Extraordinary stories of kindness and generosity in Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan’s first anniversary

Docu-drama Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan couldn’t have come at a more perfect time when it premiered in June 2020. While at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, this show hosted by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo brought light to Kapamilyas during such dark times.

Since its very first episode, it lit up warmth and kindness in the hearts of many. The show strives to show utmost appreciation to the people that do not hesitate to show generosity and compassion despite the challenges they face. For even just a short moment, it put the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Now, after a year of such inspirational stories, Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan celebrates its first anniversary with an episode featuring how the show created a domino effect of kindness. It brought hope to many people and started a chain reaction of paying it forward.

Shoe entrepreneur Jojo Bragais from Episode 25 of Paano Kita Pasasalamatan shared how the amazing growth of his company, Bragais Shoes, was a blessing to him and his workers.

While he strived to make ends meet in the pandemic, one of his connections reached out to him to become an official shoe partner of the Miss Universe Philippines 2020. With this overwhelmingly challenging but fulfilling opportunity, he was able to provide work and support to all his employees despite being the difficult times. He made sure to show his team of workers that they were a family that would stick through thick and thin.

One of his employees who will never forget his kindness is Bragais Shoes Sales Agent Jennifer Peñamora. Before being part of Bragais Shoes, she was in a difficult situation — mourning the tragic loss of her sister, struggling as the breadwinner of her family, and almost ending up unemployed. Jojo, who was always a friend of Jennifer, saw in her great potential to be a sales agent in Bragais Shoes. They were already expanding and they needed someone bright and personable like her to join them.

Jennifer is utterly grateful for it because she found a regular job, a working family, and a great boss in Jojo. She offers Jojo a growing money tree as a symbol of Jojo and Bragais Shoes’ great success and fortune to come in the future.

The founder of OFW Watch Myrna Padilla also showed how OFW Watch was able to help more OFWs after being featured in Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan’s February 6 episode. As her company strives to provide help to abused or struggling OFWs, it also grows by providing work to former OFWs like Jenilyn Bergonia. Jenilyn is now an OFW Watch Support Team Lead who is always in close contact with people reaching out to OFW Watch.

Jenilyn loves her job because not only can she relate to the concerns of the OFWs she talks with, she is also greatly motivated to help them in any way she can. Just recently, Jenilyn was able to give Jeaniza Bacariza the strength to stand up for herself and leave her abusive workplace in Qatar.

Jeaniza is a single mother who works overseas to hopefully give her son a brighter future. However, a few months into her job, she was being verbally and physically abused by her employer. After years of bearing the pain, she discovered OFW Watch and met Jenilyn, who soon helped her return to the Philippines safely.

Jeaniza is now in a good place mentally and physically since she is back home with her son in the Philippijnes. She will always cherish the help and kindness extended to her by OFW Watch and Jenilyn. As a symbol of this and her gratefulness, she offered them a beautiful watch. 

Lourina Magno-Strickland is another person who was able to help more people because of Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan. After Magno Kabutehan Farm was featured last October, Lourina shared that many people started messaging her about how they could start a mushroom farm like hers.

With the help of her sister, Lourina worked to answer all the inquiries she was receiving because she saw it as a way of God to use her in helping people earn a living and get through the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Even if this meant that more and more mushroom farms would be sprouting everywhere, Lourina didn’t see them as competition. She genuinely just wanted to help educate them and begin their mushroom farms. Lourina is in fact one the people who helped Bryan Adams Llarenas succeed in mushroom farming.

Bryan faced difficulties before he started his mushroom farm, Ronars Mushrooms. He became a father at a young age so he had to start working early on. With little education and experience, Bryan had to jump from one job to another just to make both ends meet. Eventually, he saw an opportunity to make use of the wasteland in his area and turn it to a mushroom farm with the help of Lourina. Lourina, of course, offered tremendous support and this made Bryan recognize her as a generous and lifelong mentor of his.

With that and all the knowledge he gained from Lourina, Ronars Mushrooms is providing more than enough for his family and allowing him to spend more time with his wife and kids. He gifted Lourina a rosary as a sign of thanks and for being a blessing to his family.

The innovator, lifesaver, and “Pandemic Teacher” of Sorsorgon, Michelle Rubio, continued to bring hope to her students, their parents, senior citizens, homeless people, and the out-of-school youths in the community. After her initiatives were highlighted by Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan early this year, many messaged her to show appreciation and support for what she has been doing.

Her help extended even up to the mountain lands of her community. Karen Solano, a mother of four, shared the story of how Teacher Michelle helped her, her family, and her community in the mountains. Since they were a calamity-ridden place, their main livelihood of farming was always affected. Aside from that, their access to resources were limited, especially food and medicine.

Karen saw the opportunity to build a store in their area to ensure that the crops they harvest can immediately be bought in their community and their people won’t need to struggle to go to the town to buy food. This project of hers with the help of Teacher Michelle’s Project M flourished and became a great success. Karen gave Teacher Michelle a budding plant as a symbol of their beautiful and fruitful friendship.

Teacher Michelle takes stories like Karen’s as a motivation for everything she does in life. She and her husband experienced the most difficult chapter of their lives when they were infected with COVID-19. Teacher Michelle prayed continuously so that she and her husband would overcome the disease so they could continue helping people.

Coming full circle, the people she helped did not forget the kindness she shared with them. All of them offered whatever they could for Teacher Michelle and her husband’s recovery whether it was food, funds, or moral support. Teacher Michelle was filled with joy and accepted their wholehearted compassion through their troubled times. Eventually, they healed and went back to offering any assistance to those in need.

Celebrating the first year of Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan, Judy Ann and the team thanked their viewers for their unending support and for being a source of inspiration of the program. Going to Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan’s second year, viewers can expect more stories of people paying their kindness and generosity forward and uplift the lives of more people in these challenging times. As Judy Ann emphasized, “Hangga’t may kabutihan, may pag-asa. At iyon ang ating dapat pasalamatan.”