Hope, Honor, Heroism (for our nation) -Published Article

I wrote another article on a recent activity that I participated in and wanted it share to various readers, not just through my blogs but through the PRINT Media As well. It is about Hope, Honor and Heroism through the Gawad Kalinga and the GK Builder's Camp. Please see the full article quoted below:

Hope, Honor, Heroism (for our nation)

In our competitive world, many are just content to embrace work day-in and day-out. Wake up, work, eat, go home and do the cycle, again and again, seems much easier than trying to figure out what in heaven’s name our politicians are doing to our country.

Recently, yuppies, together with experienced and first time youth volunteers (students from USC, USJR, Velez College, SWU, UC and CTU) gathered and in their own way chose to spend their semestral break in a productive yet fun & memorable experience. They joined in a local GK Builder’s Camp at GK MINGLANILLA, Sugbo Community, last October 21-23, 2011.

True to their mission of leaving no one behind, active GK members reached out to the youth in showing them a different side of community development. The GK Cebu Builders Camp “aims to nurture love of country and present a vision of hope” and at the same time, empower and inspire GK volunteers to the work of building homes for the poor. GK Youth Volunteer Andrew Entera said, “..the talks, build and activities will hopefully satisfy the volunteers’ curiosity, and inspire love for country, while at the same time bring their Spirit of Volunteerism to a new Level!”

The camp was a combination of talks, team building activities, house building, and community immersion. The talks that seeks to address Filipino identity, dream for the Philippines and love of country & heritage. Despite the scorching heat of the sun, the volunteers/builders continued working, shoveling and passing around sacks of earth & hollow blocks, etc. The volunteers were hosted by the GKapitbahayan (residents in the GK Community), where they slept over, learned about their lives, experiences and hopes for the country’s future.

"The destiny of any nation depends on the opinions of its citizens under twenty-five.”
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Neglecting the necessary training of our youth would not only condemn us, but also the whole future of our nation. Amid pessimism and dreams of leaving abroad to search for greener pastures among some or many of us, it is always great to see a small group of young people taking a moment of their busy schedules for the development of the community and country.

Gawad Kalinga is building empowered communities by people with faith and patriotism; driven by a culture of caring and sharing, dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity. Also, GK is not limited to building community infrastructure; they also have programs for the environment, health, education, and community empowerment (visit http://www.gk1world.com/ for more info.).

First time volunteers to GK had this to say:
“I spent most of my life wanting to do something great for others, and with this camp I was able to do that while meeting new friends, having fun and learning a lot! I learned that even if the GK families in the Community had little, they were still able to care and share; Now, I believe that there is a seed of greatness within all of us. It is not one person’s job to fix our country, it is everyone’s job, so let’s do our part!”
-Donnalyn Melgar, University of Cebu – BSBA Student

“I’m not the type of person who does these things. My brother forced me! But I ended up not regretting it since the experience opened my eyes to the realities of our fellow Filipinos. Now that I have these new lens to see through, I will do my best in making small steps to help improve our country — less for self, more for others, abundance or all!”
-Vanikha Joleen Marie Go, Southwestern University – BSPT Student

According to GK Founder Tony Meloto, heroism can be as simple as the act of “bayanihan,” to be of help to others without asking anything or expecting something in return.

Anyone can join in and be a HERO in his/her own little way; small acts can create a ripple effect. You don’t need to be a genius, or be special to contribute for nation building; many of us see and know the problems of our surroundings. “We should get rid of having the IKTA (I Know That Already) thinking. Instead, ask yourself again with BAIDI (But Am I Doing [something about] It) instead.” – Francis Kong

“Where are the youth who will consecrate their budding years, their idealism and enthusiasm to the welfare of their country? Where are the youth who will generously pour out their blood to wash away so much shame, so much crime, so much abomination? Pure and spotless must the victim be, that the sacrifice may be acceptable.

We await you, O youth! Come, for we await you!”
-El Filibusterismo, Jose Rizal

These words were written more than a hundred years ago by our national hero but the irony is, these words still seem to ring true today. Indeed, the Youth is no longer the future, but rather the shakers, movers and change-makers of today!

With that, GK Builders and volunteers are in constant search, hoping to gather more courageous and determined people to strengthen an army fighting against poverty.

Sino pa bang magtutulungan, kung di tayo-tayo rin? WALANG IWANAN!


You can check out the Full Digital Article of Freeman-Philstar HERE. Or my Personal Reflection Here.
Hope, Honor, Heroism (for our nation) -Published Article Hope, Honor, Heroism (for our nation) -Published Article Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Wednesday, November 02, 2011 Rating: 5

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