Every day, grade schoolers, also known as “mga batang lukso” of the Mababoy Elementary School in Brgy. Guinhadap, Masbate jump off a cliff to brave a 300-meter, half an hour swim in deep and rocky ocean waters just to get to school.
Hope for a better life and education as a way out of poverty drive these children to wade across the sea, despite the danger of getting sick or getting swept away by the waves.
This was two years ago.
Today, these children are now being conveniently and safely ferried to and from their school through yellow boats, thanks to the kindness and compassion of philanthropists and generous groups such as the Yellow Boat Project which aims to help children in poor, far-flung communities who struggle to go to school.
Besides transporting the children to school, the project also sought to help Mababoy Elementary School in building more classrooms and providing more school supplies and clothes for the students.
Responding to the needs of the poor school in Masbate, ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition show recently organized a benefit concert for the institution. Building materials provider, CEMEX Philippines, donated hundreds of sacks of cement during the “Build-a-Big Dream School Project” concert where PBB's teen housemates performed various song and dance numbers. Edward Ello, a student from the beneficiary school, joined the concert with his own touching “May Bukas Pa” number.
The donation will be used to build more classrooms for Mababoy Elementary School, to cater to the growing number of students who go back to school now that a safer mode of transportation is available.
“Part of a good education is having enough infrastructures for students. With more classrooms, students don’t have to cram in a limited space. They’ll be able to concentrate more on what they have to learn,” said Chito Maniago, CEMEX corporate communications and public affairs director, who announced the support of CEMEX inside big brother's “confession room” after the show.
Meanwhile, as part of its education advocacies, CEMEX Philippines Foundation has also partnered with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Brigada Eskwela, an annual event that brings together volunteer employees, community members, teachers, and parents in preparing public schools in time for school opening.
More than a hundred volunteers showed up to help clean, repaint, refurbish, and repair the facilities of Boso-Boso Elementary School in Antipolo City and the Cabuan Elementary School in Naga City, Cebu.
Several barangay officials and community members led by San Jose Chairman Ronaldo “Puto” Leyva also helped in the clean-up activity in Antipolo City. Rocky Quibuyen, Boso-Boso School principal said, “Brigada Eskwela is really a year round activity because of the need to consistently maintain the schools. We thank all those who partnered with us to help accommodate our students and allow them to literally have a fresh start.”
“Brigada Eskwela is a showcase of collaboration and volunteerism that helps ensure quality education for Filipino children by providing an environment that is conducive to learning,” said CEMEX VP for Human Resources Gina Eala.