Jason Ricafort Cardente is a testament that if you follow your passion, no matter what it is, as long as you love what you do, opportunities knock and will flow to you. As a freelance photographer and a family man, he was able to see the start of a great charitable journey of his life when he took a compelling picture of a crippled teenager crawling her way to school one day. As a father, he could not help but be sympathetic of what he witnessed. Through his lens, he took a picture that told a thousand stories – and that has made all the difference.
As the current leader of the Sibugaynon kids in Southern part of thePhilippines, he envisions helping the less privilege have better life through proper education, medical help and sometimes nutritional needs.
This is his story:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.
Jason: I am Jason R. Cardente, a father of three kids, Esther Joy, Joshua James and. Nick Jay . I am married to Mrs. Jenifer R. Cardente,. I finished my Elementary and High School inZamboangaCity . I am currently involved in the TZU CHI Foundation as a Volunteer in Sibugay and I also created a group that will help mostly Sibugaynon kids called the SIBUGAY FUNDS 4 LITTLE KIDS. On top of that, I am also a freelance Photographer.
AMS: Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?
Jason: It was all accidental. One day I was hired as a photographer to a birthday occasion, then I saw a young kid crawling going to school. I kept my eyes close as I observed that young kid. Later on, I felt so much compassion to her situation that I approached and asked her if she’s just ok with her situation?
Teary-eyed, she smiled and told me ‘Ok ra kol’ (I’m just ok, Uncle). With that response I asked her if it’s ok with her to take pictures with how she crawls and goes to school. As if everything was really meant to happen, coincidentally around that time there was a Photo Contest sponsored by the ‘Raise to Survive’ by National Geographic Asia which I saw on Facebook! I then uploaded the pictures I took of her and sooner or later, many people across the world really liked it so much, that photo took in hundreds of FB likes!
My purpose was really to win and buy that young lady a pair of crutches or a wheelchair but GOD was really too good to answer my prayers because through those photos I met Dr. Anton Lim also on FB. He sent me a private message stating that he would like to help me with my advocacy for the kid who needed a pair of crutches. Soon, I was able to raise some funds to bring her in the city and then through the TZU CHI Foundation, were I’ve met fellow volunteers whom I admire for their kindness and dedication to underprivileged kids.
AMS: What is your vision of these projects?
Jason: My vision is to be able to see the kids were helping that someday they will become professional and will become good leaders in the community. I would also like to be able to continue and sustain the work we started for them.
AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?
Jason: My family inspired me so much, specially my wife and children. All the successes I have with my community work is all because of the support of my wife. I credit everything to her.
AMS: What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?
Jason: My greatest achievements? I guess seeing a patient with a cerebral palsy/ Osteosarcoma cancer getting healed and was given a free medical operation through our help and many other kids whom we were able to help through our Sibugay Funds. I assume it’s a good achievement to be able to give hundreds of bags and school supplies with the help of different donors around Sibugay.
AMS: Who are/were your motivators?
AMS: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?
Jason: When I was young I wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer to help my community but opportunity didn’t allow me due to my family’s financial hardship. But later on in life, I knew that money is not really what drives people to do what they love. I realized that despite limited resources I am doing what I love, and that is helping the poor members of my community along with my family, friends and volunteers.
AMS: What are your next goals for yourself?
Jason: My next goal would is not totally for myself but for my family. I would like my kids to have the best education possible and for them to be able to become a role models in the community. One of my personal goals is to be able to finish our house so my kids can live ng mas maayos (in a better condition).
AMS: What is your definition of success?
Jason: Success for me is not only thru proper education. It is also by helping the community and setting a good example for them to make their lives better. I also believe that seeing a number of kids get the help from our TEAM is an achievement to our communities. As I do my work with Sibugay I know success to me is through Unity and Hope; in unity we worked and our HOPE is achieved.
About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at email@example.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.