The person I fear and love the most

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2013 - 12:00am

It is an open book that I come from humble beginnings in a small town (now city) of Borongan, Eastern Samar. To paraphrase Larry King, from where I came from, “everything else was Paris.” I braved cataclysms armed with nothing but gumption and the insane belief that I could be the next Ms. Universe. I sold encyclopedias, kitchen wares, fire extinguishers, shampoos; I worked as an assistant cook, I opened doors and everything that I could lay my hands on to keep afloat.

Every time I look back, I say “Thank You, Lord,” amazed at how he carried me during the many times I was close to giving up. I remember getting afflicted with a bad case of chicken pox. I stayed home for a week, penniless and deprived of medicine. I had nowhere to go but kneel and weep for God’s kindness.

Many people would ask me why I seldom talk about my father. My Tatay died of heart attack in the arms of his mother. They found a taxicab but he passed away before arriving at the hospital. He died at the age of 47 because he was sick and poor.

When my father died, I vowed to myself that I will not allow the same situation to happen again, most especially to my beloved mother, and that poor people should have access to quality and affordable medicines.

When people from Generika Drugstore offered me to be the brand ambassador of its new Nay, Generika campaign, I had no second thoughts about accepting the offer because this was something very close to my heart. This is not just another product endorsement for me. It’s beyond that. It’s a cause I believe in. Every life is worth fighting for and there must be a point when we have to stop thinking about ourselves and focus on others. And it can certainly start with a family member.

Nanay was a public school teacher who taught Grade 1 pupils for 42 years, 11 months and two days. I always said during my struggling years that I will do everything to provide her a decent roof. If there is anyone that I lovingly fear and love the most, it is my mother. I will drop everything for her. I always believe that one of the most meaningful ways to honor God is to honor one’s mother/father.

This deep affection for my Nanay inspired me to establish the Make Your Nanay Proud (MYNP) Foundation which aims to pay tribute to all mothers by “being the best of who you are and by being the best in all you do.”

With the Nay Generika campaign, Generika will be able to reach out to all mothers and their families through the various media channels. The whole campaign is about quality and affordable generic medicine accessible to all Filipino families.

Generika Drugstore was established in 2003 by Teodoro Ferrer and Julien Bello. All Generika medicines are FDA-approved so customers are assured that they are safe and effective. Periodic product monitoring is conducted to make sure the quality of all medicine remains consistent, removing entirely those that do not make the grade.

With the expensive cost of medicine today, many families with limited budget are having difficulty complying with a doctor’s prescription, especially those who are on maintenance drugs. With generic medicines, one can save up to 70 percent compared to branded medicine. Since generic medicine is FDA-approved, they are as potent and must contain the same active ingredient of its branded counterpart. This guarantees the patient that what he buys is effective and safe as branded drugs.

All stores have a licensed pharmacist and are fully air-conditioned. Generika also offers other services like free consultation, free blood pressure monitoring and low-cost blood sugar level screening. It also conducts Libreng Konsulta, a regular community outreach program in communities or barangays where there are Generika drugstores. To date, Generika has more than 400 branches nationwide and is continually growing at the rate of about 130 new stores every year.

I have my own Generika drugstore in Paco and another one will open hopefully in my hometown, Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

Nay, Generika!

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