Why childhood friends think giving is more than a blessing

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014


ARINGAY, La Union -- For the sake of humanity, giving something for the community in need is more than what they wanted to offer but humbly through their own personal expenses.

Dr. Lizalyn Barros Revilla, an anesthesiologist at the Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart, is always with a smile and her loud voice. Trying to stay grounded, where the needy people are is what made her took up medicine after all.

Together with elementary and high school classmates and friends, a bumpy ride to the edges where the boundary between the Benguet Province’s Sablan and Aringay, La Union, and trekking over two hanging bridges before reaching Gallano Elementary School is already a fulfilling experience in itself, seeing their effort and money go to the needy primary students receive their gifts of school supplies makes the effort worthwhile.

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The other members, lawyer Antoinette Espiritu, Jovy Ybanez, Iris Saquilayan, engineer Jennifer Luna and Analiza Pacubas, braved the heat to deliver what they had been doing for three years now.

“But there are also others who pledged support in cash, but had their own reasons why they could not make it here,” said Revilla.

The idea of sharing came up during one of their dinner sessions while accounting their blessings in life while reminiscing their past. “It’s just a matter of thanking the one up there for everything we have in this world,” Ybañez explained.

“There are personal problems but they are not part of our agenda, it is the helping part that is more revealing how human we are and shows us that not everything is permanent in this world,” Luna added.

On why Gallano Elementary School is the recipient of their humanitarian project, Ybañez said it was through the story of a former colleague who studied in the same school that got her to convince the group in choosing the government school.

“I just imagined how hard my colleague would go to the school, walking kilometers on barefoot, using recycled papers for jotting down notes in this remote village while I went to a private school with all the amenities I did have,” recalled Ybañez.

“It is just such a rewarding experience when other people say thank you to whatever help you could give them,” said Revilla while hoping someday they could afford computer sets for the school, and slippers for those students who could not afford to have.

At least 106 students from kindergarten to grade six pupils received their school supplies in this year’s project.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 28, 2014.

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