“IT IS now ninety-five percent finished.”

This was the joyous report of Barp (Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Inc.) President and chief executive officer Federico Balanag to Snapshot Focus last November 7, referring to the Barp Center for Retirees and Elderly.

To support his assessment, he later mentioned the estimate previously made by LandBank then beckoned me to accompany him from the street-level floor in the level of Upper Bokawkan/Buhagan Road down to the five basement floors.

True indeed, the amphitheater occupying the third to the second basement floors was already painted although the tiling was yet to be done as was the case with the stairs from the fourth to the last floor down.

Resident Engineer Ivan Ortiz explained that if you join that to the work to be incurred in the installation of the elevator for the seven-storey building, the 95 percent estimate might go realistically down to 90 percent only.

The cost of fully finishing the center from construction of the building to the setting of office facilities in modern setting is the reason for the appeal of President Balanag to all Barp members and the public, especially senior citizens, to support the members’ monthly investment of P100 per month for the project. Some even thought that the interest accruing from such investment could even be used to help needy beneficiaries if so wish by the investor.

“The Center belongs to all members and service clienteles of our foundation,” President Balanag emphasized during the coordinators assembly meeting last December 8, helped at the amphitheater.

By the way, for members of the public, especially the Baguio City community, who no more see the monthly Barp assembly meeting formerly being held at the Burnham Park Athletic Bowl, the same monthly affair where free medical care or attention is even made available, the venue is now the Barp compound at Upper Buhagan Road, still popularly known as Bokawkan Road, at Cresencia Village, near that road’s intersection with Naguilian Road.

Barp hopes to also finish its projected parking lot for the elderly and persons with disability in the same area.

At this juncture, it is good to recall that Barp belongs to all of us as a non-profit, non-stock corporation, non-sectarian and non-partisan, accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as with other government and non-government units. It is a senior member organization with the world association of non-governmental organizations (NGO).

It has been an active member of the Baguio NGO multi-sectoral council, affiliated with the Philippine Association of Persons and the Coalition of Service for the Elderly and assiduously maintains linkage with the American Association of Retired Persons.

The continuing programs and projects of Barp, plus its ever ready involvement, if not leadership, in community affairs and activities, make it an organization worth supporting as a legacy to be handed over to on-coming generations.

The Barp song of life resounds with powerful lines like “For Barp, there are no boundaries, for Barp, no colors dominate, All mankind forms one sound family where each member is held great… Man is free and full of dignity, Him we’ll serve before we go… Serve our brothers still as we had served without care for fame or gold. And that’s our life, our dream, our joy we sons and daughters true of Barp, that’s the tune our hearty trumpets blare till we hear God’s lyre and harp.”

What guiding thoughts! So back to our moving advocacy following the leader-founder, in the manner that he influenced the lyricist and melody composer, hands together, let’s finish the building furnished with adequate modern facilities for service!

Cellphone No. 09293259855