Send a Child to School for only $100 a Year
Instead of going to school, children of very poor families need to earn a living so they may have food on the table. Parents oblige them to beg, sell sampaquita flowers, or scavenge at the dumpsites.Responding to their plight, Ina nin Bikol Foundation, in partnership with the Philosophy Department of the Ateneo de Naga University, embarks on a new program: the Send-A-Child-to-School Program. The first adopted community is Balatas dumpsite with close to 100 families.
Your $100 donation will guarantee that a child can attend school for one academic year. Funds will shoulder school uniforms, shoes, school supplies and monetary incentives for the family whose child goes to school regularly.
On special occassions, you will hear from the child you support. We will ensure that he or she sends you letters. When the school year ends, you will get a copy of their report and class cards.
Tercentenary Commemorative Stamps were granted by PhilPost Corporation. It will be issued on September 8, 2010 and unveiled on September 11, 2010, at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. For orders, call 495-5490 or visit the Tercentenary office in Naga City.
As IBFI publishes this Annual Report, we state our firm belief that a brighter future for Bikol is within reach. We believe we can build the future together. We can be a community where faith translates to love and service, where we can develop our full potential, and each person can significantly contribute to attain our collective dream. With a common vision and through genuine collaboration, we can break barriers and blaze the trail for families seeking a way towards a better life. We believe we can. This is the reason that moves us. And as 2005 unfolded, the events could only make us believe that there is hope for the future.
Every activity we had, every snag in the plan, every help we received, every promise unfulfilled – all the ups, even the downs, they make our resolve stronger. They make our belief even more unyielding. As a venue for cooperation and collaborative efforts, IBFI serves as an opportunity to reach out to those who need it most.
We believe there is hope because we have seen how families in a foreign land can help those in shanties in Bikol. We have worked with individuals who generously share their time and skills in our humble undertakings. We have shared the joy of parents who send their son to school with a much-needed help from our benefactors. We have learned how a simple toy in Christmastime can mean the world to a child. We believe there is hope because indeed, there is.
We believe in the loving intercession of our Ina. We believe that our special bond to our Blessed Mother brings us closer to God in ways more than we can ever know. The Marian Devotion is a thread that binds us under the guidance and protection of Ina. We believe that by promoting the devotion to more families, we heed the call of our Blessed Mother who longs for her children; we share the secret of our strong faith in God – a certain, unfailing way through Him – our Ina.
In May 2005, we joined the Filipino Community of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Simi Valley, CA as it held its annual Flores de Mayo celebrations – a tradition of thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fr. Tria celebrated the mass during which the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia was solemnly processed.
We also donated an image of Our Lady of Penafrancia to the St. Mary Chandler’s Parish in Arizona, US through TJ and Rose Cavagnaro.
As we conducted a regular catechesis in the community of scavengers at the garbage site in Balatas, Naga City, we promoted the Marian Devotion. We prayed the rosary and reflected on its message for us. For many of the mothers, the praying of the rosary gave them renewed strength in the face of their poverty. We are grateful to Cecile Umali who donated the hundreds of rosary beads that we gave to the families at the site.
We believe that a bright future lies in educating our youth. Sadly, many families cannot afford to send their children to school. This year, we made a big leap in providing access to education. We increased our number of scholars in college. We expanded our program to include elementary students.
From 19 scholars last year, we now have 26. Sixteen are in seminary formation – 8 are enrolled at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, 5 at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary, 3 at University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary. Three scholars are at the Ateneo de Naga University, and three at the Aeronautical Academy of the Philippines at Canaman, Camarines Sur.
In March 2005, four IBFI scholars, namely Abel Francis Olea, Norm Anthony Soriano, Mario Cedilla and Jason Ilano, graduated from the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary and earned a degree in Philosophy. Olea and Cedilla continued with their preparation for the priesthood. Olea is now at the UST Central Seminary while Cedilla is at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary. Both continue to receive scholarship grants from IBFI.
Dubbed as Send-A-Child-To-School Project, we also provided financial assistance for the schooling of four elementary students, namely: King Cerdino, Erwin Eballa, and two others at Naga Parochial School.
The Education and Scholarship Program is wholly supported by our benefactors here and abroad. They are – Elmer Aspe of Legazpi City, Linda Francisco of Makati City; Nenita Lee of Quezon City; Atty. Francis Papica, Arnel Renolyan and Family, both of Chino Hills, CA; Henry Reyes of Naga City; Ofelia Nuguid of New Jersey; Orlando Group care of Cecile Umali, of Orlando, Florida; Walter and Maria Mendez, Dr. Horacio Lopez, Tomas Fulgentes Jr, all of Simi Valley, CA and Emma Sabido of Los Angeles, CA.
In support of the Education and Scholarship Program, the Filipino American Association of West Connecticut shipped more than two hundred volumes of book which we distributed in January 2005. The books, which included a set of Encyclopedia Britanica, were generally on Philosophy and Theology. Some volumes were on literature, inspirations and general interest. We gave the books to different institutions, namely, the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, Holy Rosary Major Seminary, the Daughters of Mary, Caceres Catechetical Center and the Caceres Commission on Communications.
