Thursday, August 2, 2012

They come in different sizes and shapes

Week 30:

Yesterday my heart broke.

It was just an ordinary school chairs truck load delivery day with Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy to Limbaan National High School in New Corella. The sun was migthily up, piercing to the bare skin. The students were in usual pandemonium upon seeing the yellow chairs. Nothing much were noticed since their existing school chairs are mostly in good condition.

In broken record, the Barangay Captain of Limabaan was incessantly coaxing Mayor Uy to reserve the remaining chairs to this remote elementary school of his barangay which was not part of the itinerary of the day. After Limbaan National High, in a narrow dusty road with a casual uphill and downward drive, we were led to Gaudalupe Elementary School.

From afar, the lined classroom buildings looked new and fine. But the moment we entered the classrooms, what greeted us were students and their chairs in different sizes and shapes.  Many of the chairs were in awkward forms that mismatched and misfitted the sizes of the students to the chairs - either too big or too small. One could tell that these children in their fragile bodies were deprived of the comforts that's supposed to be key in absorbing any lessons taught for the day. It was heart breaking seeing children still interested in going to class while seating squatting on stout stall chairs that almost leveled the class flooring.

When they were told to bring their old chairs outside and help in the hauling of the delivered yellow chairs, all things became so swift, so fast. Everyone so excited that the old chairs were outside in minutes.

I just found myself clicking insanely on the chairs clustered under the heat of the sun. These chairs were made by the students' parents, scouring on whatever available materials around. I was murmuring nasty words inside. Cursing. I could even lament on  how it is poorly built, but no.

Suddenly it came to me. The chairs were made from labors of love. The love of the parents to their children. Mustering all there is just to send their children to school and let them sit on these chairs - all that they can afford to make. It is by the way the obligation  of the state to give them access to  decent school  facilities. Yes. Its is the right of a child to have a simple chair and have that conducive environment inside the classroom.

Its been a year now since the Care For School Chairs program started fabricating confiscated illegals into quality made  chairs and other school fixtures. More than 60,000 school chairs were already distributed to the different schools in Mindanao and even in some parts of Visayas and Luzon. It's one year now that I thought these inadequacies were long addressed but Gaudalupe proved to me that there are still a lot of things to be done; double time.

I could lament more, but no. Let the photos describe the chairs for you.


  1. I could feel the emotion, too. The photos alone communicate ineffable emotion, much more the text which was intricately stitched together to form this wonderful blog post. Two thumbs-up for this great post... the way each blog post should be written, no less.

  2. Hala! Si LEO ay isa ng EMOTERO..hahahah

    But yah that's true nga ingon ana jud ang kahimtang sa ubang eskwelahan and that's WHY the "Care for School Chairs Program" of Mayor Uy, EXIST!