Thursday, September 11, 2014

PBO Presents Lucy

PBO never runs out of ideas when it comes to combining ways to help others and have fun at the same time. "Meaningful fun" could almost be the group's motto. A quick look at our Facebook page photos of past activities will show you exactly what this means. PBO's last fund-raising event was a shining example of how enjoyable it is to be part of the outreach group.

This year's first fundraising activity schedule coincided with the cinematic release of Hollywood's action offering, Lucy. We took this chance to once again give "meaningful fun" a fresh twist, and thus we came up with "PBO - A Special Screening For A Cause".

Let's just take a quick look at Lucy: starring Scarlett Johansson, it tells the story of a young woman who is cluelessly thrown into a world of international drug trafficking. The drug accidentally takes effect on her, and she finds herself transforming from a weak girl to a powerful, unstoppable woman on a mission.

This year our chosen beneficiary are the SPED schools in Pasig (list of schools). This would be our third time to bring help to children and our first time to help children with special needs. As excited as we are to embark on this task, we just couldn't do it without a little help from our friends.

And help did we get, lots of it. The reception of the idea of meaningful fun was fantastic. It didn't take too much encouraging to get people to help. PBO members started selling tickets which sold out in no time. Family, friends and colleagues all joined in on the fun.

August 17, 2014. PBO officers and members assembled to meet the moviegoers who lined up excitedly in front of Cinema 10 at Robinsons Galleria.

As soon as everyone was seated, Abbie Mendoza, a PBO member, delivered a short introduction to PBO for the benefit of the people who are new to the group's activities.

Afterwards, some prizes were raffled off. Beauty products from InSkin courtesy of Ina de Jesus were given away to excited winners. PBO merchandise like mugs and pens were also raffled off. Xtera Outsourcing generously gave 500 pesos to 5 lucky winners.

After short Thank You to our sponsors and supporters, the movie started, a short distraction from our busy lives. After the movie, as everyone exited the cinema, there was an unshakeable feeling of fullfilment, knowing that the little help will go a long way.

PBO thanks everyone who supported and helped with the event. This would not have been possible without your efforts. Special thanks to InSkin, Xtera Outsourcing and Robinsons Galleria.

Now, with the funds in hand, PBO prepares for the next outreach activity. Expect more "Meaningful Fun" times ahead. We will keep you posted!

Posted by Glentot

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blogging Raised to the Next Level: PBO Visits Kanlungan ni Maria

Antipolo City, Philippines --- In response to the swelling need of our world for charity works, Pinoy Bloggers Outreach (PBO) successfully convened for its anniversary outreach program at Kanlungan ni Maria-Home for the Aged, Inc. at Nayong Silangan Subdivision, Antipolo City, Feb. 2.

The anniversary outreach aims to bring into fruition the collaborative effort of bloggers and other volunteers to meet in order to extend help to the less fortunate communities. A total of 60 bloggers and volunteers made it to the program that Sunday. Fr. Dari Dioquino, the priest in charge of the institution, received the volunteers with much hospitality on behalf of the staff and elders of Kanlungan.
Fr. Dari Dioquino

The Preparation
Different committees were made in order to organize the anniversary outreach. Part of the preparation is the designation of tasks which transpired last Jan. 12 during the PBO meeting at Starbucks Megastrip Megamall, 2PM. The following committees were made:
Marketing –Christian Dee, Marge Gavan, and Jem Robles
Headcount – Marge Gavan
Food – Michelle Melo
Program–Jem Robles
Medical – Kevin Barrios
Transportation – Christian Dee
Technical (sound system) –Jem Robles
Logistics and Planning – Christian Dee and Arline Matulac
Over-all costing
Loot bags for the elders of Kanlungan ni Maria
Kits for the medical mission

Shirts for PBO volunteers
Also, an update of point persons during the outreach was released:
For registration: Marge Gavan, Madz Mangaron and NahnahCubacub
Marshals: Rix Padin, Josh Chavez, Arvin Vicente, Kat Bonsato, Glenn Tabarejos, and Kebler Omanito
Set up of decorations: Mich Abadilla
PBO volunteers met at KFC Starmall for registration, lunch and briefing. In three vans, they left at 12 noon and reached Antipolo City at 1PM.

A Program before the Program
With a lot of people who find fulfillment in charity, it is not surprising that there are people who would like to spend time in Kanlungan aside from PBO. One of them is the Rivera-Diaz family who frequently visits Kanlungan, according to Fr. Dioquino. One family member came home from Singapore and decided to celebrate with the elders, thus, a Jollibee Party before the prepared program of PBO. Before the party, Fr. Dioquino celebrated a mass at 1PM, after the PBO volunteers arrived. Then, Jollibee party hosts facilitated games with the participation of some PBO volunteers, since the elders can no longer engage in activities that involve a lot of movements. 

Food was distributed while waiting for the Jollibee mascot to arrive. When he came, a ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ dance number of Jollibee entertained the elders. 

