Brought to you by Rock Ed Los Baños

Someone over a bucket of beer asked me if all Rock Ed did was gigs and concerts. I know that that is what we are known for.  What most don’t see is that many many many groups who volunteer for Rock Ed hold small-scale but relevant projects regularly.  Case in point would be the storytelling sessions, the alternative classes, the medical missions, the dance workshops with the deaf, the pad paper collection drive and the perpetual book donations that Rock Ed volunteers do in their own neighborhood.

Case in point: Yakap Nutrisyon 2006. My brother said that the same group of friends that held a medical mission last year wanted to do another project.  So he asked if we could raise some amount to help them with it.  So, one week’s worth of texting asked for small donations for an alternative class in health and nutrition in a small barangay in the outskirts of UP Los Baños.  Rock Ed Central Office’s Leslie Umaly was able to collect a small amount from 20 people and gave the donation to a group of nutrition students from Rock Ed Los Baños.  Headed by Matel Escobin, these Nutrition majors invited over 30 kids to come over for a Sunday morning of learning how to wash their hands properly, the effects of not washing before meals, basic health care and the need to be active alongside liking vegetables.  It was a very simple learning workshop, but the kids were provided educational fun, even for just one day.   

Each child was given a school supplies gift pack, taken from the small donations that people gave.  Minsan fifty pesos, one hundred pesos ang na-do-donate pero ang laki ng tulong sa project.  I have never even met these UPLB volunteers.  I haven’t met many volunteers from the other provinces like Zamboanga, Iloilo, Cebu. Many of them don’t photo-docu their work. They don’t think it’s important. We were lucky that someone brought a camera that day in LB and sent us the photos months after. Ang daming Pilipinong ganito.  Gumagawa ng mabuti, pero hindi ipina-pabillboard o hindi nilalagay sa plywood sa may kalye na “This is a Project of …..” Sana matuto ang mga nasa gobyerno mula sa mga volunteers natin.  May ginagawa, maski walang nakakita. Gawa muna bago posing sa tarp. Naman eh.

Tell us if you know of a community that needs alternative classes.  Tell us if there’s a group of children in your barangay that may benefit from a small Sunday morning project like this one. Tell us if you want to run a project of your own.  This is how one volunteers for Rock Ed.

Changes happen through simple diligence. With or without the recognition. Ang dami nating ganung volunteers.  One day, magtatayo ako ng comprehensive gallery ng mga maliliit at malalaking inalay ng mga tao sa mga projects natin. Yan ang project ko pag dating ng 2015.  Isang malaking thank you. I am so proud to be part of this collective.  Sana kayo rin.

Our public schools need all the help they can get.  Sometimes all we can offer is a fun weekend for their students.  If this is all we can do for now, so be it. But let’s not stop. 

Let’s not stop. No excuses.

Text by Gang Badoy
Photos courtesy of Matel Escobin, Jun Badoy © 2007