Friday, June 28, 2013

News from Bayan-Bayanan Elementary School

Hello Pinoy Jeep Followers,

For those who have been with us since the very first post or who have just joined us now on our journey (don't worry! We've just begun if that's you!), I cannot thank you enough! Whether you've been a part of us through donating, attending our performances, or just reading this blog, I feel fortunate that there are people out there who are watching and supporting us. I cannot tell you how much this means  not just to me but to the whole IP Rondalla community. You will always be our #1 fans!

On a less positive note, I'd like to share with you an e-mail my aunt, Tita Naty, sent to my family about the Bayan-Bayanan Elementary School in Bataan. As you know, our rondalla group is suppose to participate in a day immersion with the kids of the school (some Aeta and some local) and their parents, however, with the school's current situation, we may not be able to see all that we have planned become a reality--especially the tree planting portion of the program. With the permission of my mother and my aunt, I've posted the e-mail for you to read: 

Ate Sonia,
After my visit this morning in Bataan, there were new developments. The 7 classes (all levels) of Bayan-Bayanan Elementary School were relocated to the plaza because of the unstable condition of the soil which could trigger soil erosion if rain comes. In fact, eroded soil already reached the window of one classroom at the back so the DepEd District Supervisor decided to relocate the school kids as preventive measure for any loss of lives or property this rainy season. So the 7 classes were distributed to the available spaces within the plaza area - one class occupies the open stage, another inside the chapel, still another inside the barangay hall, one room of Comm. Evelyn's Half-Way Home was also occupied, etc. So the children's condition is really depressing and pitiful. DepEd Bataan has allocated a two-storey building beside the barangay hall.
Fortunately, the relocated site now at the plaza is nearer and better venue from the immersion activities because cemented yung ground in front of the stage. About the tree planting, I talked to the barangay captain, the principal and one parent leader that we need to rethink about providing the 500 seedlings for the tree planting because the intention then was to have these trees planted at the back of the school building for the kids to nurture and take care of. But with the new development of soil erosion, I told them that if the children will no longer go back to that school building because of the unstableness of the soil and DepEd's plan is to have a new two-storey building, then we have to rethink about planting 500 seedlings because baka masayang lang if in the future there will be other development plans in that site. Alternatively and as a symbolic tree planting activity, we could have a few trees planted around the plaza area, lesser expense pa.
Also, I met the new principal, Ms. Juvy Nacu. She suggested to include the new District Supervisor in the program kaya may slight change, 2 na mag Welcome Remarks to include Mr. Ronie Mendoza. I will email the revised program umalis na yung staff hindi naiwan yung USB.

Although I know none of these students personally, I feel extreme pity and sympathy for them, their parents, their teachers, and the town for having to face this indelible problem. Imagine. Some of the children have to walk 14 kilometers just to travel to school and cannot return until the weekends to see their families. These kids rely on the school, but now, in it's current situation, they barely have the resources for a decent education. It's honestly so pitiful and heartbreaking. 

As Americans, we take for granted what we have. We are privelaged with the best education, food, transportation, housing, entertainment, and so forth. We live in luxury, and we don't realize it, or at least not until we compare our situation to the situation of others. Our petty and sometimes egotistical problems cannot amount to the devastation these kids, mind I say, who are much younger than us, face everyday.

Before we leave on our journey in a matter of 3 days, I think we all need to reflect on what we truly value and cherish. Our trip to the Philippines is only three weeks, yet the memories we take from this experience will last a lifetime.

Sierra Jamir 

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