Bag #’s 5 and 6 of The Let Them Go Project
Here is a special edition of The Let Them Go Project. My fabulous cousin Jelina has given me some of her pre-loved stuff last year when she was clearing out her things in our house, we were housemates in college. She has granted me permission to give the bags away as part of my project. I thought it would be a great idea since all the recipients of my bags are boys and there were a lot of sampaguita vendors around the campus who were girls.
The recipients (L-R): Juliet, Rizza and little Rica Mayores
These girls are cousins. They are all students in Lopez Elementary School, Los Baños, Laguna. During the afternoons to early evenings, they could be seen selling sampaguita leis to everybody. Today, January 2, 2013, I chanced on them selling, near the UPLB Christmas Tree.
Juliet is 9 years old, in Grade 3 and is aspiring to become a famous actress. She sells sampaguita leis to help out at home and her studies. She shared to me that her father had died when she was still a baby and her mom supports their family by selling mangoes at Crossing. If her dream of being an actress doesn’t come true, she says she’ll just pursue being a doctor. Her favorite subjects at school are Math and English. She received my cousin’s pink bag and a matching wrist wallet both of which she’ll be using to carry her stuff to school.
Next is Rizza. She is 11 years old and although her age suggests that she would be in Grade 6 already, she is still just in Grade 2 because she stopped studying due to financial constraints. Like her cousin, Rizza enjoys Math and English and aspires to be an actress like her idol, Marian Rivera. Next to being an actress, she would want to become a teacher. Her parents earn money by selling trash. She says she’ll use the bag she received for carrying stuff to school, too. Rizza also got a native batik coin purse from me which I’ve never used.
Little Rica is only 6 years old and is in Grade 1. When I asked her what she liked doing in school, she mentioned that she loved writing and recess time. Like her two cousins, she says she’d like to be an actress, too, like Barbie Forteza. She received a penguin wallet which could be worn on the wrist. I suggested that she put her earnings from selling sampaguita there.
Thoughts: After so many months of this project being on-hold, I have finally made progress. It was so nice to give those bags away, even though they weren’t really mine and I don’t have any attachments to them. The feeling you get after giving something away, knowing that they are needed and will be of use to someone, it just leaves a wonderful feeling. I might be getting addicted to giving stuff away, no?
I also loved that they were very open sharing their lives to me and my friends, Pat and Eya, who I brought along with me. We got to empathize more and appreciate them and their struggles. We became friends with these three girls after tonight and they aren’t just “sampaguita kids” anymore, we know now that they’re real humans with their own struggles and things to deal with. And, somehow, that makes a difference.
I was also planning to hand out two of my own bags today which I’ve taken out of my closet and into a paper bag (together with my cousin’s stuff) ever since June of 2012. Unfortunately, some of the kids I thought I’d see tonight weren’t around. I put the bags in a paper bag and out of my room so I could organize my closet and learn to live without seeing them. This proved to be extremely effective. I can honestly say that after more than 6 months of not seeing the bags and conditioning my mind that I would give them up, I have let these bags go. Now, I just have to physically give them to those who will have a better use for them. And I plan to finish this project before my birthday month ends and that’s this month! So help me, dear Lord.
Special thanks to my Hunney (Pat) and Sis (Eya) for helping me out, taking pictures, and giving the kids some money to put in their new wallets!
Click here to know more about the The Let Them Go Project.