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GK Bayani Challenge 2011 Day 3: Dakila Ka Pilipino
[Date Created: April 21, 2011]

The third day of the Bayani Challenge 2011 shows that the power of caring and sharing builds more than just houses, it also builds lasting relationships. Participants, volunteers, full time workers as well as the local people living on the island are sharing an experience that will forever change their lives.

As the daily activities continue in the different areas of Bantayan Island, everyone is given the chance to learn more about the place and the residents as well as find new friends and reinforce bonds with old ones. At the builds, food is shared to everyone. Teachers and students showed their appreciation to people helping on the island through a program song and dance numbers at a local school and offered snacks to GK workers. Others gave monetary donations for a children’s party.   These are just some of the stories around the island, a proof that the culture of caring and sharing is present.  

At the Bayani Challenge each and every person goes out of their comfort zones to answer the courage to care and say yes to love others. And this makes them heroes because they choose to love more and think less of themselves.   As Issa Cuevas-Santos, GK worker, put it Bayani Challenge is not just an annual event, “it is an everyday challenge in faithfulness and heroism. Being generous beyond the call of duty,” she said.

Issa was the speaker at the third Kalinga Night held at the Sta. Fe Central School in Bantayan Island and the theme was “Dakila ka Pilipino.” She also allowed everyone to look in her life by sharing how she dealt with the death of her father when she was only 13 years old.” You can choose to love despite every reason to be angry,” she said knowing that there are no coincidences in God’s plan.

She also introduced Ian McLaughlin, Jun Joson, Benny Castillo and Matet to the audience. They all shared their story.

Ian McLaughlin is a tall white guy from Team Australia- Southern Cross. He learned about GK through his friend Curt Alejo. “They really encourage you take care of fellow human beings. I’m really moved on how you (GK) cared. I’m really getting involved because it’s for a great cause,” he said.

Jun Joson knows how it feels to be poor.  He used to be part of a militant group but his experience with GK changed him. “Nakakatakot pag usapan ang inspirasyon (I’m scared to talk about inspiration). Dito ka magpapalabas ng kabayanihan ng isang tao (because it is where heroism in manifested in an individual), he said.

Beni Castillo is a GK full time worker. A physicist who graduated from UP, he chose to work with GK in spite of opportunities to work in other organizations. “Napasok po ako sa (I decided to work with) GK dahil sa isang (because of my) conviction ko na gusto kong tumulong (to help others). Tinataya ko ang buhay ko (I put my life at stake) sa pagsisilbi sa bayan (in service for my country),” he said.    He drives the GK service vehicle and transports heroes to their destination to help the poor.  He is also part of the Caretaker Team in Botocan.

Matet is from UP a GK volunteer since 2006. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told she has five years to live.  Before her surgery she imagined going up to heaven and talking to God. She made a realization that she needs more time on Earth and told him “Lord, wag muna (not yet), gusto kong maging instrument nyo (I want to be Your instrument. Gamitin mo pa po ako (use me) Lord. The surgery was successful and that is why she offers whatever she can to serving others.

Performers that night were Jan Jan Tato from Cagayan de Oro who presented his beatbox skills, Clint Stewart Abalos did a fire dance, and the Kahoneros band from Bacolod ended the night.

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