A.K.O Donation Drive: To Apolinario Mabini National High School and GENTRI Medical Center & Hospital Inc.

by Debbie Jane P. Baladad, APRIL 2022

Apolinario Mabini National High School

It was early in the morning of March 30, 2022, when I hit the road to Barangay Malimatoc I, Mabini, Batangas before traffic kicked in. One sole reason why I have to go there is to reach out to Apolinario Mabini National High School to extend assistance on their needed Covid-19 supplies kit for their upcoming “Limited Face-to-Face Classes” 😊

The school is located nearly at the peak of the mountain so when I first arrived there, I got lost. Luckily, a tricycle driver happened to pass by, and he taught me the way. And alas! I was already there, and it was just at the back of the Malimatoc Elementary School. At a glance, it was a small simple school yet, it has a friendly and welcoming positive vibe where students are happy and enjoy learning.

Upon arriving, I was greeted by a warm welcome of the School Head, Mr. Dennis M. Escalona, “Ma’am Debbie, kayo na ho ba iyan? Mabuti naman po at ito ay natunton ninyo. Halika muna at kayo ay magpahinga at ipapakilala kita sa mga teachers na naririto” he said with a big smile on his face. I was very happy with his simple gestures. He introduced me afterward to all their thirteen teachers at that time telling me that I just have arrived at the right time because their classes ended already.

Right after he introduced me, he let me stay in his office to have a small chat while eating bananacue. He said, “Paano nyo ito natunton maam? Alam nyo ba nung tumawag kayo sa akin kahapon at sinabing magdodonate kayo sa amin, ako ay labis na natuwa. Sa boses nyo palang, alam kong kayo ay napakabait.” I happily replied that the school can be searched and located via waze/google map so he don’t have to worry about that, and I thanked him for telling me that I am “napakabait” 😜 When I asked him on the situation of the students in their school, he shared that it was very hard for some of their students to go to school because of expensive fare.  Say, a student is from the City of Poblacion, he needs to spend atleast P300.00 for a jeepney ride to go to their school.

Sir Dennis story tugged at my heartstrings. I just realized that I am very lucky indeed to enable to go to school during the previous years without experiencing those. After our small chat, we proceeded to donation proper. The teachers happily helped in bringing thirty (30) bags of goods containing covid-19 supplies kits like face masks, alcohol, and food packs for their upcoming limited face-to-face classes. Nothing can describe how happy they were at that time when they kept on saying thanks to me and to all the employees of the South for the donations. It was very memorable to me indeed.

They gave me a tour afterward of the school. And I felt like I suddenly want to go back to those good old days when all I’m thinking about was studying and going home right after. After finishing the short tour, we headed back to the office and Sir Dennis asked me to wait for him because they prepared something for me before I go back to Imus. After some time, I was very surprised that they gave me a bunch of bananas and mini bilaong pancit as a token of their appreciation. I was reluctant to accept those at first because I told them that they don’t have to, and they don’t need to, but in the end, I wholeheartedly accepted their pasalubong as I realized that they really exert effort just to give me something in return, and I don’t want to hurt and offend their feelings for that. I was very touched by their gestures, and it was the first time for me.

We took a picture as a souvenir of my visit there and I know, this will be one of the most memorable moments of my donation activities.

Gentri Medical Center and Hospital Inc.

As Covid-19 strikes the Philippine nation, people rise together to counter it. At the forefront of the fight against the virus are our healthcare workers and various frontliners. Daily, they face the hazard of infection with their mantra: “We go to work for you. Please stay at home for us.”

Healthcare workers who directly work with Covid-positive patients are outnumbered; and due to their first-hand exposure, some staff requires to quarantine themselves – reducing their numbers. Another big challenge for frontliners is the lack of medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Community quarantine and social distancing have not hindered our kababayans in looking for ways to help with the battle. Different groups, individuals, classmates, and colleagues – groups big and small – have come together, despite limited resources and movement. Showing everyone that we are all in this together.

Alagang Kapwa Oras-oras (A.K.O) donation drive in partnership with the Contracts Administration Department raised funds in order to purchase PPEs, other medical supplies, and food packs needed by our frontliners of Gentri Medical Center and Hospital Inc.

Each bag consists of one disposable face mask, face shield, medicines, food packs, and a “thank you” note to spread positive energy. Thirty bags were given to the frontliners of GMCHI.

Saying thank you to our frontline workers doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. Sometimes, this small token of appreciation can go a long way. Whether they’re health care providers, security guards, food delivery personnel, fast food crew, cleaners, cashiers, grocery store employees, or linemen, this nation’s unsung heroes deserve to be celebrated for their selfless and tireless work.

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About the writer:

Debbie Jane P. Baladad. A pure Manilena, she is a lover of milk teas, naps, and ballpoint pens. She also finds addiction to watching movies and land transfers. Currently finding the enthusiasm in writing articles.

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