#TakeAction: Moments that brought communities together in 2018
MANILA, Philippines – A single voice is all it takes sometimes to spur a community into action.
In 2018, digital platforms became a double-edged sword as trolls swarmed the online landscape and affected public discourse with the spread of disinformation. But social media remained a platform of hope, where communities came together to bring about positive change.
This year, despite the hate and the falsehood, we saw communities not only inspiring courage but also taking collective action.
Below are some of those extraordinary moments.
Due to lack of electricity at home, student stays in school at night
Netizens were quick and eager to help one student who stayed behind in a public school in Atimon, Quezon, to study, as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) neared Luzon in September.
Mark Pee Pornasdoro, a teacher in Malusak National High School, chanced upon his student, 16-year-old Jeric Reyes, still doing his homework in the classroom past 7 pm. He took a photo, and it quickly went viral on social media.
After learning that Reyes stayed behind because there was no electricity in his home, many netizens asked what they could do for him.
MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, bridged the gap by listing the number of ways that people can help, as more people clamored to help the student.
This compelling story of grit and resilience was an inspirational story both for students and teachers, and a needed reminder of the importance of education.
Donations pour in for student who wrote ‘heartbreaking’ excuse letter
Concerned citizens have made sure that the student who wrote a “heartbreaking” excuse letter that went viral will no longer worry about allowance.
In July, Christian Jay Padilla Ordoña, Grade 8 adviser and Filipino teacher at Bongabon National High School in Nueva Ecija shared the now viral letter of one of his students.
The student, Marinel V. de Guzman, 14, explained in her excuse letter that she was absent because she didn’t have any allowance for school.
Netizens immediately took action and pledged to the school’s foundation, Anak ng Bongabon Foundation, Inc.
The foundation has already pledged to fund Marinel until she finishes college. She will also be receiving a weekly allowance of P500.
How netizens helped Lumad school
Netizens helped this aspiring Lumad school, after MovePH amplified Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao’s call to help Lumad students finish college by donating books
Hoping to become the first dedicated Lumad college in the Philippines, the CTCSM asked for books on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, humanities, social science, health, and agriculture.
The school needed at least 3,500 to 5,000 books on their second year of operation to get the nod of the Commission on Higher Education.
After the call, an influx of donations from netizens arrived for the school, making CTCSM shift its need for books to coverage of shipping fees. "Hopefully, with the success of the ongoing book drive, we shall receive CHED's nod for a permit to operate for the school year 2019-2020," school administrator Pia Perez said.
Hotel hires interns with Down syndrome
Netizens praised this great initiative to champion inclusivity and diversity, when a hotel in Davao City offered a 10-day training program on the basics of the hotel industry to at least 7 students with Down syndrome.
Through a partnership between Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Incorporated (DSAPI) and Green Windows Hotel, the internship provided an avenue for people with Down syndrome to showcase their abilities without the stigma.
"Meron silang strengths, may mga kaya silang gawin. Kailangan lang natin silang i-support at bigyan ng pagkakataon na ipakita 'yung mga kakayahan nila," said Joy Omar, a mother of 27-year-old Benrafii, one of the students who took part in the internship.
(They have strengths, there are things they can do. We just need to support them and give them the chance to show what they've got.)
Met with a strong seal of approval from the public, the initiative prompted netizens to hope for similar opportunities from other establishments that can include people with special needs.
Inspiring election bet gets support
Thanks to social media and online clamor, Yolanda Lariosa, a barangay kagawad candidate in Patag, Cagayan de Oro, was able to get a sponsor for her campaign materials after a photo of her using old tarpaulins for her campaign went viral.
The campaign of Lola Yolanda, as she has come to be called, has gone a long way, after she got widespread support because of her earnest effort. Online, many people wished her success and offered support through Facebook. – Rappler.com