Marine’s Bags of Hope for Sulu children PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 June 2014 00:00

Thanks to my friend, Mithi Aquino-Thomas Facebook sharing, I got wind of the recent distribution of free school bags and school supplies to elementary school children in Indanan, Sulu. A program coordinated by the 9th Marine Batallion Red Lions, “Bags for Hope,” encourages the children to pursue and love education. It really feels good to start your first day in school with a school bag and school supplies. Hand salute to Philippine Marines for this laudable project!

Sulu has a special place in my heart. I used to go there when I was a medical representative. I enjoyed mingling with common Tausug people, their food delicacies, abundance of fruits (durian and mangosteen!) and seafood, colorful culture, the embroidery of their dresses (male and female), and the best mat in the world – laminusa. I have not been to their beaches but heard it can compete with Boracay. If only, there is peace.
I am just saddened with the deteriorating peace and order in the place. Unknown bandits and small time criminals are on the rise because of illegal drugs I heard. There is an increasing migration from Jolo to Zamboanga City this year. I hope the present local government leaders of Sulu can work together and put things in order and reverse the migration. There is no better place than home.
Mithi was born in Jolo but her whole family went back to Manila years back when they received threats from unknown sources. Like me, she loves her birthplace and prays one day things will be better. We love to go back there someday and enjoy a Sulu vacation. Mithi is now happily married and based in USA with her husband, Harry Thomas, former US Ambassador to the Philippines.
One active and commendable non-profit organizations helping Sulu stand on its feet is the Ayala Foundation. Recently they launched in Patikul, Sulu is the high-tech interactive Text2Teach Project. It is a comprehensive mobile Micorsoft learning phone package that can downloads more than 300 educational video materials. It comes with a Globe Telecom BridgeCom prepaid SIM card and a 32-inch LED Toshiba television.  The project allows teachers even in remote areas to access educational materials to supplement their lessons on Math, Science, English, and Values Education. It provides a highly effective visual aid for an interactive, student-focused learning environment in the classroom.

By Dante Corteza
Ecclesiastes 7:12 “For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.”