I had the privilege of visiting one of the Gawad Kalinga villages. This one was extra special because it was named in honor of my dad, Orly Punzalan. That particular village was actually spear headed by my dad’s brother, Philip Punsalan. (i know, each of my titos and titas have their own way to spell their last names but they are all brothers and sisters from one family).
What impressed me was not the houses that were built – materials donated by sponsors, Quezon City government facilitated the buying of the land but each of the families also did their share. They called it ‘sweat equity.’ While they didn’t have money to buy the construction materials nor the land, they all poured in time and effort to build the homes.
Mandy, one of the leaders of GK said that even the units are not dole outs. They pay a monthly to the city government for the unit that they have and in 25 or so years, it’s theirs.
It has brought a lot of self respect and confidence that if we work together, it can be done.
What was more impressive is that Mandy and his team come weekly to have Bible studies and prayer meetings. The goal is not just residential transformation. He says, that there’s no genuine transformation if there’s no transformation of the heart.
I thought that was an awesome insight.
It gave me hope that if we work together, and with God’s help, we can see our nation transformed one community, one city, one region at a time.
What an amazing experience.