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

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  1. Ekoma Bin Earlie

     /  June 9, 2008

    Hint: If you HATE your own sibling, and you are a prof, one way to justify it is to TEACH/inspire your students NOT to do good deeds to your own family… I am sure you can find scripture references from the Bible to support that wacko idea as well… since she seems to be an “intelligent” person…

  2. bernee

     /  June 10, 2008

    i love this entry.


  3. great post. totally made my day

  4. koreanmine

     /  June 11, 2008

    hala, ok sa koment c # 1 ah 😀 totally dont get it 😀

    nice list u got there… very realistic and practical…
    a good deed is a good deed regardless of magnitude

  5. thanks! 🙂

  6. awwwe. you’ve got one big heart.

  7. and a bigger ass!

    hehe, thanks liz. 🙂

  8. isabella

     /  March 30, 2012

    i would like to know her more~~can you please tell me how to connect with Dr. Grace shangkuan koo?

    • hi! i havent talked to dr. koo for a long time now. you can probably call up UP Diliman’s College of Education and ask for her email. 🙂 thanks!


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