Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Filrose Peralta Foundation: a long Journey begins with a Small step

by Marciano "m-16" A. Paroy Jr.

Imagine this: a child goes to school day in day out by hiking a winding rocky road sandwiched by sloping green farmlands. Our parents or grandparents perhaps in the 1940’s? Remember that constant reminder which most of us have grown up with? But no. This is not a condition from decades before. Try Tabuk 2009.
For those among us who have cloistered our children, nieces and nephews so that they can receive that cliché-sounding quality education, it will come as a surprise to know that such a circumstance still exists.
Going to school barefoot… just the image of that conjures other thoughts of basic needs that some parents in the rural areas cannot still provide. At least, we give them credit for their determination to send their children to school which – by anyone’s parenting standards – is deserving of approval. A step ahead, so-to-speak.
Anybody can quote the aphorism about beginning a voyage with that one small step – and using it to serve figurative purposes, that is what exactly took place last week in Pacak, Agbannawag.
Mario Peralta, member of the Board that runs the Filrose Peralta Foundation – presently based in California – visited Tabuk to fulfill a promise of providing slippers to schoolchildren that comprise the three-room primary school of Pacak, Agbannawag.
The distribution activity, held last December 11 at the Pacak school grounds, was an offshoot of the Foundation’s commitment to extend assistance to the needy farmers of the rural areas – specifically the provision of seed money for the farming ventures of residents.
“Although farmers are the inital recipients of our assistance in Pacak, we have thought of looking into other ways by which we could help the residents in this sitio of Agbannawag,” Mr. Peralta said. “and since education is right in the core of our assistance programs, we identified the children of our farmers as worthwhile beneficiaries too.”
Ms. Linda Kissob, the regular teacher in said school, was enthusiastic about the Foundation’s looking into their pupils’ needs, as she said “It is not always that we get attention from well-meaning groups, and as you can gauge by the lack of facilities – most notably our lack of electrical power source – we have to make do with what is available.”
The school, which also houses a pre-school level, is under the auspices of Agbannawag Elementary School, employs two other teachers: Lourdes Allib and Maricel Loyod-Dalacnas – both with casual status. These three teachers share the daily tasks of instilling education and values in the pupil’s receptive minds. Add to that the burden of being weighed down by the sorry state of their learning environment – and, presto, we have a team which is as tired physically as psychologically by the end of the day.
In fairness, we have learned that our elected political leaders do give their share of helping out, including the Department of Education-Kalinga Division – as well as other civic-spirited citizens and groups. And now, Filrose Peralta Foundation, with its agenda-free stance, is a welcome addition to the band.

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