Saturday Success Story Twelve: Gideon De Luna
Everybody has parents whom they can say they were there for them while growing up – but not everybody is lucky enough to grow up with a loving and supportive uncle, who is always ready to give a hand whenever needed.
All of us have close relatives – aunts, uncles, cousins, big brothers or sisters who may lend a hand or two at times of despair. But, to have a constant person – a close family member apart from your immediate family who is always prepared to listen, to share his blessings and to stand as a parent or whatever role he needed to fulfill at a time of need, is a blessing that is hard to come by.
That is why, as a tribute to my favorite Uncle in the world and to all the many things he has done for me – including being my tour guide when I set foot to the big city and him, being the person who accompanied me to see the result of my college entrance examination (a milestone in my life) – below are messages from some of our family members, that outline and state all the good deeds and the influences he has given us.
1) When I was still in college, he was the only one my Mom could count on to when I need money for my tuition fee or baon. He’s such an EXTRAORDINARY uncle because I didn’t hear any complaints for everything he did to me. He never expects anything back in return amidst all the sacrifices he did. I really admire him for being such a cheerful giver. Uncle Gidz, THANKS for having one like you. I really do appreciate everything you did to me especially the times when my Mom really needed you to help. Thank you for being such a blessing! God bless you always! Love you! – from Rachel
2) He is so special to me! When I was young, he took care of me. He’s always there for me especially if Mama and Papa were not around; the best math teacher, too! He is an extraordinary uncle because he is a man with full of confidence, a man with a big heart and a man that will never fail to give us a smile and hug. That’s why – thank you Uncle Gidz for everything and when you grow old I will take care of you. Love you! – from Ruthie
3) Malagip ko idi ubingak igagtatangan nak latta sapatos ni Uncle Gidz isursurot nak jay Tarlac idi. Ginatangan nak jay nangina nga sapatos ta madi nak met igatangan ni Mama. idi ni Uncle Gidz met mangtitid latta. Salamat Uncle dagijay inted mo kenyak.:) Jak nga malipatan dagajay nga banbanag agingana tatta malaglagip ko dajay. – from Sammy
4) Wala na po akong masasabi kay Uncle Gidz – I LOVE HIM sober! - from Karla
5) He always believes in me. Kahit lahat ng tao sobrang ayaw na sakin. He always makes me feel I’m secured with my family. Everyday he opens his Facebook account, he sends me a message. He wants to be updated with everything that I’m doing. So sweet of him. - from Sarah
6) Hi Uncle Gidz! I am so pleased to be able to send you a message again. I hope this shows what a special man you really are, and what you mean to me! I want to say THANK YOU to the many things you’ve done, and all the times that you were there. Only a heart as dear as yours would give so unselfishly, which in turn help me know deep down inside how much you really care for us (your nieces and nephews). Eventhough I might not say, I appreciate all you do. I feel richly blessed having an uncle just like you! I love you lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS!! Take care uncle and keep smiling ! I look forward to seeing you again, soon! – from Honey
7) He always helps us kapag gipit kami , at lagi niya kaming sinasabihan na “magaral maigi”.. at wala siyang hinihinging kapalit sa lahat ng kanyang gngwa samin. Kaya salamat Uncle Gidz sa lahat at pagbubutihin namin ang pagaaral nmin at mag aartista pa ko – from Ivan
8) Ahm ang masasabi ko kay Uncle Gidz., napakabait nyang uncle pag may kailangan ako Tinutulungan nya ako. At tsaka Lalo na sa mga rereviewhin ko sa mga college entrance exam, sinasabihan nya ako na “Levi, magreview ka ng Science, Math, English at Pattern Analysis para makapasa ka sa eexaminin mo at magreview kang maigi” yan ang palagi nyang cnasabi sa akin ni Uncle Gidz. Napakaalalahanin nyang Uncle at napakabait pa! Basta ang masasabi ko sa knya, The BEST Uncle si Uncle Gidz ! Thank You very Much – from Levi
9) I remember when I was still in grade school every Christmas or New Year he always gives money to us and he is always there whenever mama needs financial support. Thank You so much Uncle Gidz! (Sana meron din para kay Uncle David – super duper favorite ko rin siya and I love him, too!) – from Edel
10) Si Uncle Gidz ang laging my bigote! – from Bryan
11) Because he’s always there when we need him especially when my parents are at work. He always helps me on my Math homework, D kaya di ako fail sa Math. Uncle Gidz, thanks for being such a nice uncle to me. Thank you din po for giving me you’re time when I need help on my math homework and thank you po kase you’re always there when we need you. Thanks po sa lahat . Iloveyou po ♥ - from Kris Cate
(These messages were kept from Uncle Gidz prior to the publication of this post – he will probably be very surprised about the addition of these well-meaning notes from his family members! He may probably be emotional, too.)
Uncle Gidz, as we call him does not fail to impress us in many aspects of our lives. His kind and loving nature outweighs what five of our friends put together can do. He may not have any children of his own yet, but he is blessed with many nephews and nieces who have confessed their admiration and love for him, in exchange for the unconditional love and care he has showered us throughout his life.
