By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)
CHICAGO (jGLi) – A lot of times when you see kids jumping on the street as they make their way to and from schools on school days, they are not really dancing nor are they having fun.
They are actually grimacing in pain as they struggle to avoid the sun-baked concrete or asphalt road when they are walking with their bare feet.
On the other hand, if there is low turnout of students in the school, it’s not because they are sick or having errands. It’s because they are too hungry to go to school because they have nothing to eat.
Zayda O. Baron, former president of Bikol U.S.A. of Chicago and former president of Bikol National Association of America (BNAA), appealed to the officers and members of Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest during a meeting last Oct. 7 at 3839 N. Kedzie in Chicago, Illinois to send in contributions so that she can buy sleepers for students, who are walking barefoot.
Ms. Baron was referring to very poor students in the far-flung areas in Bikol region, whose parents cannot even afford to buy sandals for their school-age children.
On the other hand, she also noticed that there is a preponderance of absentee students because many students have no food to eat during breakfast nor do they have any food to wrap up in their brown bags for their lunch.
However, it was not discussed if parents are being educated to stop having children if they don’t have jobs and if they have no money to raise a family.
In response to the appeal, Evelyn R. Tolledo, president of Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, has encouraged members and friends of the club to donate money during the club’s Masquerade Ball starting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 29, 2011 at 3839 North Kedzie in Chicago.
During her brief remarks, Ms. Baron said the $1,000 check donated by the club to victims of Typhoon “Juaning” last July 30 was given to many families, who each received one kilo of rice and six dried fishes. These were mostly for families in Bato, Bula, Buhi and Nabua, Camarines Sur. She brought albums of photos that documented the distributions.
She was assisted in the distributions by her husband, Senen, her brother, the late Engr. Joe Ordonez, former President of Bikol U.S.A. and Ordonez’s wife, Virginia or Jenny and other volunteers.
She also bought a big container of bread and ice cream for very poor school children. Parents of these children even begged to also have ice cream.
Ms. Baron also reported that the BNAA, of which the Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest is a member, has so far 38 scholars in Bikol.
Because of the unceasing presence of typhoons in the region, there were discussions on the fruit-bearing plants that should be encouraged to grow in Bikol. The most popular suggestion is the lemon because of its very short stature at maturity – it bears fruit even if it is very short and will not be swaying with the punishing wind. Honorable mention is the dwarf coconut that is also indigenous in the region, like the lemon, and can avoid the whipping of the typhoons.
During the meeting, there was also a treasurer’s report of the annual golf tournament dedicated to the late Bikol U.S.A. President Joe Ordonez. The tournament was held last Sept. 25 at Big Oaks Golf Club & Country Club in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The club is also slated to hold its Christmas Party on Dec. 9, when new set of officers will be elected.
The Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest brought cheers to victims of Typhoon “Juaning” last July after they received one kilo of rice and six dried fish in Bikol region.
Former Bikol U.S.A. of Chicago and BNAA President Zayda O. Baron (fourth from right, back row) joins a group of volunteers in one of the lulls of the distribution of rice to disaster typhoon victims inside the Sto. Domingo Church in Nabua, Camarines Sur. Also in photo are from left (back row) are Larry Casero, Senen Baron, Virginia “Jenny” Ordonez, Fr. Jess Berdol, Julie Briguel, Don Darondon, Danilo Briguel and Jose Vinson and other volunteers. (jGLi Photos courtesy of Zayda Baron) (firstname.lastname@example.org)