Written by Je de Asas, Volunteer Writer for Operation Blessing Philippines

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Mang Nestor sits under the shade of a tree near his house.

The road to Mang Nestor Noprada’s house is not paved, nor even.  It is narrow, almost choked with cogon grass and mostly rutted.  But at the end of that long, narrow road, lay the clearing where Mang Nestor lives with his immediate relatives in a cluster of small huts.

Mang Nestor sleeps in what used to be a pig pen. The 65-year-old lost his ability to walk when he fell from a mango tree and damaged his spine. But even as his legs lie useless, his arms work, as proven by a line of tools he keeps by his side:  a scythe to cut grass and poles, and crutches to move around. He plants balinghoy (cassava) and asks people to sell them in town for him. But he wanted a wheelchair to make a living for himself, to sell balut, root crops and snacks.

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Mang Nestor telling about his experiences to an OB crew.

Mang Nestor attends church in the town proper, and all those who’ve spoken to him, church mates and social workers alike, only speak of his indomitable spirit in spite of his inability to walk. When you speak to Mang Nestor, there is none of the self-pity and despair one sees in someone we might call helpless. He does not regard himself as such. Even as he sits and looks at the land he has just cleared, he speaks of wanting to own a hut for himself, so his family can finally put his “room” to good use, to raise pigs in.

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Mang Nestor traveled alone to the venue of wheelchair distribution early in the morning.

On the day Operation Blessing distributed the wheelchairs, he himself came to town, eager to test the one he received. His face was calm as he smilingly sat down on the wheelchair. Then he strongly propelled the wheelchair forward, no doubt already seeing his plans come to fruition with unfailing hope.

You too can help others, like Mang Nestor, receive assistance to support their daily living. Visit www.obphil.com for details.