"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Christmas Love at the Book Bridge"

When I was a child, our family had a small artificial Christmas tree. It was about two feet tall. But I was always mesmerized by a nativity scene that my mother placed underneath the tree. In a way, it was nice that the tree was small, the manger looked bigger.
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold
The scene had the three wise men (or three kings) bearing gifts to a child born inside a stable. And I have always wondered why with all our wisdom, we bring a shivering child silver and gold.

The spirit of Christmas as my parents had taught me is opening one's house and one's heart to the needs of others. I am taking this opportunity to share with readers of this blog an inspiring story from the island of Palawan in the Philippines. The story is shown here with photos and captions kindly shared by Cynthia Sumagaysay- DelRosario and Sharon S. Salazar. It is a story about a project called The Book Bridge.
Here is the story (photos are posted here with kind permission from The Book Bridge):

Construction underway so that grade 2 students don't have to walk 2.5 kilometers to the main school everyday just like the kindergarten and grade 1 students in the 2-room/orange building behind. Without funding from DepEd, construction is being done through the personal efforts of Mrs. Bucao, the school principal. The Book Bridge will also help the main school to have its own library in the future.


A young girl taking care of her 5 month old sibling.
The night before.. sorting and packing stuff to give to many kids. Each gift pack inserted with love. 
The night before.. sorting and packing stuff to give to many kids. Each gift pack inserted with love.
The night before.. sorting and packing stuff to give to many kids. Each gift pack inserted with love.

The night before.. sorting and packing stuff to give to many kids. Each gift pack inserted with love. 
More sorting and packing... inserted with love. Thanks to our generous friends in L.A., they sent us enough stuff that will make many kids happy this Christmas.
Bless this day.
This was when miracle was being performed. Mom showed up despite a deadline from work to show her support and help out. After realizing that the food is good for the invited 25 kids only but 87 showed up, teachers jumped in to divide the food.. coincidentally, the caterer has given us huge servings on this day, enough to feed all and more. A miracle.
This was when miracle was being performed. Mom showed up despite a deadline from work to show her support and help out. After realizing that the food is good for the invited 25 kids only but 87 showed up, teachers jumped in to divide the food.. coincidentally, the caterer has given us huge servings on this day, enough to feed all and more. A miracle.
And so we have enough to feed everyone.
And so we have enough to feed everyone.

Smiling kids that made the day.
Day 2 of gift giving.. we brought gifts and food for the 73 kindergarten and grade 1 kids of Barangay Jacana in Bancao-Bancao. 
Storytelling time, everyone really went silent and just listened... (Day 2 of gift giving.. we brought gifts/food for the 73 kindergarten and grade 1 kids of Barangay Jacana in Bancao-Bancao). 
Day 2 of gift giving.. we brought gifts and food for the 73 kindergarten and grade 1 kids of Barangay Jacana in Bancao-Bancao. 
Day 2 of gift giving.. we brought gifts and food for the 73 kindergarten and grade 1 kids of Barangay Jacana in Bancao-Bancao. 
Day 2 of gift giving.. we brought gifts and food for the 73 kindergarten and grade 1 kids of Barangay Jacana in Bancao-Bancao. 
Gifts for Jacana kids.
Gift giving day. Class picture.
She’s supposed to be resting on this day, after working for 6 or 11 straight days, she deserved a break. Instead of taking that much needed break, she came to the Book Bridge to help out. A doctor working in the remote areas of Palawan, our volunteer – Sharon S. Salazar is one of the amazing people we meet in this project. 
They don't really have to, but Ma'am Bucao said it's their only way to say "thank you".

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Fourth grade pupils, Fourth grade pupils
not passing in math and science
Let us bring them two more years of high school

At least, the Christmas song has rhyme....

May the true spirit of the season fill our hearts this coming year.
A Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.




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