Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kusog savors small victory with successful fund raiser

What do Danilo ‘Danny’ Fadera, Rico Rafols, Floserfino ‘Flos’ Famarin and daughter Monette, Mary Jane Figurasin-Fajardo, Sibale’s No. 1 Cuncilor Vidal ‘Veding’ Ferrancullo, Annie Fabreag-Lambio and husband Dr. Angel Lambio, Sen. Mar Roxas, Michael ‘Mike’ Faderogao, Sen. Antonio ‘Sonny’ Trillanes, Merwin Mosquera, Job Atillano, Asincrito ‘Cris’ Fababair, Lipa City Councilor Merlo Silva, Mataas na Lupa Brgy. Captain Antonio ‘Tony’ Lumbera, Eduardo T. Mahiya, Basilio ‘Jun’ Mendoza, Eustiquio Famatigan, Leodegario ‘Oding’ Fedejas, Lemuel ‘Sino’ Fanoga, Daniel ‘Danggal’ Fortis, Teddy ‘Pololoy’ Macagaling, Georgio ‘Kamandag’ Fabella, Bienvenido ‘Utan’ Rodelas, Cynthia Rodelas, Bernard Comia, Gil Quiambao, Victoria Maningas, Ressy Lachica, Brgy. Captain Robert ‘Boret’ Magsino, and Raul de Vera, Jr. have in common?

They are all Good Samaritans in the truest sense of the biblical account of the charitable journeyman who came into the aid of a dying stranger mugged and robbed by highwaymen.

Since ancient times, the story about the Good Samaritan has come to symbolize not only the act of helping victims of mugging, robbery, or rape, but all voluntary, unselfish acts of generosity of a person to his fellow man. It is often cited to describe the innate goodness of the heart that gives.

It is also always cited to express the gratitude and thanks of the heart—or the hand—that receives, in this case by Kusog Sibalenhon, Inc., which is the beneficiary of the Good Samaritan gesture of the above-named individuals.

There. In three paragraphs, I’ve gotten off at last with my prefatory statement before I say thank you.

Thank you very sincerely to all of you for your gifts of charity and money contribution to the fund-raiser of the Kusog. That fund-raiser has behind it an exciting story you might care to hear.

We called it “Kayog nak Pabuta: Usang Dominggong Bingo” which we should have conducted last June 22 to bring cheer to and help our fellow Sibalenhons in Lipa City cope with the economic crisis ravaging the country through the distribution of rice and grocery items.

But “Kayog” was rained out by Typhoon Frank, that’s why we had to postpone it for June 29. So yesterday, even while it was drizzling and most Filipino souls were glued to their TV sets watching Manny Pacquiao demolish David Diaz, we finally pushed through with the bingo at the Social Hall of the Lipa City Lion’s Club.

The event was more than we expected. Over a hundred Sibalenhons turned out to play the game, mostly mothers with their kids in tow. This social hall has always been the Mecca of Sibalenhons in Lipa and yesterday the social hall was again full. The gathering turned out to be another reunion and the atmosphere was festive. Very Sibalenhon.

The officials and members of Kusog were there. So were the members. So were those who have heard of the Kusog phenomenon and are aspiring to join. And some Kusog supporters, of course, were there. Seen milling around was former San Pedro barangay captain Antonietto Fabella, who played even with just one bingo card. Macnes Federico, a successful industry owner from Dalajican, was there; so was Jun Mendoza, the incoming hermano mayor of the Sibale Fiesta in Lipa, who was accompanied by wife Victoria.

Most, it seemed, were exhausted after the game, which promptly started at 2:00 P.M. and ended at 7:00 P.M. But the exhaustion was not the main story. It was that 60 percent of the players went home as happy winners, hauling off with them sacks of rice, sardines, sugar, coffee, noodles, some home appliances and kitchen utensils, detergent bars, carpentry tools, and many other items all contributed by the Good Samaritans I mentioned above. Again, thank you to all of you, Good Samaritans. We hoped you were there so you would have seen for yourself the faces of our fellow Sibalenhons that you cheered up with your gifts.

But there was a more heart-rending footnote to “Kayog” which I personally witnessed. This was the poor mother—not a Sibalenhon—who apparently bought five bingo cards (at P10 per card) from a Sibalenhon (whose name I shall not mention), but who did not remit the money to the Kusog treasurer.

Per our rules, an unpaid card will not be allowed to be played and Mariz Fabellon-Federico, Kusog treasurer, politely turned the woman away, who was with her child, explaining to her very patiently the rules. The woman insisted that she had paid for her cards to the Sibalenhon (who I silently cursed for disappearing with the P50 payment). True enough, the cards when examined was genuinely Kusog’s, but it lacked a signature (which meant payment has not been received or remitted).

The teary-eyed woman, sighing heavily, turned back, walking away more heavily. But at the gate, she made a sudden about-face, fished out a crisp 50-peso bill from her pocket, walked towards Mariz and handed her the money. Mariz quickly ushered her to a nearby table where she laid out her five cards. Just after a few minutes, on the second roll of the “tambiolo”, the woman won a sack of rice! What luck! An angel, I suppose, guided the woman, even as I can say that a devil laid siege on the heart of the Sibalenhon who ran away with the woman’s card money.

Because of the huge success of the fund-raiser, we plan to hold a second “Kayog nak Pabuta” this September, and we hope you can join us this time, either as sponsor or game participant. But please help me track down this fellow who is giving the Sibalenhons a bad name. Tell him/her, if you see him/her, that the woman he/she conned of P50 had won in “Kayog nak Pabuta” and that she was very happy.

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