The eye that makes a difference: Story of compassion

It only takes one good eye to see who needs help, and one kind heart to share blessings to the less fortunate.

Having a visually-impaired eye, Arnold Jr. Abanto Teorosio of Barangay Tibal-og, Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte completely sees and understands how to help his community.

Like any ordinary man, he enjoys outdoor escapades riding his bike with his wife, and deals with the positive stress of schoolwork and other reports. Unlike many of his peers, Anon (as he is fondly called) takes medication and does daily routine procedures of taking care of his eyes due to Endophthalmitis, which resulted to loss of his left eyesight on January 16, 2002.

He may be a person with disability, but his one perfectly good eye which sees the brighter side of things and his incredible sense of humor makes up for it.

As an ALS Mobile Teacher assigned in Braulio E. Dujali District who diligently teaches out-of-school youths and adults, he does not only help them to have bright future but he also does some heroic deeds.

In the middle of this pandemic, Sir Anon, with the help of his family, started sharing and distributing food packs to his neighbors on March 23. The first wave of food packs consists of two kilos of rice and canned goods for 150 families, which were identified with the help of their purok leader.

Feeling like he can do more, he sent out another wave on April 5. This time, he included five kilos of rice, packs of noodles, two canned goods and packs of instant coffee in the packs.

Aside from helping his less fortunate neighbors, he also shows compassion in supporting the 15 COVID taskforce volunteers of their nearby checkpoint in Purok 3-C, Fd. Rd. 1, Tibal-og, Santo Tomas by providing them biscuits, coffee, bread and candies and lending them tents as their temporary home or resting area while doing their tasks.

He also joins “1kChallenge – #CoffeeAndJues”, an advocacy initiated by a group of teachers living in Sto. Tomas, in helping front liners within the municipality.

A total of 872 front liners were identified as the recipient of this project – 817 for Barangay Tibal-og, 25 for Barangay Kimamon, 15 for Barangay New Katipunan, and 15 for Barangay New Visayas. They raised 29.5K which was used to donate chocolate drink, 3-in-1 coffee stick, sugar, creamier, juice, and biscuits.

In addition, he is also one of the enthusiast members of Mix Motouring Club and Kibalaug Outdoor Club who actively extended help in the Indigenous People of Sto. Tomas and other neighboring municipalities. In this recent situation, he participated in serving “Pakape para sa Front Liners.”

When asked why he is so passionate on initiating and participating on relief projects, he said facing the COVID-19 crisis demands our mouths and noses covered with masks, but our eyes wide open to see and help those in need.

In fact, when asked how it feels like doing heroic deeds at a time like this, he said he feels like a Cyclops (a character of Marvel Comics).

“But seriously though, the real heroes are our front liners. I’m just doing what I could to contribute something good to our current situation,” he said.

Sir Anon is a brave man with a big heart who shows that being a PWD is not a hindrance to contribute in making things better for our less privileged countrymen. (By Neil Edward D. Diaz)