By Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa
BRGY. 95, DECENA, Pasay City – It was around four o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, October 24, 2015 when children of the said barangay started lurking and playing outside of their homes upon reaching the barangay hall.
A Chinese-looking girl, who happens to be a student assistant in Letran, came by and gave decisive directions.
“Pasok na lang kayo d’yan, andyan yung mga kagawad. Kaya lang wala si Sir Leeroy,” she said.
The barangay hall looked like an old-structured house that made it very hospitable to guests. By knowing that students from Letran were their visitors, they automatically smiled and offered seats.
“Ahh, Letran pala kayo. Partner [community] niyo kami eh,” Mrs. Sanchez, the barangay’s bookkeeper said.
“Ano bang pakay niyo? Wala pa si Kapitan, around 5PM pa siya dadating. Nasa kapilya pa,” Kag. Edith Remanente said.
By explaining the purpose of the interview, Kag. Remanente agreed to have a few exchange of words.
The community service that the Letran Operations Management Society (LOMS) planned for Brgy. 95 was Kumpil or the Sacrament of Confirmation. Unfortunately, the community service is set to be implemented next semester due to activity ban.
On the other hand, LOMS will still be lucky because according to Kag. Remanente, there is a huge number of Catholics in their barangay.
“Pero if you’ll ask me kung bata or matanda ang mas maraming hindi pa nakakapagkumpil, matatanda ‘yun. Kasi ang mga bata, kasama ‘yun sa school nila eh. When they reach Grade 6, that’s compulsory,” she added.
“Every year, tuwing fiesta ng Sta. Clara ‘pag February, sabay-sabay na ‘yun. Libreng binyag, kasal, at kumpil. Catholic kasi si Kapitan kaya active kami [religious affairs],” Mrs. Sanchez said.
According to Kag. Remanente, the reason why the number of adults are more than the children was because of financial matters. Instead of paying for the Confirmation, they’d just set their money to buy their basic needs.
Community Services offered by Letran
Colegio de San Juan de Letran, upholding its mission and vision, has a vast number of partner communities may it be schools, barangays, provinces, and the like. Brgy. 95, Decena, Pasay City is one of those.
Through Kagawad and Inst. Robert Leeroy Lim, the barangay was chosen and is now a partner community of Letran for three years.
“Marami nang naging community service ang Letran dito. Medical and dental missions, feeding programs, livelihood programs. Dati ‘yung livelihood program niyo dito about virgin coconut oil ‘yun eh. Tsaka sports clinic. ‘Yung dental mission naman libreng bunot tsaka libreng gamot din,” Kag. Edith Remanente recalled.
They also shared that there were some Letran students who went to their barangay to conduct a door-to-door survey. Truly, Letran has been close to their hearts ever since.
Having been a partner community of Letran for three years, the barangay officials agreed that their most important need among all the community services offered is the health services.
“I’m not saying na hindi important ‘yung kumpil since meron na [yearly] but health services is our number one priority. Everything we accept here basta para sa constituents,” Kag. Edith Remanente remarked.
Pasay City is composed of 201 barangays and 20 zones. As students of Letran, we are looking forward to becoming one with other barangays in their city not just to promote our core values but to be young advocates that aims to help in molding a better future.