Humans of Hope: Gian Nicdao and Aja Nicdao

Transcription by Dennis Jambalos and Lorraine Dela Cruz

Gian Nicdao

What was the most memorable moment that gave you HOPE?

Everytime there’s a hospital visit, it’s like this is the only time that you could focus on the kids. It’s always been a quality quality time in Bahay Aruga cause these kids are so inspiring, it just makes you think that these kids have diseases like cancer, leukemia all of these things but they don’t show it. They’re the strongest people, then there’s us na we don’t have any illnesses and we complain a lot but these kids I never hear them complain at all. It really gives you perspective of things everytime you visit and it really does inspire you, I remember Inspire Hope tagline come from that insight that these kids always end up that our goal at the start was to inspire these kids, to keep on fighting but in reality these kids are the ones that are inspiring us and they are the ones giving us hope.

What was the most memorable moment that gave you HOPE?

I remember before then nga, super hirap. The first year was a lot. By the 2nd semester, parang people got tired so people weren’t visiting, hospital visits. Iyon iyong sabi ni Aja na we would have to cancel visits kasi nga it would all just be the visit head. I’ve been to a visit na dalawa lang kami. But at the end of the day, it was also worth it. Lalo na whenever we see the kids in Bahay Aruga, in CI, and we see Ma’am Mayet‘s post on Facebook na “oh, this kid is going home” or this “kid is okay na kaya siya ay makakauwi na”. Even before when I left UPM, our grad party was in Bahay Aruga, it was a family. We celebrated there and it’s a lot of happy memories there. So yeah, as in we did a lot of things and over the years, na-refine na rin siya and honestly, everytime I see a THPeep, everytime I see Renzo, I see Reena, everytime I see Bahay Aruga, it always makes me so proud ‘cos a lot of other organizations, ang shelf life niyan mga 3 or 4 years and then, wala na. But THP is staying so strong. I think it all goes back na we’ve always been consistent with choosing our members and we’ve always been consistent with our advocacy. We never waivered na there was no any question about why we do these, it’s truly all because of the kids. And we never lost sight of that one very important.

I think it’s been fun making the branding ‘cos the look of it, we really wanted to communicate very very early on that this is a volunteer organization for kids. “For the Kids” was always the number one reason for everything.

Aja Nicdao

What was the most memorable moment that gave you HOPE?

What’s nice then about THP, when we talk about these things, iyong stories na kinukwento namin ni Gian, something that was really consistent was the passion of the members. Year after year, we kept getting the most passionate people caring about these kids. Before, we’d have to cancel hospital visits because people were too busy to go. And then later on, we have to do visits twice a day. Meron nang twice a day visits. Then we do visits 6 out of 7 days a week. So Sunday lang walang visits. You could sign up for any of the 2 time slots every weekday and may timeslot din every Saturday morning. Umabot nang ganoong level kasi we have to accomodate so many schedules across CAS and the white colleges also since mas free sila on Saturday so we have Saturday visits just for the white colleges. Before, we have PGH, Pedia ward, CI and BA, and now, there’s Silungan. Ngayon, there’s just so many opportunities for the members to spend time with the kids. I think that’s the best, that’s one thing we’d like to share with the members now na iyong mga nauna sa kanila, iyong drive nila right now, that’s always been part of THP from the very beginning, from Timmy, from all the other founding members including myself. Consistent talaga iyan.

In what circumstance/s do you see hope?

I was doing my grad shoot na and then, biglang tumawag si Reena because one of the kidS, kailangan niya ng platelet transfusion like right then and there in that moment habang nagshu-shoot ako ng grad photo ko. We needed at least 5 people to go to PGH like right now para we can help the kid. So I was there sa studio and I was like calling people left and right while me and Reena are coordinating the entire process, “Sinong pwede?” We had people be excused from their classes kasi sila iyong compatible na blood type. So eventually, iyong nangyari doon, na-revive naman yung kid. Although, she later on passed away. But sa situation na iyon, emergency na iyon, we kept on with the fight for this kids’ life and we were successful naman in getting people to go to PGH and help her out. So iyong moments na iyon, it either gives me hope that there’s still some good left in the world. Especially now that there’s still really a lot in the world that’s going to make you lose your drive, that’s going to make you lose your hope but for me, if you stay with the fight, you don’t give up and you do your best, given what you have, parang that’s already being hopeful for me, not necessarily staying positive all the time, that’s not what hope is for me, it’s really doing the best you can and staying with the fight.

If you stay with the fight, you don’t give up and you do your best, given what you have, that’s already being hopeful for me, not necessarily staying positive all the time, that’s not what hope is for me, it’s really doing the best you can and staying with the fight.

Inspiring hope, one pediatric patient at a time. #ForTheKids!