|TAHAN TAHANAN LOGO|
Today signals the start of National Cancer Consciousness Week.
But we, at the Kapisanan ng May K sa Pilipinas (KMKP), celebrated it last Friday.
It was the inauguration Tahan-Tahanan, our halfway home.
Because we are part and parcel of the multi-disciplinary pediatric team created by by Dr. Ma. Victoria Abesamis, who like us, is one of the founders of the Kapisanan ng May K sa Pilipinas, supposedly the umbrella organization of Mutual Support Groups.
Because we also gave the name – Tahan-Tahanan.
And because, ever since, we at KMKP had been doing our best to contribute to the healthy lifestyle of all the kids with cancer and their family members and/or care providers.
We have been offering our voluntary services as expressive arts therapist viaBuhay Mo, Buhay Ko: Isang Pasasalamat Survivors Day celebration, we have Kampi-Kampi Kami Summer Camp, we have Banyuhay for the bereaved, and everything.
At last, our wish to have something like Tahan-tahanan had been already hatched to where it ought to be hatched -- at the East Avenue Medical Center!
Seven or so years ago, Mama Ricky Reyes spoke to Dr. Abesamis, our Mother Goose, about the needs of kids with cancer.
Dr. Abesamis, who won The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service for Medicine in 2001, gave him a concept paper. He afterwards submitted it to the former chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes -- Office (PCSO) -- Ms. Honey Girl Singson de Leon -- who helped finance what eventually became the famous, or infamous, Child Haus.
KMKP, all the while, thought that we would be the partner of the grand plan since Dr. Abesamis, who seemed to be singing “I'm So Excited!” everytime, had already involved us.
Right on the verge of operating it with PCSO's financial commitment, Dr. Abesamis was on top -- from the blueprint stage to the painting of murals-for-the-morale phase – with the help of artist Eleanor Yu, who designed the Tahan-Tahanan's logo in the end.
However, somewhere along the way, the eager beaver in Dr. Abesamis was lost in the woods at the God-forsaken Quezon Institute's children’s pavilion which was renovated with Metro Manila Development Authority's assistance.
Not only credit was grabbed from her but our castle in the air too.
Through divine intervention perhaps, after nearly a decade, it came back to us as if a paradise had been regained.
Together with the solid Miltonians -- Dr. Yangky Agustin and Ms. Lita Avena -- we accompanied Dr. Abesamis to the PCSO office with its new head -- Mrs. Margarita Juico -- to view and review the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
Of all dates, 'twas the day after the P741.176 million prize money in the 6/55 Grand Lotto was won. So everyone at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) mistook us for the lone bettor who placed the winning 11-16-42-47-31-37 combination.
For us, especially for Dr. Abesamis, it was more than bringing home the jackpot.
Indeed, for us, it meant the world for KMKP.
More so, last week, when we actually saw at the EAMC basement each and every the unsung hero – adjusting the sprinkler heads, diverting the pipes at the pantry and dining area, cleaning the granite and ceramic tile floor, polishing the aluminum door and glass, finishing the electricals and the like – giving their all simply to answer our prayer.
All in double time, or overtime, Arch. Homer Saminiano, Ma. Belinda Tangonan, and the Medicotek Inc. put their acts together.
Not just to meet in person, Pres. Benigno Aquino III, the invited guest of honor.
But also to meet the deadline in the name of cancer-stricken pediatric patients.
On the 14th of January, lo and behold, Tahan-Tahanan was born.
And baptized with a bonus -- the Birthing Center, the Central Sterilization Supply Facility, the Diagnostic Imaging Center, the Radiology Department, and the Staff Dining of the Dietary Section – being its siblings.
The MOA was finally signed by Dr. Roland Cortez, EAMC's Chief, and Hon. Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, its General Manager with Dr. Abesamis and Mrs. Juico, whose friendship is like EAMC, KMKP and PCSO rolled into one Tahan-Tahanan--Mapagkalinga!
