Ching SL Epiphany

Dear Dante, Cyn, Bebay & all class mates:

Let me report to you on the Final Activity of UST Med Class 1972 for its Coral Jubilee celebrations. This happened this morning, Jan 6, Solemnity of the Epiphany (3 Kings) at Tatalon, a very depressed area in Quezon City.
A few of our classmates (Bebay R-A, Cynthia F-F, Rey M, Ging N-I, Jopie M, with imports Raffy D, Nancy P, Mike de P) together with our spouses (Jerry A, Virgie M, Rosel de P, and of course Marivic SL) and class friend-architect Vic Duran all went to Tatalon’s Gawad Kalinga site for the kick-off of our class Corporate Social Responsibility project: the building up of homes for the poor under GK. The group went to the shack of Mr & Mrs Ramos who have 9 children of their own to share their dwelling made up of rusted roofing material (yero). This is the family who had been assigned by GK to be our class beneficiary. The Ramoses are starting to pack-up their belongings for the demolition of the shack to give way to the structure which will be built for them bayanihan-style by the GK community. (Last December, during the Alumni Homecoming celebrations, the Ramoses were awarded our class CSR as beneficiary of Php 75,000 turned over to GK. With this amount, one house will be built for the GK recipient.)
That was the kick-off. Thereafter, Raffy D pledged to donate Php 50,000 for another house provided the rest of the amount (25K) will be raised as counterpart. (The Rotary Club to which I belonged had previously raised Php 35,000 during my 60th birthday celebrations so Raffy’s pledge has been matched adequately. Thus, we shall have 2 houses to build side-by-side.
When 2 or more houses are standing side-by-side, isn’t that the core of a community? Then we heard that Ides Santos had earlier pledged to donate for 6 houses (to be named after her mother-in-law. Such filial affection!! It did not escape Rey’s jovial expertise when he joked that kaya daw nagdo-donate si Ides ng ganung karami ay balak niyang doon patirahin yung in-law niya! Hehehehe!). Then the ladies conducted a Rummage Sale ( of old clothes solicited from classmates who responded generously; Lepit/Fely Tan sent her sacksfull of goodies. With clothes sold at 10-20/pc, naka-raise naman ng Php 1,400 and Nancy P upped it with a 1,000 donation = 2,400).
So, a community to be called the UST Medicine Class 1972 GK Community!!! What a fitting tribute to our Class sense of Social Responsibility. As we look forward to our Ruby Jubilee in 2012.
But charity begins at home as the saying goes. Right within our backyard, we have those in need of support. We have sick classmates whose needs for medical therapies are enormous. Alex Alviar is undergoing daily dialysis, Estela Dunuan-Ablao (in Ifugao Province), too. Willie Joven is still confined at the Heart Center. There are still many others out there with greater or lesser affliction, I’m sure.
This is our Class’ Epiphany!!! Its manifestation of solidarity with those marginalized and afflicted. Our Class effort may not be enough even to put a dent on the poverty that we have seen in Tatalon and elsewhere, nor on the valiant struggle of those with serious illnesses being helped thru our MAF and SBF. But it’s there. The spirit of Togetherness in good times and in bad times. There is perhaps no better legacy that we can leave our children, and our Alma Mater, than the compassion that we have all been sensitized to as Thomasians.
If this e-mail has turned into a homily, well, it is. I am writing this early Sunday evening as we close Christmas Season with the feast of the 3 Kings bearing their gifts. I am neither a king nor a gift-giver. But may this rather looooonnnng note be my humble gift to you all!
Regards to one and all. –Ching San Luis.