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Posted on June 25, 2012 by Human Nature

Isabel Cuevas-Santos: The Wounded Healer

"I'm proud to know that when things get tough - even in the life of our country, in the toughest of times - it was always a woman that needed to come forward and really bring our country forward. I love being Filipina."

"I'm proud to know that when things get tough - even in the life of our country, in the toughest of times - it was always a woman that needed to come forward and really bring our country forward. I love being Filipina."

After witnessing the murder of her father at 13 years old, a traumatized Issa grew up with questions in her heart and deep-seated anger against the world. It was only upon entering Gawad Kalinga years later that she learned how to heal, forgive and live again.

At GK, she understood what poverty forced people to do and realized we are all interconnected no matter how unlikely it may seem. That her father’s death was about people not being able to live a life with dignity and not having the same choices that some of us have.

Through Gawad Kalinga, Issa was able to heal herself while helping others, most recently families affected by the Zamboanga siege, Bohol earthquake, and Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. “We have solidified our work not just for relief operations and reconstruction, but also focusing on hunger issues especially among children through our Kusina ng Kalinga campaign,” Issa shares.

“My heart swells with pride every time I see one of our GK residents rise up in leadership, especially the young,” she beams, having started out in GK as a Youth Coordinator for juvenile delinquents. “There is so much genius waiting to be discovered among the poor and I am proud to say that GK helps unearth this.”

“Many of the things we stand for in Gawad Kalinga are Filipino values like bayanihan, things that are very uniquely us. And that’s what I love. We were born with the DNA of a good heart and that has always come across, because it was born from a very Filipino spirit. So I think in many ways, the reason why we all succeed as a people is because of this innate being that genuinely allows us to love others and to listen to one another very well.”

“I’m proud to know that when things get tough – even in the life of our country, in the toughest of times – it was always a woman that needed to come forward and really bring our country forward. I love being Filipina.”

ISABEL IN ACTION

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Isabel helping rebuild a Sendong-struck community in Iligan

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One of the Gawad Kalinga communities that Issa has helped build as a founding member of GK’s Board of Trustees


This post was posted in Pinay and Proud - Profiles