When the elementary school children were asked to choose a bag, the girls went for the pink one and boys for the blue, except one boy When the elementary school children were asked to choose a bag, the girls went for the pink one and boys for the blue, except one boy (left), who took a pink bag for his younger sister
Open hearts
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR - Singkit (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2019 - 12:00am

Last year, about a month after Typhoon Ompong hit and devastated large swaths of Northern Luzon, Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran – an organization of Tsinoys committed to national development – spearheaded several relief missions to Benguet province, targeting isolated and hard-to-reach municipalities for their distribution of aid and relief goods. The relief missions were supported by the generosity of the Hong Kong Amity Foundation, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. and several anonymous donors. Members of the Amity Foundation Baguio and the University of the Philippines Baguio provided valuable logistics, and volunteers gave their time and braved difficult conditions to bring much-needed relief to the storm-affected residents.

I want to start the year on a very positive note by sharing this account of an initially reluctant volunteer who ended up finding the arduous journey and exhausting mission a truly fulfilling and enriching experience.

With the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Usman in the Bicol and Visayas regions, there will unfortunately be more and very urgent need for relief missions. May those of us who were spared from the adverse effects of this late-season storm continue to open our hearts and extend our hands to help our fellow Filipinos in need.

True wealth is relative

By AR Recella

Let me start this with a confession: I hesitated a lot when I got the invitation to be part of the relief ops for Bakun. My knee-jerk reaction was to say “no” to this opportunity.

Just thinking about going to a relief operation site made me anxious. The last time I went to a disaster-stricken community for volunteer work was three years and 10 therapy sessions ago.

But, for some reason, when Orvin Hilomen extended wife Meah (Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran president)’s invitation, I was moved to at least consider it. Eventually, I said yes, despite my fears.

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