To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors,” said Tia Walker, author of The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love.
Our recently crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2019, Gazini Ganados of Talisay City, Cebu, says that aging should be embraced and celebrated and not feared. Coming from this Filipino/Spanish/Palestinian beauty queen and model who is exposed to an extremely youth-obsessed industry says a lot about her depth of character and values. Although both her grandparents have passed away, Gazini honors them through her efforts. The beauty queen tells us more about how her advocacy evolved with her pageantry.
What were your most memorable moments with your grandparents?
When I was playing with my cousins in Dapitan and they would be there, nagbabantay sila Lola Utay and Lolo Udong sa amin. And my lolo would usually cook fish because we lived by the sea and he was a good cook. So I’d also go to their house para maglaro at kumain.
Many Filipinos are close to their grandparents, but you took your love for yours a step further. What made you choose elderly care as your advocacy?
I saw my grandmother die without getting all the medical help she needed. We couldn’t afford to take her to the expensive hospitals. I’ve seen the lack of facilities in the ICU, the emergency room, and I was thinking, ‘Where do our taxes go?’ So that’s when I took it seriously and wanted to be a voice for elderly care.
How do you convince people to support your advocacy?
We’re all going to get old in the near future. If we take steps to help our elderly now, we will also be able to save our future, because the laws we pass today might benefit us when we get older. Yes, the children are our future. But always remember that the elders paved the way.”
Are there any programs or activities planned to push your campaign?
For the full article, grab a copy of My Pope Philippines September 2019 issue.
Text by Voltaire E. Tayag. Photos courtesy of Gazini Ganados.