For all intents and purposes, capitalism rules the day. It is a system where individuals, groups, association and companies try to exploit for their own benefits, no matter what they may be.
Do not get me wrong. I am all for capitalism because with it follow individual rights, freedom, and a free market where any person can make use of his talents and skill sets to provide themselves and their families a better life.
However, on the other side of the fence, I see capitalism gradually taking away a person’s innocence. I personally would always want to see the world like a wide-eyed child where I wake up every day to new and wonderful experiences.
But you know what? There is this one little thing that always gets in the way of that, especially in how the world works today—return on investment.
In a blunter way, if you do not know what those three words mean, it just begs the question. What individuals, groups, associations and companies would get if they ever get themselves involved in any activity that will take their precious time and money?
This might be oversimplifying it, but here is an example of capitalism. Let us say you are an actor and a movie outfit comes knocking at your door, exploring if you can be part of a movie they pitched as something that will be new to the eyes of the moviegoing public.
Obviously, you, the actor, would ask a certain talent fee, then make subtle demands and maybe even be a prima donna while filming your part in the movie: capitalism at work.
Now, if you are the film outfit doing the movie, you can always say the movie is a labor of love, and what is being filmed is a story worth telling. But would you spend so much without any expectation that you will get your money back and more? Capitalism again at work.
Of course, movies also need to be promoted, and, sometimes, some members of the media take advantage of these situations. Capitalism still at work?
Now, do not get me wrong, there are a lot of good people involved in the making of a movie, from the executives, actors and all the way to those persons that take care of the utilities. Yes, they still earn their paycheck, some high and some low, but they are the people who truly love the work they do.
Opposite of capitalism are non-governmental organizations (NGOs), like Spain’s Sociedad Española de Beneficencia (SEB), which, this year, started a program where they assist barangays nationwide with their medical needs.
SEB is definitely not cut along the same line as those Janet Lim Napoles’s-NGOs that have pocketed billions of pesos from their supposed bogus operations.
SEB, led by its very capable and likable Filipino-Spanish Executive Director Laura San Jose, does not even request for funding from the Spanish government for all the outreach projects they do in the country.
The only funding they receive from the Spanish government are those that directly involve Spanish senior citizens, who are in the country and have no immediate families.
They certainly have also not approached or will ever approach any politician or government official in the country asking for a certain portion of their PDAF, DAP, or whatever acronym that have pesos attached to them.
SEB is not in the business of financially enriching itself. It is, in fact, the exact opposite as they splurge big time on Filipinos and some of their medical needs through funds they have raised.
For the first eight months of the year, SEB has visited barangays in Batangas, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Quezon City, Taguig City and Tarlac with a combined population of close to 90,000 residents.
SEB brings boxes of medicines to the barangays that can last for three months to address common illnesses, like cough and fever, pneumonia, muscle pains, urinary tract infection and even malnutrition.
In their recent sortie, SEB got a very warm welcome in Nueva Ecija from San Leonardo Mayor Froilan Nagaño Jr. and his staff. The very young and dynamic first-term mayor was thankful for all the boxes of medicines they were handed as he said it would tremendously assist the medical needs of their constituents.
Although not exactly being handed the keys to the city, SEB certainly found new friends and will most certainly be welcomed anytime in San Leonardo because of the outreach project.
According to San Jose, their gratification is in seeing joy and happiness from the people they meet from the work that they do. There are, indeed, certain things that money cannot buy.
San Jose said that, because of the tremendous response they have seen from the barangays they have visited, SEB is now more determined than ever to keep the Adopt-a-Barangay project going despite the difficulties they are encountering in raising funds.
For this month, SEB will go to another barangay in Manila. Before the year ends, SEB is looking at doing an outreach project in Ilocos Sur and in the southern part of the country.
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