DONT look now but our “Stop TB Now” project is growing wings and going places!
Its last stop: Tacloban City in Leyte where 26 children afflicted with tuberculosis started treatment designed to rid them of the disease after six months of daily medication. Kicked off at the launch of the project on August 18, the medical treatment will end in February 2018.
After the project launch at the TB DOTS building at City Hall, they proceeded to the Guindapunan Elementary School in Palo, Leyte, for the turnover of over 500 books to the school library, a donation from RC Kankabato from our BATS Project.
Funded by a USD 85,000 global grant from The Rotary Foundation, with a contribution from RC Taoyuan, a sister club and our international partner, and the Punta Fuego Village Foundation as cooperating organization, the Tacloban run of the project is supported by a number of partners—the city government of Tacloban, the city health office of Tacloban, RC Kankabato-Tacloban, and long-time partners Pediatrica and Kabisig ng Kalahi.
In the RC Makati party with Pres. Jun Jun & Cecille Dayrit were PDG Tony Quila, Stop TB Now chairman, Chito Cantada, Wash & Pizza Lou, Johnny Ang and Dir. Boy Arteche, a native Taclobanon who virtually played host to the RCM visitors during their stay in his city 17-20 August, rolling out a thick carpet of hospitality for them.
Fellowship Rotary style began at the airport as members of RC Kankabato met them and drove them to the Arteche-owned Hotel Alejandro, their home while in the city. That night, the Kankabato Rotarians hosted a welcome dinner, which was graced by Tacloban Mayor Cristina Romualdez.
The four-day stay was rich with opportunity to see Leyte up close and personal—the beach in Palo etched in history books as the hallowed ground where Gen. Douglas MacArthur made good his famous “I shall return” promise to the Filipino people; the iconic San Juanico Bridge over the treacherous strait that connects Leyte to Samar; the remains of a ship blown to smithereens by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s 7-meter high, 370 kph storm surge; and a memorial to Yolanda’s long list of human victims. And, being tourists at heart, they did as all tourists do—contribute to the local economy by shopping, notably for the colorful banig bags that are the pride of Leyte.
There was dinner at the penthouse of Hotel Alejandro one day and on another day, breakfast on the Arteche Island near the foot of San Juanico Bridge, the last compliments of Dir. Boy, who played his role of grand host throughout with characteristic warmth, humor and aplomb.
The Leyte trip hit a number of targets—health, education, economics, history, and culture, woven in a seamless bond by the wonderful glue of fellowship. And then, there was the unique chance to experience first-hand how resilience and the indomitable human spirit have seen the people of Leyte through Yolanda, the deadly nightmare they are not likely to forget.