Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Bohol- Based Volunteer Group That Calls Itself B.R.I.D.G.E.S.

Photographer Dennis Saco
Right after a pre- nuptial photo and video shoot that we did for Borgy and Glenda, ace Boholano photographer Dennis Saco organized a ragtag team of volunteers as a response to the call to help fellow Boholanos who have been hit the hardest by a 7.2 killer quake that struck our province last October 15.

The province is still trying to regain its lost footing and hope to rise again and rebuild the badly hit areas particularly in the northwestern area of the province

Dennis never had the slightest inkling that the group would become one of the teams that would get the attention of donors especially when the group started posting in Facebook and Twitter. 

Next came the national and international press like BBC, New York Times, Bloomberg, Time Magazine, ABC CBC News. 

The media were particularly interested to buy the rights to a two minute video that captured the devastation in Dauis minutes after the quake struck

Loon's famous coral steps
Photo Credit: Chrismael Caldo
Maribojoc's Punta Cruz Tower was not spared from the tremorsPhoto Credit: Chrismael Caldo
Tent cities have sprouted in many areas of the provincePhoto Credit: Chrismael Caldo

The response to the call for volunteers has been overwhelming too especially from the youth & student sector and from young professionals like nurses. 

We also have colleagues in the Bohol wedding suppliers sector and scores of Boholano photographers who have extended assistance

The next logical step right after a semblance of order had been established was to have an official name for the group for identity & transparency purposes. 

Potential donors and volunteers have been asking for the name of the group and we couldn’t come up with a name because of other pressing concerns

Anyway, I’m very proud to inform everyone that the private sector based- volunteer group that was organized by Dennis Saco has been aptly named B.R.I.D.G.E.S.  

The acronym B.R.I.D.G.E.S  stands for Bohol Relief Initiatives & Developmental Group Entities

During our brainstorming, we agreed that the word Bridge best describes us for we are the conduit, the channel or the bridges between the private sector of donors & the victims/ affected families

The use of the word Initiatives is perfect also because the group after all was the result of the organizer’s initiative and creativity

We also agreed to use the word Entities because the group is composed of different volunteers/ members who come from various backgrounds yet bound by the same goal: to help Bohol in its relief, rehabilitation & recovery efforts

Please visit my Facebook page as well as that of Dennis Saco so you will be updated with the donations, donors and the scope of services extended already

Finally, a name for our volunteer group

Here's the link to the FB Page of BRIDGES

Thanks also to Youthlead Phil for initiating and arranging the first coordination meeting of the private sector- based relief goods organizations in Bohol.

Here are some photos taken during the meeting

2006 Bb Pilipinas World  & 2005 Miss Bohol Anna Maris Igpit shares her experiences
Linton Jake Lim Gregorio raises a valid point during the coordination meeting 

Of course our appreciation to the various relief organizations that joined and expressed solidarity. God bless!

Here’s the message from John Maraguinot who spearheaded the initial meeting last Monday at the San Antonio de Padua Parish Church 
“It's heartwarming and, at the same time, entertaining to sit down and listen to fellow relief workers share about their experiences in the field and the challenges they encountered while doing their various relief activities.  
The mapping activity, though a simple one, conveyed to us all a powerful message - collaboration and coordination.  
I think its high time that our colleagues in the private relief organizations sit down and come up with solid recommendations to strengthen collaboration to make sure that we leave no communities behind.  
We need to do this for Bohol.
And here is the photo from Chrismael Caldo that captures the optimism and resilience of Bohol and its people
Smiles in the midst of adversity

Photo Credits: Copyright infringement not intended

Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

  no fairy tale ending SPAIN CONQUERED THE PHILIPPINES AGAIN. Whenever discussions and debates center on who is considered as the m...