Thursday, August 13, 2009

February 20 - Rosario, Cavite. We all drove in several cars and met in Rosario Elementary School in Cavite after an hour's drive. We were welcomed by the school principal at the school together with the mayor of the city. After a short presentation by the handicapped children, Mila Nazal and Larry Pacis presented the braille machine to the principal. The machine was donated by Mila and Larry through Feed the Hungry, Inc. Shortly thereafter, the volunteers distributed lunch to the children. We all proceeded to Mendez, Cavite to have our lunch at Emil Allegre's residence, who generously hosted us. Emil is a supporter of FtH. After lunch, our last destination for the day was a fact finding inspection of a classroom donated by martin Gaw in Indang, Cavite. Volunteers present were Pablito, Willie, Lottie, Fely P., Boy, Roger, Ichu, Carl, Dulce, Presy, Ernie, Pepito, Percy, Tony, and Lulu. Evelyn from the Commission on Filipino Overseas came.
February 18 - Tambo, Paranaque. We gave gifts to 200 families. The volunteers were Gloria, Willie, Lottie, Roger, Ichu, Carl, Fely, Manny, Maurese, Kevin, members of the local CWL and Fr. Joseph. Snack was provided by Ched Topacio.
February 17 - Barangay Santa Maria, Antipolo. The volunteers met at InterCon Hotel in the morning and rode a van going to Antipolo, Rizal. We met with Cora Atayde, who coordinated this gift giving with Gloria Caoile and Toti Bantug. The 200 families were assembled in a big covered plaza and the gift bags were distributed to them by the volunteers. After the implementation, lunch was hosted by Mrs. Atayde at her residence in Antipolo. On the way back we passed by the Antipolo shrine and bought some of the local delicacies. Volunteers present were Gloria, Willie, Lottie, Roger, Ichu, Carl, Fely, Manny, Maurese and Kevin. Some members of the the Catholic Women's League and Father Joseph were there as well as Evelyn and Erwin from the Commission on Filipino Overseas.
February 9-12. San Fabian/Vigan. The volunteers all gathered at Intercon Hotel for a long trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Our first stop was at San Fabian, Pangasinan for a gift giving implementation funded by Ambassador Albert del Rosario and his wife, Gretchen, who coordinated this implementation with his brother, Dr. de Venecia. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Dr. de Venecia and we all took a tour of his clinic where he provides free eye care for the needy and the poor. We distributed gift bags to 200 families and proceeded to Vigan.

We arrived in Vigan, Ilocos Sur just before dark and we all checked in at the Cordillera Inn, a quaint hotel with the famous old Spanish architecture. Vigan has maintained its streets with houses typical of this architecture that makes you feel like you are in a completely different world, particularly beautiful at night. Had our dinner at the hotel and we all headed for a good night sleep.

The following day, we had our gift giving/lunch feeding in the morning for 200 families. We met the coordinators for this implementation-- Fely, Teney and John. All goods were bought locally in Vigan and the coordinators had them all packed and ready for distribution. The volunteers distributed the meals and the gift bags to the children. The meals were prepared by a local volunteer so FTH just paid a minimal amount for the food.

We all had lunch at Cafe Uno before we took a tour of Vigan, visiting several historical churches with amazing architectures, hidden gardens and a tobacco factory. We returned to the Inn for a short rest and we were all excited to ride the calesa to visit a weaving factory, where one can buy blankets, placemats, napkins, etc. Back to the hotel and later in the evening, we decided to walk the streets of Vigan and had our dinner at nearby Matutina Restaurant. More food, more chats and lots of comraderie among the volunteers.

On our last day in Vigan, we rode the bus to go to Ilocos Norte with our tour guides, Cholo and Bong. We went to Badoc, Bataac, Sarrat and Ft. Ilocandia, where we had our lunch at the hotel. Later in the afternoon, we went back to Vigan for our other gift giving/lunch feeding implementation to 200 families at a different barangay. We all headed back to Makati after a very fruitful, rewarding and enjoyable trip.

Volunteers in attendance were Tess, Pablito, Willie, Lottie, Ben, Gloria, Estela, Mario, Bing, Gretchen, Dondi, Roger, Ichu, Percy, Pepito, Joe C., Ernie, Manny, Fely, Boy, Fely P, Chelo and Bob Martinez, Sonny, Milette, Carl, Jeanette and Kara.
February 8- Padre Garcia, Batangas. We all met at Intercon Hotel, Makati to board a van going to Padre Garcia, Batangas. Upon arrival, we went straight for our gift giving implementation to the 150 families and some fifty senior citizens. The gift giving was sponsored by Ador and Nannette Carreon. After our gift giving, we had our lunch hosted by the Carreons. Had a short siesta and attended the special celebration of Ador and Nannette and back to our hotel by 10:00pm. Volunteers present were Pablito, Tessie, Gloria, Ben, Mario, Estela, Willie, Lottie, Carl, Kara, Noodie, Eva, Ernie. Evelyn from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas came with us.
January 31 - February 2. Kalibo, Aklan. After Talingting, we all drove back to Roxas City and took a flight to Aklan. Upon arrival at Kalibo, we were met by Rod Solidum, President of the Rotary and our host, together with other Rotary members. We went straight to our hotel, Mang Domeng's, which is more like a Bed & Breakfast style accommodation, a three story building with several bedrooms on each floor. Had our sumptuous dinner at the restaurant, which is part of the building and met the very friendly and courteous dining staff. We were all tired and hit the sack right after dinner.

The following day, we were all ready for our fact finding as well as seeing the sites of Kalibo, Aklan. After our native breakfast, we walked over to Mr. Solidum's office, which is just a couple of blocks away, to see the slide show of the Rotary's projects. Saw the prospective greenhouse project and the seedling program at the Agriculture Garden. Greenhouse project is building a greenhouse at different barangays and teaching the people about planting different seeds such as okra, eggplant, etc. as a means of livelihood that could benefit several barangay families.

Mr. Solidum then took us for a ride around Kalibo and before we know it, it's lunch time by the sea shore. Our host, the Kalibo Rotarians prepared a seafood feast by the beach. We had crabs, fish, shrimp, clams and fresh vegetables, all freshly prepared for us. The Mayor of Aklan as well as Ms. Aklan joined us for lunch.

After lunch, we proceeded to Makato to look at their Payaw Fishing project. At present the village has five payaw fishing projects and they are in need of several more. Prospective livelihood payaw fishing projects are to be funded by Tuazon's donations and possibly HIRO of Hawaii through Feed the Hungry Inc. After refreshing ourselves, we went to see Sampaguita Gardens at night and had a wonderful dinner at their Chinese restaurant. Volunteers present were Tess, Pablito, Estela, Mario, Lottie, Willie, Fely, Manny and Joe C.
January 30. Iloilo/Aklan Trip. Volunteers arrived early morning at the Philippine Airlines domestic airport for an early flight to Roxas City. We were met at the airport and drove three hours to Estancia, then took a half hour boat ride to Talingting, a rather remote area of Iloilo. We were met by the school principal in Talingting who showed us the school area destroyed by the recent typhoon. The 200 children and their families were gathered at the school yard and after a short program, FTH volunteers handed the gift bags and the smiles on the children's faces were enought to make it such a worthwhile trip. The volunteers were Tess, Pablito, Estela, Mario, Willie, Lottie, Fely, Manny and Joe C.