The little Querubims, with their parents et al, of Querobin Maharlika Day Care Center 2 proudly parading their banner during a town festival.
By BECCA PADILLA
WHEN I began prepping to write what was to be a brief kind of footnote for a photograph, I did not realize how back-breaking that would be to pen something about a day care center so remote yet not so far from Motherlode, somewhere in San Rafael, Purok 6 called Querobin Maharlika Day Care Center.
Hmmn… at a spur of a moment I thought, wait … where the hell was that again …?
Sue me, but I can’t place it n my mind in this context.
Mental black out.
Darn! I knew we had to go for an ocular visit some months ago,…but changed our plans.
Aha! Then again I thought...
Google Map is the answer!
Only five hours and a pack of cigarettes later, was I sure to say that Google Map
is not god, as some would exclaim in jest. No chance for that, buddy, from as far as I see.
Kids display stuffed toys they just received from donors
So there, behold … as I confess my anxiety over this little known, peripheral barangay called San Rafael that has kept me awake all night and that which no Google map would even care to show me.
I think I am what you could have called..., angry?
Angry at my own ignorance of a land I call ‘Mother’, Sherlock!
I mean, San Rafael could not have been that far from my ancestral home, yet here I am, TOTALLY alienated (for lack of better term) like nobody else can!
Flashing back a little, all my four children were in Bukidnon before typhoon Maring hit Manila, and I remember smiling (a “tsk tsk smile”) as I read one of their posts on Facebook about how awed they are … etc …, and me feeling sorry for them for being such a stranger in their mother’s homeland (all four except Sanya had been born in Singapore, and Malaysia respectively).
Day-care beneficiaries show off school materials from their benefactors.
Lo and behold! I spoke too early…
Now I am moving out of “angry’, to ‘sad”.
My life never runs out of a reality checks, mind you.
What a crying shame. San Rafael, is not that far from Motherlode, in any language ... and I can’t even map it with my mind!
Can you? Can you tell me without batting an eyelash where is it exactly?
Really now... Can you?
Now I know and understand why I choose pre-learner education as my major advocacy ... best way to learn from all that I have unlearned so far, or haven’t nearly learned.
The Querobin Day-Care Center learners.
This heart-warming school for pre-learners is located at Purok 6, Tumbaga, in San Rafael, and is a joint project of Ang KaSaMa (Ang Katipunan ng mga Samahang Maharlika) and the Barangay Council of Barangay San Rafael, Jose Panganiban Camarines Norte.
This project’s modest beginnings came to being in 2004 with 17 pupils enlisted under Alma Villa Cruz as the day care teacher.
Apparently till today Ms Alma managed to keep the students together with her forbearance and patience, amicably serving the said community with an admirable sense of responsibility.
Querobin Day Care Centre is acknowledged by the DSWD, and the lot/property where it stands had been generously donated by a member of the community.
A six-kilometer drive from the main town of Jose Panganiban, QDCC can’t be called “far” at all, but the rough roads ahead can’t be called “fun” either, unless you believe in higher wisdom of all things, so to speak.
With the Centre’s growth from 17 to 25 pupils (and still counting), I truly wish to find more time and get there soon to help around with whatever I can.
Oh yes please! With the kids’ space getting over crowded, the need for some support for modest expansion is welcome! Perhaps some building materials… ‘pako’, ‘tabla’, ‘semento’, ‘pawid’…, so the children may have a happy ground that is a little bigger and better... and conducive to early learning, where the word" "study" may be pressed in their memories with fondness.
Where they could pick up the love of reading, writing, dancing , singing, and knowing the art of making Arts as a way to build up their good manners developing rounded characters and sense of individualities as they grow up to becoming responsible, respecting and respectable citizens/netizens of the future.
Volunteer moms sort out the school materials from the day-care center's supporters.
And where angels like Ms Alma, and grassroots movement pioneer/ culture bearer Deo Palma of Ang Kasama, Inc/Maharlika Summit 2014 (and perhaps even you, someday), may be more inspired and uplifted with each hopeful day for less privileged angels.
With that in mind, no amount of pork barrel scam can ever, ever hold my spirit down…
In the final analysis, I think I shall forever remain as a child, simply haunted by my own humble beginnings.