Archive for the ‘Iron Lady Project’ Category

Today marks the second anniversary of the “Project Iron Lady”.It is a¬†movement spearheaded by the City of Mandaluyong Science High School Alumni members to help our beloved Guidance Counselor, the late Ms. Fe Briones.

Amazingly, Ms. Briones’ first name, Fe, is the symbol for the chemical element Iron.¬†And indeed, Ms. Fe showed us her iron will unparralleled. Amidst all this cruel struggle against her disease, she was able to survive it, at least, until the moment when her family is now a bit more stable than how they were a few years back, before she was diagnosed to have Stage 3 cervical cancer, only months before we were able to help.

August 6, 2010 will be an unforgettable day for the CMSHS Family.

______________________________

Written on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 11:50

(This day was one of the most memorable moments I’ve had with her.)

Day 62¬†–¬† Me and Meric had a chance to visit her yesterday. Kinwento nya yung experience nya nung¬†nawalan sya ng malay due to severe bleeding. It amazed me, although I was deeply worried by it, because only then and there was I convinced that those ‘near death’ experiences are true: The knocking on heaven’s door; the tunnel vision; the images of the Elysian Fields.

She told us the story, during the night when she suffered from severe internal bleeding. She was so weak, and went unconscious for approximately two hours after the bleeding. It was around 8pm. She saw herself in a¬†‘dream.’¬†She was in a journey, going towards a mountain top, and there she saw in the sky – her late husband, together with her mother.

They were waving at her, as if inviting her to join them. She said that they were speaking to her, but¬†she could not understand what they were muttering. She knew, while she was in her dream that she is still alive, because she still was able to feel her heart beating… to hear little thumps in her weak chest.

She told me, she remembered reaching out her hand to them, but they were just too far. And then, she heard, and she got distracted by the voices of the people surrounding her while she rests on her bed. The dream stopped, and she went back to consciousness.

“Naalimpungatan ako. Na-realize ko, hindi nila ako hinayaang sumama sa kanila. Na para bang gusto nila akong mag-stay ba. Sinabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘siguro marami pang rason para ako’y mabuhay pa.”

….

Ma’am Glo Duigan sent me an FB message yesterday morning. I just got home from work. She told me to come by Ma’am Fe’s house. I asked her why. She just said “nag-communion” na si Ma’am Fe”. I didn’t quite understand wha that meant at first. I thought I was just not ready for that kind of message, and I didn’t get her hint. I texted her to explain what she said. She then called, told me that Ma’am Fe suffered a very serious bleeding the night before. And everybody who could see her that night got worried. Ma’am Fe’s son, Ian, helped her settle to her bed, while cleaning the mess that the bleeding left near it.

….

The moment that she woke up from her dream that night, she opened her eyes, and saw beside her bed¬†were her children, Ian and Jillian, Ma’am Glo and some housemates, all praying the Rosary for her. She said that there was also a priest who visited her at home and gave her the blessing. Everybody was crying, expecting the worst that could happen. And then she fell asleep again, this time, she felt that her body is ready to rest. She woke up at 5am the next morning, and called out for Ian to fix a very hot coffee for her. She said that she was all refreshed, but she wasvery hungry when she woke up, she just wanted something hot to ingest. And during breakfast, she ate a bowl full of lugaw. Apparently her body was already searching for its fuel, after what happened that night.

….

Me and Meric went together to visit Ma’am Fe. It was raining. We could not settle ourselves to stay calm while we were in the cab. We did not know what to expect once we arrive there, since Ma’am Glo gave us the idea of what had happened last night. We reached Ma’am Fe’s street, got off the cab a block away and walked to her house. Jillian welcomed us in. We were surprised when we saw Ma’am Fe, seating on her bed, with a plate of rice and fried fish, and she was eating well, as if nothing happened the night before.

She finished her meal, and that was when she told us what she just experienced. I did not know what to think, and how to react to her words. I was in amazement.¬† But I managed to say words to encourage Ma’am Fe to keep her spirits high, to keep on fighting, and I know that she will. After a few more talks, of reminiscing our high school years, we bid goodbye to Ma’am Fe. Meric and I were thankful that morning, for what we just saw.

Indeed, Ma’am Fe is a living proof, that miracles do happen.

