"Kabataan Paaralan para sa Kinabukasan" is a joint project of SMILE for the Youth and Protectors of Philippine Sovereignty (PPS), (both facebook groups) for the benefit of Ismael Primary School (IPS) located in Birada Ekong, Lower Maligue, Isabela City, Basilan.
Nature of the project
It was initiated by SMILE (Selflessness Motivation Inspiration Love Enthusiasm). And with God's blessing it was supported by PPS through Karla Tricia, its founder. It was launched because of our love for God and of our fellowmen especially the kids of IPS which I couldn’t forgive myself if I would turn my back on them. Seeing them in low situation through photos posted by their Teacher-in-Charge Ms Liza Soler, there was no need to say “Please, help us…” .
This project was also created through strong friendship which blooms in Facebook. Teacher Liza Soler is one of my closest friends here in the world of social media networking though I never met her personally, while Karla Tricia is also my dear friend first known also through the same way.
The initial goal of the project is to collect books, learning materials and school supplies for the 45 students of Kinder to Grade II of IPS. Distance, differences, lack of fund, transportation service, didn’t became any hindrance to all of us to achieve our goal. God provided us all what we need, and even more than what we expected.
We are just a small groups which come together with one common goal, to help with what we can share ,our time, talent, treasure.
We have no means of making such advertisements, we have no connection from any big corporations or companies, we don’t have any funds to be used, but what made us push through is the TRUST of our friends and FAITH in God that we can achieve our goal through His divine providence.
We started the campaign August 30, 2012 and ended up September 27, 2012. We launched it through Facebook by a poster which had been shared to friends of friends’ wall.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”( Luke 11:9-10 )
One by one, little by little, help was coming in different forms. It flowed smoothly, though there were some hindrances. Help in different forms meaning from communications, to donors of books and school supplies, to transportation, to other needed factors to fulfill the mission came without expecting it would happen. And so we could say, Filipino values called BAYANIHAN is really portrayed on this project.
Friends from Facebook world is really amazing. They supported us in different ways and means, moral, spiritual, material. Friends helped in coordination, preparation and transportation too. And with great role of different units of our Armed Forces of the Philippines as well, from the Ready Reserve and to which I am proud to be one of sooner, Search and Rescue Unit (SARU) 15ID RR NCRRCDG ARESCOM Philippine Army became our dropped – off point. While MC2 Philippine Marine Corps picked-up all the books from two schools in Bacoor, Cavite namely St. Michael’s Institute and Maliksi Elementary School. OA-3/OA-7 and Base Operations Villamor Air Base Philippine Air Force approved our request for the cargo to be manifested and be brought to EAAB, Zamboanga via C-130 including us four passengers. 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division through information from Ms. Karina Espinosa, coordinated with us and approved our request for them to receive the cargo at the EEAB and be transferred to Basilan. CMO’s Task Force Zamboanga and Joint Task Force Basilan, 104th Infantry “SULTAN” Brigade, the 4SFBN (Riverine) SFRA, SOCOM, PA and PhilFleet Naval Forces West Mindanao had done their part.
BAYANIHAN is really manifested in this project.
Preparation and Transportation
From the picking-up of the books from two schools of Municipality of Bacoor, re-packing of donations, boxes bringing to VAB then transporting from VAB to Zamboanga via C-130, then Zamboanga to Isabela City Basilan, and down to the school itself, as I have said, flowed smoothly though we also did encounter some minor problems.
Like on the pick-up day of the donated books September 28, 2012, the one assigned wasn’t able to make it, so we need to find other ride, a help. Our friends from MC2 of PMC, quickly responded. After 20 minutes, the transportation arrived from BNS, filled the van with books and we even left 6 sacks of books in Maliksi Elementary School. MC2 dropped us at the Headquarters of SARU at two o’clock in the afternoon. There we sorted out more than 15 sacks of books and boxed those which are unused.
