Monday, December 2, 2013

A Time to Be Together: Storytelling @ DSWD Fabella Center

Teachers Chinky and Tin; Darrel, LIS student Thel Suliva, and Mennie
Last November 23, 2013, I headed out to Manila with friends from the teaching and school librarianship profession. There were five of us: Teacher Tin and Teacher Chinky of CLP Create School in Merville, Paranaque, school librarians Darrel Marco and Mennie Ruth Viray, and myself. We volunteered to a storytelling session at the DSWD Fabella Center in Mandaluyong for the Visayas kids who were displaced due to typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Apart from the storytelling session, we had books, crayons and coloring books for the kids. These are little gifts we hope to offer as bit of a relief to these children who had to leave their homes.

 Riding on Diksyunario Atbp., a NGO headed by Lia Manalac Del Castillo, we had a humbling experience as volunteers. Yes, we had fun and enjoyed each others' company (It was Darrel's and Mennie's first time to meet Teachers Tin and Chnky!) but being with the Visayas kids was our simple way of helping out. The smiles and responses of the kids were enough to convince us that the long road to recovery is possible.

 When disaster and tragedy strikes, people can come together or it can break them apart. I see a lot of people coming and working together. PBBY, Kuting and Ang INK concluded a very successful garage sale. The ALA echoed the PLAI's call for help. Artists and civic groups are banding together to help out. NGOs met last week at Museo Pambata to identify pathways to recovery. This coming Family Day in our Marriage Encounter Community, members are encouraged to bring in more donations. What happened to me and my friends last November 23 was proof. Many donations, in cash and kind, have been given. But, I feel that being one towards rebuilding the lives of many Visayan family requires vission, self-discipline and political will.

I am but one in a sea of frustrated voices. I am but one among many Filipinos who won't give up for the Philippines.

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