Thursday, February 15, 2018

JAM- JUBILATION AND MIND: Feed the Hungry... Feed their Minds (Feeding Program of JAM, the #PunchTheLies)

“Feed the Hungry...Feed their Minds”

The dream started on October 3, 2017. I was trekking on a mountain, going somewhere I could neither pinpoint nor remember. I didn't get to that unknown place. Instead, I stumbled on another destination along the way, a school. Forgetting my original mysterious destination, I decided to stay at the school and found myself along with the teachers suddenly distributing food to the students. Smiles and happy faces filled my dream. Then I woke up. The clock said it was 3:30 in the morning.

One day, I saw a teacher's tweet about visiting a student who had been absent from class for days. She found out her pupil chose to remain in their farm to help his parents plant rice instead of sitting in a classroom. Curious about the situation, I tried to search for ways to contact the teacher but failed.
The dream returned and kept coming back to me in the following days, like a butterfly on my shoulder I couldn't shake off. It was a sign from someone or something, I believed. And it would not stop until I did something, SOMETHING.

Then one day, I happened upon a tweet by Mr. Oscar Bacabis, my friend and a teacher from Eureka National High School in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

I put two and two together. My dream finally made sense. I reached out to him and perused the situation without giving away my newly concocted idea. After listening to his touching story, I knew it was time. The butterfly agreed with me. I told Mr. Bacabis my plan. He agreed to it with much excitement. We made arrangements. He talked to the principal, Mr. Cesar Masacarte who was surprised with the generosity coming their way. He was ecstatic, to the point of disbelief, Oscar would later tell me. 

January 30 of the year 2018 arrived. My dream turned into reality. Though I couldn't be in Mindanao personally, distance was no longer a barrier for donor and receivers. Spiritually I was there with the teachers, handing out food like how it played in my sleep many nights before.

Students, including members of the indigenous community Higaonon living inside the school premises, kept thanking Oscar. He insisted to them he was just facilitating the event in behalf of his friend abroad. Their smiles, impossible to miss, warmed his heart. He had never seen the kind of joy the students and teachers demonstrated that day. It wasn't just the food they were energized about. It was also the unexpected care and thoughtfulness they were given, things they stopped hoping to receive some time ago. 

Dreams do come true, mine and especially theirs. This is just the beginning of more good things to come.

The next time I checked the butterfly on my shoulder, it was no longer there.

“Together we can make a difference. We can make our world a better place. When we work together, so much can be done. The future could be brighter, it’s up to me and you.”


#PunchTheLies 🤛

Thank you to Principal Cesar L. Masacarte, District Supervisor Landy V. Mandahinog, Teachers June Lingcasan, Marietta Sambalod, Annabel Maestre, June Neil Mabilanga, Lenny Augusto, Cristine Cimagala, Lucil Senit, Lovely Mae Buslon, Eva Fabella, Medel Mainit, Oscar Bacabis, Mrs. Calago, and all the other teachers and organizers whose names we have missed. Your open arms and cooperation were a big part of the feeding program's success.

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