Operation Sagip

Pack Your Bags, We're Leaving

Althea Cahayag
December 11, 2015

We’ve been told, Travel while you are young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be. Indeed, it is true. Traveling leads you to places with different culture, seeing and meeting different faces. But the best experience might be, is when you travel and you also get to help someone else.

Felix Assouly felt the urge to travel when he was 18. He was always with his parents, traveling to different places while Marie Alaman started to wander when she started to earn her own money at the age of 20. They’ve been to Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, just to name a few in Asia and Europe. Some of these places, these French travel buddies do not just enjoy the different tourist spots in the country but they also leave something significant – the spirit of volunteerism.

Marie remembers, she was 17 and she was in Dominican Republic when she saw what poverty is. She thought, she went to a country yet she is doing nothing, “Just in a hotel, spending my time in the beach.” The second time she went to another country, as she visited Cambodia, she volunteered to take care of the children during summer for them to avoid lurking on the streets. “We do a summer camp with different activities. Sometimes, we went to cinema or to swimming pools.”

Whenever he does volunteer works, Felix feels that he earns more than what he gives. “I learn a lot and I think volunteering is giving what you can give.” What interests him more is the things he learn from everyone he meet. From their political views to religion and to how people live in one country.

And all the way from Paris, Marie and Felix took another chance to visit the Philippines. It was their second time but during their first visit, they were not able to accomplish volunteer works. Guess visiting the Pearl of the Orient for the second time is a charm. They signed up as volunteers in Sagip Kapamilya – the Emergency Humanitarian Assistance program of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation. Inside the warehouse in Examiner Street, together with other SK Volunteers from Caloocan City, they repacked relief goods for Lando victims.

“The people we met while traveling, were very kind, nice, and helpful. So if we can do something to show how thankful we are to the people in the Philippines, we will, even if it’s just for one day,” Marie shares. “If a lot of people do it (volunteering) at the end, it could be a big stuff,” she adds.

Again, they said, Travel while you are young and able. Maybe, we can also say, Travel and help until you are able.