In February 2015, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony of 40 new homes to be built in Dingle, Iloilo. I also helped inaugurate the new hospital lobby waiting areas at JP Rizal Memorial Hospital in Calamba, Laguna. It was fun to join all the fanfare and celebration of these inaugural events. But it also made me pause and think. Beyond the hoopla and the fanfare of these celebratory events, I reflected on these larger questions: What is Bayanihan? What is the real impact of this work beyond the ribbon cutting ceremonies? Who will benefit from this work? Why am I doing this philanthropic work in the first place?
A Good Home Gives Children Hope. The answer came to me when Evelyn Castillo and I interviewed nine girls and boys from Dingle, Iloilo. The nine children and their families are the recipients of homes being built in Dingle, Iloilo, Their families were chosen after a rigorous application procedure and a lottery system instituted by the municipality of Dingle. The homes are being built through the generous donation of the PFK Family Foundation. I interviewed nine young girls and boys from Dingle and I heard their hopes and dreams. Some of them want to become teachers. Some wanted to become a doctor or a nurse. One girl wanted to become a police officer; a boy wanted to become a pilot. That was the answer. The Bayanihan Foundation is helping these young girls and boys fulfill their dreams by giving their families a secure home and a roof over their heads. The Foundation’s support and supervision in building of these homes will help make the dreams of these young girls and boys a reality. Ten to twenty years from now, when these young children become adults I am hoping they have fulfilled their dreams of becoming doctors, nurses, police officers and productive citizens of Dingle. I also have fulfilled my dream of making a difference in people’s lives for a good home gives children hope.
What is the real impact of this work beyond the ribbon cutting ceremonies? Who will benefit from this work? Why am I doing this philanthropic work in the first place?
A Good Home Makes A Difference. The answer came to me when I visited the home of Mr. Jonery and Mrs. Christine Panero with their six-year-old son, Christian. The Panero family is one of the recipients of the homes being built in Dingle. They were gracious enough to open their home to me. What I saw was a modest home. There were lots of fresh vegetables and even a papaya fruit tree planted in the front yard. I went inside their home and I saw a smallish sized living room with a tiny dining area and a basic kitchen. I also saw a small backyard where they hang their laundry and an outdoor ‘dirty kitchen’. I went back inside their home and they showed me their two bedrooms and one bathroom with a shower. It is definitely a very modest home, compared to American suburban home standards. Despite being small, such a home is such a tremendous blessing, especially to Filipino homeless families. They are provided a secure roof over their heads; sewage pipes; clean running water; electricity; access to public schools; a paved road that leads to the highway and the main town. But most of all, the Bayanihan Foundation plans to partner with Dingle Mayor Rufino Palabrica and the municipality in the building and creation of a cacao (raw chocolate) processing plant that will potentially become a source of local income for the residents. So beyond the hoopla of the ribbon cutting, the real impact of the Bayanihan Foundation is the assistance it can give to the Panero family and 40 other families to have a decent home. Giving them a home creates a stable home and life environment for their children, so that the parents could support their children to fulfill their hopes and dreams. A good home makes a difference. I am fortunate to partner with the PFK Family Foundation and the municipality of Dingle to help fulfill people’s hopes and dreams and make a difference in their lives. A good home creates communities and good homes can become realities.