How did you get into caregiving?
Caregiving has probably been a part of me. Since high school, I volunteered a lot of my free time. My parents would encourage me, "You help these people. You help this person. Go to Church. Help this elderly," until it became a part of me. In college, after school-- I used to have a 21, 23-unit load for a semester. After school, I would make time to volunteer for Mother Teresa's Foundation in honor of the cities in Manila. I also did catechism on the side. I was a guitarist in the church, and I read in the church during Holy Mass in our Catholic rite. So, that's how I spent my college throughout. I organized rosary rallies, Marian pilgrimage, and all those religious stuff in the campus. I was a very active student, so it became a part of me.
Who was one of your most memorable clients?
Of all the people I've cared for, the first person that comes into my mind is a very humble, very caring patient whose name is David Hill. He was a grandfather. Of all the people I've cared for, his name is Dave, and he was 98 years old when I took care of him. Very loving, very passionate, and jolly. He used to be in the navy. He served in the second world war, and with General Douglas MacArthur in the war in the pacific. Very historical person. He used to love dancing, very familyoriented. Every other day, his grandchildren would come to him. I did not treat him as a patient because he was so fatherly to me. And of course, I cried when he passed away.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice for a new caregiver, number one is, he has to learn the basics. You have to know the patient. First day, you have to somehow interview your patient, aside from the official interview from day one. It helps a lot to get to know the family background - what he likes, what he doesn't like, interests. The food, number one, because you will prepare food for the client. You have to have a lot of this initiative. He doesn't have to tell you what you need to do, this has to be done. You have to- - magnitude of initiative and compassion - loving the job as a caregiver. Because for me, caregiving is like taking care of my parents. So, treat your patient as your family.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
My proudest moment being a caregiver is, my patient or my client would be able to, somehow, appreciate what I did for the day. Little things like, "Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for cooking nice food. Thank you for attending to all my needs." Some of the patients would even kiss you and hug you. "Can you give me a hug? Can you give me a kiss to complete my day?" That, for me, is a perfect day.