Enderun Entrepreneurs Society Sparks Happiness For Western Bicutan Fire Victims
Nestled within McKinley Hill’s vibrant urban hub, the Enderun campus took a break from usual business as Titans commemorated Holy Week this year. Meanwhile, just over six kilometers away on the afternoon of March 25, fire struck the TUP compound of Barangay Western Bicutan, Taguig City, leaving three people dead and over 700 families displaced.
As homeless residents found temporary shelter at the barangay’s covered court and at Tenement Elementary School, the gravity of the incident had left barangay officials asking for much needed help and tapping kind hearts for support.
In response, Enderun Entrepreneurs Society spearheaded #ProjectHappiness, a donation drive to collect clothes, hygiene items, nonperishable food, toys, and school supplies for the benefit of the victims, especially for the children. With overwhelming support from the Titan community and the school’s Social Orientation and Community Development (SOCD) Department, the student organization was able to prepare nearly 130 small bags of assorted clothes for families along with toys and shoes for toddlers. A generous donation of 300 pairs of slippers was also made by Havaianas for the second time around, the first being for students of Bachao Elementary School last year in line with EES’ shoebox campaign.
During its visit at the barangay’s covered court on the afternoon of May 24, members and officers of the student organization were welcomed by beneficiaries who excitedly formed a long line as donations were being brought in. For a while, expectation took away their attention from the all-too-familiar sight of hanging blankets, laundry, and stacked home items inside the court. A glimmer of hope and happiness set the crowded shelter abuzz for remaining homeless victims, momentarily replacing frowns with smiles and reminding them, with a stub and a stamp for each family representative that they were being thought of.
As parents and children returned to their daily grind with new clothes, hygiene items, toys, shoes, and slippers in hand, their heartfelt ‘thank you’s left a mark on the students as well. More than just an experience, it enlightened in them a humane view of the world that makes serving one’s community of personal importance. EES member Angel Centeno shared that witnessing the aftermath of the incident firsthand was very different from a previous experience when she personally handed goods to people living on the streets for her birthday. “I’m really glad that I was able to do outreach program again after a year. Thank you, EES, for the opportunity,” she added.
As part of its semestral social responsibility efforts, the student organization is actively seeking ways to develop awareness about social issues present in the community and to encourage unity for a cause through the spirit of volunteerism among its members and sphere of influence. Officers of the organization believe that efforts such as this are relevant and necessary because, no matter how small, one act of kindness can spark timely hope for an entire community.
EES would also like to thank Ms. Anne Gonzalez of Havaianas, Sir Choy Arnaldo, Ms. Ana Tuason Galang, Ms. Carin Gonzalez, Ms. Sarah Navarro and Ms. April Asperin of SOCD, student volunteers, the Titan community, as well as Barangay Western Bicutan and DSWD officials for making #ProjectHappiness possible, not only as a way of bringing relief to beneficiaries, but also as a vital learning experience students may draw inspiration from and professionalize in their chosen careers.
Photos courtesy of Angel Centeno, Ryan Muliloda, and Nicole Boncales