by Lolito C. Bayna Jr.

My three children swiftly rushed to me as soon as I opened the door. All were excited to receive their “pasalubong” (presents) but to my dismay, I cannot even hand them any. My wife even welcomed me with a spark of ire on her face.

That was the moment I realized it’s not easy to give your heart to the community.

It even reached to a point where I found myself stuck in a very difficult situation. I was totally engrossed with my altruist pursuit in our village that I had a sparse time with my family.

I’ve been a community volunteer. Upon the acceptance of this, I know I married our village together with its dreams and aspirations.

Each day is an opportunity to help my neighbors and time was an important elemet in my journey as a volunteer.

The ride was an extraordinary experience of ups and downs. As the head of the volunteers in our community, I worked full time and became a good example to the people. I believe that doing the right thing is something they could look up to me as their leader.

I never wasted time. Each day is a chance to help my neighbors in improving the quality of their lives.

In Kalahi-CIDSS, I learned that it’s possible to practice good governance. I developed a staunch belief that honest service to others comes from the purest intention of your heart.

However, there are few people who will drag you down. They might talk unpleasant things behind your back and doubt you as their leader. But these did not defy my high spirit. It is from my family and the children in our community where I elicit my strength to continue my quest.

Upon the entry of Kalahi-CIDSS, there were numerous questions escalated from those resistant to reform.  What is the project about? Who are the people behind it? Why is it here?

By the time we conducted the community assembly, it was just then everything was made clearer to them. As days went by, the number of people in opposition was diminished and the implementation of the project went smoothly. I realized that if all the people are supportive and participative, we can achieve our goals together.

After all those laborious days, our community was able to build a solar dryer in a span of 32 days. Those sleepless and tiresome days were replaced by jovial rush of hope as soon as we have seen it completed.

This is the biggest reward I could receive from all the sacrifices I made. Despite few setbacks, I was able to claim that I have contributed to the growth of our community.

The solar dryer is a gift to the people from the people. Farmers will now have the convenience in terms of saving time and money.

But the greatest gift I can take home for my family is the token of a brighter future for our children in the community and its forthcoming generation.

I salute Kalahi-CIDSS for giving attention given to poor communities like us.

Lolito “Tolits” C. Bayna Jr. 34 y/o of Purok 1-Pigbucan, Tinapian is the Barangay Subproject Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairman for Kalahi-CIDSS Makamasang Tugon which was implemented last 2011-2012 in Manito Albay. Their subproject under DSWD was the construction of 13×37 Solar Dryer with a total project cost of Php377, 739.95.