The University of the Philippines Chinese Student Association participated today in building houses at the Gawad Kalinga Central, UP Village, as their annual service activity to cap-off their week-long celebrations of Chinese New Year/ Culturals week.

An 8-man team led by, no less than their President, Kimberly Ong, shoveled and dug through soil and rocks to clear out the site, where the foundation of the house will be built.

Kimberly says that, “We do this service activity annually so that we can bridge the gap between Chinese and Filipino people; and so that we can also break certain stereotypes people have about us (Filipino-Chinese students).”

“In the spirit of the Chinese new year, we should learn to share what we have with others, especially the less fortunate. But of course, this does not mean we help the less fortunate only during the Cultural Week. We should help them as much as we can,” she adds.

After the build, which lasted from 8am to around 11am, they were all introduced to Engineer del Rosario, Project Manager of the site. He shared with us the vision on Gawad-Kalinga and his vision of the community in the area.

“Here in GK, there is no difference between the rich and the poor. Lahat pantay pantay (Everyone’s equal),” said Engr. Del Rosario.

He also stressed that what the volunteers are doing is a sacrifice one can do as part of nation-building.

“You are now part of the 1MB or the Isang Milyong mga Bayani”, Engr. Del Rosario explains.

He said that one doesn’t have to be dead to become a hero. It is better, according to him, to do something heroic, like building houses and sharing your talents in GK programs to “the least of your brethren” when one’s still alive.

Laureen Lukban, PRC head and project organizer, said, “People think it’s hard, and it is. It takes hard work. But you don’t have to push yourself (in building a house). That’s why it’s better when you have other people with you because you work together; and that’s what makes it fun!”

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