Friday, May 25, 2012

A Time To Give Back (An ESSC Batch 2001 HighSchool Reunion Special) PART 2

                ESSC Batch 2001 on their 10Th Year HighSchool Reunion Special has chosen to help the 250 Public School Students of Ambalangan Dalin Elementary School of whom surveys show that it is included in the 14 Public Schools were majority of the students are malnourished. Also together with their parents and co-barangays who have ailments and diseases that needs medical attention.

                So, just a month left and donations from my batchmates were still being collected, I also asked for donations from other people that became our partners in this event. So the whole Batch agreed that this wouldn’t just be a medical mission alone, but rather we came up with numerous additional programs to make this event a really very special and unforgettable one to those people whom we’ve chosen to help.

                So my first move was to come up with a logo for our event which was later printed to be used as our tarpaulin. ESSC Batch 2001 would like to thank our official partners in our “A Time To Give Back” event namely my uncle Mr. Arnulfo Romero (President of Mercury Drug) because through him, Pharex, Unilab & Mercury Drug donated large amounts of Medicines (Ritemed), also to my grandfather Mr. Armando Leyva of Classe’ Cooking Oil for the additional donations of Rice, my grandmother Mrs. Corazon Leyva for the additional donations of School Supplies, to Mrs. Josie De Vera for the additional donations of Raw Pancit, to Mr. Ingo & Mrs. Anne Hansen of Vmobile for their generous donations of amounts, to my aunt Mrs. Magnolia Punzalan for the additional Multivitamins, to my uncle Pastor Hipolito Sabangan & Pastor Carmen Dagaraga for lending us the Gospel Of Christ Church’s Van, to my aunt Daisy Salvador for cooking the Pancit, to Ms. Kori Quintos of Regional ABS-CBN for broadcasting our event and to my aunt Salvacion Romero & mom Cherry Yuson (I brought my mom to the market again after 15 years. Haha!) for accompanying me to the market a day before the event. The ESSC Batch 2001 would also like to thank Mr. Clarence Ochinang & Mr. Denton Caballero for being the way for us to reach these kids this Christmas. Thank you for helping us make our event possible.

                As I arrived to San Carlos City Pangasinan from Baguio a day before the event (December 22, 2011), right away I went to Mercury Drug San Carlos Branch to get the streamer that they made for us and after that, I got the 400 assorted Medicines in my uncle’s home. And then I asked my mom and aunt Salva to accompany me in the market to buy the things needed (Rice, Raw Pancit, Carrots, Styrofoam, plastic fork, chicken, soy sauce and many more). It took me half a day to the market and it was very tiring, so I’m very thankful to my mom and Aunt Salva for enduring their time with me and I’ve seen that they too have enjoyed it because they knew that this event will feed an almost 350 people. After the market, we immediately went to my aunt Daisy who will cook & prepare the Pancit for our Feeding Program, it was less than a day for her to prepare & cook for 350 people and yet she still took the job and I’m really grateful to her because what she did was really exhausting. The truth is, my aunt Salva & aunt Daisy helped me here because of their love for my mom, my aunts were the first two people who took care of me when I was still a baby and growing up. And it’s like a reunion for us to be bonded again doing this activity. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you to my aunt Salva & aunt Daisy for their pure kind heart in lending out their hand to me.

                All of you might think why my batchmates were not present in the preparation part, that is because majority of them are working in other countries but they all gave their donations, as well as our batchmates here in the Philippines, however, they are still in their work and could not get a leave for this day. But all of us participated in this Event. I was just the host of our Event that’s why I was the one present all the time. After all of the preparations, I had a meeting with Ms. Kori Quintos of Regional ABS-CBN and discussed to her the mission & vision of this Batch project and she gladly replied to us. At night, me with Aileen Domingo, Lucy and Mary Resuello started putting 1 kilo Rice in every plastic. After a few hours, it was 10 PM, I started to place all the School Supplies in a Big bag. So all is set and we’re just waiting for the BIG EVENT on December 23, 2011.

                At 7:30 AM of December 23, I went to my aunt Daisy to get the boxes of Pancit and I was surprised that my uncle Pastor Hipolito Sabangan & aunt Marites Camacho were helping my aunt Daisy in the Pancit preparation. I was deeply touched with what they did and I was just speechless, I can’t thank you enough. I’ve realized that it is really the spirit of Christmas were Families become one, united and gathering altogether again. And my heart was so glad at that very moment.

                So I went to my Friends to pick them up in our meeting place at 8 AM. Together with me are Dr. Christine Sy, Mr. John Ray LeaƱo and Mr. Jonald Ballesteros. Seeing them again allowed me to recall all the great memories we had in HighSchool. So we travelled an hour to san Fabian Church and from there we met with Mr. Clarence Ochinang, our guide to the school. As we were driving towards the event place, we saw how far, remote and mountainous it is and that our mobile phones have lost its reception already. It’s 11 kilometers away from the San Fabian Church & Highway.

