“There are people who have sight but are unable to see light in their lives because they don’t know God.” 

This was the deep realization of 71-year-old Elito Arizala, who has been blind for more than a decade, the first patient in line during our Medical Brigade in Brgy. Madamba, Cataingan, Masbate. 

Elito is a father to 4 children. He used to be an excellent and dedicated truck porter (pahinante) until the trucking company closed due to conflicts between the owners. Hardworking Elito then became a farmer cultivating crops like cassava, sweet potato, and bananas. 

Gradually, he developed eye problems. His vision first became blurry until eventually, he totally lost his sight. “I think it’s because of so much sweat and dirt getting in contact with my eyes while I work,” Elito assumes. He continues, “One time, I was going down from the mountain carrying some logs. Sweat fell through my eyes and face. Maybe that affected my vision.” 

Because he lost his vision, he had to stop working. 

Over time, he has also developed other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heavy cough at the time of the medical mission. He has not seen a doctor for years due to lack of funds. 

The doctor observed Elito to have an advanced stage of cataract on both eyes.  

Elito now stays at home all the time with either his wife or one of his children. Their community has no electricity; they only get power from a small solar panel that provides a few hours of light. 

“I cannot see anything anymore. I cannot do the things I used to do. All I do is sit down. I can’t even exercise on my own because I am blind,” Elito reflects. 

He gets support from his children from time to time. But it’s just barely enough to provide for his daily needs. There’s usually no extra fund left for medical expenses. Additionally, Masbate Hospital is so far away from their area. 

“One time, I went for a checkup and my expenses reached up to Php 2,700, not yet including the medicine,” he shares. 

So, he was so happy to have been checked up for free in Operation Blessing’s Medical Brigade. He was also given medicine, vitamins, and a hygiene kit. He had been praying for a miracle to get better day and night. 

When asked where he draws inspiration and will to live from, “I get my hope from God because He is the one who gave me life.” 

“There are people who can still see but are unable to see light in their lives because they don’t know God.” 

Elito realized that God is the hope of life. His eyes may be blind, but his heart is able to see the light that comes from above.