Turning Disappointments Into Success Stories

Life is full of surprises. Let me share a story that will forever be etched in my heart, a story about turning disappointments into fulfillments.

I started volunteering for Gawad Kalinga in 2013 with GK Rovero-Cox in Payatas, then to GK HSIA / Tabora in Tandang Sora, then to the initial groundbreaking of their GK Shaw-Keegan in Brgy. Escopa. It all started when I felt the urge to funnel my free time and frustrations into something else (instead of sulking over life’s disappointments and struggles). I opted to channel it out by doing community service. For those who do not know, Gawad Kalinga (GK) is a poverty alleviation and nation-building movement that aims to end poverty by restoring the dignity of the poor. Programs under GK are Community Infrastructure, Child and Youth Development, Community Building, Kusina ng Kalinga, Center for Social Innovation, Livelihood and Entrepreneurship and Environment.

Being able to share my time, effort, strength, and ideas to the community gave me fulfillment – not only for myself, but also for the members of the community. Today, I do not categorize those who I have encountered along the journey as acquaintances anymore. Rather, they have become FAMILY to me.

Volunteering gave me a sense of pride, knowing that I am able to take part in nation building by helping alleviate poverty in the Philippines. It also gave me a sense of hope, that in my own little way I am able to uplift others’ lives.

I am proud to be mainly involved with GK Escopa’s MusiKalinga, GK EScopa’s Tutorial Sessions, monthly Paraisong Pambata sessions and monthly builds in different sites of GK in Quezon City. Through it all, I feel like I have gained more than what they have received  time spent with the community is never wasted time.


We can all be a blessing to anyone. No matter what you do — big or small — it always has the power to create an impact to anybody.

Let me end this by saying: “a simple act of caring can create endless ripples”.

About the Contributor

Jonathan Baena is an IT professional, freelance Events Specialist/Host, and a Gawad Kalinga volunteer. He loves to travel and share inspiring stories.

See all of Jonathan Baena's posts →

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