The year that was 2002

Since May 2002, we have accomplished the following in the US/Canada side.
  1. We started a directory of Friends of Los Banos Children under Celia Correa.
  2. We initially started with 5 core persons representing East and West Coast Canada, and East , West Coast and Southeast USA. Later we expanded to the Virgin Islands and Midwest, and received enthusiastic support from the Los Banos Alumni Association in America whose headquarters is located in California.
  3. Twelve (12) balikbayan boxes of books have been sent and an additional three boxes are now enroute to the Philippines. We also have a subscription of National Geographic donated by Nely Deomano-Davies from the United Kingdom.
  4. The Los Banos Laguna Association of Southern California(LBLASC) has adopted the project under the leadership of Rhodora Maligalig. A 2002 dance fundraising event was held raising $1,000.00 towards the Los Banos Library Project.
  5. Eloi Labadan-Anton, our treasurer has received several donations including $50.00 from Manny and Ellie Palada, $100 from Loida Carlson. $40 from Ms. Lagasca-Reyes, $100 from Russ Anton. and $50.00 from Marilu Gutierrez.. We also received checks ranging from $75 to $100 to directly defray freight costs. These have come from Rufina Navasero-Ward, Nick Galvez, Jimmy Velasco, Arelyne Pacho-Ramos.
  6. Sheilachu Paje-Gomez developed a document for applying schools. This is required before we donate books since it will elicit the school personnel and families’ participation in the success of their library. At present, we are soliciting applications for library assistance for books. Financial assistance will be planned in the future.
In the Philippines, events have been unfolding.
  1. We needed to have an organized group assist in this project so that distribution of books would not be a haphazard event. Alfin Bustrillos-Zamora was put in charge and she recruited her church, Grand Harvest Church to help oversee the project of book distribution to the library as well as all schools in Los Banos. An account has now been opened with Alfin and Madz Quiamco as co-signatories. This will allow them to receive donations locally and abroad.. They have received $500 forinitial costs from FLBC.
  2. They have received 4 sets of encyclopedia, National Geographic Magazines, reference books, literature and fantasy books. Most of these books have been turned over to Josiah’s Place Children’s Library in Umali Subdivision. The National Geographic subscription has also been turned over to Josiah’s Place.
  3. The Evangelical Baptist Church also opened an extension of this library where more children are located, near the railroad tracks in Barrio Anos.
  4. The Hasik Elementary School in Bayog was the first one to fill up an application form soliciting books. The set of Encyclopaedia Junior Britannica was the initial donation of the FLBC to them.
  5. Application forms for book solicitation have been sent out to various schools of Los Banos. Alfin recently received completed forms from Kiddie Care Learning Center as well as the Lopez Elementary School.
  6. A stamp pad has been bought for the project so that all donated books will have a stamp indicating its donation from Friends of Los Banos Children.
  7. Jane Abalos, owner of Maquiling Lumber donated book shelves for the library. Her sister, Conchito de Castro-Redmon has been instrumental in this development.
  8. Future plans are to start a website if the group deems it a practical way to disseminate the information
May all of us who have been blessed continue to bless the children of Los Banos. SUGOD!!

Arelyne Bustrillos Pacho-Ramos (Deptford,New Jersey), Celia Correa (Toronto, Canada), Rhodora Maligalig (Glendale, California), Eloisa Labadan-Anton (Vancouver, Canada), Dale Moog (Indiana), Manny and Ellie Palada (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), SheilaChu Paje-Gomez (Gainesville, Florida), Geny Toribio (Toronto, Canada)