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The Kindness of a Filipina

In July, I added a PayPal Donation button to my site and wrote an article about why I did it. The article “Donations Accepted” was posted on July 20th. My original thought by starting American in Davao was to journal my life living here in the Philippines.

Approximately thirty minutes after posting the article I received an email from PayPal that I received $2.10 USD (approx 100 pesos). This donation was from a Filipina reader from Luzon. This lady is someone who has followed my site for a long time now and through emails has gotten to know each other fairly well. She has some online and virtual businesses and at times we have both asked each other for advice on internet matters.

This lady does not have a lot of money and has times she struggles to support herself and her children. The amount is not a lot in value, but huge in feeling. I sent this lady a thank you email letting her know how thoughtful she was. She replied that her grandmother taught her “you receive more than you give.” She felt since she finds value from my site, and our friendship that has develop, she wanted to show her appreciation.

A few weeks later, I told her about how I met an American here in Davao that has a business supplying content for some large websites. I mentioned to this lady, it might be something she would be interested in applying for. No contact was made, but the next day I received $5.00 in my PayPal account from her again. As before I emailed her to thank her and she explained her reason again. She wrote back about her grandmother and how she was taught “Before your cup can be filled, you need to empty the existing contents.” She explained in her life, at times when she goes through her closet and takes out items she does not use, or worn and gives to a charity, or to someone in need, she receives new clothes as a gift or a money gift where she can go shopping.

I still have not been able to connect this lady with the man in the content business, but we still keep in contact to see how each is doing. Last week I received another donation. I saw her online in one of the chat programs and thanked her. She mentioned she was thinking about our friendship and decided, since she has a little extra in her account, to donate again.

Now, the amount she has giving me is just enough to maybe have a small meal, or something small, and not enough to support me or my family, but the value of her thought and friendship is riches.

It is also interesting with all the Foreigners that follow this site, ask for advice and or information, nobody else has donated. I do need to make this clear, I am not asking for, expecting, or even begging for my readers to support me. I realized a while ago, this site is something that has become part of me and I will not earn enough to support myself here. I will not get rich or even make enough for a good meal. I am just showing to all readers who have distrust or fears of making friendships with Filipinos, here is a lady with so little but has a need in her heart and soul to show her appreciation in our friendship, the value of my writings, how I try to teach other foreigners what to expect living here or just a visit and right or wrong, it is the way it is and it is their culture.

I know this lady will know I am writing about her, so in this puplic forum I want to say to her Thank You so much and I cherish and value our friendship. You are a wonderful lady. If your Grandmother is still alive, please tell her my admiration for how she has raised a wonderful person. If she is gone and up in heaven, I know that she is watching you and already knows.

23 Responses to “The Kindness of a Filipina”

  1. i am not trying to judge you but i am curious–don’t you feel some shame at keeping her money and continue to run the donation–i felt shame for it –but i guess that is just me–it is probably best to delete this –i do not want to stir things up and i hope we may even find some common ground to visit when i get back to digos–it just really bothered me –by the way i like your site –i read it all the time–good luck in finding your method for funds

    • Bruce says:

      I understand your concerns. My intent was a way for foreigners who felt they would like to send a gift for my time and effort keeping my site going. I have not requested payment for information or services. There are other blogs that have done the same with the PayPal Donate button or in other ways.

      As for the lady who donated, she is not destitute, and it was her need in her heart to give the small token. Because of our friendship, I am trying to get her a position with a friend who has a content writing business and a freelance writer for him. She has also expressed to relocate to Davao and I told her I will assist her in any way I can.

      I do want to keep her confidentiality, but maybe, if she reads this, and uses a different nickname, she will explain for herself why she donated.

      I looked at your site and find it very interesting and will add it to my favorite blog list, maybe you will return the favor.

  2. Reya says:

    @ James.

