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Big hearts from our US-based Misamisnons

Big hearts from our US-based Misamisnons

By Susan Palmes-Dennis

ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina–Meet Minda Tabequero of Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental who’s quite happy these days since her learning center now has a restroom.

Let me tell you the story of motherhood in its finest and as a teacher by circumstance, Minda wants to serve not only those she loves but the rest of the community of children with special needs.

Minda, who used to work with the Jasaan-Claveria court under the Supreme Court has a daughter with special needs (Down syndrome). Since they live in Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental she opted to stop working in the judiciary when she realized the needs of her own daughter.

She didn’t have the formal education to teach but her persistence, determination and love of her daughter was so intense that what used to be a mother-daughter setup in her house turned into a sort of learning center in their area.

From one ward to another ward, many special needs children ended up at her doorstep. Instead of solely teaching her daughter, she was surprised that there were other children with special needs in her neighborhood. She welcomed them with her embrace and thus, the Special Children Learning Center was born in lower Nahalinan, Jasaan town in Misamis Oriental province.

Volunteer teachers of the indigenous community came to pitch in. A year ago, Minda said she was surprised to hear my voice on radio at her neighbor’s home. She contacted me through Facebook and talked about her learning center for special children with needs.

Wow what a coincidence, I told myself; well this is a story about her school. not about me. But anyway that was the connection and through my program ‘Susan Live’ at RPN-dxKO aired live on TV and radio and on their Facebook page, I repeatedly appealed to the listeners specially those living abroad to help and offer assistance to Minda’s learning center.

One Tuesday, my guest was Marygene Espinosa, the president of Cagayan de Oro/Misamis Oriental Association in New York, Inc. I could not remember anymore what brought it up, but anyway she immediately responded to my appeal to help build a restroom in Minda’s Special Children Learning Center. It was so providential because at the time Marygene and I discussed the learning center’s situation on air, one of the members of the Board of Directors of CDO/MisOr group Evangeline Bombeo Legaspi was visiting her family in Cagayan de Oro. Evangeline visited the school and verified the urgency of building a restroom for the learning center.

Thus the much needed and appreciated assistance from the New Yorkers of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro. Their assistance helped build the restroom and provided other needs of the learning center, Minda said.

I was also informed that another Misamisnon, Lulu Bade Pimemtel, who is from Villanueva town and a member of the association also paid a visit at the school.

I wish to extend my profound thanks to the MisOr/CDO Association in New York for their help through their President Marygene Espinosa and members of the Board of Directors.

Related to this news of people with generous hearts who’re ready to help those in need is this bit about another Misamisnon who heard my plea for Minda’s learning center.

The popular fashion icon in Charlotte, North Carolina Malou Zayas Tabada Cordery asked to hand over some assistance to the school. Cordery, whose fashion works already reached the runway of Paris surprised me the day before I left Charlotte by handing me an envelope to give to the learning Center.

It was then that I realized that maybe there are people out there listening to my program and together we can help those who are really in need. Like the New York Association of MisOr-CDO through Marygene Espinosa, Malou Zayas Tabada Cordery and maybe many more in the near future who can make a long lasting difference in the lives of others who also help others lead better lives.


Okay now let’s end this piece wth a little rant. Along with my upcoming visit to Misamis Oriental (which already came to pass as this was posted), there’s this problem of traffic which my husband Ronnie is none too pleased about based on his experience driving the roads and streets of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.

Among the many problems inherent in the local traffic situation is the presence of those lumbering trucks. Mind you this problem on trucks has become so severe in the country’s metropolitan areas particularly in Manila that a truck ban was enforced that would limit their mobility only in non-rush hour periods.

I;m not too sure if there’s an existing ordinance to that effect in Cagayan de Oro but if there is, City Hall through the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) should enforce it. Aside from the glut of private vehicles like motorcycles, trucks contribute to the heavy traffic congestion in the city.

I can only thank God that I don’t have to deal with that problem everyday back home in Rockingham, North Carolina but this traffic congestion is a daily ordeal for my loved ones back in Cagayan de Oro and nearby Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental. I don’t expect this to be resolved anytime soon, but I join the others in appealing to local leaders to address this situation.


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