Do you remember the story of Alfred Santos? Alfred was caught in a bad place. Alfred was desperate. But Alfred boarded an airplane with a plan. He got the flight attendants to collect money from all the passengers. And there in that pillow case, right at that moment, was all the freedom that Alfred and his family needed.
Alfred ordered the pilots to descend to an altitude of 2,000 feet and depressurize the cabin. Alfred’s escape plan was a homemade parachute made of the silk from his father’s factory.
But Alfred Santos would never sit in an arm chair an old man. He would never tell his grandchildren how he jumped from a plane with enough money to save them from the slums and the people that ran them. The problem with Alfred’s plan was that it was based on his dreams. He dreamt of being a parachutist and he dreamt of saving his family.
I, too, wanted to save my family. But my plan was never based on a dream. It was based on the fact that there was no other way out.
And like Alfred Santos, I now know that I will not sit in an arm chair an old man. I will not tell my grandchildren the story of how we escaped the slums of Manila. I will leave that story for you to tell. I move now to your hearts where I know you will take me with you wherever you decide to go (Metro Manila, 2013).