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Arnell Ignacio rewards traffic aide, airport janitor

Arnell Ignacio with the family of Ronald Gadayan, the honest airport janitor.

 

As the host of the early morning radio show “Manila sa Umaga” on 92.3 NewsFM, comedian Arnell Ignacio gets to be on top of current events and the daily challenges of urban living.

Recently, he took it upon himself to reward two ordinary men who have shown extraordinary virtues while doing their jobs.

When MMDA officer Saturnino Fabros fell victim to an arrogant motorist, Arnell decided to do something productive. Instead of simply heaping abuse on the bully like most people did, he thought of rewarding Mang Saturnino instead.

Using his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Arnell raised money for the 47-year-old widower and father of six daughters by seeking donations from his friends and colleagues.

“Kaya nga, naisip ko lang, ipagbukas siya ng bank account. Para ang mga donations doon lahat papasok. Sa akin, kung hindi naman ‘yun papansinin, on my own makakakuha pa rin ako ng maitutulong ko sa kanya, hindi lang from me but pati na sa ibang taong mahihingan ko,” he said.

Arnell’s campaign proved successful. He was able to solicit more than P50,000, which he personally gave to the traffic aide.

“I called it the Fabros Encouragement Fund. Akala ko hindi mari-reach ‘yung 50K. Pero umabot naman. Plus, may nagbigay din ng sack of rice, plastic cabinets, Sodexho gift certificates, at saka eyeglasses. And dinala ko ‘yun sa kanya,” Arnell said.

Next came Ronald Gadayan, 28 years old, married with three kids, who works as a janitor at the NAIA Terminal 2. He found a pouch bag containing not just jewelries, branded wristwatches and sunglasses, amounting to almost P1.8-M and cash amounting to P634,896.00. Ronald returned it to the rightful owner.

“Kaya nung mabalitaan ko ‘yun, sabi ko isip naman ako ng pwedeng ibalik sa taong ito. Na nalaman ko rin, in his three years as a janitor sa NAIA, nakaka-thirty’ng cell phones na rin siyang naisasauli sa mga nakaka-iwan o nakaka-wala ng mga ito,” Arnell related.

He thought of rewarding Ronald with a cellphone loading business.

“Natawa rin ako nung makita ko siya through his supervisor. Eh medyo high-tech sana ‘yung ibibigay kong phone. Sabi niya, mas sanay daw siya sa ‘yung normal lang. ‘Yung makaka-text at tawag lang siya talaga.

“I met him, his wife and their children. At sa aliw ko rin, ipinasyal ko na sila sa grocery at ipinamili. And kumatok ako uli sa pintuan ng mga kakilala ko para mag-ambag din ng tulong nila kay Mang Ronald. At dumating naman ang sako ng bigas, noodles and sardines,” Arnell said.

Of course, in this age of cynicism and rampant negativism in social media, some people were quick to find an ulterior motive in Arnell’s acts of charity.

“Nainis lang ako dun sa mga bloggers na naninira rin actually sa ibang artista sa Facebook, pati sa Twitter. ‘Yun bang mga walang magawa at walang masabi at makitang maganda sa ginagawa mo para sa kapwa. Ayoko ngang mag-react,” he said.

Arnell is irritated by insinuations that he only played Good Samaritan because he is giving politics another shot. The comedian did run for a council seat in Quezon City in 2010 and lost.

“Naiirita lang ako na porke gumagawa ako ng mabuti sa mga taong dapat lang naman talagang balikan din ng magandang gawi, may mga nagsasabi pa na preparasyon ko na raw kasi ito sa muli kong pagtakbo sa pulitika,” he said.

He insists he acted as a private citizen who has realized that one can engage in public service without getting into politics. Nevertheless, the naysayers won’t stop him from doing his part for the country.

“Mga kapatid na Filipino, buhayin natin ang kagustuhan nating lahat maging mabuti. Nandiyan pa rin ‘yun dahil likas tayong mabuti,” he said.

So who’s next for Arnell the do-gooder?

“Diyan sa kanto ng Connecticut at EDSA, may ang aga-agang nagwawalis diyan na siguro dating Metro Manila Aide na kahit wala na sila eh itinutuloy ang paglilinis. Another angel we should provide with a little lift, too!”

 

InterAksyon.com
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