We believe in the human person as the center of God’s creation. However, enveloped by unjust structures, one cannot fully grow as a person. Through the social justice and development program, we seek to uphold human dignity by providing venues for social development and transformation. We believe that with the right social structure, every Bikolano can become an agent of his own advancement; given an opportunity, every family can be productive and fully participate in the community. We believe that by championing the human person, we can create a community that works for the common good.
We opened 2005 with a human rights lecture-forum entitled Bikol Development: A Human Right and Social Responsibility, made possible by the endowment from Bikol-USA Chicago. The approximately one hundred twenty participants came from local government units and government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, youth and media. Some participants came from other provinces, namely, Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte.
Regional Director Marlene Rodriguez of the National Economic Development Authority discussed the poverty situation and prospects for development in the region. Director Blenn Huelgas of the Basic Sector Unit, National Anti-Poverty Commission presented the government programs on poverty alleviation. Regional Director Eliseo Copian of the Department of Social Welfare and Development talked on the state of children and youth in Bikol. Atty. Gerardo Pio Martin Borja, Executive Director of Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN) explained the UN Declaration on the right to development. Mo. Joan Clare Chin Loy, Founder of the Missionaries of the Poor, shared her experiences as she helps Bikol’s poor.
In 2005, we made greater impact in the lives of poor families through our Adopt-A-Family project and our regular values-formation sessions among the community of scavengers in Balatas, Naga City.
Under the Adopt-A-Family, foreign benefactors send financial support to select families, particularly the Franzo and Berzuela Families. We ensure that the families have their means of livelihood, despite the meager income, and that the assistance we extend will not create dependence.
With the persistent crisis that beset our nation today, the call to solidarity becomes more resonant. In a politician’s race for power, in the country’s struggle for economic survival, the poor are the unwitting victims.
Solidarity becomes an imperative response to the cry of the poor. This can only be possible if there is empathy or pagmalasakit sa kapwa. Both terms etymologically mean “to suffer with the other”.
I welcome the efforts of the Ina nin Bikol Foundation to lend its hand to the poorest of the poor. The vision of the PCP II is to transform the Church through its preference for the poor. A heroic act, therefore, is something that is done in defense of the poor.
We can only transform our society if we develop a culture of solidarity where everyone, including the poor themselves, has genuine care for the poor. Such is the power of solidarity.
Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP, DD.
Archbishop of Caceres
Certain days and events stand out from the sweep of Philippine history: the moment our National Hero was shot at Bagumbayan; the day the cry of independence at Kawit Cavite was made; the week of EDSA Revolution and People Power.
For us Christians, however, these events are mere foothills of Picuaria before the high mountain of Isarog, the Passion Week, the greatest week in world history. Within the week, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry as his concrete decision to die for his people. Ninoy Aquino did the same. Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem and Ninoy’s return to the Philippines entailed death, death for the life of the people. Within that week, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, where he will continuously share himself, body and blood to all his followers. When he washed the feet of his apostles, he gave us the new commandment of love. In that commandment, he teaches leaders not to serve themselves through SOPs, but to serve the society. Then, he showed us the narrow road to eternal life, his passion and death. This is how great the Passion Week is for all of us.
Walk in spirit with Jesus today. You may join the crowd in cheering at him. Realize that the sin that yet is in your heart makes you howl at his blood at the end of the week. If you recall any sin, run immediately to confession. Jesus will preach at temples the following days. Go to your parish, check the schedule for recollections. Listen to him. On Holy Thursday, he will institute the Eucharist. Sit with him at table as he pours out his deepest love and choicest gifts. Join him in his agony. Fast and abstain; join Church activities like vigils and holy hours. Follow him dragged through the night to Caiaphas, paraded off to Herod. Gaze at his bloody scourging and grueling way of the cross. Ask who is willing to be Simon of Cyrene of our day?
The Passion week is a week of many spiritual treasures. We need refreshed eyes of faith to find all of them, lest we tread on them. This is the longest and richest of the weeks. Rejoicing does not begin on a Friday evening. In this week, nobody says “Thanks God, it’s Friday.” This Friday is the most solemn and quiet Friday of the year. No malls, no shops, no bars, no discos. It is the Friday of redemption, when our Lord died in order to save the world and redeem it from sin. Only after observing the solemn afternoon that extends its mourning until Saturday can we really say “Thanks God, it is Easter Sunday.”
This is the story of the Passion Week. It is a long week of sacrifice, but a prelude to eternal happiness. It is the story of our redemption.
An buhay nin tawo siring sa pagtulay sa alambre. Sa ibong, binubutong sya kan saiyang pangiturugan sa buhay. Sa balyo, kan saiyang mga limitasyon. Kan an Space Shuttle sa Amerika nagsabog tolong taon nang nakalipas, pakatapos na mag-ensayo an mga astronots nin labing sampolong taon, an gabos na pangiturugan nagpurak na garong abo sa kalangitan. Sabi kan sarong parasurat: life is a tension between dreams and human limitations.
