Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gawad Kalinga

In 2006, we started our journey in serving the less fortunate sector of our country through Gawad Kalinga (GK).  At that time,  GK, as it was popularly called, was one of the pillars of Couples for Christ.  GK and Couples for Christ have parted ways since last year but that's getting ahead of the story.

To our colleagues in Couples for Christ, Jun and I were the most unlikely to serve in Gawad Kalinga.  They said that we do not fit the stereotype characterization of a GK worker.  In this age of glutathione and other skin whitening agents, I thought we are lucky to have fair complexion.  Sadly not in GK. Di daw kami bagay dahil maputi kami and that we are not used to be in a squatter environment.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways.  Bro. Joe Francia, our Chapter Head and the first Project Director of GK Central appointed Jun to be the Project Manager for Tatag (Shelter).  

We literally had a baptism of fire on the first of the profiling of the site.  While our vehicle was parked along Central Avenue, somebody threw a stone big enough to crash its windshield.  That was our initial padugo.

As Project Manager for Tatag,  Jun supervised and implemented the building of houses for the beneficiaries.  GK houses were painted with bright and loud colors so by looking at them, the problems are forgotten for awhile.  That the future ahead can be bright and rosy.

From being the Tatag PM, Jun became the Project Director (PD), replacing Bro. Joe.  The PD makes sure that all the programs are being implemented in the site.

If Jun was called the PD, I, his wife was the Mabuhay Lady.  A Mabuhay Lady saw to the cleanliness, orderliness and beautification of the site.  She made the site a pleasant place for visitors to go to.  The activity that was truly memorable to me was the first Ms. Mabuhay Contest.  Our site's contestant was Wilma Rafer, a Handmaid of the Lord.  Wilma and I had fond memories scouting for an evening gown, a Filipiniana costume, fashion jewelries to complement her get-up.  We found all that she needed in Quiapo.  I enjoyed every minute preparing Wilma for the contest and at the same time doing our assigned chores come pageant night at Del Rey Court.

I also enjoyed doing a cooking demo of simple and inexpensive dishes that the ladies could serve their families.  Who could forget the sardines' making demo by Timmie Bernaldez?  After using the LPG of one of ladies for more than three hours, I had to pay for the refill otherwise she won't be able to cook dinner for her family.

It never entered my mind that I will enjoy serving the people of GK Central.  Simple people whose faces brighten at the sight of the members of the CFC Caretaker Team.  Yes it is true what I heard in the teachings that God empowers you.  You may feel unworthy of the service but His will be done.

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