Despite the distance and his work/family schedule, we can always depend on him. MR. GIDEON DE LUNA, a payroll specialist, a brother, a friend, a husband and most of all, the best and an extraordinary uncle, on this side of the world!
This is his story:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living and where is your current location?
GFD: I’m the 5th child of the late AFP Major Floreno De Luna and Mrs. Rufina Felix De Luna. My parents completed the word LAMB GOD as the acronym for their children’s names. I’m the letter G in the family’s memorable acronym which thus, stands for my name, Gideon. I graduated high school from Camiling Colleges in Camiling, Tarlac with high honors. Then, I completed a degree in BS Agricultural Engineering back home in the Philippines. Immediately after college, I worked in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for five years. When my contract expired I decided to continue my profession in the Philippines as an Agricultural Engineer at the BSWM (Bureau of Soils and Water Management) in Quezon City. I spent 10 good years of my career with BSWM, traveling around the Philippines’ islands, provinces and regions – conducting topographic surveys, feasibility studies and also being able to design various dams for irrigations all over the country. Because of the nature of my job, I was very lucky to be immersed in the culture and lives of different people and different tribes all over the Philippines. I was also able to interact with well known figures and worked closely with them, such as the late rebel priest, Father Balweg.
I am now living in my adopted country – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – where I can profess that it is truly (as claimed by Money Magazine) the best place to live on earth! I currently work as a CPA, with the title of a Payroll Specialist at HMS Host Vancouver International Airport.
AMS: What brought you to where you are now? Who are your inspirations in life? What motivated you to become who you are today?
GFD: My wife and families are my inspirations. Because of them I am where I am now. Personally, I believe that education is a learning process. That’s why with that conviction, when I was just a newly minted immigrant I knew what I had to do – I decided to go back to school. When I arrived here in Canada, I found it really hard to start embracing the new country for a few reasons. One, because my education and work experiences were not highly regarded by the Canadian Educational System. Because of that, I recognized the need to improve myself. Thus, I worked in different odd jobs and then applied for a student loan to finance my education. Two, I was juggling two things at a time to survive: working and studying.
My first choice before was to enroll in an Engineering Diploma program, but the waiting list to be admitted was too long. So I made up my mind and pursued a diploma in Computerized Accounting. After I finished the requirements for graduation, without hesitations, I took my certification in CPA and became fully certified.
For me, life is full of challenges – with the love of God, my wife and my families who are constantly giving me strength and inspiration, I am constantly being reminded that in this world, life is still a blessing!
AMS: Did you have a mentor or a teacher or somebody in your family who has given you some words of wisdom? Can you tell us about this person and how he/she impacted you?
GFD: My late father was very inspirational and very supportive to us! Even though we didn’t have all the means financially, he tried all his very best to support our education. I am proud to say that he, together with my mother financed our college education and helped us all finish our Bachelor’s degree. Because of them, we were all able to attain our college education! Looking back, having a huge family with seven kids in a household to support is hard to imagine. It is even harder to think of sending all seven of them to college – and completing their degrees!
Also, my only sister and the eldest in the family Mrs. Leonida De Luna Miguel (your Mom), who was also a big part of my success. The only thing I can say is that “families and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their treasures.”
AMS: When you were trying to achieve where you are right now, did you experience some disappointments and failures? What are they? Can you explain how you overcome these circumstances?
GFD: Yes, I belong to a big family. Being in a big family may mean that failures and disappointments, may always be present – but failures are the key, leading to succeed. When I was a kid my dream was to become a doctor but that was just a dream because I knew from early on, that daily finances and the support of our parents was quite a struggle. But because it stayed on as my dream, I used to always admire girls wearing white uniforms and with the same reason, I had most of my girlfriends as nurses and is now married to a nurse, herself!
AMS: What would be your next goal?
GFD: As a Payroll Specialist here in Canada I’m not fully contented yet where I am now. I have lots of goals that I’m looking and counting for, not only for my own personal interest but also for my wife and my family. I’m planning to go back to school again but life is too short that we have to enjoy our life that has God given us in a very memorable and meaningful way and the life he extended to us. Someday I will do my greatest goal which is to support the less fortunate pupils or students of the school, where I graduated from elementary.
AMS: Has anyone of your friends, relatives ever told you what qualities they admire about you? What are they?
GFD: They admire me for my kindness and also as a loving uncle.
AMS: Can you share to us your philosophy in life and how this affected your success.
GFD: Education teaches us so many things. In life situations, use knowledge and experiences that will make us grow in so many ways. As we grow we learn; as we learn, we start to build goals. A plan to make our future BRIGHT!! Getting a good education is to learn how to make choices to earn a living. After we graduate and experience necessary situations in life that may fulfill our own personal needs and ambitions.
AMS: Do you have any advice to get better and be more successful in whatever we are doing?
GFD: As I mentioned earlier, education is a learning process. Think positive and discipline ourselves; set rules to succeed even though not all of us are born as intelligent and gifted compared to others, but everybody has the determination to reach his/her dreams – to be successful in different ventures of our lives and profession.
AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.
GFD: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.