Last Sunday, I headed to Bantayan Island, located in northern Cebu, at three in the morning to give the P32, 000 cash donations and little gifts for the kids I would surely meet along the way.
Bantayan Island is the first site of our modest Project Rebuild, an initiative to support livelihood projects, provide cash gifts to the poorest of the poor, and wrap a little Christmas joy for the kids. Project Rebuild sponsored two small boats (P6 000 each ) through the Bantayan Back to Sea Project. (Check this link to see the post dedicated for Project Rebuild: Post by Bantayan Back to Sea Project.) A separate blog entry and story for BBSP is also in the process.
With the help of Jose Quieso, (a barangay councilor), Allan Monreal (one of the two heads of Bantayan Back to Sea Project), and his lovely wife, Tetet Pacheco-Monreal, we were able to identify those most in need .
My heartfelt gratitude to the Hays family in Georgia, USA for their active participation in gathering donations from their relatives, friends, and fellow Atlantans. Special thanks to Paideia School whose staff made generous contributions.
Let me extend the beneficiaries’ salamat (thank you) through their pictures found below. They stood in front of their collapsed houses.
Salamat, Georgia, USA!
Jona and the Bantayanons
Before the ship docked, I sneaked into the captain’s quarters and took a series of overseeing photos.
Amid the debris and flotsam, kids played house on the beach right of the port. This was the beach I stayed during my first visit three years ago. Wrapped the P12 000 for Bantayan Back to Sea Project and P20 000 cash gifts: a little Christmas feel for the beneficiaries.
Slippers for the barefoot. More slippers for the barefoot. This girl walked from their house barefoot to a store to buy candies. Emilio Mutar | 37 years old | Married | Has two kids | Balintawak, Bantigue, Bantayan Island
He was the only trisikad driver who agreed on bringing me to Sayaw—a coastal sitio of Bantigue. The others I tapped at Bantayan’s public market either said they were waiting for a particular passenger or picking someone somewhere.
Behind her was what was left of her house.
She wasn’t there when we arrived. It seemed like she had to attend a relative’s funeral. We left the little gift to her trusted neighbor, whom the barangay councilor knew.
Marciana Tidalgo | 63 years old | Balintawak, Bantigue, Bantayan Island
She lined up for the free yero (Galvanized Corrugated Metal Roofing) distributed by the local government unit. Her neighbor received the cash gift for her.
She is a card reader. She had my love life and career read. The cards told her I have a happy and lovely life, and 2014 will be a great year for my career! Haha!
Bantayan Island Nature Park & Resort | Anika Beach Resort | Beach Placid Resort | Yooneek Beach Resort | Kota Beach Resort | Abaniko Beach Resort | Sunday Flower Beach Resort |
HR Lodge | Coucou Lodge | Tickety Boo Beach Resort | Coral Blue Oriental Villas
The backpack was now empty and my heart full. I could now fly! 🙂
Again, thank you, Georgia, USA. Thank you, Paideia School!