The staging of a radical national event that has never been attempted before is being made possible because of believers, because people have the courage to care, because enough Filipinos take on the responsibility of being their brothers’ keepers. Many of these believers are leaders from different fields of society, from government, from business, from civic organizations, from schools, from churches. Bayani Challenge, indeed, belongs to all. That is the essence of nation building, that is the essence of an empowered democracy.
AKLAN. The best for the least. Illac Diaz demonstrates how to assemble the solar-powered ‘Liter of Light’, which makes solar energy available at the grassroots level. Soon, the Thomson Reuters-GK Village in New Washington, Aklan will be as bright as the smiles of the residents when they move into their new homes.
‘Hangga’t merong kapos hindi pa tayo tapos. Hindi kami kontento na hindi kami tutulong, kung dati kami yung tinulungan, ngayon dapat kami naman tutulong sa mga naging biktima ng Yolanda dito sa Barbaza.’ Ang mga residente ng Gawad Kalinga Taguig ay nag-aambagan hanggang umabot ng P75,000 para makacontribute sa bagong itatayong komunidad. At di pa nakuntento, sumama pa para sila mismo magtayo ng mga bahay ng taga Barbaza, Antique.” – Team GK Taguig
BOHOL. “I’m a traveller. I see a lot of people in the streets and feel guilty that i could afford to travel and they couldn’t afford for their food. As a traveller, we don’t always realize it but we do take from every country we visit, whether it be resources like food or water, energy or anything else. This trip, i really wanted to give back. So when I came here in the Philippines, I was looking for a charity wherein I would be able to give back and help. And then I found GK. So far, no regrets in volunteering and I’m feeling very lucky to have seen a side of the country I never would have while also helping the people rebuild. It’s now my 4th province already (Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Bohol) and will be joining in Palawan too and I am slowly but surely falling in love with the Philippines. I have had the experience of a lifetime and I will definitely be joining another Bayani Challenge!” – Will Stageman, Volunteer
Hindi naging madali ang buhay ni Tatay Eddie dahil sa kanyang kapansanan. Pero hindi rin niya ito hinayaang maging hadlang para magsilbi sa kapwa. 17 years na siyang nanunungkulan bilang Barangay Secretary at nasa 2nd floor pa ng Barangay Hall ang kanyang tanggapan. Patunay na siya’y buhay na bayaning may taglay na tatag at tapang para magkalinga at pinalalakas ng kanyang pananalig sa Diyos ang pagsisilbi sa kapwa dito sa samahang walang iwanan.” – Myk Tolbo, Team Capiz
CAPIZ. “You always thank us because we come all the way here in the Philippines to help but you must know that you taught us a lot of lessons in life. We are here because Filipinos are great people because of your beautiful soul.” – French volunteers
CEBU. “Kids from Brgy. Kawit were asked to draw what they want to become in the future or their dreams. After drawing, they shared it in front. What strucked me most was when I saw a kid’s stick man in the paper when everyone have nurses, doctors and teachers.. I asked the kid, ‘Unsa man ang dream ni kuya? (What’s your dream?)’ and the kid answered, ‘Gusto ko mabuotan na taw (I want to be a good person)’. I was speechless, amazed and inspired. Oh, kids!” – Claire Tabanas, Volunteer
LEYTE. “After Typhoon Yolanda, this is the very first time for me to see the smiles in these kids’ faces plastered on their face for a very, very long time. This brought me happiness and enlightenment. This reminds me also that Bayani Challenge is not just about the bayanis (volunteers) but it’s also about the kids that we are serving, for they are the future of this country. They will inherit all that this generation will do today.” – Anthony Adduru, Team Leyte
LEYTE. A feeding program for the kids in San Isidro, Leyte, where we’ve gathered close to 3,000 kids for the feeding program. Their mothers (close to 3,000 mothers!) were part of the team who’ve helped us make this possible! Empowering their Nanays.
PALAWAN. “Hindi lang bahay at kabuhayan ang sinira ng bagyong Yolanda, ang watershed ng Culion ay kasalukuyang nilalason ng mga nabubulok na puno na nagsipagtumbahan sa daanan ng tubig. Kasama ang mahigit 100 volunteers mula sa GK Palawan, 4Ps beneficiaries, Loyola College of Culion at Brgy. Osmeña, pinagtutulung-tulungang maibalik ang linis at ganda ng watershed sa ikalawang araw ng Bayani Challenge.” – Vic Buenaventura, Team Palawan
“This gate defined the boundaries of Culion into two worlds of the ‘Leproso’ and the ‘Sano’. Rules were different on each side of this gate. Our Bayani Challenge volunteers redefined the identity of this marker: from a landmark of division, to becoming a symbol of unity and solidarity among the people of Culion and their new found friendship with Gawad Kalinga.” – Vic Buenaventura, Team Palawan
My Bayani Challenge experience was really full of highlights: Learning new life skills (painting, cementing hollow blocks and balancing on a motorcycle in free fall); exploring places most people wouldn’t think of going to; and most importantly, staying with a GK community who taught me more about the value of solidarity and keeping a positive outlook in life. I hope more people would take some time to volunteer and be part of future Bayani Challenge activities because no matter where you go, you’ll definitely take home some new experiences and insights.” Tatit Quiblat, Volunteer
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet is a partner of Gawad Kalinga’s Bayani Challenge. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. Thank you for those who volunteered and joined Bayani Challenge 2014!