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Location: Manila, Philippines

The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Return: The Dinggalan Experience

(Posted by Alvin Ricafort The Dinggalan build was continued from last May 1, Labor Day.)

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Fresh Breed of Heroes

The city hasn’t waked up yet. Its 3am of June 4, 2004 when another batch of SFC from West B Sector gathered again in BK Welcome Rotonda to kindle the love and heroism within them. Amidst their own financial constraints, difficulties and some oppression, they were able to assembled 51 new breed of heroes, including 3 skilled workers, to return back to Dingalan, Aurora.


Financially-able individuals sponsored those who are physically able to participate in this 2nd leg of SFC Summer Build. Some are part of those who came last May 1-2, 2005 while others are freshly new members of SFC who have just finished their CLP and it didn’t stop them to adopt and be contagiously infected by the hype of GK777, of volunteering to build houses for the poor, especially for those who have been devastated by the natural calamities late last year.

We arrived in Barangay Caragsakan 7:30AM and the sun rising from the East gave us the glimpse of what had changed after we left this site last May. Several houses were already turned-over to some beneficiaries. Some houses were already painted with GK colors, with a few landscaping and garden being done in front of their respective units. Yet, many more houses are to be build since there are still more families in the evacuation center waiting to be relocated in a place where they could start to rebuild their hopes and dreams.

Daniel, Patrick and Jacquiline

Upon setting my foot the second time in Barangay Caragsakan, I could sense a homecoming, because many meters away from the multi-colored houses, I clearly heard Daniel shouting my name “Kuya Binoy”. As I learned, from Daniel’s mother, every time visitors and volunteers would come, Daniel will try to find me from them, but in vain. And when we arrived, it was Daniel who first saw me and joyfully announces it to his mother and playmates. I’ve seen Jacquiline smiling from ear to ear, happy enough that we’re there again. And I learned that Patrick is sick for the past days and he’s in the town proper undergoing a medical check-up.

The bonding that we have during our first visit here created a special part in their life and in their heart. Although toothless, their smiles together with the other tots surely took away the tiredness and many apprehensions that we have. They are unmindful of heat of the sun as long as they gleefully joined us in our activities in the site; during our worship as they clap with us, our bayanihan chain as they too haul hallow blocks and empty pails of cements and water.

Rain, Mud and Mosquitoes!

The rain brought about by the tropical depression “Dante” and the monsoon together with the change of season slightly hampered the construction of the houses. The residents said that heavy rains came every late afternoon till evening.

It was sunny the whole day of Saturday, and we were able to draw off the water trapped in the unfinished 6 feet deep - septic tank. We finished the walls of it, and just to be ready for the afternoon downpour, we dig a canal around it as dike to spare the septic tank from the rush of water going down from the mountain. Walls of the houses that we started last May are still unfinished and we continued to put some more blocks on it.

As the day started to rest, dark clouds above the Sierra Madre began to darken the site with thunders and lightning’s pronouncing heavy rains. Just in time of our dinner, a heavy downpour makes the night so sullen and yet so fulfilling for we were able to accomplish some task that is so valuable for the beneficiaries. Cramped inside unfinished units and tents pitched in muddy ground, the 51 tired bodies find solace outside their comfort zone, shooing away again the not-so-friendly-mosquitoes, tucked-in inside their sleeping bags or blankets.

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2nd Day of Battle

Early breeze of Sunday morning welcome us for worship. In the second day of our leg, we started to poured cement on the columns prepared by the skilled workers that we brought. We’ve seen development on the walls that we’ve erected. We’ve cleared some grounds from stump of trees and boulders of rock.

While others are still mixing cements, hauling hollow blocks, sand and gravels, some took charge of bathing the kids, cleaning their ears, setting hair of girls in style, distributing toys among them, teaching them prayers and action songs. It was like a SIBOL/SAGIP on a rise.

After a heavy lunch of fresh “bulaklak ng kalabasa” and bitter gourd, school supplies, some donations like canned good and used-clothing were distributed to the beneficiaries.

Adieu

Packing up our things is the hardiest part and probably the heavy part. For this would mean leaving them again with some unfinished business. We never seen a house that we’ve erected fully turned-over to anyone from the disaster area of Barangay Paltic. We never seen the walls that we’ve erected become a house. We never finished any house at all.

The sense of being a “nation-builder” doesn’t mean that we’ll be there from the ground excavation till its roof installation. It doesn’t suffice to say that we should be around to haul every hollow block that is needed to build a GK community. Because the action of building any GK Site doesn’t start and stop in the GK site itself. It lives in the heart of everyone who become part of these nation building.

The passion of helping the people of Dingalan Aurora should transcend and inspires more others to be part of this noble battle. In the middle of anyone’s personal struggles, while be bear the heat of the sun, developed tan line and sunburn, earn dried mud in our toe nails, there are still more less-fortunate brethren that need more of our help.Justify Full

It’s another unfinished mission. As Daniel wave goodbye, I could hardly wait to come back again and hear him shout “Dito na si Kuya Binoy ko!”

June 5, 9:00PM, At home. I’m already in my bed, comforted with my pillows and blanket. And I think again of Daniel, Patrick and Jacquiline and many more individuals of Barangay Paltic waiting for their home, waiting for their hopes and dreams to truly rise again.

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FINISHED

2 Comments:

Blogger ting-aling said...

What a fulfillment Ardythe!

June 13, 2005 2:26 PM  
Blogger Ardythe said...

Uhmmm... I was not able to go there because I have a foreign language class. Anyway, what Alvin referred to as financilly-able, I'm one of them Ü

June 14, 2005 9:17 AM  

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