We were surprised that one of Mrs. Juico's angels is Ismael Penado, former Junior Chamber (Jaycees) International Philippines president who awarded us, with Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, The Outstanding Young Men for Literature in 2003. He then introduced us to the widow of our province's pride in Rep. Raffy Nantes, Hon. Betty Nantes, who happens to be one of the members of the PCSO's Board of Directors – with Hon. Mabel Mamba, Hon. Aleta Tolentino, and Hon.Francisco Joaquin III, a lookalike relative of Dr. Gatmaitan.
One of the pre-events of the affair was the opening of Art for Tahan-Tahanan, the 8th group exhibition of Jesusita Blancaflor-Macaraeg, Nicolas Cunan, Philip Datu, Efren Erese, Arnel Garcia, Reynaldo Gatmaitan, Jun Jacolbe, Perfecto Mercado, Edgar Nucum, Joie Pabilando, Edu Perreras, Eliseo Perreras Jr., Eric Perreras, Joseph Van Prin, Remn Prin, and Jojoy Zabala or better known as FARM -- Filipino Artists: Realist Movement!
Speaking of art with a heart, the multi- awarded Alfredo Liongoren offers to Ondoy victims his on-going watercolor exhibit at Gallery Jose, 59 Gil Fernando St. Marikina City. The ever-productive Liongoren – who is a two-time Art Association of the Philippines' Grand Prize awardee (1971 and 1972); Cultural Center of the Philippines' Thirteen Artist awardee (1972); and a British Council Grantee (1977-1978) – decides to extend his showcase of still-life until next Tuesday, 25 January. He will open another exhibit at the Crucible SM Megamall on 8 February. On the other hand, his wife, Norma, would like to thank their own support group, on behalf of Dr. May Datuin and Prof. Noell El Farol, who gave visual arts therapy while we conducted poetry therapy sessions for sexually abused kids for Grace Brillantes' research. It was all about their October 8 fund-raising drive Go, Jigs, Fight! made possible, and successful, by the following self-less artists: Ambie Abano, Anna Leah Aldaba, Ral Arrogante, Ralph Barrientos, Pablo Baen Santos, Elmer Borlongan, Benjie Cabangis, Alfred Capiral, Lito Carating, Jandy Carvajal, Buds Convocar, Dansoy Coquilla,Marina Cruz, Melvin Culaba, Leslie de Chavez, Dean Ginny Dandan, Roderico Jose Daroy, Jig De Pio, Alee Garibay, Eric Guazon, Romeo Gutierrez, Irma Lacorte, Fred Liongoren, Julie Lluch, Elizabeth Lolarga, Neil Manalo, Jonathan Olazo, Sam Penaso, Nica Peralejo, John Pettyjohn, Tessie Pettyjohn, Mervy Pueblo, Lia Toralba, Eghai Roxas, John Santos, Pam Yan Santos, Joey Tanedo, Rodel Tapaya, Nikki Valenzuela, and Liv Vinluan. Their beneficiary is their fellow artist, Prof. Yasmin Almonte, whose state of health can be checked out at the Save The Artist's Blog.
On Friday, 21 January, Cancer Fair will begin at 7 a.m. at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Global City. Under the theme Nurture and Heal, the said fun activity will be opened by Dr. Joven Cuanang and Dr. Antonio Villalon. Celebrity Regine Tolentino will talk about Physical Fitness while chef Reggie Aspiras will tackle Delicious Healthy Meals.
While waiting for medication, you can try meditation too!
By attending the Know Breath, Know Life! Art of Living's Breathworkscourse with low-impact yoga, to name a few, to be supervised by the likes of poet/performer Cynthia Alexander. It will be today until Saturday -- from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (on weekdays) and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the last day – at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel.
After learning how to breathe properly, you can join the Philippine Cancer Society's 2011 Relay For Life from the 18th to 19th of February at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
KMKP will join forces with Ms. Millet Ilagan and her EAMC's Breast Care Center family!
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