On the first day of December 2023, The Rise Asia Japan, Kariya Lions Club of Japan, and The Earth were invited by the city councilors during their session. There, they discussed their goals and ongoing projects in Davao City.
Toshi Ueda of The Rise Asia Japan gave the presentation on behalf of his company. He announced that the Happy Shoes and the turnover of the newly completed school mini gym would be on December 2, 2023, at Datu Lompipi Elementary School in Lower Kibalang, Barangay Marilog, Marilog District, Davao City.
It was a gloomy day in the school on December 2, 2023, where learners wore their dazzled and distinct tribal attires to welcome the Japanese, local visitors, and donors who made the Happy Shoes’ initiative possible. The school prepared the grandest and most colorful designs in their newly completed mini gym, in which they depicted Filipino hospitality, for this annual program.
The program was facilitated by Teacher Erland Lawas. It was officially started with an opening prayer led by Shekinah Faith Bentayao, a fourth-grade learner, using the Manobo dialect. Then the learners sang the Philippine National Anthem with pride and honor.
To recognize the visitors, Sandee Domingo, the school head, delivered his welcome message. He extended his gratitude to Mr Ueda; Kariya Lions Club of Japan; Yasunori Matsuhita and Yasunaga Okuno; Takuji Sawada of The Earth; Abet Bernan; and Dana Ongkinco of Maharlika Lions Club-Davao City, Representative of the Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, Barangay Captain Jeanette Suam (represented by the SK councilors), Davao Medical School Foundation Inc., the Institute of Primary Health Care (DMSFI-IPHC), teachers, parents, and learners.
He expressed his sincere thankfulness to the donors of Happy Shoes 2023 — The Rise Asia Japan, Kariya Lions Club of Japan, and The Earth — for bringing genuine happiness to 220 elementary learners at the school and donating extra funds for the newly completed mini-gym.
He emphasized that the event was made possible through the generous stakeholders, while promoting their advocacy of loving Mother Earth and the importance of the community and parents through Filipino values like, “Bayanihan.”
Indeed, the spirit of Christmas was present as the learners again received a pair of shoes as a gift from Toshi and company.
The cultural dance of the parents from LoKWA (Lower Kibalang Women’s Association) was presented by eight women in their colorful tribal attire.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also done for the newly completed school mini-gym with Toshi and company together with Mr. Domingo; sitio leader Dalon, of Datu Lompipi; chairperson of the LoKWA, Dalon; and Yokhito Birondo of DMSFI-IPHC.
Mr, Toshi also extended his appreciation to all the stakeholders, especially the DMSFI-IPHC, Kariya Lions Club, and Maharlika Lions Club Davao City, for the success of “Happy Shoes” and the completion of the mini-gym.
The Kariya Lions Club of Japan, represented by Mr. Okuno, also gave their message as they promised to continually help Datu Lompipi Elementary School by providing donations and funding for more projects.
They appreciated the spirit of “Bayanihan” as the primary initiative of the school upon the accomplishment of the mini gym; the community members’ participation made the project a reality.
The office of the Barangay Marilog Council, represented by SK Council Esto, extended their gratitude to the stakeholders who made the “Happy Shoes” project a success. She especially thanked The Rise Asia Japan, Kariya Lions Club of Japan, The Earth, Maharlika Lions Club Davao City, and DMSFI-IPHC for their continuous support to the school and for providing a conducive mini-gym for learners both in high school and elementary.
On top of this, Ms. Dalon expressed her gratitude to the visitors who made the school a recipient of the “Happy Shoes,” amid several schools in Barangay Marilog.
Then, the selected sixth-grade students, who were all girls, presented their performances that depicted water and earth.
A cultural dance and ritual presentation was given by 10 high school students of Datu Lompipi National High School, as they performed the story of water. The two performances which featured creative ethnic dances and clothing, highlighted the immense significance that water plays in survival.
To lighten up the mood of the visitors, parents, and stakeholders, the selected elementary students delivered a monkey dance performance. The learners wore their beautiful tribal attire, which made their movements gleam and awe the visitors. The parents also performed the “Matigsalug” ethnic dance, which symbolized appreciation for the harvest.
The most anticipated part of the program was the distribution of the shoes to the 220 elementary learners. All of them were painted with happiness upon receiving the shoes. The distribution was assisted by international donors, locals, and other stakeholders, including the school itself.
Indeed, genuine happiness is the essence of Christmas. To commend the primary donors and stakeholders for the annual program in partnership with the community, the school recognized them for their invaluable efforts by giving them a certificate of appreciation handed by Mr. Domingo.
The head of the school called each of the representatives of The Rise Asia Japan, Kariya Lions Club of Japan,The Earth, Maharlika Lions Club Davao City, and DMSFI-IPHC, as everyone applauded.
The former sitio leader, Datu Ongcao Lompipi, also delivered his message to the visitors, parents, and learners. He commended the Japanese visitors and the local partnership of the DMSFI-IPHC for the initiative, and he heartfully welcomed the visitors to their sitio. DMSFI-IPHC representative Mr. Yokhito Birondo, a project manager, also expressed his appreciation to the Japanese and local stakeholders that made the projects successful. He reminded the community members that only Lower Kibalang was chosen to be the recipient of the project because they believed that there were a lot of indigenous peoples who were most in need.
The motivation for coming to Datu Lompipi Elem School is to help the children to have a venue that is conducive to learning.
The awarding of winners of the poster-making contest for two categories – Category A (grades 1-3) and Category B (grades 4-6) — was integrated into the program. The theme of the poster-making was “Save Mother Earth.”
The winner for Category A was from grade 2 and for Category B was from grade 6. For the last part, the school head, Mr. Domingo, ended the program with an acknowledgment to the stakeholders, Mr. Ueda, and company.
He said projects such as Happy Shoes and Mini-Gym are free.
The program was ended with the holy blessings and prayers by Carol Cabahug, a Kinder adviser. PR