Back to my roots

By Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo |August 10,2018 - 09:33 PM

We are in Barangay Calawisan, Lapu-Lapu City, today for a whole day event filled with stories, arts, beauty and wellness workshops and dances. This event called “Mother and Child Day” was organized for the day care children and women of Barangay Calawisan.

This is the third event of Cebu Nanays for Nanays after the first aid and CPR session with parents from Barangay Capitol Site last June and the Food+Stories+Books in Barangay Taptap last July.

In the morning, Basadours, Inc. will handle a storytelling session with 120 children. In the afternoon, a beauty and wellness workshop will be attended by the women of the barangay.

Last night, I packed my three kids and Ate Joy in one vehicle to stay at my mother’s place here so we do not have to wake up early on a Saturday and travel from Liloan to Lapu-Lapu. We set up a tent on my grandparents’ front yard to the delight of the three mutants.

At the barangay covered court, day care teacher Charise “Maam Chacha” Tanudra, along with volunteers, put up the event tarp and decorated the stage. Cindy Ramoneda, the barangay coordinator of the Community-based Livelihood Aide (COBLIA), gathered the names of interested women in the barangay as early as June.

This week, she met with Avon sales leader Malone Inoc to discuss what is going to happen this afternoon. Mrs. Ramoneda also lent us her tables and chairs so we can use them for the program. Risherylyn Ocampo, field sales trainer of Avon, will lead the workshops.

Today’s festivity will be wrapped up by a one-hour zumba session with instructor Arlu Patalinghug Orat. This is open to everyone and we encouraged them to come in their most colorful attire. The best dressed dancers will win special prizes from Avon.

The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairperson Kian Amoin has been helpful in handling the logistical aspect of this event. Kian, along with SK Councilor Charlie Amoin, visited the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL) last May 2018. They brought children from Calawisan to the CCPL for storytelling session and quick tour of the library. We have been coordinating since then on how the SK can play a role in setting up the barangay’s reading center.

Last Wednesday, I had a meeting with Miss Leah Sausa of Jollibee to discuss how we can work together to implement this reading advocacy. This move has the stamp of approval of Mr. Nelson Judaya, senior trade marketing manager of Jollibee.

I was inspired to organize this because of the indefatigable spirit of women like Miss Cindy, Maam Chacha and Kian. Coordinating with them in the last two months has been a breeze. My mother, Maria Elena, agreed to lead the dancing with the children. My cousins will also help out in managing the children and the program with women. Lunch today will be utan bisaya and humba.

I lived in this barangay from birth to nine years old. I remember Calawisan as my playground where I used to forage wild fruits and climb trees in its wilderness. I do not get to do that now. Gone is the barangay wilderness to give way to residential spaces.

But some things do not change such as the familiar faces of people I used to see when I was a 4-year-old day care pupil. In organizing this event, I had the rare chance to meet my day care teacher, Mrs. Myrna Manayon, who is now 66 years old. I am very blessed because I got to meet my first teacher.

I cannot wait to share to you how this event turns out. The details can be read in my Reading Ruffolos blog. If there is anyone out there who wants to partner with Cebu Nanays for Nanays and the Basadours, Inc. to bring more informative and inspiring sessions for children and mothers, please let me know.

Today, I am a storyteller blessed with generous friends and partners who share their time and resources to the community where I first developed my love for learning and education.

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