For the greater good » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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These celebrities have halo in left pocket and wings inside the right

Not all celebrities are just out for glitz and glamour. Some of them take time and make use of their fame to help people in need.

(From left): Jimmy Bondoc, Bianca Guidotti, Carla Pena and Marlann Flores

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Bondoc wants to uplift the lives of our less fortunate countrymen. His endeavor caught the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte who then appointed him AVP for Entertainment of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) where the artist can do more.

“PAGCOR pools the resources of people and it gives these to worthwhile charities,” he explained. “The NGOs I’ve been helping before do the same din so, in essence, they are fueled by the same philanthropic intent.”

The good thing about PAGCOR, he said, is that their dealings are “transparent, efficient, and with no strings attached.”

Like Jimmy, Bianca Guidotti, Binibining Pilipinas International 2014, has a soft heart for the needy.

The beauty queen entices donors to do the same and support her advocacy. How? Mostly through social media, of course.

“It is my main way of connecting with followers and it is how I started a couple of campaigns,” she shared.

Actress-TV host Marlann Flores has been volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations for years now.

“Parang nasanay na lang ako ng ganu’n,” she said.

The difference is, where before she was “doing it for the sake of doing it,” now, Marlann is more passionate about it.

“Since I renewed my relationship with Christ, du’n ko na-realize it’s not just about giving ’cause everyone could do that. Iba ’yung nagbibigay ka ng tulong na galing sa heart mo, na you really wanna help other people kasi nakita mo ’yung grace na binigay sayo ni God.”

Marlann shares the gospel to the street children she feeds.

“Kaya nga I feel somehow na being a celebrity is a good opportunity for me. Kasi it gave me a voice na kahit paano people take time to listen to. Kasi in that way I could share God’s good news with them,” she related.

Interior designer Carla Peña has also been paying it forward to people in need.

“It’s like my response to Christ’s call,” she said. “He has given Himself wholeheartedly for us so naturally, we should give back din. Pero dapat hindi ’yung parang selfish lang na masabi ko lang na may self-gratification. It’s more like a way to reciprocate God’s love for us.”

Carla, who has been giving 10 percent of her earnings to charities, wants to be the light in the “very dark world” that some people exist in.

“I mean blessed ako, okay ako, may work ako, so it is just but right lang din na I should help others na talagang wala silang tulong na natatanggap,” she maintained. “So with my investments, my successes, I make sure to give back to people who need more than I do.”

Carla together with Jimmy, Bianca, and Marlann are all for Gava – an online crowdfunding platform. For more information, visit www.gavagives.com.

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