My esteemed colleagues in the Corporation and the Board of Trustees of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), members of the Day-C whom we are honoring today, our most valued KKFI staff, volunteers, beneficiaries of the Foundation’s various programs, ladies and gentlemen.

Sixty-nine years ago, an American missionary by the name of Madaleine Klepper founded the Methodist Social Center in Sampaloc, Manila, on what we know now as P. Paredes street. The erstwhile Methodist Social Center, which was renamed KKFI back in 1971, is still here, stronger than ever.

In times past, “69” is a dreaded number, especially if it’s pertaining to age. For one, if another year is added, it becomes “70.” If you are in your 60s, you may be old; but once you cross over to 70, you are considered ancient!

A stereotypical 70-year-old person is often portrayed as an emaciated man or a woman, shrunken to uselessness and loneliness, impatiently waiting for the Kingdom to come.

I am here to dispel that fallacy. Such an idea is outright untrue! Just look at our Day-Cs and the members of the Board; do we look ancient to you? Of course not!

I was a widow, but five years ago, when I was 69, I fell in love again. A year later, I got married to a wonderful man who proved to me that there’s life—an even more wonderful one—beyond my 69th and 70th year of existence.

I am 74 now and I’ve never felt more in love with life. Our wonderfully written theme says: “Staying Sharp and Feeling Fine @ 69.” Excuse me for taking the liberty of rephrasing it to suit my particular situation: “Staying Active and Eager for More @ 74.”

But today is not about me alone but also others like me who are in this age bracket. We are many, so don’t underestimate our influence. Don’t count us out because we can still make a difference in the society. We are wise and we are still productive.

We are tough because we lived in an era when nothing was easy. Unlike today, when everything—even morality—is relative, we were raised to see things crystal-clear. The society’s morality was not malleable, unlike today. That is why the society needs us because it needs a sector who will provide an unshakeable moral compass.

Maybe, that’s why God allowed people to age; so that they may accumulate wisdom that they can pass on to the next generation. Without the elderlies’ collective memory and lessons, where will this society end up?

So, to the Day-C members, don’t let others look down upon you. Demand that they look up to you! You deserve every bit of respect and admiration.

Do not let your age weigh because those numbers are only in the mind. Accomplish things because you still can. Your well of creativity has not dried up. Show everyone that there’s more where they came from.

Let us take inspiration from what the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) is doing. At 69, it is still dynamic, creative, useful, and hardworking. The idea of resting on its laurels is far from their mind. They keep pushing for the glory of God!

Congratulations to KKFI for reaching its 69th anniversary and for honoring the elderlies. Thank you and God bless!

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