Davao: DCCFI and a Buffet of Generosity

(October 2015)

I’ve only been to Davao twice, first time I went there was 1st quarter of this year to judge an audition for a national environmental advocacy pageant for teens and kids. And my 2ndtime was last month, this time it was still for kids, but for cancer patient kids. Working for GAVA Technologies, as a Marketing Associate, my task is to hunt for Charity Foundations that may partner with our generosity mobile app Gift It to make donations easier for them.

One of the foundations my team and I are honored to close partnership with is Davao Children’s Cancer Fund, Inc.. DCCFI is where children with cancer aren’t just mere patients but they are nurtured and treated as family in the House of Hope where they are sheltered and fed during and after their treatment. I have witnessed myself how cancer patients there are being treated with so much significance, how much they are encouraged to live long, strong and healthy through different activities. They have a play room, rooms where they may study, they read Bible stories, they eat together like a big family, and they hang out at the nipa huts and live normally. I’ve also seen how DCCFI keep the parents/guardians of the patients happy and active through a Zumba class which they conduct twice a week. Another thing I won’t forget about DCCFI is their value for sanitation, you’ll see hand sanitizers all over the place which they have implemented for years as part of their health care. They also have a no-shoe policy inside the House of Hope, and I noticed how much they have kept the place clean and orderly which I believe is very beneficial for the kids. Indeed, prevention is better than cure.

Before I went to that trip, I already conditioned myself that I will be serving for I thought it was all purely a business trip. But miraculously, in my 2 days of stay there together with my bosses we were unexpectedly the ones served. Mind you, it wasn’t just a one meal kind of blessing that we received, it was a buffet of surprises and generosity of the Davaoenos that we encountered. DCCFI gave us a warm welcome, they have really nice volunteers and staff, they served us good lunch and afternoon snacks. Dra Mae Dolendo, despite her busy schedule still managed to tour us around the hospital. DCCFI president, Mr.Eric Rubinos and his’ wife also generously spent their time with us and exchanged good conversations. What was shocking to me was the opportunity given to our team to meet Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, thanks to Dra. Mae Dolendo for introducing him to us. The week before I went to Davao I seriously wrote in my prayer request that I wanted a selfie with him. Funny because I didn’t just get a selfie, I got to take a lot of photos with him, my team and I were able to spend 5 compressed hours with him, and his’ friends. He treated us for dinner, and generously shared his’ thoughts, ideas, and stories on how he strategized in changing Davao and how he would like to change the nation. He is my sentimental future president. I see so much integrity, humility and dignity in him.

But wait, there’s more! The night didn’t end with Mayor Duterte’s insightful talk. He invited and toured us at Davao City Hall wherein it was my first time to find out that there is an actual Emergency 911 in the Philippines. He showed us how Davao Security works through the CCTV cameras & and the huge and astonishing tv monitors, we were also able to see their rescue facilities, it felt like watching CSI being in that tour. No wonder why Davao is rated as one of the safest cities in Asia.

After the City Hall tour, we went to Marco Polo for a midnight coffee and chocolate drink for more chitchats and sharing of Davao stories. Before we parted ways, Mayor Duterte asked that we extend our stay and even offered that he’ll take care of our plane tickets and hotel accommodation, but since we couldn’t say yes he just gave us a consolation to his’ offer, which I personally do not consider as a consolation. It was grand. In the afternoon of our 2nd and last day in Davao, he made us ride the chopper to the beautiful island of Samal and treated us buffet lunch.

At night another surprise generosity came to us given by Ms. Fe of Care for the Elderly Foundation, just when we were about to shop for fruits to bring home to Manila, she sent our team each a box of assorted rambutan, lanzones and pomelo fruits. And before we flew back to manila we got a free dinner at an Italian restaurant treated by my boss’ friend, he also courteously brought us to the airport.

Yes, you may call it an overly favored weekend! Who would have thought it all happened in two days, in days you never expected to be given so much generosity by people you do not even know. The Lord really has His’ creative and sneaky ways of blessing us, and that experience encouraged me to give more and to make it normal in my system. Receiving favors made me feel really delighted but I’m sure those who blessed me and my team were even more joyful and fulfilled for nothing beats a generous heart.

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