Much has been said about the power of social media today. The following heartwarming story is another proof of how amazing a tool it can be in bringing happiness.
It was late last night when we got a private message from our friend Danie who happens to be close to Atty. Ralph Calinisan, the one behind the now viral open letter to Kapuso actor Alden Richards on Facebook yesterday in behalf of his ailing grandmother. Our friend wished to help her husband’s bestfriend make what seemed to be a far-fetched wish for a 97th birthday surprise happen. Prior to our tweet sharing the letter last night, Atty. Ralph’s Facebook post already generated numerous comments and shares in an attempt to reach Alden and his team. This afternoon, less than 24 hours since the letter was posted, we were thrilled to find out that Alden and Nana Liling had their Tamang Panahon. From the words of a happy grandson overwhelmed by the response to his simple letter, “Wala palang imposible.” Below is his touching story behind Alden’s hospital visit.
It all started with the open letter:
OPEN LETTER TO MR. ALDEN RICHARDS
We dont know each other, and I dont have the slightest idea how to reach you. I just hope that you, through some divine intervention, would get to read and grant this request.
I am the grandchild of Catalina L. de Ramos (“Nana”). She is turning 97 years old tomorrow (30 April 2017) (happy birthday, Nana!). A few hours before her birthday, our family brought her to the hospital due to erratic blood pressure; her BP has shot up to 200. To put it in context, three months ago, she suffered a stroke (we kept that a secret from everyone before). She isn’t that young anymore.
She is my favorite thing in the world. Meanwhile, my grandmom likes two things the most: her family and a certain Alden Richards. Just to share, for some reason, the TV in the hospital is busted (we are not requesting for a tv =) ). After answering the doctors what’s her condition, she adds that she is bothered since she couldn’t watch Alden on TV. Ang lupit ng kamandag mo at ni Maine, pare.
I’ve been wanting to surprise her or treat her on her birthday. As we are stuck in the hospital, that would be most difficult. She is also not that mobile after the stroke. Because of this, I was hoping that, if you have the time, maybe you can drop her a note, a photo, or even visit her in person. I know that would really make her very happy. I just want to make her happy.
We are not accepting visitors so that she can rest, but you are most welcome to come.
I never thought I’d be sending out a letter such as this. This may be the silliest request, but I would truly appreciate your favorable response.
We got to talk to Atty. Ralph over the phone an hour after the much-awaited meetup and here’s his story.
How did he (Alden) find out about it?
“Lahat daw ng taong kilala niya, mapa-kaibigan, mapa-kamag-anak, sinabihan siya. Professional and personal friends, and even business associates. Pati kamag-anak.”
How did he and his team reach you?
“Multiple Alden organizations reached out and said he would try. May kamag-anak din siyang nag-text sakin. May kamag-anak, may business associate, may fans. Hindi ko akalain na ganun so nagulat talaga ako, posible pala ‘yun. Pati manager na rin niya, talagang they all reached out. Everyone reached out. I’m indebted to everyone kasi hindi naman para sa’kin ‘to eh, para sa lola ko. Sa lahat ng taong tumulong, hindi ako makapagpasalamat. Hindi ko maisa-isa, ang dami talaga nila.
At around lunchtime, nag-text sakin ang manager niya and…(Oops, the call turned a bit choppy when he named the other contact persons but I heard the name of Alden’s handler Sam as one of them. Atty. Ralph shared that due to the nature of his job as a lawyer, he hardly gets to watch TV so he’s not very familiar with showbiz personalities. He emphasized that he did not know anyone from Alden’s management team prior to today’s event. He said it was really out of the goodness of people that the surprise was made possible.)”
On coordinating with Alden’s team for the surprise:
“No one knew dun sa room. Not one. Ako lang. [Nasurprise] pati nanay at tatay ko. In the room were my mom, my dad, kapatid ko, isa sa mga anak ng Lola ko, ‘yung katiwala namin. Walang may alam na pupunta siya (Alden).”
What was your Nana’s reaction?
“My grandmom has not been feeling well for the past 4 weeks, so nung makita niya [si Alden], she jumped out of bed. Nakaupo sya without assistance. On a normal day, she needs assistance. Pero yun, for that particular moment, nakaupo siya.”
On Alden and Nana Liling’s interaction:
Atty. Ralph shared that his grandma turned into mom-and-fan mode. She told Alden how she regularly watches Eat Bulaga, SPS (Sunday PinaSaya), and his nightly teleserye Destined To Be Yours. Nana Liling apparently has no memory gap. She may be physically weak but she’s mentally able and sharp. In fact, she even gave Alden advice on his AlDub loveteam partner Maine Mendoza, “Huwag daw saktan si Maine. Meron siyang payong lola, payong nanay.”
Atty. Ralph went on to share that his grandma brought Alden Richards’ book In My Own Words to the hospital and the actor was able to sign it earlier.
On Alden making time:
“Everybody told me he has a Sunday show so he probably couldn’t come. He’s fully booked. Pero, as it progressed, siningit niya to sa schedule niya. He drove himself to the hospital.” (Earlier during the conversation, Atty. Ralph expressed appreciation for Alden’s mere presence and acknowledged how precious the actor’s time is and how steep his talent fee would cost on a normal day.)
How’s Nana Liling? Is she happy?
“Sobra.” Atty. Ralph said his Lola’s blood pressure has been high on the average for the past couple of weeks but it lowered right after meeting Alden.
Message of thanks to Alden Richards, his team, and the AlDub Nation:
“Gusto ko lang iparating yung sinsero at taos-pusong pasasalamat ko sa lahat ng tumulong, particularly sa AlDub Nation at lahat ng kaibigang nagmalasakit. Mahirap man, wala palang imposible.”
Awww. This is a different kind of love story we just witnessed – one that gives us kilig over seeing someone genuinely happy. It’s a story of love in all forms – between a grandson and his Nana, a celebrity and his fan (and vice-versa), and the love and generosity from friends and people you don’t even know.
Thanks, Atty. Ralph for sharing your story. We hope Nana Liling gets well soon.
Photos courtesy of Rafael Vicente Calinisan’s Facebook page
Original post after Alden’s visit: