By Nirva’ana Delacruz
When you meet Randy Delos Santos, he’s easily the jolliest person in the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation team.
Life was never the same again
He has an easy laugh and can strike up a conversation with anyone from the local grave digger to the veteran British reporter who wanders in and needs a quick orientation about EJKs in the country. It’s an inside joke that he needs “ferrous sulfate” (iron supplements) to sustain the free-flowing conversation in English though.
It’s an inside joke that he needs “ferrous sulfate” (iron supplements) to sustain the free-flowing conversation in English though.
For all the self-deprecating humor, it’s almost hard to believe Randy when says he “wasn’t so talkative” before coming to join AJFKI. A former dispatcher at a trucking company and furniture sales agent, the first thing he’ll tell you is that he “never imagined” being part of a mission like AJKFI’s. But who would expect your own 17-year old nephew getting gunned down in another case of Oplan Tokhang gone wrong? When Randy’s nephew Kian Delos Santos was killed by masked men, he suddenly found himself thrust into the firestorm of a national issue. The cliché applied to him: His life was never the same again.
The serious heart
With Kian’s sister, Krizzhia Rosero, Randy joined AJFKI’s psycho-spiritual interventions for EJK widows, orphans, and bereaved family members under Program Paghilom. He became a volunteer for the program in 2018, and by September 2020, he was invited to join the regular staff.
Today, he considers his counseling training with Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) the most life-changing experience of his time with the foundation so far. “If before others would listen to me (my problems), now I’m the one listening to others, journeying with other fellow victim families.” Beneath the natural comic is a heart serious about caring. Randy says he’s particularly grateful for the opportunity given to him to attend paralegal training, seminars on family dynamics, and other experiences. “These skills now help me care for others and become a healer to my fellow wounded victims,” he explains.
Now that’s something to smile about.