                As we arrived in Ambalangan Dalin Elementary School, our hearts melted with the teacher’s, barangay officials, parent’s & student’s warm welcome to us. They really made a formal program for us with the student’s performing and even gave us their plaque of appreciation.

                So we conducted a Feeding Program, Rice & School Supplies Giving, Games & Prizes and Medical Mission. A Multi-purpose Program in one as I call it. The event started from 9:30 AM and lasted until 5:30 PM. With just the Four of us present in our Batch’s Event and with 350 people to attend to, imagine how tiring is that but the things we did for these people were incomparable to the fulfilling and rewarding feeling that we gained from them, and this will boost our heart’s energy forever. This experience and memory will be carried throughout our far descendants. The truth is, we were the ones who received the gift and not them, for their smiles really made us smile even bigger. Seeing these kids happy made a permanent mark to us that we would carry for the rest of our lives.

                ESSC Batch 2001 had a remarkable 10Th Year Reunion, we were not wrong in making the decision to give these kids our party fund for it is more worthy for us to help these kids. Honestly, we enjoyed this more than our original plan 10 years ago.

                We have learned a lot from these kids. That money is not the supreme importance in a man’s life, that there are more important and bigger things out there than our personal lives. And most importantly, the Batch would like to Thank our Almighty God for blessing our needs so that we may have the chance to share it to everyone… And with Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson’s Life’s Motto, “Seize every opportunity as if it’s your last coz’ you’ll only know in the end that it’s already too late… Enjoy the gifts that Life has to offer…” GOD BLESS EVERYONE and hope we have inspired you to do the same and be united with us for a common cause…

- Soul Writer

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Time To Give Back (An ESSC Batch 2001 HighSchool Reunion Special) PART 1

                It all started 6 months ago when I suggested to my friends for 23 years that why not create a cause wherein we could somehow try to give back all the blessings that God has given us because as I’ve seen it, all of my “Barkadas” have been really successful in their chosen careers, most of them working as professionals abroad. So I realized that it’s time to give back and be a blessing to others. Although, I have no idea on how to start and do it. Eventually, when I asked my childhood friends, one of them told me, why not a medical mission? Coz’ majority of us are in the medical field and I gladly took that idea. However, where and to whom we would do this mission? I asked for a sign to God if whether I should pursue this inner calling or not. 4 months ago, a reader and supporter of my blogsite Denton Caballero, of whom Clarence Ochinang (also a reader and supporter of my blogsite) has introduced my blogsite to, sent me a message that he is a 13 year public school teacher to this far and remote mountainous barangay in San Fabian Pangasinan, he shared to me his love for his students and told me that a great number of them are undernourished. And he asked me if I could visit his students so that I could make these kids smile. And right there and then it hit me, that this was the sign I’ve been praying for…

                So, I thought hard about my visit to their school and I realized that I should also bring my batchmates in my alma mater, for the single reason that I also want to share to them the addicting, fulfilling and rewarding feeling when you help those people in need. That I want my childhood friends to realize how wonderful it is to give, especially to your fellow Filipinos. And I miss my “Barkada”, so I want us to do something altogether again, an additional to our countless golden memories…

                Also, with fate’s side to us, it is also the time of our 10Th year HighSchool Reunion and what better way to celebrate it but in the month of giving, December… So all has been set, we have the calling within us, people to help, a built cause and a perfect reason and time to celebrate it. The only thing left missing is putting all of these together. 2 months before the Big Event, I opened the topic again to my batchmates and I’m glad that all of them complied with the idea and plan. We had our short term misunderstandings but we got through it and that is just normal especially when you are preparing for a Big Event like this and we are not the important ones, this event is not for us, but for the 250 kids with their parents and co-barangays that we are going to give blessings to.

                So the idea was, instead of making our ESSC Batch 2001’s 10Th Year HighSchool Reunion a party for us, why not give the money that we can accumulate to those unfortunate ones especially on Christmas month, we could do something together as a Batch and it will be more satisfying and memorable. And this great move for the Batch would make us proud for the rest of our lives and we could tell this to our grandchildren and even our great grandchildren. Another thing is, our batch started to rekindle the fire again for other batches of ESSC and other batches of different schools as well, that all alumni of all schools could see that one batch is doing this again and that there is still pure righteousness in the world amidst the negative things that are happening today, and they could get inspired again to help. So if all Batches would help again, then there will be many who will receive goodness and we will all be united in doing this and that is the spirit of Christmas after all, everyone being united in loving and giving to each other, not just every Christmas but every single day for the rest of our lives… TO BE CONTINUED…

- Soul Writer