Saturday, February 23, 2008
PhotoHunt 98/5: Wooden
For me, one of the best tv shows being currently shown is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It’s an hour-long program detailing how a crew of volunteer designers, carpenters, plumbers, and contractors build for a deserving family a whole, live-able home, almost always from scratch, in just seven days. The homes are always, always way better than their previous version- there maybe an entirely new storey now or an elevator for a wheelchair-confined kid or a dinosaur-motif bedroom. The new home just blows the family away and gives them a renewed sense of hope and freedom.
I’m drawing inspiration again from Gawad Kalinga which I wrote about in last week’s PhotoHunt. The photo above is the welcome marker in Gawad Kalinga Bangusville Village in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, located some 200 kilometers north of the Philippine capital Manila. Bangus is the local term for milkfish, a freshwater fish that is typically found and grown in the area. The village is now home to at least 50 families who now have roofs over their heads and sturdier shelter against the storms that regularly pound their area from the South China Sea. The impact of these new homes is like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition x 50.
Gawad Kalinga homes have the most basic of amenities but these amenities are the things that matter most to them. There are also some special innovations that cater to their special needs. Given the rising cost of medicines and in recognition of the wisdom of the ages, the village residents put together an herbal garden where they grow plants with medicinal value. This common garden has a caretaker who sees to it that the plants are taken care of, that leaves of the most sought-after plants are not plucked to point of baldness. But that’s not really a problem since the residents have a great sense of community, enough to make them care enough for their neighbors to leave leaves for the others’ possible needs.
If you want to learn more about Gawad Kalinga or if you want to help, please read my previous posts about GK and visit its official website.