Iba ‘Yan, Angel Locsin revisit efforts that brought hope, support to people amid pandemic

We have all witnessed for more than a month how Iba ‘Yan extended help to affected and struggling Filipinos who have also shown concern for their communities amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. In this November 8 episode, let’s take a look back at how Iba ‘Yan, led by host Angel Locsin, reached out to give aid to them.

Angel met one of the devoting fishermen of Mauban, Quezon, Ferdinand ‘Tatay Ferdi’ San Juan. He wasn’t given the chance to reunite with his children ever since his wife passed away. Iba ‘Yan searched for two of his children, Maridel and Harold. This time, Ferdi was able to talk in person to his daughter Maridel and through video call to Harold. He became even happier and more grateful when he was given a motorcycle with a sidecar that could help him sell fish. Other fishermen of Mauban, Pablito and Cris, were also given relief and “ligtas bags”, and a brand new boat they can finally use so they can go back to fishing. Meanwhile Ferdi was grateful that he had gotten the time to spend with his daughter.

In another episode, Angel met the couple Edwin Rendora and Juditha Pepito who were among the residents in North Fairview subdivision in Quezon City. They had a harder time providing for their family since the pandemic started. But we are still lucky to have people who help the needy. One of them is Atty. Marvin Aceron who started the project “Bread of Salt.” He and his wife came up with the idea of buying 2000 pesos worth of pandesal and giving it to the ones deprived of food. And Iba ‘Yan decided to continue their initiative. Every family in North Fairview subdivision was given 10 pieces of pandesal every day for one whole month, which means that there were a total of 1,600 distributed every day. They succeeded with this through the help of the ‘pandesal heroes’, Mary Jane Sabidalas and Boyren “Renz” Cataga, the bakers who provided the subdivision pandesals. They also benefited from it because they had regular income every day for one month. Edwin and Judith were also handed eight ligtas bags, slippers, distilled water and milk for their children, groceries, and five sacks of rice, and solar lamps. Judith and Edwin were grateful and overwhelmed with happiness because of the blessings they received. 

Angel also got to meet a devoted teacher who remains hopeful of a bright future for the education of the youth. She went to Don Arsenio Escudero Sr. Memorial School In Sitio Baloc of San Pablo City, Laguna where she met Roberto “Bob” Latag Mitra, the school’s head teacher. He made sure about the improvement of the school’s facilities. This is why more parents were encouraged to enroll their children. It’s even known as the “only solar-powered school in the city.” Congresswoman Sol Aragones of the third district of Laguna gave the school facemasks, sanitizers, and vitamins for the teachers and students. The school was also given dividers and bond papers.

After that, Angel already announced another surprise. The team gave the school two printers ready with ink so they can print the learning modules, and 200 relief goods which came from the Sagip Kapamilya Relief Foundation. The 200 bags contained facemasks, face shields, and vitamins. Angel handed a brand new laptop to Teacher Bob and teaching kits with complete set of material were given to the other teachers. It did not end there because the school was also given a flatscreen television with a hard drive containing educational programs. Bob couldn't contain his happiness as he extended his warm thank you to the show.

Angel got to meet Ahriel Leysa, the top student of the school. Angel found out that Ahriel would always have a hard time studying at home because of the absence of electricity. She shared that she dreams of becoming a teacher and a nurse so she can be of service to her community. Iba ‘Yan gave Ahriel a scholarship so she can continue her schooling. 

In another episode, a simple and preserved culture of an indigenous tribe called the Dumagat in Sitio Suha Norzagaray, Bulacan situated in the mountains of Sierra Mountains and Angat watershed was brought into the spotlight as Angel socialized with the members of the said tribe. The Dumagat tribe has temporarily been living in a small community called “Punduhan.” Iba ‘Yan gave them help for their survival including 10 sacks of rice from Sagip Kapamilya, five boxes of canned goods, cables for the generator set, and liter of light for every Dumagat family. 

Dulce Dela Rosa, a college student, decided to serve as a teacher to the Dumagat children. Dulce shared that her current goal is to be a licensed teacher so she could better educate and serve the Dumagat kids. One of Dulce’s students is Nicole DC Tores. Nicole shared she dreams to be a future doctor so she can heal the sick. As young as 10, she already aims to give back to her parents after finishing her studies. She added that she doesn’t want people to take advantage of her anymore just because she knows less than them. The Iba ‘Yan team gave Nicole and the rest of the Dumagat children backpacks and school supplies, and books. They also gave Dulce things that she can use so she could teach her students properly like blackboard, chalk, and eraser.