    Actually James, there is nothing shameful about putting a paypal donation button and asking for donation from your readers, even keeping the money that was donated by this lady. I do understand your concern, that this might give Bruce’s readers a different impression, but a lot of bloggers has been doing this in order to support their website – and they aren’t even helpful, they’re just putting up the donation button, just so they can get something. The donations usually go for the maintenance, like hosting. I really do find Bruce’s site helpful and non-judgemental(if my word is right). I have been reading around blogs, and sad to say, there are posts about Filipinos that are biased and degrading. I appreciate Bruce’s site for telling the world about us, our lifestyle and how we live here without being discriminatory. As for the donation, I think that this site, along with its readers will benefit from whatever donation that Bruce will get, imagine yourself wondering about something and having someone who has the answer to your questions. My friend who is a website designer says that maintaining a website is not a joke, and Bruce will definitely could use the help in order for him to continue on helping others too. I’m not saying that people should JUST give, its not wrong NOT to give and it’s not wrong TO give. For me, it’s sweet to simply say thank you, but it’s really heart fattening to be thanked publicly, something that most people don’t do nowadays -be appreciative. Just my thoughts 🙂 Oh, James, you’re not stirring up trouble, you’re cool. -Reya

  3. reya and bruce–thanks for not getting angry –i agree that bruce has a great site–i read it all the time –hardly a day goes by that i do not check it in hopes that he will have a new post–and if i owe bruce an apology it is sincerly given–it just really feels wrong to me to ask for donations –i guess that is just me and the way i was raised–again i did not mean to offend you bruce–and i feel you took it as not offensive–just one old mans opinion–thank you –i like your blog–it is one of my favorites along with bob and rusty–thanks for the reply reya –i know others do it also –but i just can not get my mind around accepting it for me–thanks

    • Bruce says:

      I do not think you need to apologize, you were stating your feelings. Since you read my site, you know I have no pension, no real job and a small savings I work from. I pay my monthly server fees, and spend hours a week telling my story, my observations and opinions living here as a way to help others understand live here. I make practically nothing from the ads, since most readers have “ad blindness”

      Most people who retire here have a nice nest egg and at least a pension. I will not see mine for 7 more years.
      There are other sites that still have google and other ways of making a living, or at least assistance from their sites. Some do not. I am not charging anything to read my site, and offer any research or advice free of charge.

      When I added the paypal link, I did it as a way, if some was so inclined, they can donate. I do not beg, request or try to shame anyone to do so.

      I am glad you enjoy my site and hope you will continue to read and find value from my words.

  4. Billy Escobar says:

    Sometimes not accepting a gift or returning something is more of an insult to the giver. Just reminds me of the story in the bible about the Rich man and the poor widow. Who gave more? The richman who gave many gold pieces but was only a minute fraction of his wealth or the poor widow who gave her last two coins. A wise man once said that true giving is a sacrifice not an obligation. Sad to say that today’s society around the world is more focused on consuming and buying for ones self.

  5. Jeff says:

    Hello Bruce, I sat next to you and Elena at Davao city before during one of my poker night out at Davao.
    I dont see anything wrong with accepting donation since you put a lot of time with the site. What your friend did was great. There are not too many people like her nowadays. A lot of people are having a hard time giving coz of fear selfishness and greed.

    I can also understand James. The way he was brought up is not the best excuse. I also do get insulted or critisized from time to time but what matters most to me is what God think of me and not what other people think about me. The Bible teaches a lot of great things to have a happy and have a positive life.

    I wish you the best in everything you do Bruce. If i decided to build another house in davao maybe you can help me someday.

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for your understanding and nice comment. If you ever need a house built, an addition or even in the need to any repairs, I can assist you.
      Since we do not go attend the poker tournaments anymore, I hope to meet you somewhere else. If you see me, stop and say hello.

  6. Christine says:

    Bruce, I am new to your website, though I’ve “met” you at Bob’s from time to time. I have read some of your blogs here, and found that you readily give your help and advice to people without asking for a fee. For that reason, I’ve just given you my modest donation. I would not begrudge what I can afford to anyone who gives his honest advice readily. Besides, you do donate your time here, so I would say, fair enough! Honestly, if you were in Cebu, I will hire you as our builder/consultant when the BF and I get round to building our house soon. Have a nice day. 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      Which Bob’s house had we met? I know just a few Bob’s and have been to only ones house, as I can remember just 2 times.

