By now, we’re all probably familiar with the name Ana Patricia Non. Not only did she cause a wave of change through her small charity stall in Maginhawa, but she’s also been credited for empowering the common Filipino.

Her action, simple yet impactful, created a tidal wave of support in the Philippines at a time where people are at their most vulnerable. And people have come to call it ‘Modern Bayanihan.’

Since then, her handiwork has spread to every nook and cranny of the archipelago even abroad. 

But despite the positive change she has instilled, some continue to find fault, specifically with her intentions. There was even a point where she had to stop her community pantry due to being red-tagged.

However, that stops now. Non, in an intimate feature with Tatler Philippines, revealed the real reason behind her charity stall project.

According to Non, she used to be someone who strived to ‘please other people’ and that the notion of ‘success’ was what drove her. 

“I thought I had to please other people, that I needed to be successful. It never occurred to me that it was possible to help others, much less start a movement,” she shared. 

But that all changed when a close friend of hers passed – a period in time where she started questioning the decisions she was making, especially the life she was living. 

“I realised I had to live for myself. We go through life … we don’t like what we eat, we’re overworked at our jobs, we forget the essentials,” Non said. 

Non remembered her friend fondly during the interview, describing her as an activist, a person who lived life to the fullest, and someone she wanted to emulate. 

When an announcement of a major lockdown was made in Quezon city – the place she currently resides in – she considered it a sign and a chance to change herself for the better. 

Armed with a supply of groceries and a quote she lifted from the internet, Non put herself into action and the rest, as you know, is now history.

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Image Credit: Ezra Acayan via Getty Images