Humility Is The Gateway To More Blessing


“How not to be MAYABANG po…”

Me and my wife love to go to our hometown in Balayan Batangas. It’s a roughly 2 hours drive from Manila, and it’s the perfect place for us to unwind and unload the pressure of city living.

Balayan is a small town of happy and kind people. Everybody is a friend there even if you are a stranger.
You are welcome to each and everyone’s house even if there’s no event. They love to communicate and bond with you at any time of the day.

The only problem with this small town is that there is not enough jobs and businesses for the locals.
Unless you are one of the locals who belong to the rich families with abundant of lands, you have no choice but to “Flee away” to scavenge for a livelihood for you and your family.
So it’s either they go to Manila to work, or go abroad and take their chances of bringing a fortune to the family that they left behind.

In Balayan, most of the locals go to Italy. Until now, I can’t decipher why most of them go to Italy.
But one thing I find funny is that whenever they come back home, they are dressed like “Kings and Queens”. They wear shining pieces of jewelry from top to bottom. And also build a house bigger than we can ever imagine.

Again, I have to be careful with my words and to be very very tactful.
But it’s not only me who has witnessed this. Even the people that I know who is living in Balayan can relate to what I am saying.
These “Balikbayans” has become too proud of themselves. They somehow forgot their roots. They have changed from being simple to being arrogant.

But since they are still considered a local, we have to accept them or better yet understand them, and greet them with compassion and not an inch of animosity.
Balayan is a well-cherished place. Everybody is welcome here whether you’re a local or not.

When me and my wife are in Balayan, we don’t act like we are Urban stiffs. We act like a local.
We speak their native language (The Ala-Eh version). We don’t use our car and just ride the tricycle or even walk.
After all, we are locals too. We just work in Manila for a living but that doesn’t change a thing. We are still like most of them.

So soon that I’ve heard that my wife will be attending her high school reunion in Balayan, I quickly asked my wife if I could tag along so that I could see her old friends there.
It was an exciting moment. I met Richard, the guy who planted Italian Tomatoes in the province.
I also got to talk to Donna, a housewife, who is making a killing on her delectable “Kakanin” like Peanut Roll and Puto Flan.
These two still remains locals in our town, with kids, and as happy as ever.

And when I’ve heard Sheryl (picture at extreme right), their classmate who now works in Italy, will be coming over… that’s is when I started to become cautious.
I said to my wife… “What another one”?
Then I calm down and said to myself… “Be ready for it Francis”! “Let the games begin”!

In comes Sheryl with her husband Rommel (who also works in Italy). To my surprise, they never wear any piece of jewelry nor brought any pricey items like Armani, Gucci, and Prada.
They just wear things as Balayan people wore. Simple, plain, and modest. They never talked about their success in Italy or the kind of money that they are earning from the country that they worked for so many years.

I have to tell you… I was impressed and extremely overwhelmed!
They are like the same people when they were still in high school.
Especially Sheryl, who is my wife’s close friend in high school. Sheryl is very “Malumanay magsalita” or very softspoken.
I can feel her sincerity even if I just recently met her. I learned her true character when she discussed to me her somewhat sad story. Sheryl told me if she could turn back the clock she would do it. Even with her financial success, she regrets to leave her 2 sons behind who are now teenagers today.
Sheryl grew up with her grandparents in a modest home. Her dad passed away when she was young, and her mother has to work in Manila just to send her to school.

A humbling story from a humble girl who still remains humble even up to today.
Sheryl and her husband are earning more than some locals in our town. They have bought things that they could never buy before like car, shoes for their children, and other luxury stuff.
But they don’t want to build a “Super Big House”. They said they don’t need it. Their sons might be migrating to Italy in the future so why construct something that they won’t be using.
“If it’s just for show then forget it”… The couple said to me.

I wished everybody will be like Sheryl.
Whether we are working abroad, being the Vice-President in a company in Manila, or being fortunate to inherit agricultural lands.
It’s not the financial success that we should talk about. But rather our character.
Our personality that gives delight and gratification to most people.
And our humility of putting our feet always on the ground.

A priest once told me that “Humility is the Gateway to more Blessings”.
I believe that it’s true. God rewards those people who are humble and teaches the ones who are not.
Being humble teaches us where we came from, and also open our hearts to those who are in need. We then help these people. We encourage them to be successful in life.
It is a habitual act that also influences the people around us, therefore making that circle bigger and bigger. Creating a community of kindness.

We commonly call it “Good Karma”. A boomerang that you threw will naturally go back to you. Showing people that you are humble and helping them without asking anything in return.
Keep on doing that over and over again. That boomerang will then come back to you.
And that my friend is “Blessings”… lots and lots of it!

Written on April 20, 2019