BENGUET STUDENTS GIVEN NEW INTEREST IN STUDYING: The 1,000 or so students of Puguis Elementary School in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet, refused to go to school for some time after 13 of their classmates were killed in the mud landslide that swept through their nearby village called Little Kibungan in the same town during the height of Typhoon Ramil in the last quarter of 2009.
The reason: for want of better facilities in the town and in Baguio City, their school plaza and playground were used as a temporary morgue for their 13 classmates, and for 62 or so other Little Kibungan residents who were killed in the same tragedy, traumatized as they were by the sight of so many dead people lying on the pavement, awaiting proper burial, for many days.
But hopefully and prayerfully, that should change by now, largely because of the efforts of local officials and other local, national and international non-governmental organizations and agencies to help them cope up with, and ultimately forget, the calamity that so mercilessly and without warning struck their town one nasty rainy night.
What came out of these selfless and disparate but highly collaborative efforts thereafter showed man’s generosity and compassion for his fellowmen beyond measure.
ROTARIANS IN THE FOREFRONT OF HELPING KIDS VICTIMIZED BY KILLER TYPHOON: Of course, I am tremendously glad that my own organization, Rotary International’s District 3810---particularly my own club, the Rotary Club of Intramuros, Manila, and its sister club, the Rotary Club of Ermita, and RI Public Image Resource Group for Zone 7 (for Philippines and Indonesia)---voluntarily placed themselves in the forefront of these humanitarian endeavours.
Specially significant was the aid given by RC Intramuros, RC Ermita and the Public Image Group led by its chairman, Lyne Abanilla who is the vice president for Classified Advertising of Manila Bulletin, which consists of 1,500 “Gamit Aral” Bags distributed Friday, January 8, 2010, to an equal number of elementary students from Puguis Elementary School, and from nearby Buyagan Elementary School and La Trinidad Central Elementary School.
The Gamit Aral Bags, which contain reading, writing and other education materials, had the effect of magic, as they did not fail to ignite the youthful eyes of the recipient-children with delight.
Upon receiving the bags, the students not only thoughtfully expressed their gratitude and appreciation by endless “thank you’s”, but, more importantly, they also collectively promised that, with the gift from Rotarians, they would study more, and be more diligent and persevering in their school work henceforth.
AUSTRALIAN-FILIPINOS GAVE THEIR HELP AND ASSISTANCE, TOO: The distribution of the Gamit Aral Bags to the Benguet school children was of course just a part of the story, a tip of the iceberg, as it were, which will not be completely told if we don’t mention here that the money used to buy them came from well-meaning Australian-Filipinos who wanted to help likewise.
Mention must be made of the Australian Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Australian representative Robert Bock, Filipino representatives Arthur and Tess Sayas, Global Filipino Australia, Inc., and Blacktown City, Australia Mayor Charles Lowles and others whose names I cannot recall now.
Abanilla, who was responsible for soliciting their help, said their individual and collective contributions reached about Php800,000.00 more or less, and this was the money that bankrolled the purchase of the Gamit Aral Bags.
Then, mention must also be made of the help and assistance given by Rotarians from Rotary International District 3790 (which covers the Benguet-Baguio Rotary Clubs), under the leadership of District Gov. Ricardo “Oyan” Villanueva, who coordinated which schools the Gamit Aral Bags would be finally given.
Congratulations are likewise in order for RC Intramuros President Art Platon, RC Ermita President Eugene Tan and Spouse Jane, RC Ermita Past President Loy Cosico and Spouse Maricon, Charisse Abanilla, Lyne’s youngest daughter, and Past Presidents Blythe Fielding and Lilian Cruz, who, like me, are members of the Public Image Resource Group for Zone 7 of RI.
Their presence alone in the distribution of the Gamit Aral Bags made sure that global cooperation in helping the poor and the needy became a reality.
LIFE OF JESUS RECOUNTED IN THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY: A keen study of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary will show that each of the mystery recited in praying it constitutes one important aspect of the life of Jesus.
In the Joyful Mysteries, for instance, what is recounted are the following events in the life of Christ: Annunciation, Visitation of Elizabeth by Mary, Birth of Christ, Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
In the Mysteries of Light, we find the following: Baptism of Jesus, Wedding at Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, Transfiguration and Institution of the Holy Eucharist through the Last Supper.
The Sorrowful Mysteries narrate these events in the life of Jesus: Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning of Jesus with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and Crucifixion and Death of Christ.
Finally, the Glorious Mysteries make an account of the Resurrection, the Ascention, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Assumption of Mary, and the Coronation of Mary as Queeon of Heaven and Earth.
Anyone who prays the Holy Rosary, therefore, gets to remember Jesus Christ and is reminded all over again of His status as our God and Savior.