Hapag-asa was launched in my parish back in 2013. It is an integrated nutrition program in partnership with Assisi Development Foundation (ADFI), Feed the Children Philippines (FTCPI), CBCP-NASSA Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) and Risen Saviour Missions (RSM). This program feeds 6 months to 12 years old undernourished children, underweight pregnant and lactating women in the community once a day, five days a week for 6 months. Each meal is enriched with nutrients through the provision of Food Supplements complete with vitamins and minerals.
Apart from the supplemental feeding, education classes and livelihood and skills training for parents, aimed at sustaining the improved nutritional condition of the children are conducted simultaneously. The education classes cover topics on affective parenting, health and nutrition, responsible parenthood and values and livelihood.
Naay blooper sa adlaw sa launching! I was supposed to be interviewed on Radio DXOI by Ronald “Jojo” Zarate. The day before, he asked if I could be interviewed about Hapag-Asa. He told me he would call around 7 am. And so I waited in the morning. While listening over the radio, I wass suddenly confused why Jojo informed his listeners that I was already on air, and “now let us talk to the parish priest” when he did not call me yet. Everything became funny because he ended up calling the wrong number. He called up an LGU employee named Freddie Saňana instead and on air, Freddie was asking why he suddenly called up. Lol. Ang dami kong tawa.
The Hapag-Asa was launched in the presence of visitors, barangay captains, barangay health workers and beneficiaries, which included 120 children together with their parents. I was very happy. I applied for this program with little faith because all I thought was that Hapag-Asa can only happen in Manila. But my little faith moved mountains. The program arrived in the parish and it unfolded before my eyes. Christian, Subanen indigenous people and Muslim children were all gathered in this part of the world to combat malnutrition. Thank you Lord for this blessing! Indeed, hope is alive!