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Story and Photo by Karla Narcise Rodulfo | PME Manager | Heifer Philippines

Traveling to Mt. Province is always a welcome treat. Despite the steep and rugged mountains and the never-ending winding roads, the cooler weather and serene view always make it worth it. I have visited Mt. Province countless times to facilitate workshops, conduct monitoring visits and to attend official Heifer functions, and each time I leave the place I am, without fail, always in awe. 

I had the opportunity to attend the third Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony of Igorota Foundation Inc.’s (IFI) first project?the Women Initiated Sustainable Entrepreneurship through Gifts, Integrity, Values and Environmental Restoration (WISE GIVER) project. The project’s latest POG was in Pingad, Sabangan, Mt. Province, and it was held November 24, 2012. The project ended its active life June 30, 2011.

I have met a majority of the original and pass-on families of the WISE GIVER project, referred to as the Gayang Self-Help Groups (SHGs). They are very warm, vocal and sincere people, very open to share their thoughts and ideas on how to improve the project. No wonder they were able to reach more needy families through their latest POG celebration. Every time I visit them, I feel inspired and have an overwhelming pride that I work with Heifer, that in my own way I am getting to help needy families; that in my capacity I can help these wonderful people help themselves.

The mood during the third POG ceremony was festive, with singing and food to share. But the highlight of the ceremony was when the Gayang group members presented their own song, and sang it in their local dialect?I understood some of it and asked a colleague to translate it for me so I could fully understand?to the tune of a local Christmas song. The song’s lyrics are very simple, but the message is very moving:

 

Gayang’s Song

The wind is softly blowing
Giving a happy feeling
Even if it is cold
It sings of POG that has to be told.

That is the beauty of Heifer and Igorota
Who are always there with us
They give hope to make the people happy
Hope that translates to peace and prosperity.

The wind is blowing whispering about POG
The wind sent by Heifer gives blessing continuously.

The roosters are crowing
The pigs are smiling
They are very happy
Because they are being passed on as blessings.

 

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Author

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.