Tuesday, November 01, 2016

An inspiring enduring human spirit

On the day Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila September 25, 2009, Marvin Urbino was in Harrison Plaza in Pasay attending to a client. Marvin, a trained massage therapist was not aware of the magnitude the disaster exacted in his place in Cupang Marikina, about 28 kilometers away.

Luckily, the MRT and the connecting LRT 2 did not suspend operations that tragic day. He got off at the Katipunan station and walked home wading in the floods with his cane alone. Striding by instinct and basic navigation skills, he safely reached home.
That was risky for Marvin as he is blind. His optic nerve was damaged beyond cure when he was still in high school. This eye condition, genetically influenced has already affected three generations in their family. From his generation, he was so far the lone unfortunate casualty of a vision loss.

Recalling the day he was diagnosed with the disease in 1993, he was angry. He stopped schooling not completing his high school degree. He stayed mainly in his room feeling sorry for his helpless condition isolating himself from the rest.
Until slowly, he started to accept his fate learning to do household chores first eventually specializing in cooking. He learned to sharpen his other senses such as smell, touch and sound. Little by little, he stepped out of his comfort zone and exposed himself to the outside elements again.

In 1995, two years after, he was introduced to National Vocational Rehabilitation Center NVRC, a ESCOPA-based organization that specializes in the development of the welfare of the blind teaching them skills to be confident and self sufficient. He underwent training to graduate as a massage therapist.

Like a normal human, years after, he eventually met a relationship, got married in 1998 raising four caring kids.
As Marvin still has some vision of light although blurred, unlike his other colleagues who are completely blind, he leads fellow therapists on the use of cell phones, navigation gadgets as the GPS and of course cooking. He has a sharp sense of smell ably identifying local ingredients, spices and condiments. Surprisingly he picks up new recipes from televised cooking shows.
Recalling Ondoy 7 years ago, he wants to be better prepared for disasters. He would like to learn 1st aid for himself and others and be taught how to swim for endurance. His swimming stroke is unscientific limited to wading.
Listening to what he has gone through, his practical request is doable. As I am neither a certified Red Cross Philippines instructor nor a professional swimmer, I ask that I write instead on his behalf. A small feat for someone who inspires and whose anger has slowly been transformed to a positive attitude and helplessness converted to self confidence and self sufficiency.
Marvin is an inspiring enduring human spirit. He works at RM Massage Clinic at the Riverbanks Mall in Barangka Marikina. If you wish to support his request to enhance further his survival skills, visit their clinic. https://www.facebook.com/pages/RM-Massage-Clinic/363996267066310 Tel (632) 463 9648.

No comments:

Post a Comment