Monday, March 10, 2008

First Daycare-Breastfeeding Center in a Private School in Manila

The Miriam College Daycare & Breastfeeding Center is the first of it's kind in the country. Located inside the grounds of the Miriam College campus in Quezon City, it is the first private girl's school in the country to have a daycare cum breastfeeding center inside its grounds.

The project is a batch gift of the Maryknoll High School class of 1982 in partnership with Migi's Corner Foundation in cooperation with the Superferry. Below is the text of my message delivered today, March 10, 2008.

As a young girl here in the grade school, there was a little blue picture book that we were made to read every school year for our Christian Living classes. In it were photographs of different grade school students shot in different areas of the campus doing various school activities. Throughout its pages was the verse from Ecclesiastes 3: 1- 15 more popularly known as the A Time for Everything piece. Its first verse goes -- There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven"

Working on this project has been both a source of great joy and sadness. Because this is a happy occasion I will choose to focus on the great joy that I found in collaborating with some of the best minds in my batch, the Maryknoll High School Class of 1982.

I believe it is no coincidence that I happen to be a member of this class. Like many other things and circumstances in my life, I’ve always believed that God has a reason of putting you at specific points in time with specific persons -- to mold you perhaps, to strengthen you, to learn lessons from each other, to give back. Today’s blessed event is an example of that, let me explain…

Architect Boots Belmonte, whom I like to call the captain of this project and I were batch mates in high school and knew each other fleetingly. Through this project I got to know her up close and personal and was awed by her immense talent, dedication and perseverance to see this project through. The daycare would not have been made possible without Boots’ unstinting devotion and generosity of talent and spirit.

Atty. Mylene Yumul- Espina, another batch mate of ours, put in many hours to iron out the kinks and legalities of the MOA for this project that will finally be signed today. During meetings, Mylene would never fail to dazzle us with her brilliance, her wit and humor.

Loudette Halili and Katrina Gumaru, were instrumental in ironing out the financials for this project. Their being sticklers for details impressed me most and it was a skill that was much-needed for a project such as this.

Jayjay Pulido, our self-confessed OC batchmate, has always been there with her suggestions and eagle-eye for the seemingly small but important details.

Milen Galang, who put together a heart-warming and touching video on the daycare project. Her gifts and talent for communication is very much appreciated.

Jorja Santos, whose company JJMAC helped put the entire daycare together.

Maricris Nicandro’s passion and breastfeeding advocacy will certainly be a huge help these coming months as we create programs that will highlight the importance and benefits of breastfeeding to the young mothers who work and study here at Miriam.

My childhood friends, Carissa Singson, Larcy Morales and Ginny Guzman who have been my friends for the last 30 plus years. I want to thank you for sticking by me, for all the support that you have given to this project – emotional, spiritual, financial. For that I am truly grateful and blessed.

I also want to thank the MMCAA for their support of this project, thanks to Atty. Mari Fabian for putting up with all our changes in the MOA.

Thanks too to Miriam College , especially to Mrs. Cynthia Morales for being such a great help and support from start to finish. Natapos din ma’am and today we turn this over to your care. Thank you for the landscaping, the white picket fence and the food that you have served us on countless occasions including today.

To the MCHS ’82 core team headed by Mary Rose Ramoso and every member of my batch who gave unselfishly – through your time, talent, wisdom or finances, so that the project may be completed, today is a second homecoming for you too. Through this project, you leave a part of yourselves in the school that helped mold you into the woman that you are today.

I would also like to give special thanks to the Aboitiz Transport Group, specifically the Superferry, for their generosity in donating the 40-ft container van that now houses our daycare.

Thank you also to my friends, three talented artists – Fen, Vena and Raf for their beautiful mural of Migi at play. This is the 11th they have done for Migi’s Corner. Again, it is no coincidence that if my son were alive today he would be 14 years old and this daycare is the 14th project that the foundation has helped set up. The project is extra meaningful because it was built in the year when Migi marks his 10th year in heaven. Even the message, in the mural, one that I had written about two weeks ago in my Inquirer column – of how God is good all the time, is not at all accidental.

So like I said at the beginning of this message, God has a purpose for everything, and HIS timing is ever perfect, it never misses. Let me end this with rest of the passage from Ecclesiastes…

A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.

It wasn’t by accident that I was born to be a member of the high school batch of 1982, as every other member who has given unselfishly of her talent to this project is. I know in my heart too that it wasn’t by accident that I happen to be Migi’s mom. Through synergy, our individual talents and collective life experiences over the last 25 years since we left Maryknoll has now served a higher purpose – in this case, to provide a haven of comfort for children and breastfeeding mothers. We thank the Lord for our Maryknoll education, and for all the gifts He has bestowed on us individually as women and collectively as batch. Everything has its rhyme and reason and today is just another proof of that. Thank you very much. To God be all the glory.

Cathy S. Babao Guballa
March 10, 2008

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