The Amihan Bayanihan Spirit

By Jen Aguinaldo

Bayanihan. It’s that nice breeze that regularly sweeps the Amihan sa Dahican community. That air they breathe every day- Infectious. Contagious. Inspiring.

Kuya Jun and kids picking up trash

The skim-skate-surf group, Amihan sa Dahican Team, is gaining attention not only because of their excellent “board and balance” skills but also because of the inspiring “bayanihan” and other positive values such as creativity, resourcefulness, hardwork, and integrity that the group exemplify. Despite coming from economically challenged families of fishermen, the kids are full of positive vibes and are hopeful that one day, the practical training and values they learn from the group will help them achieve all their dreams in life.

Amihan kids with a their bags of school supplies

With support from the Pens of Hope in Davao, Cromwell Bacareza, Exal Industries, Diksyonaryo Atbp., and other donors, The Amihan sa Dahican Team organized a ceremonial distribution of school supplies and hygiene kits to the Amihan kids and some of their siblings on May 18, 2012 at the Amihan sa Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental. Support from locals such as Vincent Paul Loguinsa, a surfer who teaches the kids English (and other subjects) every weekend, and Freddy Allan Uy, who promotes the team through his captures, also contributed to the success of the event making it a great showcase of the bayanihan spirit.

Amihan kids dancing Gentleman during the program
With guidance from the Amihan founder, George Plaza (also known as Kuya Jun) and their Amihan “kuyas”, the Amihan kids led the simple program that was enjoyed by around 50 children and some parents. The program opened with a lecture by Amihan kid, Peter, on the marine creatures such as dugong (sea cow), whalesharks (butanding), and turtles (pawikan) found in the pristine waters of Dahican. The Amihan girls led the story telling and some Amihan boys recited the poem “All things Bright and Beautiful” while their special guests, the select Dahican community kids, enjoyed the presentations. A clean up drive to teach the children how to clean and take care of their environment was also conducted and was immediately followed by a releasing of the baby green hawksbill sea turtles to the ocean!

The innovative wash facility

Prior to the event, a simple wash facility, a blackboard, and a makeshift mini “library” were constructed by the Amihan Team. These facilities were made to provide a supportive environment so that the kids will be more comfortable every time they attend Kuya Vincent’s weekend classes and /or when they practice daily hygiene activities of toothbrushing and handwashing.

While the positive spirit in the team is highly commendable, it is sad to say that some of the kids (and their kuyas) are behind their schooling because of a list of reasons such as economic.

Grateful and happy Amihan community after the program

Going to school definitely requires more than provision of school supplies but the Amihan kids are very grateful of the little blessings they received from the donors. They also promised to do good in school and make good use of the supplies given to them.

Sure, there are a lot more to do in the community but it’s the little steps and contributions from everyone to make things happen that matter.

First photo grabbed from Kuya Jun's Facebook account. 

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