If you can’t return a favor…

Dr. Grace Shangkuan Koo, one of my most kickass pofessors in The UP Grad School, assigned a Pay It Forward project in our Affective Learning class back in 2004. I can’t quite remember what was our specific topic then. I don’t think it was third party giving or generalized reciprocity. Maybe it was just Dr. Koo’s way of inspiring us students to change the world through proactivity.

Anyhoodles, the idea of paying it forward is doing a good deed for three people who must in turn each do good deeds for three other people. Quite elementary, isn’t it? See the movie for further explanation. It has Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and I-seee-dead-people boy, Haley Joel Osment.

We were instructed not to do good deeds for our family and friends, so it was a bit tough to think of deeds. What the hell do I know of strangers’ strange needs and wants? And she asked us to do 5, instead of 3.

After 5 cups of coffee, 2 orders of choco lava, 1 slice of apple pie and a pack of cigz  in Oz Cafe, I came up with these:

1. Ride the MRT. Make sure to secure a seat for self. Offer seat to a standing elder, child, or pregnant lady.

2. Send good-influence messages to troubled teenagers in Pinoyexchange.com

3. Offer umbrella service to umbrellaless people crossing the street on a rainy day.

4. Be a UP Dil campus tourguide to lost and loitering Koreans.

5. Go to the cemetery. Pray for and give flowers to a random dead guy.

But how did I know if the people I did good deeds to payed forward?


I didn’t know.

I don’t know.

Prolly will never know.

I just crossed my fingers that I made those people happy and that they will be inspired to do the same to others.

Who knows? Maybe even Rodolfo Alguaje payed it forwaard in heaven.

In case you’re wondering, he’s the dead guy I prayed for and gave flowers to.


If you can’t return a favor, pass it on. 

– Louise Brown


listening to: Jewel – Who Will Save Your Soul

%d bloggers like this: