“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Kalamansig is a first class municipality of the province of Sultan Kudarat. A coastal town , it has an estimated population of 46, 4o8 based on the 2010 census. The original settlers of Kalamansig are the Manobo, but christians and muslims now comprise the majority of inhabitants here. The town can be accessed via the fully cemented Upi-Lebak road coming from Awang, Cotabato. Other access routes are from the town of Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat and from Sen. Ninoy Aquino, although these are via rough, uncemented roads. The main source of livelihood in Kalamansig is fishing and agriculture.
By giving school supplies to the Manobo families. "lapis at papel" aims to encourage the IPs of Kalamansig to send their kids to school.
Kalamansig is blessed with pristine island beaches and a well preserved marine fauna. Often, left out of the travel destination list by most because of distance, Kalamansig however, offers one of the best marine resources I’ve seen in this country.
One of the problems besetting Kalamansig is getting the indigenous people- Manobo kids, to go to school.
Thus, the “lapis at papel” advocacy of Ronan Eugene Garcia was born. By giving school supplies to the Manobo families. “lapis at papel” aims to encourage the IPs of Kalamansig to send their kids to school The advocacy hopes to instil the value for education in the IP culture that considers education secondary to earning a living.
Upon the invitation of Mr. Ronan Garcia, eleven photographers and bloggers comprising SoxOutdoors team collected school supplies from sponsors and brought these to the kids of Getang Kalabaw and Pungol Danawan, Balet Island in Kalamansig. The community outreach was made possible by no less than Kalamansig LGU and Mayor Rolando P. Garcia himself. The timing was perfect because it coincided with Kalamansig’s 54th foundation anniversary.
I was one of those who joined this community outreach. I have no words to describe the happiness this outreach brought to the Manobo families of Getang Kalabaw and Pungol Danawan (Balet Island). It’s Sunday afternoon and seeing kids going back to their school for their “lapis at papel”, speaks of the thousand hopes I have for Getang kalabaw and Pungol Danawan .Take a look at these pictures.
Some photos are by Mr. Arnold Cordero (Posted with permission)I thought I have seen all that evokes compassion and care in a profession that services the sick and the poor. I was wrong. This moment is even more powerful and moving. The reason? Perhaps, I’m too used to “heroic’ and altruistic acts often considered “superhuman” by most. Perhaps, the ripple effects of simple, random acts of kindness far exceeds my expectations. I don’t know. Maybe I need not know.
I’m happy though, I learned these valuable lessons from this community outreach
- Random acts of kindness. There’s so much joy in doing simple, random acts of kindness.
- Perspective. Our problems are mundane compared to the problems others are facing.
- More than places, the best outdoor adventure is about people. Interacting, learning, observing and listening to their stories, makes the whole outdoor experience a memorable one!
If you want to offer help for the lapis at papel advocacy for Kalamansig you may contact Mr. Ronan Garcia or Nanardz Navarro of Sox Outdoors.We are thankful for the people who made this event possible- LGU Kalamansig headed by Mayor Rolando P. Garcia, Mr. Ronan “Nobody” Garcia and 707 transport Coop for bringing us to Kalamansig. Mona Sidik for hosting us in Poral beach. Our behind the scene sponsors, Sukelco Tacurong via Nof Suropia, Kim Surmela and his benevolent sponsors, SoX Outdoors for assembling #TeamChooga to bring in the school supplies. To Arnold Cordero, Nhoy, salamat Nhoy.