Angel also met Claire Abayon, a victim of illegal prostitution. She got to work as a waitress at a club where her friend was working. But Claire felt that she needed more money so she was forced to enter the flesh trade. She admitted how frightened she was to do the job, and how she pitied herself for doing it. Come 2016, a group of missionaries came inside the club and approached her. Claire was asked if she’s willing to accept their scholarship offer so she could continue her studies in college. At first, she did not believe it, but when she decided to leave her work, she waited for those missionaries to come back and when that time came, Claire grabbed the opportunity. She was able to reach her dream of completing a degree in Business Management.

And it happened with the help of Wipe Every Tear, a faith-based organization that helps exploited women who were victims of sex trafficking. Rebecca “Mama Becks” Angeles, the program director of the organization, said that the most fulfilling part would always be the graduation of the women she helped. And since there are girls who were supposed to graduate this year but weren’t able to because of the pandemic, the Iba ‘Yan team organized a special graduation ceremony for them. They had the chance to wear their togas and receive their diplomas on stage.

Moving on to the colorful world of the LGBTQIA+ community, Angel met Jan Lamban, a former corporate project manager, HR consultant and a freelance makeup artist, and now a drag queen. 

Jan was the one who initiated launching the Drag Playhouse PH, an advocacy which doesn’t only provide entertainment to the netizens, but an initiative which gave the opportunity to the drag queens to somehow earn for their everyday living. One of the shows in Drag Playhouse PH aimed to buy PPEs for the frontliners.

After talking about his personal stories, Jan was told that Iba ‘Yanteam will help them hold a huge online drag show, “Kinang,” which was streamed in the Facebook page of ABS-CBN Entertainment and Iba ‘Yan, as well as in Angel’s fan page. With this, they attained a very wide reach for the show, which serves as an online benefit concert for the drag queens whose livelihoods were affected by the lockdown.

During the final day of their rehearsals at the Peta Theater Center for “Kinang,” Angel surprised Jan with a video message from his parents giving him their full support for his project and advocacy. Jan couldn’t contain his emotions, shedding tears of joy.

Angel also knew more about the advocacy of Caloocan City priest Fr. Eduardo “Ponpon” Vasquez Jr., who initiates urban farming in his community. One of the people he helped was Ate Vilma Aguillon, a single mother. She shared one of the most difficult phases of her life was when her husband passed away. She didn’t know what to do as her husband was the only one working for their family during that time. More importantly, she needed to earn money to provide for the college education of her son. That is why she decided to sell merienda food like kakanin, puto cheese, and suman. And because of Ate Vilma’s hard work and persistence, her son was able to finish college. 

Through Father Ponpon’s urban gardening seminars, she learned how to plant different kinds of vegetables and how to make organic fertilizers as well. To give back to Father Ponpon, Ate Vilma decided to distribute seeds to her neighbors and also share her knowledge about urban gardening to them. The Iba ‘Yan team gave her a free eye check up and brand new eyeglasses from Asian Eye Institute. Ate Vilma also received relaxing foam, ligtas bag, tablet and pocket Wi-Fi for her kids’ online school. To support her business, Iba ‘Yan team also gave her a business starter package which comprises baking and cooking tools and different ingredients for the merienda she will sell.

To help Fr. Ponpon with his urban gardening project, Iba ‘Yangave him more plant seeds which came from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry and ABS-CBN Foundation Bantay Kalikasan. The team also gave Fr. Ponpon more gardening tools, supplies and groceries for their feeding program, and 200 relief goods from Sagip Kapamilya. Last but not the least, the barangay captain showed Fr. Ponpon the community garden that was created through the help also of JP Albao of Juan’s Garden & Landscaping Services. Their community was also given 100 urban agriculture starter kits from the Agricultural Training Institute, gardening tools and recyclable bottles, and more seeds which came from the Department of Agriculture. 

Lastly, Angel spoke with Jimmy Escalante, a member of a group of jeepney drivers from Balintawak, Quezon City. Jimmy and his co-drivers have been stuck in their terminal for almost four months because of the community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Jimmy’s house was actually demolished two years ago that’s why they did not have a choice but to make their jeepney a makeshift home.  They have their house in Rizal which needed to be furnished so they could actually transfer and finally live decently. This was their dream. But it all vanished when the pandemic destroyed many lives. But Iba ‘Yan team made sure that Jimmy and Emilia can still reach their dream of living a more comfortable and more secure life in their home. Angel and the whole team brought them to their house in Rizal and the couple ran out of words to say when they saw their newly furnished house with a mini store which can be an additional source of income for them.

Iba ‘Yan has helped and aided many struggling individuals and families, and even humanitarian institutions in surviving these difficult times. Watch more of how Iba ‘Yan and host Angel Locsin reaches out to these affected people and honor their heroic efforts in overcoming their ordeals every Sunday, 6:45pm on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.