Rey Anthony H. Chiu
MAGSAYSAY Talibon, Bohol, March 23, 2013 (PIA) – Villager beneficiaries carried rootcrops, somebody too old enough to cook winnowed rice for lunch while young boys carried bamboos to be slatted and woven as walls to a communal rest room.
Carpenters freely exchanged tools, women buzzed in the nearby kitchen and army soldiers dug to bury exposed water pipes towards the home site.
We do not have anything to give, but I have a relative who may have house at Gawad Kalinga, so I am helping him and his wife, says a young volunteer.
Somewhere, somebody offered: we could cut some timber at my backyard, it could be used to help build the houses.
We do not have money, so this is the only thing we can give.
At a distance, a businesswoman volunteer and her group said they would donate 100 hollowblock pieces so they could start piling the walls.
These and still a lot of untold stories abound as the stifling heat in his build site fully baked in the sun could not stop people from doing anything to help make thos mountaintop community 18 kilometers from the town center rise.
About a hundred Boholanos, some coming from as far as Tagbilaran City, rolled their sleeves, endured the biting heat of the sun and shoveled dirt to realize somebody’s dream house.
Volunteers of the March 23-27 Bayanihan Challenge, some as young as high school students to as old as a 70 year old grandfather wielded crowbars, shovels, bolos, pick mattocks and a five day marathon community building project in 37 sites all over the country including Bantolinao in Antequera and Magsaysay in Talibon.
Talibon Mayor Restituto Auxtero and Gawad Kalinga’s Rey Balatayo led the volunteers who rode in government transport trucks, each of them wielding construction equipment and farming tools as they arrived at the 2.2 hectare home build site at the slope of a hill around 10:30 in the morning here.
After a brief orientation at the Free Farmers Federation building, the volunteers broke into groups: some went to gather round timber from the nearby woods for scaffolding and braces, others carried pick mattocks to bury exposed water pipes leading to the build site.
Still some trooped to the pre-staked lots led by men volunteers from Talibon engineering department to start the lay-out of each of the ten duplex houses which will soon rise in this site.
Immediately, men started digging for the corner posts footings where poured concrete would soon be reinforced by piled hollow blocks as the house walls.
Fratmen from Alpha Kappa Rho led by Noel Mallari, Human Nature volunteers led by Nonette Bolo, Boy Scouts volunteers from Talibon District, Philippine National Police from Talibon and Tourist Police, Army’s civilian armed forces, Department of Agrarian Reform with Eddie Manginsay, DENR CENRO through Forester Elpidio Palaca, Bureau of Fire Protection led by SFO3 Ricardo Garcia and barangay folks from Talibon’s San Francisco, San Agustin, San Roque, Santo Niño and Sikatuna each took turns in digging and shoveling dirt to allow masons to lay the hollow blocks tomorrow.
Women volunteers also trooped to gather stones that would be lined in the site’s pathways, or planted seedling to act as buffer to the soon to rise houses.
Nearby, other volunteers led by FFM chairman Pedro Aparece finished the communal comfort rooms for the use of volunteers a hundred meters from the build site.
Gliceria Nuez and the women of the barangay also cooked food for some volunteers in the nearby FFM house.
At the end of the first home build volunteer day, Magsaysay site had at least two duplex house sites with completely dug holes where concrete posts would soon rise.
Work stopped a little after 3:00 PM, where the Gawad Kalinga activities start at the nearby Magsaysay barangay center where kids have their time.
At 7:00, the volunteers staying overnight would be entertained through the Gawad Kalinga Night, said Rey Balatayo of GK.
As this happened, GK beneficiaries still continue praying for generous hearts to spare a few of their blessings and time to help them realize their dreams.
A duplex house would need materials amounting to around P200,000 and volunteers who will help beneficiaries build these dream homes, said Balatayo. (30/hd)