(by Marco Cadayona)
On August 6, 2012, schools across the country suspended classes in response to the heavy rains barreling down on the country – the Entrepreneurs School of Asia (ESA) being one of them. As weather conditions took a turn for the worse, classes for the following day were suspended as well. On August 7, several areas in the country began to flood. With students inside, they were worried about the well being of their friends and family. So the ESA Office of Student Affairs Facebook page became a hub of information on flooded areas and impassable roads. The constant stream of information from faculty and students lead them to think ahead and consider the needs of heavily affected areas. From there, students decided to conduct relief operations for flood victims and designed a poster which announced that ESA would be accepting donations to be given to families in flooded area with the guidance and coordination of Mr. Joel Caballa, a faculty member of ESA. The poster was spread through the internet over the next couple of days as students volunteered to help out in relief operations and contact key officials of affected communities.
On the 8th of August, though the weather conditions started to subside, classes were still suspended. The Entrepreneurs School of Asia, however, opened its facilities to accept donations. With Ms. Tin Pambuan of the Office of Student Affairs on point, many students showed up to make donations and help sort and pack them for distribution. Donations of clothes, water and food were made along with 200 boxes of donuts from Mister Donut, each containing ten donuts. After students spent a majority of the afternoon sorting and packing relief goods, they set out for Brookside, Cainta. There, the ESA volunteers met up with another faculty member, Mr. Bong Berbano, who had been in contact with members of the barangay community. These people included Kagawad Junior Caidic, Kagawad Willie Generalao, Lansky Puyo and Al Pastia. These people helped coordinate the distribution of relief goods to families affected by the floods in that area. The Entrepreneurs School of Asia was able to distribute 112 packs of food, water and medicine to the families who stayed in Brookside while their homes were still submerged in water. Goods were also donated to areas in Marikina and Malabon through different members of the ESA community, while several alumni were dispatched to San Mateo, Rizal for the same purpose.
On August 9, students gathered on campus once more to prepare even more relief goods. A half a truck’s worth of sardines was donated by Ligo, which greatly helped the school’s cause. Once again, different groups of students went to San Mateo and Marikina to deliver about 50 relief packs for each area, which now included clothes as well. Another team of ESA students and staff went to Cainta once more, this time heading to the San Isidro barangay hall as the distribution site. The kagawads from the previous day were there once again to help. On the way to Cainta, a light rain started fall once more, but this did nothing to dampen the altruistic notions of the volunteers. Students had no problem handing out relief packages in the rain. On this day, about 100 relief packages were distributed to families in Cainta.
The Entrepreneurs School of Asia would like to thank those who donated goods as well as the several students and faculty members who volunteered to be part of the relief operations. The school would also like to extend its gratitude to the communities who let us reach out and lend a hand to those who were struck hard by the weather. Though we hope to avoid such occurrences in the future, ESA would be more than willing to once again assist those who need it most. It’s times like these in which the social aspect of being social entrepreneurs, something the school is promoting, is apparent in members of its community.