TACLOBAN CITY-As an accomplished professional, living a relatively comfortable life with family, she can just be where she is, but this lady chose to meddle and mingle with the poor in a far depressed barangay of Eastern Samar.
On April 2, 2018, PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine T. Badoy unbelievably risked the long, winding route to barangay Binaloan, Taft Eastern Samar, in her passion and enthusiasm to join the school children’s graduation rites, 14 of whom were boys, six were girls.
Everybody in the village, young and old, calls her “doctor” more than a “ma’am”, and from more eavesdropping, the sound of her name got clearer, she is a medical doctor. But previous research likewise revealed, she is a print communicator, a doctor-blogger.
Watching her hugged and talked pleasantly to the children, tickled certain degree of guilt for someone who comes from the place but has yet to touch the ground of that calamity stricken barangay yet, a lady of her regard and respect appeared without having to impress on anyone, she is one of the trusted persons of the country’s highest leader, PRRD.
Who’s she? Why these children? Why this place that is nestled in a deep forested area of Eastern Samar’s so-called virgin forest? Was she ever aware that the area used to be a haven of the red fighters? Can she imagine of some unseen eyes watching from the tree tops or perhaps a number of gun nozzles pointing at us?
PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine T. Badoy is the name and here, is her zealous mission and crusade, from the accounts of the women in the barangay.
Typhoon Ruby in 2015 was the strongest typhoon to have hit the northern barangays of the province in recent years. Next to “Yolanda”, it rendered vast devastation, pulling people’s lives to extreme poverty and demoralization.
Barangay Binaloan, Taft, Eastern Samar had its fair share in desolation and wreckage. Located in a low land valley, with a river belting around the place, gives the place the big opportunity to catch the waters from everywhere: from incessant rainfall, from swelling waterfalls nearby or from the river that has not recovered in decades to its normal state from an ungrateful, devious mining company.
So, “Ruby” with her enormous volume of water soaked the houses, floated the classrooms and severely destroyed the children’s treasured books then, the future went bleak and dark.
However, from out of the blues, a Medical Mission must had been brought by an Angel. They composed of closely saintly medical practitioners, one Lorraine Badoy included.
And it unfolded everything as lady Lorraine vowed, “I shall return”.
From then on, she has been frequenting the place particularly during school commencement exercises.
With her intercession, by having had to ask her friends and colleagues for needed assistance, books, slippers, medicines poured in to the place.
“I like the place,” USEC Badoy said in a brief talk. “Extreme poverty,” was her answer, when asked why the children from the place.
Two girl sisters indeed are fatherless, the mother a PWD; one is a book lover, but the school doesn’t have a library and books, so the lady USEC intervened for the need.
She also wrote National University in Manila for a scholarship of a local boy, who was a Palaro Winner in swimming. After staying for three years now in Manila, Jericho Salas, the youngest of six siblings will now be moving to Grade-9 with stipend and free dormitory. Dominga, his mother informed that the boy is now with Perpetual Help School, where he continues his scholarship grant.
USEC Badoy is also up to help the livelihood needs of the unemployed women in the barangay.
In her graduation brief message, USEC Badoy stressed to the young, on education as the best tool to achieve a brighter future.
“Malaking laban kung kayo ay nag-aral,” she told the graduates. She neither agrees to the notion, on “the poor being lazy”.
“Baka hindi lang natutulungan,” was her counter.
She shared, that her parents’ parents were not wealthy as well. Her grandpa was a vegetable vendor and her grandma had many siblings that distributed the family’s income to more priority expenses.
But both her grandparents and parents reached their respective education and titles through scholarship programs. She was too, a UP Scholar, while hubby Walter took the scholarship program of the PMA.
Citing the free tuition college education program, USEC Lorraine urged the 20 elementary graduates of Binaloan Elementary School, Taft, Eastern Samar to never tarry nor go weary because they are almost there.
“Kakaunti nalang ang tatawirin ninyo at kagaya ng marami, makakaahon din kayo sa tamang edukasyon,” the cheerful giver concluded,”
USEC Lorraine’s trip to Binaloan, Taft, and Eastern Samar was in line with the current goal of PCOO to bring government closer to the people thus, officials like her are now engaging grassroots communication. Being one of PCOO’s on ground communication bureaus, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) fully complements its communication programs and strategies. (a.nicart)