While sorting the books, my mind was thinking how we could bring these boxes to VAB, it won’t fit in a taxi cab, 4 balikabayan boxes and a regular size one. But God is really great, He sends help through other means. That moment Danny Damian, member of SARU, came driving a Hilux vehicle. And all what I have said was, “You are an angel Damian” and so our problem for the service was solved. By ten in the evening, me and Karla we went to Divisoria to buy notebooks and other school supplies needed. Unfortunately, stores were already closed. We walked here, there and everywhere looking for any stalls selling notebooks. Still we are lucky enough to have bought assorted notebooks, some pencil case, mini flashlight for emergency use and others. We went back to SARU at one in the morning of September 29, 2012. It was raining and we were rattling up to re-pack the school supplies, because according to our information, C-130 going to Zamboanga was on a first shuttle schedule so by 4 a.m. we should be already in the departure area 2 hours before the said flight.
We were ahead of time at the VAB. And I thanked the MP duty on that moment for he allowed the Hilux to drop us at the Base Operations, for it is indeed true that we couldn’t lift and carry those heavy balikbayan boxes if we would be dropped only at gate 1. As we got there, the OIC was kind to us, letting us inside the departure area, and we had a new info that Zamboanga flight was changed to 3rd shuttle. So it had an ETD of 1 p.m. We decided not to leave anymore and waited patiently, no food at all, just bottled water and I thank God there is a coffee dispenser worth P5.00 only. We asked one of our dear friend Emmanuel Posugac if he still would like to come with us, and he was very much willing though he was really included in the manifest. He just didn’t make it the night before because 28th of September is the birthday of a very special person to him. Having no hang-over, he came and brought us snacks. It would be great that we had a man with us, to help us in carrying the boxes during chek-in and boarding the plane.
We waited for more than 16 hours, unfortunately Zamboanga was cancelled due to mechanical problem. We were adviced to keep updated for any changes in flight schedule for the following days. But initially, we had an info that Zamboanga’s next shuttle is on the 1st day of October 2012. We requested the OIC at the Base Opn to allow us to leave in orderly our donation boxes for we really don’t have any service on standby that we could use to pick-up us. God is good for our request was approved.
September 30, we were on standby. Then October 1, 2012, we were advised again positively for a first flight and that the same manifest should be used. So, me and Karla Tricia met in Las Pinas at exacty 1 a.m then went straight to Gate 3 , and met up with Emmanuel and Bert Paradela, had a taxi going to VAB again. We arrived at the gate as early as 2:30 a.m. , some of the passengers of whom we met during the supposed departure were already there at the waiting area. We still waited for the announcement, and for the shuttle. There was another notice to us that, Zambo flight would be on the second, prioritizing a company of soldiers to be picked-up at Bacolod. By 4 a.m. we rode the shuttle going to Base Operations. So again, we waited until the second flight, and at last by 11:30 a.m. we departed VAB via C130.
We landed at EAAB in Zamboanga at around 110 p.m. Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) was already there waiting for our arrival with Cpl Darwin Sawadi sent as representative of Maj Abdullah. The latter has a medcap that day in an island. The endorsement of donations went in order with some photo ops but we weren’t able to come with TFZ at Malagutay because our itinerary was back and forth that day only. Since C-130 just stood by for about 30mins, we just had went to blue area and then boarded again back to VAB.
Coordination from Zamboanga to Basilan
Our donations stayed in Malagutay for two days. CMO officers of TFZ and JTF Basilan and us had a nice coordination. Though the weather is not quite good the following days, the boxes was transferred to Basilan by 4th day of October and received by Maj Julakmid Muhalli. He then endorsed it to 4SFBN under the command of Cpt Geoffrey Fabros.
D-day has come and the kids of Ismael Primary School were all excited according to their teachers, even their Supervisor . October 5, 2012 coincide with the celebration of Teacher’s Day and National Children’s Month, the donations was turned-over.