facebook by Rojas’ son Marvs, went viral with more than 6,800 shares.
As we continue to honor our national heroes every last Monday of August, social media has allowed us to celebrate and salute the heroes among us. It has become the stuff inspirational posts are made of, the kind that generates numerous reactions and comments and gets shared multiple times.
In his February 4, 2016 post, Marvs profusely thanked the stranger who helped his father. He expressed hope of finding and personally thanking who he thought was a nursing student.
Mang Boy, as the older Rojas was known in their community, was alone at the time of the accident. Marvs was in Pampanga on fieldwork and learned of the incident from a neighbour. The photo he shared on Facebook came from the Marikina 161 Emergency response unit.
“I decided to post it to thank Ace who helped my father and to inspire others as I was also inspired,” says Marvs.
A lot of “good Samaritan” stories are featured on Facebook and other social media platforms. Social media has provided us a venue to show our appreciation for people who do kind deeds.
There’s the fastfood delivery rider who went the distance to include medicines in his delivery for a customer whose one year old daughter was sick. You have the TNVS (transport network vehicle service) driver who stopped to give food to a street dweller. Another is the TNVS driver who didn’t charge a passenger upon learning that she was on her way to the hospital to visit her child in critical condition. There are also several accounts of honest taxi drivers, janitors, airport personnel, and security guards who returned lost belongings and money.
Another post that went viral and was picked up by media sites showed photos of a police officer buying medicine for a beggar, shared by Celine Anne Giguera Hugo on her Facebook account.
Celine was at San Lazaro Hospital when she saw PO2 Jalandoni buying anti-rabies vial for an old lady she initially thought was his mother. It turns out that Jalandoni took pity on the beggar.
“Kawawa naman ‘yung matanda, nanglilimos na nga lang nakagat pa ng aso,” Celine quoted Jalandoni as saying.
In her post, Celine lauded Jalandoni plus another man’s kindness. “Nakita ni Mamang Pulis si Lola na (nakatulala) sa waiting area dahil walang pambayad ng hospital bills at gamot kaya tinulungan niya kahit na alam niyang hindi siya mababayaran ni Lola... May mga mabuting samaritano pa rin sa panahon ngayon, kaya para kay PO2 Jalandoni at kay kuyang naka red na tumulong kay Lola, pagpalain pa po sana kayo ng Diyos at sana ay marami pa kayong matulungan.”
That online posts of people helping strangers get a lot of attention and almost always go viral is proof that kind acts are lauded and encouraged. By sharing these online, we are able to do our part in “rewarding” individuals who do good. In the same way, we help spread the good news that there are people who are ready to help and be a hero to others in need.
“Nagbigay aral ito sa lahat na may mga tao na willing tumulong sa iba without hesitation,” says Ace of Marvs’ post which she first found out from a friend’s boyfriend.
Now 20 years old and in her fifth year at the Centro Escolar University, Ace recalls how the experience touched her life. “Gulat na gulat ako kasi di ko expected na mag viral ako. Sobrang daming nag message sa akin. Magkabilaan ang gusto mag-interview sa akin. Naiyak ako na sobrang saya kasi ang daming naka appreciate sa ginawa ko. Naging popular ako sa school at mabuting ehemplo sa lahat ng nakakita sa post na iyon.”
The story was featured by major TV networks and was retold in several blogs and online news sites with updated versions identifying Ace as the person who came to the rescue of an elderly man hit by a jeep.
“I think it went viral because of the affection that Ace displayed despite the fact that she doesn’t know my father,” says Marvs.
Due to the high engagements received by his post, Marvs and his family was able to connect with Ace. He finally got the chance to offer his “habang buhay na pasasalamat” to the stranger who helped and stayed with his father until the ambulance arrived.
According to Marvs, the incident made them closer as a family and it gained them a new friend in the person of Ace – their real life hero.
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