BAKTAS KO, BALAY MO: A fun walk for GK Tacloban
This meaningful and beautiful logo statement which means literally, “My walk, your home” is addressed to the homeless in Tacloban and started with the joint efforts of two giant organizations in Tacloban, the Philippine Institute of Public Accountants and the People Management Association of the Philippines. They teamed up with the City Government of Tacloban and Gawad Kalinga Tacloban in a fun walk that started from the Astrodome and ended up at the Rizal Park. The rain in the early morning of Saturday (June 18) did not deter the hundreds who composed contingents from the different schools and government agencies and private entities in the city.
A taebo jam followed immediately at the Rizal Park where the jammers were led in the exercise by a Taebo Instructor. Regular Taebo Jammers and students from Asian Development Foundation, UP Tacloban, Eastern Visayas State University, Holy Infant College and St. Paul College of Business and law were among the schools which participated in the Taebo Walk. Other groups who braved the early morning cold were Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP); TOMECO; Mayor Alfred Social Action Center; Land Bank of the Philippines; National Statistical Coordinating Board; Home Development and Mortgage Fund (Pag-ibig); Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency; Philippine National Police; Population Commission; Development Bank of the Philippines; Government Service Insurance System; Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board; Land Transportation Office; National Police Commission; National Bureau of Investigation; National Labor Relations Commission; National Nutrition Council; Pinoy Tour Club, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor; Coca-Cola Bottlers; PHILHEALTH; LEYECO; Asia Foundation; Bureau of Fire Protection; Tacloban City Government and many others.
In the program that followed, PICPA Director and Philhealth Accountant, Renato Limsiaco said the no matter how small people think they are, they can always do something for others. He reminded everyone present that in unity there is strength as he revealed that around seventy thousand pesos was collected by the “Fun Walk” participants alone which is just short of a few thousands more to be able to build one house for the poorest of the poor in Palanog. He further said that what is really important is for one to make a difference as shown by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants who has always manifested corporate social responsibility. Their concern is to build people with dignity.
Mr. Asisclo Militante who represented the PhilHealth Regional Manager delivered the Closing Remarks where he encouraged those present to do more for others as the fun walk is not just the start or closing but it is a continuing journey to help people who are in need.
As the program progressed, it was learned that 32.8 million or 40 percent Filipinos are homeless which is why, PMAP President Christopher Garcia said that “you and I are better off, we are luckier than this 40 % as we have a home to return to after this program. Others in our society are not that lucky. He said that the first step in the walk which everyone did represented nails and the second step was for roofing materials for a house in Palanog. Summarizing his talk, he shared that poverty is not lack of money; but lack of caring and sharing.
PICPA and PMAP wants to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Everyone could be heroes in their own right. Let everyone be a hero in the making as Mayor Alfred believes that Tacloban is a City of Heroes.
The program became more alive with the inherent gaiety displayed by the participants. A student from ADF, Joseph Mabao added more color with his cool serenading voice. The program ended with a biblical quote by LEYECO ISD Manager, Masel Avestruz that goes this way: “He who is kind to the poor, leads to the Lord.”
By: Deeday A. Cairo
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