“Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.”
If poverty is to be equated into desperation, then we can say that our country’s indigenous peoples are born into it. Our common knowledge, coupled with the fact that we often see them begging in the streets, is that they are in the lowest economic status. Thus giving us the idea that education plays no vital role in their lives. However, their impulsive instinct to survive dictates that they adjust to their surroundings no matter how difficult it may seem. This does not mean that do not need any assistance from us, for they are still our brothers.
It is with great fortune that the community to which the aforementioned school is located has been chosen by no less than the popular actress, Ms. Judy Ann Santos, to be the beneficiaries of her charitable works. She asked one of her assistants to scout for a tribal group that needs her help the most, and she ended up at Orion, Bataan.
On December 9, 2007, the staff of Ms. Santos coordinated with some local government officials and the teaching force of Eva-Aeta Elementary, to bring all the families of the enrolled pupils at a designated venue, which was Big Splash Resort located at Orani, Bataan.
Upon her arrival, Ms. Santos, together with her staff, conducted several activities with the Aetas. This included games, a short program featuring the talents of the pupils. As a servant of the arts, she was even astonished to discover that the Aetas are blessed with good singing voices. The pupils also dedicated a production number for her as a display of their gratitude for her charitable action.
The most awaited part came after the program and games when the Ms. Santos personally distributed school supplies and toys to all the children. A raffle was also held to distribute the rubber shoes that were donated by Ms. Sharon Cuneta. And just when everyone thought that they’ve had enough, Ms. Santos ushered all the families inside the receiving hall where she gave them her gifts which included a ½ cavan of rice, groceries, medicine supplies, toiletries, beddings, Christmas staples such as hamon and quezo de bola, and her signature cupcakes which she baked personally.
It was certainly a joyous day for everyone. Not only did Ms. Santos share her blessings, but she also did hope to the indigenous peoples, making them feel that there is someone who makes sure that they will be cared for.
Ms. Santos vowed to help improve the lives of our tribal brothers, most especially the students, by focusing on developing the school site. This promise helped inspire the students to pursue their studies and strive to finish it . Through her acts, she has paved the way for them to conquer the indefensible, that of poverty.
By: ILYNNE SJ. SAMONTE, HT – III, Calungusan Elem. School