This was followed by parlor games, picture-takings and Jollibee’s wishes for the residents of Kanlungan. Three children, Amara, Chelsie and Chloe capped the program with a ‘Roar’ song number. 

With a few final quotes from the family, the program ended at 3PM.

PBO Program Proper
During the Jollibee party, the PBO volunteers took the opportunity to conduct the medical mission headed by nurse Janeelee Palabrica, (blogger) nurses Kevin Barrios and Moises Bilang. One at a time, elders were pulled from the party for tests which included blood pressure assessment, glucose monitoring and total cholesterol monitoring. Results are: Two elders, both female, got blood pressure higher from the baseline. All got normal cholesterol levels while one elder, female, got high blood sugar.

When the Jollibee party ended, PBO volunteers started setting up the sound system and decorations. 

Immediately, the emcees, Abbie Mendoza and Edmar Panuelos hit the ground running and called on MJ Corillo to lead the opening prayer. 

The program was formally opened by Christian Dee, over-all chairperson of the anniversary outreach, with a speech acknowledging the presence of all volunteers who shared their ‘rest day’ to the elders of Kanlungan and all the people involved in the preparations and financial concerns prior the event. 

A serenade for the elders followed as Kyle Abadilla, Eloisa TrasmaƱas, and Allysa Del Pilar, junior students of Muntinlupa Science High School sang ‘Kasama Kang Tumanda,’ ‘Huling El Bimbo,’ and ‘Ako’y Sa’yo, Ikaw’y Akin.’ 

While their melody filled the place, volunteers went to the elders, handing over flowers and loot bags. The music went on and the interaction with the elders made time fly. Snacks were also served: rice cakes, congee and drinks. The afternoon was filled with stories of befores, laughs, and longing, though some elders preferred silence or oblivion. 

Song numbers followed: Dolly Cabalquinto sang ‘Unchained Melody,’ her son Miggy sang ‘Pag-ibig,’ then she shared the microphone with Jaymar Bolajo for ‘Finally Found Someone.’ 

The program ended with Fr. Dioquino’s closing remarks which made the volunteers more thankful that Kanlungan ni Maria became part of their outreach activities. He pointed out how sharing our blessings, our time, and ourselves makes us better people in the eyes of God. Then he blessed everyone for a safe way home. 

PBO volunteers lingered a little for clean up and debriefing.

Insider’s View of Kanlungan
According to nurse Elaine Jane Mayor, the daily routine of the elders in Kanlungan ni Maria starts with a 6AM mass, followed by a 15-20 minute routine exercise, breakfast, then all things they prefer to spend the remaining hours of the day. Some would prefer coloring, knitting, or rag-making. She mentioned that Nanay Pina makes ponytails while Tatay Chris makes rags which they sell to any visitor interested in buying. There is a total of four volunteers, five caregivers, one nurse, one cook, and one social worker who comprise the entire staff of the institution.
According to Percy Samson, one of the caregivers in Kanlungan, there are on-the-job trainees who come all the way from Isabela to visit Kanlungan ni Maria. Despite the distance, these trainees come and take care of the elderly since the institution is accredited by Family Care Philippine Canadian with whom they are bound to a memorandum of agreement.
According to Fr. Dioquino during his closing remarks, Kanlungan ni Maria started when an elder was found sleeping in a dog house. A good Samaritan in the person of Bishop Crisostomo Yalung, second bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo, took care of the elder and envisioned a house that will take care of the elderly.
According to an interview with Fr. Dioquino, elders are not accepted in Kanlungan ni Maira unless referred by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This means that there are no relatives who are capable of taking care of the elders. There may be relatives, but they refuse or they simply can’t sustain the needs of an aging person. Thus, there are neither personal visitors nor relatives who spare time to check on them. When they die, only the members of the institution mourn. Death is usually followed by a three-day wake. The last four deaths were cremated since the cemetery nearby is already crowded.
Fr. Dioquino emphasized that the institution covers all religions. Regardless of faith, the institution embraces all elders who are in need of a home. He is also proud that the institution provides enough for the elders even without support from the government or church. The institution survives through donations alone.
Since the place of Kanlungan ni Maria is a house that can only accommodate 20-25 elders, the institution envisions to transfer to a bigger and better household come March.  He mentioned a possible transfer of Kanlungan ni Maria at 92 Mangga Drive, Nayong Silangan Subdivision, Antipolo City. Though plans have already been laid, they are still in need of less than two million for the transfer.

*Photo credits to Glenn Tabarejos, Zai Salonga and Kevin Barrios

About the Institution:
Kanlunganni Maria –Home for the Aged Inc.
Address: #17 Lanzones St., Nayong Silangan Subdivision, 1870 Antipolo, Rizal
Contact Person:  Fr. Dari Dioquino
Contact Nos.: (02) 650 – 8102 / (0915) 6002631