JUST A THOUGHT: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ― Mother Teresa
GUESTS, NOT EVACUEES: They’re not evacuees.
They’re called, and are considered, guests at the Welcome Shelter put up by De La Salle Lipa in Lipa City, Batangas in response to cries for help among those displaced by the Jan. 12 eruption of Taal Volcano.
As befitting guests, the ‘’visitors’’ were treated to a free hour-long concert of OPM hits, and then some, by Kundirana, the music ministry of brother school La Salle Greenhills, on the afternoon of Jan. 25, when we visited.
MODEL EVACUATION CENTER: At the kitchen laboratory of Hotel and Restaurant Management students, we saw a team from LJC Group preparing dinner of sweet and sour bola bola for the house guests numbering 80 families or 348 persons.
A day earlier, Dfezie Torres- Tipan of the school’s communications department, tells us a team from Mang Inasal prepared meals for them.
Kudos to our alma mater, DLSL, and its president Br. Dante Jose Amisola, FSC, for launching what should be the model evacuation center locally, probably the first of its kind since the word calamity became a Philippine property.
FACILITIES, PLUS: The Shelter, housed at the school’s sprawling Sports Center, has tents for each family, clean toilets and baths, recreation facilities, even free wifi and calls.
It is also equipped with a kitchen, mess hall, laundry area, portalets, charging stations, first aid area, and water station. Br. Dante says that through the temporary shelter, they hope to give guests a semblance of normalcy in their lives far away from home.
‘’We want them to feel we’re creating a community here where they can take care of each other in a dignified way,” he said.
Br Dante says DLSL is in coordination with local government units (LGUs) before accepting families or individuals into the welcome shelter. La Salle also thanks its many partners in this endeavor, including various companies, interest groups, local government units, and non-government organizations that offer help in cash or in kind.
To help in the relief efforts, call (043) 302-2910 or (043) 302-2911 or check out Facebook @delasallelipa.
LA SALLIAN MISSION: As we tour the old-new campus, Dfezie explains hot meals are served thrice a day as prepared by HRM majors.
The Shelter, whose residents come from affected and afflicted areas Taal, Lemery, Laurel, Alitagtag and Mataas na Kahoy, is run by volunteers that include faculty, students and parents.
Other perks offered guests are sports and physical fitness activities, reading classes, games for children, counselling sessions.
All of these, says Br. Dante, are part of and in keeping with the Lasallian Mission to help in the rehabilitation efforts of their guests.
CALLING LA SALLE BATCH 1970: Our high school batch of 1970, represented by Dante Lantin and myself on this visit, has pledged to support our school’s Shelter for Taal survivors as part of our golden jubilee celebration this year.
De La Salle’s high school batch of 1970 will hold its grand homecoming and golden anniversary (50 years) on Feb. 29 at the school’s old gymnasium.
The gym, home to many of our youthful adventures, is just one of the few remaining original structures on campus.
By the way, Class of 1970 batchmates are encouraged to attend the celebration by either calling or texting 0917-824-8623 or 0917-800-5986.