An Ode to Atsi Deanie

Atsi Deanie,

Atsi (ate or older sister) Deanie is my mentor. She has taught me so much about perseverance and compassion. If you know anything about www.ivolunteer.ph, you would know that it would not be here if not for Atsi Deanie. Her sheer determination to network with individuals, corportations, civic organizations, government entities, etc. has kept the first Philippine voluntarism portal going.

A person’s life can be full of sadness. Sometimes tragedy can crush the human spirit. But not my Atsi Deanie. A few months ago, I sent Atsi Deanie the url to my blog. In turn she sent me the url to her blog. Her blog is not publicized. Atsi Deanie’s blog was about her father and hir cancer. Her intent was to capture all the remaining moments of her father’s life.

In that blog she detailed her love and devotion to her father. I was in tears after I have read all of the entries. I asked myself, how can one person be so full of love and devotion? You see, Atsi Deanie has been keeping the dream of ivolunteer alive single-handedly since its establishment 3 years ago. Although there were 8 of us that founded it, it was her that kept it going all these years; I say this not to diminish the efforts of the other founders. Not only that, Atsi Deanie has a full time job and her own family.

Her last post in her blog was about the burial of her father. A daughter grieving, but dutiful nonetheless; as I reflect on her work at ivolunteer, I realize that she is as dutiful to her father as to the welfare of our countrymen. Today we complain about how Filipinos have lost his love for his country. Not my atsi Deanie; she is a real patriot if I ever saw one.

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