Wish Ko Lang Part 1

Wish Ko Lang Part 2

A Letter to Wish Ko Lang Para Kay Ma’am Briones Page

_________________________

This was  an open letter which I made after the episode was shown on GMA7:

“Ma’am Fe: after a few hours that i’ve stayed offline for FB, sa pagbabalik ko, nakita ko ang dami ng taong nagmamalasakit sa’yo.. Aaminin ko, tumutulo ang luha ko habang sinusulat ko ito, magtatampo ang nanay ko, pero talagang hindi matawaran ang DAMI ng tao na nagmamalasakit. Alam nila kung gaano ka kabuting tao. Sa sama-sama naming pagtulong at panalangin, sana makita namin ang mabilis mong pagbalik sa pagtuturo, gaya ng sinabi mo sa Wish Ko Lang.

Gusto kong ipatahid sa iyo kung gaano nabago ng Page na ito ang pananaw ko sa buhay, sa kakaunting oras ng isang linggong pag-aasikaso kasama ang GMA7 at ang CMSHS family, nalaman ko, na ang lahat ng tinatamasa ko ngayon at iba sa aming mga kasamahan, ay lubos lubos na kaligayahan, at pagpapasalamat sa bawat minuto ng aming buhay.

Dahil sa iyo, nalaman namin kung gaano kahalaga ang buhay, at kung paano ito dapat isa-alang alang at ibahagi salahat ng taong nagmamahal natin- HINDI PARA PANSARILI NATING mga hangarin.

Sana po, gumaling kayo agad, para makita nyo ang dami ng nananalangin, at nagdarasal para gumaling kayo, at makitang nasa Guidance Office kayo, na masigla, at walang bakas ng pasakit.

Maraming Salamat po sa ipinagkaloob ninyo, sa aming lahat, sa CMSHS at… sa lahat nang naniniwala kapag may Pananalig, hinding hindi ka mawawalan ng pag-asa.

Pangako ko ito sa inyo, ipagpapatuloy ko ang naumpisahan namin, kahit saan man kami abutin. Sama-sama tayong haharap sa pagsubok mo, hanggang sa malampasan natin ito.”

_________________________

Unfortunately, Ms. Fe succumbed to her disease on November 26, 2010.

 

***Looking back at the Page right now, for some reason the members got reduced from 1,572+ to only 15+. I think it was when Facebook did some drastic and major changes on its pages and format, that some members got kicked out. Oh well.
Operation Fe РDay 101   Wednesday, 10 November 2010

 

We are at the 101st day of our crusade.

Gusto kong ipa-abot ang taos-pusong pasasalamat sa lahat ng nananatili, at yung patuloy na sumasama at nakiki-isa sa hangarin ng page na ito.

101 days ago. Wala sa hinagap namin na lalaki ang Page na ito with 1,572 members. “suntok sa buwan itong gagawin

ko,” sabi ko nung una. Hindi ako umasa na madidinig ang dalangin ng iilan pa lamang na miyembro noon. Isang linggong makalipas, matapos malikha ang Page, lumobo sa kulang-kulang sa 500 ang agad nagpakita ng suporta.

Lahat ng nakaka-alam noon, ay nagbibigay ng PMs sa amin, at sa iba pang katulong namin sa pagpapakalat ng mensahe. Lahat, nagbigay ng mungkahi, ng suporta, ng panalangin, na sana ay madinig ang mismong Wish – ang matulungan si Ma’am Fe na gumaling sa kanyang sakit.

Hanggang sa dumating na nga ang pinaka-aasam-asam na araw. Isang Biyernes, ikaw-6 ng Agosto, 2010 – naganap ang himalang hatid ng Wish Ko Lang.

Suntok sa buwan lang noon, isang panalanging nasagot na ngayon. Tinuruan tayo ng Page na ito na huwag matakot

gawin ang nararapat, para sa ikabubuti ng kapwa.

*****

Sa mga nagdaang araw, hindi ko masyadong nasubaybayan ang kalagayan ni Ma’am Fe. Aminado ako, na hindi sa lahat ng oras ay mapag-lalaanan ko ng panahon si Ma’am. Tulad ng karamihan, marami rin akong gawain sa araw-araw. Pero kahit ganoon man, hinding hindi ko nakakalimutang isama sya sa aking panalangin.

ero kahit ganoon, naniniwala ako, at nagtitiwala na nabibigyang pansin sya ng mga tao sa kanyang tahanan – ng kanyang mga anak, at mga kamag-anak, at kahit kapit-bahay na nagmamalasakit. Kung anu’t ano man, isang tawag lang sa amin, at sa CMSHS (City of Mandaluyong Science High School) at Arellano University Family, agad agad kaming tatakbo.

