USL Elem School’s Outreach Program in Fuga Island Community

In its pursuit of social awareness and community involvement, the Elementary School of the University of Saint Louis (USL), through its Executive Family Council (EFC) and in coordination with the Philippine National Police Region 02 (PNPR02), PNP Maritime Group 02 (PNPMG2), and the Provincial Government of Cagayan, conducted a Community Outreach Program on May 1-2, 2023, in Fuga Island, Aparri, Cagayan.

This endeavor was led by Rev. Fr. Macwayne N. Maniwang, CICM, University President, together with USL administrators and faculty, namely, Dr. Emily T. Mabborang, Elementary School Principal; Lourdes C. Batac, Assistant Principal; Mark N. Langcay, CECA; Thelma C. Baricaua, Campus Ministry Director; and EFC Officers, President Richard T. Francisco, Vice-President PMAJ Sharon C. Mallillin, Treasurer Elena R. Martin, and Auditor PCAPT Gladys Ann C. Guanga. Meanwhile, PCAPT Robin A. Guanga took charge of the PNPMG2 during the conduct of the activity.

In an interview, Mr. Francisco mentioned that during their meeting and action planning, Fuga Island was identified as the area of the community outreach program for the year 2023. He added that they solicited and requested assistance from generous donors for school supplies, grocery items, and other necessities for our fellow citizens on Fuga Island.

Fr. Maniwang, in his homily, stressed that the Student Pupil Government (SPG) should involve themselves more in this kind of activity in order to get a glimpse of life outside of their comfort zones.

“I admire the kids and parents who live there because I haven’t heard complaints as to when the items will be distributed; rather, they patiently waited until it was time. The residents of Fuga Island are lucky to have us sponsor a mass considering its geographical location; only twice a year a mass is celebrated there,” Fr. Maniwang stated.

A total of 150 indigent pupils from the Fuga Island Integrated Elementary School and 150 indigent families from Sitio Naguilian were the beneficiaries of the outreach program.

CAPABLE Louisians and their parents or guardians provided the items donated, which include school supplies, slippers, and snacks like biscuits and tetra pack juice, USL’s Community Engagement and CICM Advocacies (CECA) also donated school bags and food items like coffee with sugar and spaghetti noodles with sauce.

Further, the Office of Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba donated 250 liters of gasoline for the high-speed watercraft used during the trip to Fuga Island, while the Office of Vice Governor Melvin H. Vargas donated grocery items such as elbow macaroni, canned goods, and rice vermicelli noodles.

Part of the community outreach was the conduct of a feeding program wherein hot meals like spaghetti and macaroni soup were served to pupils and parents. The group also conducted a clean-up drive along the seashore at Sitio Mudoc.

To aid Fuga Island in the spread of Catholic Church teachings, Kagawad Shirley dela Cruz received financial assistance from Fr. Maniwang, religious items from Mr. Francisco, a Bluetooth speaker from Ms. Martin, a USB containing religious songs from Dr. Mabborang, copies of prayers printed in tarpaulin, and eyeglasses courtesy of Ms. Mallillin. Several boxes of tetra-pack juice, biscuits, t-shirts, and towels were also given to Kagawad Shirley for distribution to Fuga Island residents.

Fr. Maniwang likewise aims for a partnership with elementary and secondary school heads to conduct capacity trainings for teachers and staff at Fuga Island School to upgrade and update their learning.

On the success of this endeavor, USL expresses its gratitude to the following:
PNPMG2, headed by Regional Chief PCOL Antonio D. Dizon, for the use of their high-speed watercraft, represented by PCPTs Robin and Gladys Ann Guanga; PMSg/Boat Skipper, Andres M. Ramos; PCpl/Boat Navigator, Jeric Bryan Baggayan; PCpl/Asst. Boat Mechanic, Mic James Q. Magudang, PCpl/Log Action PNCO Marissa B. Caranguian; PCpl/Admin. Action PNCO Matilde A. Ateneo; PCpl/Asst. Boat Skipper Don Steven R. Cuecaco; PCpl/Boat Mechanic Brian A. Bandojo; Pat/Boat Crew Valence Jake F. Callejo, Pat/PSMU Action PNCO Kurt Harvey C. Matias, and Pat/PCR Action PNCO Liezle B. Yapit.

Fuga Island Integrated School Teachers, Princess Bernadeth M. Misador, Daniela B. Cabas-an, Regine N. Vargas, and Rochelle E. Aguirre; Philippine Marine SSGTs Arvin Panesa Pn NCOIC and Rodel E. Gonzales Pn; PFCs Ike S. Suñe Pn; Mark Gil O. Visto Pn; and Pvt Bryan Reden B. Tallar Pn.

USL further conveys its deep appreciation and gratitude to Brgy Kagawad Ruby Visario, Kagawad Shirley dela Cruz, Felix Corpuz and all the residents of Fuga Island for the warm hospitality.

The experiences during the outreach program on Fuga Island, as relayed by the group, were all worth the joy and fulfillment. Not only did they touch others’ lives, but their lives were equally touched. Lessons about reaching out, caring, sharing, compassion, and trusting the Lord’s provision were among those felt during the journey to and from Fuga Island.