“Loving is like breathing. Notice how it takes much more effort to breathe in than to breathe out. To give love is so human that it is so easy and effortless as if it was designed that way,” says Sabrina Ongkiko, a public school elementary teacher. Her story captures what it means to pursue a life of service and giving.
When Sabs was younger, her original plan was to become a doctor. When she was about to apply to medical school, she stumbled upon a mentor she highly respected who said, “I see a teacher in you. I believe you can be a good teacher.” The words struck her. She started asking herself, “where can I be most loving? Saan ba ako mas magmamahal?”
That question eventually led her to Culiat Elementary school, where she is lovingly called “Ma’am Sabs” by her students. The life of a teacher is not easy—taking care of a large classroom is both hectic and tiring. However, it is a profession that Sabs describes as life-giving. Witnessing her students learn and grow is always an inspiring experience for her, and it motivates her to continue. She cares about her students deeply, enough to share in their problems, pains, and dreams.
Sabs clarifies, however, that the call is not just to teach—it has always been to love. What she wants to do goes beyond the classroom and into genuine care and belief in what her students can achieve. The hope is that her students will grow up to have better lives and become better people, who can, eventually, give back to their family, community and the environment in their own way.
We define “giving” in many ways, especially in our different ways of showing our love. This season of giving calls us to reflect on finding the best way to love and give back. How can we be more thoughtful in showing, expressing, and giving our love to the people who matter to us most?
Giving back for Bayo means promoting culture, Filipino ingenuity and contributing to the environment. Together with R2R, we've created limited edition bags made of upcycled fabric scraps. Give back to the community and to the environment by owning this bag for a minimum single-receipt purchase of P5,000 on all regular items.