In July 2015, the Bayanihan Foundation enabled a new generation of Filipino Americans to “return” to the Philippines for the first time. On August 29, 2015, Bayanihan Foundation board member Dr. Maria Ferrera of DePaul University welcomed everyone to the Report Back event where participants from Kaluluwa Kolectivo and NEXTGEN shared their stories and experiences during their journey. The seven participants were: 1) E Armea; 2) Jane Baron; 3) Marc Butiong; 4) Stephanie Camba; 5) Crystle Dino; 6) Irene Juaniza; and 7) Jeselle Santiago. Salamat po! (thank you). I also shared a heartfelt thanks to all the Foundation’s supporters and friends that made this project possible.
The participants also put together five different interactive display tables to highlight special moments of their trip, including:
- ‘Tabi tabi po” (please stand aside) table, organized by Irene Juaniza
- Slide show of photo highlights, organized by E Armea
- Water and rain samples exhibit, also organized by E Armea
- Information display of various organizations they’ve met during the trip, organized by Jane Baron
- Art and journal tables, organized by Crystle Dino and Jeselle Santiago
- Display of malongs, traditional hand-woven “tube skirt” made of multi-colored cotton cloth
NEXTGEN Fellow Marc Butiong moderated the event and my Mom, Shirley Pintado, prepared all the refreshments and food that was served. Board member James Castillo also shared his reflections during the trip. Board member Ted Kirpach encouraged the audience to donate and continue to support the Bayanihan Foundation through its Indiegogo crowd fundraising campaign “Change A World, Change The World“: http://igg.me/at/bayanihan The participants shared their heartfelt reflection of the trip and how their visit of “returning” for the first time affected them.
Maraming salamat po! Thank you to the many people who made this project possible, including:
Foundation board members: James Castillo, Maria Ferrera, Ted Kirpach and Vincent Saavedra
In Cebu: Emz Aliviano, Norms Alonso, James Castillo; community leaders of the Carbon Market, Cebu City; Visayas Mindanao People’s Resource Development Center (VMPRDC); youth & community leaders of Liloan, Cebu
In Iligan: Dr. & Mrs. Vicente Saavedra; Imam Atty. Saidali Gandamra, Nor Shida and Mrs. Marsanca; Rotary clubs of Iligan East and South; Zakat Foundation of America; the 100s who helped package food
In Manila: Adamson University; Bahay ni Isis (Isis International Women’s House); Kaya Ko Collaborative
In Samar: Evelyn Castillo; Dr. Antoinette Cui & The Rotary Club of Borongan; Barangay captains and leaders of Giporlos; the municipal government of Giporlos & Vice Mayor Fritzie Odron; “the Angels” nieces and nephews of Evelyn Castillo
In Balayan, Batangas: Geraldine Baral & extended family of Irene Juaniza
In Chicago: my partner Will Dix who wrote and edited an accompanying photo book; my mother, Shirley Pintado, who cooked tirelessly and fed the participants during their workshops, meetings and the Report Back event
Finally, maraming salamat po – thank you – to all the Bayanihan Foundation donors and supporters around the world.