Sometimes you have to go farther
to discover where the greater need is.
The residents of Purok 3, Barangay Panalum, Paquibato District are called Matigsalug indigenous people. To get to the area, you have to take a 45-60-minute ride from Panabo City by jeepney or habal-habal, a kind of transportation designed for rough, steep and narrow roads in the Philippines. From the community proper, you walk through a banana farm for about five minutes. Their nipa huts are located uphill, giving you a panoramic look of the nearby banana plantation.
Purok 3 has about 30 families. Their main source of income is farming. They grow lakatan and tundan bananas and sell binangkong, dried cavendish bananas used in the production of feeds. They also plant vegetables for their own consumption.
The number of children in the area reaches 60. The elementary students study at the public school near the community gym while the high school students have to go to Paquibato proper, about 40 minutes from their home on foot. Ate Rosita, a barangay kagawad, said that most of the students started going to school since first week of June without any notebooks and writing materials.
Considering the distance of the area from downtown, the original plan was to hand over the school supplies to Kuya Nestor, the barangay kagawad who contacted the Social Involvement Coordinating Office. But fate had its own way of allowing two volunteers to distribute the materials themselves on June 19 in the afternoon.
The residents, both parents and kids gathered in their common hut. Unfortunately, the children weren't informed ahead of time about it so some of them helped their fathers in the farm. After a brief orientation about what the project was all about, each kid was given a green plastic bag of school supplies. It wasn't enough for their requirements at school but there was
so much gladness
in their eyes
for it is not everyday
that kindness pays them a visit.
They want to extend their gratitude to all the supporters of this project.
MARAMING SALAMAT PO.
More pics here.