Totoong an buhay nyato pano nin pangiturugan. Mas dakulang pangiturugan, mas dakula man an pagkatawo. Alagad, sa balyo kan mga pangiturugan na ini iyo an mga ekspiryensya nin kabiguan. An mga plano napupurnada, an mga pangarap nawawasak. Minsan, an karanasan matindi asin nakakadara nin krisis sa sarong tawo. Halimbawa kaini iyo an biglaan na pagkagadan kan saimong namomotan.
Tano ta nagtutulay sa alambre? Ini nin huli ta kadaklan kan satong mga pangiturugan mga naglalayog sa alapaap, katal sa daga. An mga ini siring sa naghahanap nin gapo na hahamilon tanganing sya magin Darna. O siring sa sarong kandidato sa Naga na nanunuga na kun sya magin Mayor, papaatopan nya an bilog na syudad. Kadaklan kan mga pangiturugan mga bunga nin pantasya.
Igwa man na mga pangiturugan na salungat sa kakayahan asin natura nin tawo. May mga sintunado na grabe an pangarap na magin mga parakanta. May mga gustong maging negosyante pero an lalawgon garo pirming inutangan. May mga lalaki na gustong magin babae. May mga pandak na gustong magin higante!
Igwa man nin mga pangiturugan na salungat sa misyon na itinao nin Dyos sa saiya. Mga estudyante na mas dakul pa an oras sa pagtambay kisa sa pag-adal sa eskwelahan. May mga pulis na imbes magprotehir kan namamanwaan, sinda pa an protektor kan mga drug lords asin jueteng lords. May mga artista na imbes magdrama sa pelikula, nagdradrama sa pulitika.
An ebanghelyo ngunyan dapit sa pagbagong anyo ni Jesus sa Bukid nin Tabor. Huli kan halipot na kamurawayan na nasaksihan ni Pedro, gusto nya nang magtugdok nin tolong harong-harong asin duman na sinda mag-erok. Idto an bukid nin pangiturugan. Alagad, pinukawan si Pedro ni Jesus asin sinabihan na dapat pa syang maglusad sa bukid an idto asin magtukad sa bukid nin pagtios, an bukid na inaapod Kalbaryo.
An Kalbaryo, an pagtios, an pagkabigo mga karanasan nin tawo tanganing mapatanos asin mapakarhay an saiyang pangiturugan. An mga ini nakakadara nin kapakumbabaan asin dakulang tabang tanganing ma-edit, mapakarhay asin mapagayaon an saiyang pangiturugan, pangiturugan na bakong makasadiri, bakong katal sa kinaban, bakong salungat sa saiyang kakayahan, asin bakong tumang sa pangiturugan nin Dyos para sa saiya.
Yaon na kita sa ika-apat na Domingo nin Kwaresma. Nadangog ta sa ebanghelyo ngunyan, an ulay-ulay ni Jesus asin ni Nikodemo.
Enot, sisay si Nikodemo? Sya sarong Pariseo asin myembro kan Sanhedrin. Sya nasambitan sa ebanghelyo na nakikiulay ki Jesus matanga nin banggi tanganing makanood. Sya saro sa nagprotesta tumang sa plano na ipagadan si Jesús. An huring dangog saiya iyo idtong pag-andam kan lana na ilalahid sa gadan na hawak ni Jesús asin pag-andam kan kan saiyang lulubngan.
Si Nikodemo madunong asin may inadalan. Ini an dahilan kun tano ta dawa alanganin na oras, boot ni Jesus na makipag-ulay sa saiya. Bakong gayong maogmang kaulay an mga disipulos. Maluya an pick-up ninda. Dikit sana sa sainda an nakakasurat asin nakakabasa.
Alagad, si Nikodemo masusupgon. Ginagalangan sya kan banwaan, alagad takot syang magladlad kan saiyang pagsunod ki Jesus. Sya nagduduwa-duwa. Takot maggibo nin dakulang desisyon. Mas mahalaga saiya kun ano an sasabihon kan kataraed kisa sa sasabihon ni Jesus. Marhay na materyal kutana. Huli kan saiyang kadunongan, tibaad sya kutana an naging enot na Santo Papa. Alagad, dai sya nagbutwa, dai nagpamidbid, dai nangenotan. An saiyang pakipag-ulay ginibo sa banggi. Habo nyang sya mahiling kan saiyang mga amigo sa aldaw. Dakul an mawawara sa saiya.
Sa dai mahahaloy na panahon, malaog na kita sa Semana Santa. Ipinapagirumdom kita kan pangapudan ni Jesús na maging disipulos nya. Ano man na oras, andam syang makipag-ulay sa sato, maging aldaw, maging banggi.
Bakong arog ki Nikodemo, dai dapat kita matakot na magsunod sa saiya. Dai dapat kita masupog na mag-arog saiya.
Sa pagsunod sa saiya, kaipuhan agihan ta man an pagtios, an buhay nin pagsakripisyo. Pasanon ta man an satong krus nin huli ta sa kasakitan maliligtas an satong mga kalag. Sa mga pagpenitensya maliligtas an kalag kan satong kapwa.