MARCH 2018


By Mariano “Anong” Santos
PINOY Editor/Publisher


...“Life surprises---Blue blood moon and…more
...continued from home page

Street Children

Aside from Chicago Village, there are four other GK villages that we visited in the area—constructed mercifully on safer grounds. Villagers greeted us with thankful and heart-felt hospitality. GK villagers understand that they have

The local volunteers posing with their Chicago visitors at Leyte Gulf b each where Gen. Douglas MacArthur and company returned in October 1944. (PINOY Photo)

IN San Jose Batangas with GK founder Tony Meloto (seated R) Jun & Belle de Guia, Anong & Lynn Santos, Tony o—an expat-retiree from San Jose, Ca., and the former street children who turned into young GK social entrepreneurs (standing L-R).

to have their share of responsibilities —investing with sweat equities and moral values so they can flourish as strong communities with residents who care for each other. Being aware of that is considered our reward as GK advocates and volunteers.

Another good development in the ever evolving works of Gawad Kalinga is the new project in San Jose, Batangas, where GK founder, Tony Meloto, gave us a sneak preview on Feb. 6. There we met the young alumni from the GK Social Entrepreneurship University in Angat, Bulacan.

They were working on a fruit and vegetable farm that would be a model for retirees to be involved in if they opted to retire back home.

The young men were former street children who were enrolled in the Enchanted Farm and educational center. They are even fluent in French—taught by student-interns from France! They cooked and served our lunch. Jun de Guia and I and our spouses went home with baons of turmeric roots, langka, bananas and buko…and memories of that promising GK project.


Happiness is also being treated to the unexpected like visiting memorable places which were not on your to-do list. Our local GK volunteers were so thoughtful to bring us to places like the mass graves of the 2013 typhoon victims, to visit the eerie Sto. Nino Chapel and Museum that was put up to glorify Imelda Marcos, to drive us across the San Juanico Bridge, to make a stop-over at the Balingiga Church plaza in Samar and to have a photo op at the MacArthur Landing Memorial on our way back to the Tacloban airport.

It was an amazing three-day trip done while we were still suffering from severe jet-lag. It is especially challenging for a septuagenarian like me. Embarking on a 20-hour plane trip to Manila can dampen one’s spirit. But to get to know caring GK volunteers and hopeful survivors can be invigorating. In the end, it’s all worth it. It’s priceless! (See GK pictorial on page 62)
Justice Puno’s March 16 visit

By the way—My wife, Lynn, and I had also a day trip on Jan. 30 to Barangay Mallorca in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, where we joined the birthday celebration of Sally Longalong-Hunter in her hometown where she donated a school and livelihood compound to help hundreds of her townmates. Sally and her husband Andre own home health care offices in Skokie and Des Plaines. The couple is part of a growing number of expats who share their blessings to our kababayans back home. May their tribe increase, indeed!

The second task I went home for was done mostly in Manila. That is the settling of the annual membership fees of the different Knights of Rizal Chapters in the Chicago area, buying books about our National Hero and buying KOR Barong Tagalogs. From Makati where we were staying in the KOR HQ along Bonifacio Drive in the Port Area, it took three rides to reach my destination.

A jeepney ride to the Baclaran terminal of the LRT train which I took to the Central Station along Taft Ave., where I took another jeepney ride to Intramuros area. Total of 50 pesos—one way. I was lucky—the LRT, which is notorious for breakdowns, chugged along the familiar avenue without a hitch—giving me an inexpensive tour of old Manila. The only setback was I later suffered from sore eyes and bronchitis—the doctor that I saw attributed it to all of the city’s smog and pollution. Those were extras I could have done away with!

One more bonus I did not expect was to be able to view the rare occurrence of the super blue blood moon that appeared only in that part of Asia and Australia on Jan. 31. The weather forecast called for a cloudy night but on that Wednesday, it turned clear and breezy—a perfect night to gaze at the sky. That combination of the lunar and umbral eclipses take place again in 2037.






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