101 araw na ang lumipas simula ng nalikha ang Group Page na ito. Paminsan-minsan, at hanggang yumaon, patuloy ang

mga nagbibigay ng mensahe sa wall, para kay Ma’am Fe. Sa 101 araw na pagbisita ko sa Wall tuwing online ako sa

Facebook, nagpapasalamat ako dahil hindi ko nakita kahit isang beses na nabawasan ng members ang Group.

Paunti-unti pa rin syang nadaragdagan. Paunti-unti, pero patuloy na dumarami ang naghahatid ng lakas ng loob para

manumbalik ang dating Ma’am Fe, ang nami-miss na ng lahat. At sana, sa lalong madaling panahon na sya gumaling.

Sana ay ipagpatuloy natin ang panalangin sa Diyos na maka-ahon at magwagi si Ma’am Fe sa kanyang sakit. Higit

sa lahat ng tulong na maihahatid natin, maliban sa pisikal at medikal nyang pangangailangan, ang panalangin, lakas

ng loob at suporta na nanggagaling sa atin ang pinaka-kailangan ni Ma’am Fe. Tandaan natin ang sinabi niya sa Wish Ko Lang episode:

“Mahal ko kayong lahat na estudyante ko… Dahil sa inyo.. kayo ‘yung nagpapahaba ng buhay ko. Lumalakas yung determinasyon kong mabuhay…”

****** 

Noong ika-5 ng Nobyembre, ay ipinagdiwang ko ang aking kaarawan. Nagpasalamat ako sa Diyos sa taong lumipas, at

kung pano nito binago ang pananaw ko sa buhay.

Dahil sa Wish Ko Lang, marami ang nag-abot sa akin ng pagbati, pinuri ako sa lahat ng nai-ambag ko para maisakatuparan ang Wish nating lahat. Pinapasalamatan ko  kayo. Taos-puso. Nakakataba ng puso at nakakasigla ng

damdamin ang malaman na maraming tao ang nabigyan ng¬† pag-asa. at ipahatid sa’yo ang pasasalamat dahil sa

nagawa mo.

Natuwa ako ng sobra para sa sarili, oo. Pero aaminin ko, hindi ko dapat maramdaman iyon. Dahil alam nating lahat

ang kalagayan ng mahal nating guro. Hindi dapat, at hindi wasto na ipagmalaki ko ang kung anumang naganap noon,

dahil ang lahat ng ito ay para kay Ma’am Fe. Nakita nating lahat ang pinagdadaanan nya. At dahil sa nasaksihan nating paghihirap nya, ay kaya natin nagawang ilapit sa makakatulong ang kanyang sitwasyon. Hindi nakakatuwang¬† isipin na kung kailan umabot na sa ganoong sitwasyon, ay saka pa lang natin naisakatuparan ang magbigay tulong sa kanya

– na sana ay mas maaga nating naipahatid.

At hindi lang para kay Ma’am Fe. Sana sa lahat ng pagkakataon na mayroon tayo upang makatulong, gawin natin ang kayang gawin.

At para sa kaalaman ng lahat. Marami po kaming nasa likod ng Page na ito. Sa kanila dapat naka-tuon ang pasasalamat na natanggap ko sa inyong lahat.

 

Ibinabalik ko ang pasasalamat, sa inyong lahat. Sa 1,572 na indibidwal na nasa Page na ito. At sa lahat ng hindi

man pumindot ng “join” at “Like” buttons, pero patuloy ang panalangin sa paggaling ni Ma’am Fe;

Kay Ms. Cath Moralejo, na pumayag na ako ang gumawa at magpasimula sa Page na ito;

Kay Ma’am Glo Duigan, sa patuloy nag pagbabantay kay Ma’am Fe, at hindi nakakalimot na ipaalam sa amin ang

kasalukuyang lagay nya;

Sa mga kasalukuyang guro at mag-aaral ng City of Mandaluyong Science High School; Sa Supreme Student Government, sa pamumuno ni Hamdy Abdou, at sa pagpapayo ni Ms. Jeyz Jaqueca;

Sa mga dating nakasama sa trabaho ni Ma’am Fe, sa mga dating mag-aaral nya sa Arellano University;

Sa Alumni ng CMSHS – simula sa Batch 2000, sa pangunguna ni Ms. Amadea Unisa, hanggang sa huling

Batch ng graduates ng CMSHS;

At sa GMA7 News and Public Affairs, Sa Wish Ko Lang, at sa masugid na pagtatrabaho ni Paul Garcia, at Segment

Producer, Ms. Rachel Arias;

“Hindi maisasakatuparan ang lahat ng ito, at mananatili lamang syang suntok sa buwan kung wala kayong lahat.”

May God bless us all. Let’s spread the word!

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