Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2 Days of Being a Hero in Bayani Challenge 2015

Back when our grandparents were young, there was this tradition called "bayanihan". To the millenials, it's probably difficult to imagine having the entire barangay carry your house to transfer to a new location.

But that's how they did it in the early days, when houses were bahay kubo, not made of cement, and it was portable enough to lift and move your entire house. Did you have to pay the barangay members in cash? Nope, but showing your gratitude by feeding them was sufficient.

Fast forward to the 20th century, and that spirit of bayanihan is still very much alive, specially in the Gawad Kalinga villages. These GK communities bring back the hope and dignity of our less fortunate brethren by providing them low-cost housing, and a sustainable livelihood that will enable them to feed themselves.

The benefactors are screened very strictly. Yes, they get their house for free, but each has to pitch in effort. By themselves, it will take forever to build the dwelling units, that's why volunteers are called to help carry the burden. Thus, the Bayani Challenge.

Bayani (heroes) are not special people.

A hero is a man who does what he can.
Romain Rolland

Gathered that weekend of June were individuals and groups who are willing to make a difference. No we didn't carry houses and we're not even skilled workers, but we carried pails of cement, we mixed sand and gravel, we stacked up hollow blocks, we cleared out weeds, we painted, we played with the children, we danced, we distributed school supplies.


Look at who we are, and you'll see there are no boundaries and no barriers as to who can help--men, women, young and old. There are members of the Air Force of the Philippines, Philippine National Police (PNP), the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Light of Jesus (Feasters). There are university students, high school students, corporate volunteers from LBC, Meralco, sponsors from R. Lapid's. And even individuals who just had the same heart of giving their time, talent, and treasure.

members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)

Rescue Team offering free blood pressure check
members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

R Lapid's group
Air Force of the Philippines

students of Infant Jesus Academy
Rescue 926 of Makati
Team LBC

kaPulisan PNP

Team Anonymous (group of individuals)

These are the activities we did :

House Build

pass the pail of cement

Paraisong Pambata

kids enjoying spaghetti, cup cake, and juice
PNP participating in Palarong Pambata

June celebrants received stuffed toys

Palarong Pinoy Amazing Race

gulong sa putikan

Unity Walk

write the lyrics of Lupang Hinirang and sing it!

complete the puzzle

Team Singapore
eat a bitter gourd for every wrong move

crawl pa more

Fire Hose Bath

Bureau of Fire prepping

da firetruck

the onlookers get wet as well!

volunteers enjoying a fire hose bath

with the fireman
group hug with the fireman!
posing by the firetruck

ate Kathy and kapitan serving warm taho
to the wet volunteers

Boodle Fight

prepping the table



Post-Boodle snack?

Unity Dance

"Walang imposible, pag #walangiwanan"

walang kamatayang Unity Dance :
morning, noon, and night!

Bonding with other volunteers & meaningful conversations

pack 12 volunteers in a room, and here's what you get

with Mart, ang malambing na bata

with Miel, GK staff and volunteer

kami ay nagpapalaman ng semento

To see people from different walks of life in a selfless attitude gives you a lot of hope that yes, our country is worth loving for (sorry, "worth dying for" is too morbid for me). Together, we can end poverty.

Was it easy? No.

At the end of the day, our bodies were sore.

We smelled. #amoybayani naman
Our tan is one shade darker. #heroicbrown ang kulay namin

If you wish to be a hero for a day, you can still be part of the Bayani Challenge. For more details, please visit :

A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.
Debi Mazar


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