Bayani Challenge 2013 - Fulfilling Dreams in San Remigio, Cebu

Life, they say, is how we make it. People dream, work, fail. People dream again. Most are happy in working to achieve their dreams but yet, there are some who are happiest in fulfilling the dreams of others.

The Bayani Challenge Volunteers are very happy to realize the dreams of some of the less fortunate.

Never in the life of Nang Lelita Bueno did she imagine that life will begin for her at the age of 70. Bueno is among the 30 recipients of the houses that the volunteers of the Bayani Challenge 2013 will build in barangay San Miguel, San Remegio town of the Province of Cebu.

“Nalipay koog daku nga sa akong edad, makabalay na gyud ko og ako nga libre kay gibuhat man sa mga volunteers (I am so happy that at my age, I will already have a house and its free because it is built by the volunteers),” Bueno said.

Bueno arrived in the town from Danao City, to seek cure of an illness. It was in barangay San Miguel that she met an “albularyo”, who cured her and also told her to live in the place even if it is a very remote area.

Eleuteria Rosal, 63 had long lived in San Remegio town but had no permanent address as she and her husband will only stay in a place until their house can withstand the weather. The northern part of Cebu is always hit by typhoons that traverse from Mindanao.

And so Rosal is very grateful that, not only will she have a concrete house for free but also a place where they could farm and earn a living for her children.

“Kani dreng dapita ari mi magtanom og mga gulay nga pwede kan-on pwede sad ibaligya kun nay sobra. Nahiluna na gyud mi (This is where we plant vegetables that we can eat and we can also sell if there is extra. We are already settled now.),” Rosal said.

That “albularyo” in San Miguel, once told the early settlers that soon there will be roads leading to the place and people from far away places will intentionally visit San Miguel to bring good news.

Indeed, from March 23-27, hundreds of volunteers from as far as Luzon and from the different cities in Central Visayas travelled the steep slopes of San Remigio and pledged to take the challenge of building 30 homes for San Remigio’s poorest of the poor.

Academe, non government and government organizations, businesses, cause oriented groups arrived and stayed in San Miguel braved heat and endured the thirst without expecting anything in return, but just to be gratified with the thought of being able to help others. That is the spirit of volunteerism.

San Remigio Mayor Jay Olivar, said he is very thankful that his Municipality was chosen as a site for the Bayani Challenge 2013. The five day event is one of the highlights of the town’s 150th year as a Municipality come April 2.

“We are so grateful that our town was chosen. The Bayani Challenge is a big help,” Olivar said.

Bayani Challenge 2013 gathered 1500 participating in house building, farm building, Paraisong Pambata, Health Mission, school building and for San Remegio alone, the repainting of 150 boats along the beautiful coastline of the town.

It is indeed a sight to see people from different walks of life, age groups and professions perform a different kind of people power—showing genuine love for the Philippines in rebuilding an impoverished community.

As favorite shout out statement goes, “Kapag May Pilipino, May Pag-asa!”—(mbcn/Ferliza C. Contratista/PIA7-CEBU)

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