8:00 AM 31 May 2008 In Laoag City
I’ve been supporting the Gawad Kalinga Project here in Laoag City through my sister Rosie and husband/brother-in-law Roger since its start/implementation. They are the “prime movers” of Couples For Christ in the area. There are two Gawad Kalinga communities in the city–GK @ Barangay Talinga-an and GK @ Barangay Bacsil South. For the past years I’ve been supporting the GK @ Brgy Talinga-an where the Project Director is my brother-in-law and I’ve been a constant visitor to this place whenever I am in Laoag City.
Additionally, when I was assigned in Western Visayas, I also supported a Gawad Kalinga community in Jaro District of Iloilo City through Bishop Angelo Lagdameo by providing financial assistance. I also supported the “Feeding Program for The Poor Children” of Iloilo City through the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Jaro District. I also supported a school for the deaf and blind children in Kalibo, Aklan through Bishop Lazo and I’ve been receiving hand-written letters and pictures from these kids.
Upon my arrival in Laoag City early this week, I told my sister of my plan to donate the Finisher’s T-shirts that I’ve collected for the past months as a result of participating in road races in Metro Manila. I told her that most of the T-shirts are big enough for me and if I finally decide to use them for my sleeping attire or “house clothes”, they will finally be stored in my closet after being used for the first time and not knowing when to use them again. She knows that I have enough clothes to use and I sometimes give my slightly used clothes to my nephews. I told her that it will be better for the “less-fortunate” families in the GK communities in Laoag City to have my Finisher’s T-shirts and other athletic uniforms/attires that I used when I was still in the active military service. My sister and brother-in-law liked and appreciated my idea/plan.
Since I’ve been a constant visitor and supporter of the GK @ Brgy Talinga-an, I requested my brother-in-law to have my project be dedicated for the benefit of the residents and families of GK @ Brgy Bacsil South which I haven’t seen and visited. With a brief coordination with the Project Director of the GK community in Barangay Bacsil South, we were able to visit, talk and donate the finisher’s T-shirts to the residents.
Barangay Bacsil South is one of the “depressed” barangays in the city which is located at the boundaries with the municipalities of Sarrat and Vintar, adjacent towns northeast & directly east of Laoag City. It is located near the foot of the mountains that separate Sarrat, Vintar and Laoag City. In the early 80s, it was a “transit point” of the insurgents/NPA from Vintar and Sarrat and this was where one of my best police intelligence operatives was killed in a raid perpetrated by the NPA when I was assigned with the National Intelligence & Security Authority. The GK in this barangay was one of the original six (6) pilot GK Projects that the Couples For Christ established in the entire country. This GK community represented their project for the entire Northern Luzon. Most of the residents here were the beggars, blind, deaf and their families/relatives that we saw on the streets and corners of Poblacion Laoag City during the 90s. I am glad that they have their own houses and are now involved in the cultivation of vegetables, making of our popular sugar wine, “basi”, vinegar making, and small-scale poultry raising.
Here are some of the pictures taken during during the said activity.
This is the entry gate of the Gawad Kalinga Timpuyog located at Barangay Bacsil South which consists of 26 families.
This is the “On Your Mark” Run Finisher’s T-shirt which I donated to this guy. Maybe his wife, standing beside him, will be the one who will use it.
This was the Large size 4th Global City/Anta Run Finisher’s T-shirt that I received which I donated to this resident of the GK Bacsil South.
The recipient of my Army Running Uniform is a deaf person residing in the said GK community. He looks happy receiving said items (singlet & shorts).
Another resident received my Phil Army cotton athletic uniform (T-shirt & shorts) which I used when I was assigned as the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.
This is the Mizuno Infinity 15K Run Finisher’s T-shirt which is too big for me. I hope the recipient and other members of his family will be able to use it. Well, it will be a nice advertisement item for Mizuno in this part of the country whom most of the people are not aware what Mizuno is.
I promised to these residents that I will be coming back for more T-shirts to be distributed once I will be able to fix/inventory my things which I transfered from Fort Bonifacio to Laoag City. The Project Coordinator of GK Bacsil South, Mr Robert De Los Santos, was very happy about my pronouncements. Moreso, with the people of Gawad Kalinga Bacsil South.
Hey, how about you? If you have Finisher’s T-shirts which are just there in your closets/lockers and forgotten that you had received one, why don’t you also donate them to the residents of Gawad Kalinga villages/communities in your respective cities or provinces?
Always remember, share your blessings! Happy running!
9 thoughts on ““Donate Your Finisher’s T-Shirts””
hmm. not a bad idea at all, especially for me who has seriously amassed a collection of kubrekamas from past races. :p
I went to Bacsil, northside, and Piddig a few years ago to do a basi story. Tiny upland flats sheltered by hills of bamboo. I heard the Apayaos imported wine-making further east, it would be good to backpack up there someday, tracing the headwaters of the Padsan via the Calanasan road.
marga, you can donate them, too! i only realized that i have more T-shirts to share when I started packing up my things from my quarters in Fort Bonifacio & brought them to Laoag City. most of them are still in their plastic packs.
cecil, barangay bacsil is famous for their “basi” and i took pictures of the local jars lined up full of said sugar wine. former president marcos told me when i was a lieutenant to trace the old guerrilla route from cagayan down to ilocos sur and position an ambush force in ilocos norte. he was right! after an encounter with the NPA in surong valley, vintar few months after, the NPAs seldom used such route since then. that would be a nice place to backpack these days. thanks, cecil
Wow! Thank you Sir Jovie. I am also an advocate of GK. Actually, we were the pioneers of the GK youth movement way back in 2005, as I was the one who helped make it grow in UP. Now, it has become GK1MB (GK Isang Milyong Bayani).
Funny thing, I was just talking to the Project Manager of the SIGA program (Serving In God’s Army / “SIGA” meaning spark), the youth program of GK. I told them that I’d invite them to join me when I run during the races in UP 🙂
We’ll be seeing more GK runners soon!
eric, i am glad to know that you are also an advocate of GK. more runners means more fun and healthier citizens. good luck!
All my finishers shirts have gone to only two people: my husband or our household help. They’re the ones I’d like to help first since they take care of us so well, especially my children. Even my hardly used New Balance shoes was supposed to go to our yaya until I found out a relative could use it.
Congrats to you BR for finding yet another way to help those in need…and encouraging all of us readers to do so as well 🙂
ms jaymie, giving your finisher’s t-shirts to your husband & staff is commendable, too! actually, i’ve given a lot of t-shirts already to my lady cook and nephews & nieces. well, i am going back again to these GK Villages in Laoag City to give them more of my t-shirts and “used” clothes. thanks & hope to see you soon!
congrats on your new project! btw, last night i got a call from atty. aga, the father of drew arellano (TV host in GMA7) and he told me that he is organizing a fund raising run/marathon in time for drew’s birthday early next year… several foundations will be the beneficiaries of the event but he suggested/proposed to his son to consider your “donate a shoe project” as one of the beneficiaries after i mentioned to him the plight of Filipino runners particularly the presence of barefoot runners (young and old) in weekend races… he wants me to provide him with write-ups of this project… can you help me on this?
annalene, sure! i will start making a write-up about the said project and i could send it to your e-mail address if you have any. please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. thanks!