ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

Who wouldn't want to be noticed? Who wouldn't want their labor to be appreciated? Humans need recognition, so when someone lauds us on our achievements, we feel great. It is a happy, jubilant feeling that overflows from the within.

Establishing goals is normal, especially if we have put a lot of effort into the task at hand. Disappointment sets in when our labor is not valued. We start to feel neglected, unloved, undervalued, and abandoned. Then comes envy, resentment, and jealousy of other people. This is but one widely-accepted fact that finally came to be accepted.

Recognition ceremonies often last only an hour or two, but the memory that is made is greatly treasured and remembered forever. One simply cannot imagine the efforts, setbacks, and difficulties encountered prior to achieving such a degree of achievement and how we managed to get there. We cannot feel or comprehend the essence of sustained effort, consistency, courage, and drive if we only focus on the beauty, glamor, and festivities of ceremonies.

If we don't take the time to look back at the people who have nurtured and helped us get where we are, recognition can likewise be seen superficially. These are the people who have also given of their time, energy, and commitment to help us get to where we are today.

Recognition and appreciation begin with self-appreciation, and we should be satisfied with that alone. We should be content with who we are as individuals; we don't really need approval from others; we just need to trust in ourselves first, and everything else will fall into place.

In the last few weeks, after I got the best actress award for the Sinegugma Cebuano Film Festival for the film “Singko Mil” and was nominated as best actress for the film “Larawan” in the Sinulog Short Film Festival, two international recognitions have come as a testament to what I have been doing for the past decades. One was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where I received recognition for my work as an artist, performer, and cultural advocate. The Vietnam International Achievers Award honors prestigious organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of humanitarian, philanthropy, education, public service, entertainment, medicine, diplomacy, among others, following rounds of screening of credentials by an award committee. This year’s award recipients are from Thailand, Vietnam, India, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Nepal, United Kingdom, Macau, and the Philippines.

The second time was when I was photographed by someone during the solemn procession of the Señor Santo Niño, and I had no idea what his name was in the world of photography. I later learned that he is well-known within his group of friends. Edwin Loyola is an international award-winning photographer. Loyola's photography speaks not just of transcendental art but also of truth, hope, courage, and charity, demonstrating that his creations go beyond mere emotion and are thus a celebration of life.

The photo is currently on display in the Philippine Center Lobby at 556 Fifth Avenue in New York. From April 3–21, 2023, "Anyo", a Filipino photography exhibition focused on the Philippines, will be on display.

For glorification of God, we offer what we possess --efforts, skills, and abilities, talents, and everything else. And the rewards are bigger when we have made a difference in other people's lives. And when they use this as a source of inspiration, they may always be better, happier, and appreciative of who they have become.

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