Thursday, February 18, 2010

Muntinlupa City

FEB. 11, 2010

We arrived in Manila after an almost 36 hours travel from Leesburg, Virginia. Our son drove us to the airport for a 630AM flight and we were at Washington Dulles by 2 in the morning of Feb 9, 2010, to allow for possible snow emergencies. The 630 AM flight was first postponed to 7:09; then the Delta counter announced that they are just waiting for the flight crew; then they announced that they have problem with fueling the plane but they already have a mechanic looking into it; then Delta announced that they need to transfer the fuel from one side to the other to balance the load; then they announced that they are looking for volunteers since the flight was overbooked. The Delta offer for volunteers was very tempting but we ignored it because of this feeding project in the TS Cruz Village; we final took off by 1030 in the morning.

As we landed in Minneapolis, I saw the de-icing operation in all planes in progress. We had to transfer in Minneapolis for the plane to Japan and then to Manila. Because of the 4 hour delay in Dulles, we arrived in Minneapolis about 30 minutes before the flight to Japan. We talked to the steward for some help and she said she will have a cart standing by when we land to drive us to the other side of the terminal for the connecting flight. But there was no cart to drive us and I told Tess let’s run for it. On the way, I put my 200 lb body in front of a cart and requested the driver to take us to terminal B as we are trying to catch a plane to Japan. The driver agreed (he had no choice) and I admired his skill in zig-zag-ing around people along the way, using no horns! We arrived on the last call for boarding, with NO minutes to spare! We touched down in Manila at 1030PM, Manila Time, Feb 10. After we cleared Custom and Immigration, we were home by 2AM Feb 11

On Feb 11, same day as our arrival, we arrived at the covered basketball court at 1030AM, inside the T.S. Cruz Village in Muntinlupa City where the feeding program is being done by the FtH partners, COPA, the community outreach of the parishioners of Alabang. We were told that this FtH sponsored feeding once a month is very special to the 150 kids or so, since they get extra food; today it is hot dog, marshmallow, spaghetti and fruit juice. The kids normally get a plate of rice, one ulam and water.

A sister from the parish read a bible story about the prodigal son, one group of kids performed a dance exhibition, a prayer was said and the volunteers started giving the lunch. While having lunch, the kids were also treated by FtH to a gift of toys and school supplies.

Ex-Rep Jun Abinsay from Hawaii arrived and joined us in the distribution of lunch and gifts see photos. Later, Mr. Abinsay handed FtH a donation of $6,000 for relief operations in Baguio and Isabela affected by Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng. The Hawaiian International Relief Operation (HIRO) is coursing its relief operation through Feed the Hungry.

After the feeding, we proceed to another FtH gift giving mission to indigent families in Imus, Cavite where we almost missed the end of the event but manage to taste some newly fried turon for snack. It was a fun day that day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Indang, Cavite

FtH Inauguration of the Classrooms for the Physically Challenged students of Indang Central Elementary School, Indang, Cavite
Feb 12, 2010

Murphy’s Laws states that when you think you have prepared for everything, the least expected event happens. The date was set a long time ago but the time had to be adjusted when we arrived in Manila due to local FtH events overlapping each other. We were late.

The ceremonies just barely started at 10:00 AM when we arrived at the school with the donor’s father, Martin G., bringing along a BIG box of Braille books we solicited from Chuckie I. from Fairfax, VA. and a set of Braille machine. The Mayor has another engagement and had to be placed ahead of the other speakers. The Tolentino sisters and their brother, Mercy, Vi and Julie, with Paul S. from US were there with their donation of a brand new wheel chair. Larry and Mila, with their apo from Maryland, donated the Braille machine that we secured directly from the supplier from Massachusetts. Other FtH Board Pepito Lottie, Percy, were already seated at the head table with the rest of the VIPs from the Department of Education, the Mayor and Brgy Capt, the Principal, the teachers, the handicapped students, about 20 of them. Other FtH volunteers Fely and Manny D. from Las Vegas, Joe C., from Virginia. The engineer who handled the construction, Ms. Myles A. was there. Staff from CFO headed by Evelyn with Veda and Toby and driver Leonard. Local FtH volunteer Flor A. from Imus hitched a ride with the Dumo’s now living in Anabu, Imus, Cavite. And the rest of the event went on very smoothly except that we did not get the ice cream promised by a local supplier.

The lone entertainment was from a young, pretty student who exhibited her expertise in baton twirling, with both hands! Pepito spoke about the role of FtH. Martin gave some very good advice to the officials and PTA to help preserve the condition of the classrooms, and to the students to keep on persevering in their goals. The turn over of the Braille machine was made by Larry and Mila. The Tolentino family donated the wheel chair. Lottie, pepito, Percy, Tess, Fely and Manny turned over the Braille books. Pablito was the camera man.

After the speeches and turn over of gifts inside, the group went outside to cut the ceremonial ribbon and exhibited the stainless steel marker naming the donors, FtH, CFO, local officials of the school and the community. The school prepared a very sumptuous lunch and gifts of fresh fruit of caimitos and mangoes which every body enjoyed, to go, with these very successful celebration.

We said the usual good-byes and proceeded to two more FtH missions, a livelihood project in Paliparan, Dasmarinas, Cavite and a scholarship program in DeLaSalle University-Dasma Campus.