Fresh Start

I can’t believe 2014 is about to end. Just 11 more days to go and a whole new year is going to start again. How on earth did this happen? It seems as if this year went by just like that. Swoooosh and it’s over. I guess that’s how it feels when you’ve been a busy bee. It’s like I’m running a never-ending marathon, going from one end to another without stopping for a break. This is why I cherish those moments when I can just sit down and enjoy, say a cup of Nescafé coffee for example–may it be at the comforts of my home when I wake up in the morning or in the middle of the day at a quaint cafe around the corner. It is during this time that I can truly clear my head, regroup for awhile and think about all the things I keep shoving to the back of my mind because I’m just too busy to pay attention to them. But this shouldn’t be the case.

Nescafe has inspired me to make a fresh start in my life–to start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do, big and small. This is why before the year ends and as I welcome 2015, I’ve listed down my “fresh start” list. Everything from eating healthier food to visiting my godsons more often to this activity I’m about to share with you. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years now.

Every year, especially during the season of giving, I make sure to donate what I can to less fortunate kids and differently-abled individuals. I’ve always had a soft spot for kids, even more for differently-abled people, because of my visit to the Cottolengo house back in college. In my eyes, differently-abled people know how to live life in its purest form. They know how it is to be truly human and to find joy in the simplest things, without all the superficiality and pretences. This is why I admire them. And it’s a shame I never donated my time again to them. Time is one of the most valuable gifts anyone can give to people like them–people who don’t get a lot of it but deserve it more than anyone. So with the help of Nescafé and the lovely people at Puzzle Cafe, I was able to do just that.

Puzzle Cafe is not your ordinary cafe/restaurant because it’s got a purpose far greater than serving good food. They aim to help raise awareness on autism and other disabilites by partnering with schools for differently-abled individuals and the Autism Society of the Philippines. They organize activities for them and give them a chance to act as “servers” for the day thereby raising their confidence and people skills. It’s a meaningful initiative, one that I wanted to take part in so I asked Toons of Puzzle Cafe to help me arrange this little event. We prepared this little program where each of our differently-abled friends performed and showed their talents. Sort of like your classic Christmas party in school. The goal was to spend time with everyone, get to know them and, in Toons’ words, to show the world that different doesn’t mean less. Needless to say, it was an afternoon well spent. My friends Laureen and Lissa joined me and they too were all smiles from beginning to end. We were all blown away by their singing and dancing skills. Boy are they talented and smart!

And here I thought I was going to touch someone’s life that day. But as usual, it was them who touched mine. Thank you Cornell, Anna, Carl, Jose and Oscar for teaching me so much about life. I’m glad I did my “fresh start” with you.

So how about you? What do you want to start? #StartMoNa!

18 Responses to “Fresh Start”
  1. Katrin Tuano

    You’re such a gem. Beauty, exquisite fashion sense, brains, vavavoom body and a good person inside and out. No wonder I admire you so much! I am so happy to see you having the time of your life with them. You’re such an inspiration to all of us! <3 "Why fit in when you're born to stand out?" — This!!

  2. rona b.

    what a great thing to start camille.
    helping and having fun at the same time.
    i agree with you that time is a more valuable thing you can share to other people.
    God bless you more!

  3. maebs

    I also gave my soft spot to both of them, I just remembered that won’t for the outreach program and they were so happy that we visited them. :) super love you ate cams your so beautiful inside and out. :)

  4. Kay

    Aaaww! Seriously I can feel the love just seeing your pictures :) I also have a soft spot to differently-abled people because my school, your all-girls-school neighbor, also have students especially those who are hearing impaired. I hope I can also visit the restaurant too! Just wondering, are the students being paid for working?

    • Camille Co

      That I don’t know but it’s an activity they’re doing in partnership with the school as a way to train them :)

  5. Anne

    Awww Cams this is so touching. I suddenly remember my cousin who’s got autism and when he first met me, he immediately hugged me nonstop for the whole day. It was so sweet and very “malambing”. I love kids. I miss him na tuloy. Anyway, I agree with you about time. I believe it is one of the best things that you can give to anyone because unlike others, once you give it away it’s gone for good. Now… what do I want to start? Chase my dreams and have the courage to venture into the unknown. That would be it. Oh and thank you for introducing me to Puzzle Cafe. It’s so timely ‘coz I’m heading to Manila for the holidays!

    • Camille Co

      That’s a nice fresh start. Very inspiring too! You must start chasing your dreams. If not now, when, right? :)

  6. Clariss

    I also have a very soft spot for both :) I really love it when I’m giving something and helping someone it makes me two times happier. In our school I always volunteer to join these kind of events, I always want to share what I have even though I don’t have much for myself :) I’m really happy to know that you also enjoy these kind of things :) you’re really a good inspiration to your readers!

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