      I Thank you very much for your kindness. When I posted the first article about the Donate on PayPal, and then when I wrote the article about the kindness, I never really thought anyone would donate to help the site and me for writing. I thank you and the others not mentioned a Deeply Heartfelt Thanks. Appreciation for my effort is what makes my time worthwhile, and even without donations, I will continue since this site has become part of my soul and I enjoy assisting and sharing my knowledge and experiences.

      About your house. If you need someone to design per your lot size and to your specifications, I can do that for you. And with my Architect friend, we can give you a set of plans to be permitted. For me to be your on-site Architectural Project Manager, with room and board, I could always be there the few months. As little or as much as you need, I am avaliable.

      • Christine says:

        You are welcome Bruce. I should be the one thanking you, for I can see I’m gonna be bugging you with questions re-building! ha,ha,

        when I said “met”, I actually meant I’ve come across some of your comments at Mindanao Bob’s LIP. I would love you to be our Project Manager when time comes. I think I would trust you more than anyone else first. Anyway, I’m trying to get the BF to quit smoking for health reasons. As a Nurse, I’m very much aware of the dangers of smoking. So wish me luck for then we can come to Davao to see you and Bob. 🙂

        • Bruce says:

          Thank you for the trust. That is something I pride myself. Not lying. Tell him to use Chantex to quit. It worked for me until I was waiting to fly here and was totally bored, was talking to a neighbor when she lit up. That was it.

          • Christine says:

            Bruce, I’m working on it. But as a former smoker, you would know how difficult it is to quit. I don’t smoke myself, but all the men in my family smokes, so I know what it’s like. So you’ve quit and re-started? Would you say it was more like “nerves” than “boredom” as such that got you started again?

            By the way Bruce, can I make a suggestion re-the donations link here. It is quite hidden, and not easily noticed. Would you permit me to suggest that maybe it will be more noticeable if you placed it at the end of your articles? Where it is, unless someone is actually looking for it (like I did last night), it looks just like an ad and is easily missed. That’s just my thoughts of course. Others might have a different opinion.

          • Bruce says:

            With my starting up smoking again, it was more the boredom. I had everything packed except for a few items needed for every day life. Everything completed except going to the airport. Fro being active and working, the sitting around was driving me crazy, so if I saw a neighbor outside I would walk out to chat. One neighbor was a smoker and smoked my brand. Smelling her cig I asked for one. After I was fine. The next day I saw her and over a long discussion I had 2. The next day I found myself looking for her to be outside. Later I drove to buy a pack. After you quit smoking, it is like ex alcoholics. You should never again even try one. The addiction is there but you have controlled the need.

          • Bruce says:

            I forgot to answer the part about the donation. I feel like if I force it in everybody’s face on every post, it is begging. With the button it is just an offer. Maybe I need to put it as a banner right above the newest post, or make it more displayable.

          • Christine says:

            Yes, that is my point Bruce. It is somewhat hidden where it is. But so what if it is on every post? It is voluntary anyway. It might just jog people’s memories that’s all. In my opinion, if people benefit from your advice, a small token should be given. What’s a $5? You can’t even buy lunch with that here. It will buy you a cup of coffee, but not enough for a cake as well. Just my humble opinion. I will send you the link on that house that I want you to look at for us, Bruce. I’ll send it at that building a house blog. And thanks for the advice again.

          • Bruce says:

            I think your convincing me. Let me think about it.
            About the house, lets use direct email and not fill the site with our correspondence. I will follow up with one now.

  7. Jeff says:

    Im currently at Hawaii Bruce but I’ll stop by and have a coffee with you on our next visit to Davao. I will keep you in mind when I have enough savings for our next project.

  8. Anthony says:

    Whew, after reading all that i am mentally wore out. Yes Bruce i know i never see the click ads, well i see them but last time i clicked i think i clicked too much and got you in trouble for trying to help. Got to love freedom of speech though. For me, i should have monetarily helped a long time ago. Seems maybe i can float the idea to some folk about getting some sponsors for you. Black business Association,etc.

    • Bruce says:

      If you can get me a sponsor, I will place an ad on my site for them with a link to their site. All I would need is a 125×125 pixel ad for their site and their link location.

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