IN marking their country's 114th Independence anniversary on Tuesday, the Philippino community has resolved to carry out at least one act of charity every three months as a gesture of the warm hospitality they enjoy from the people of Tanzania.
The chairman of the community, Mr Robert Bernabe told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam that the decision was inspired by the charity work the community carried out in the Tandale suburb last Saturday. The Philippines declared independence and sovereignty from Spanish rule on June 14, 1898 under Revolutionary Forces led by General Emilio Aguinaldo, who remains a folk hero.
"We are about 25 people only in Dar es Salaam but we decided to share the joy and spirit of our country's independence with the people of Tanzania, who have been so kind and friendly to us," said Mr Bernabe. Most of the members are employees of various companies in the city. The Philippines, a chain of islands in Asia with total land mass of only about a third of Tanzania is home to nearly 100 million people with another 12 million others scattered abroad.
The community distributed maize meal, beans, sugar and cooking oil to 47 families of the Saint Karoli Parish of the Roman Catholic Church in Tandale. They also gave several plastic mats and at least four pairs of slippers for each family. The community also donated book shelves and secondary school books to the Parish Library. The Philippines is about 90 per cent Roman Catholic.
The secretary, Mr Wilmar Uga, said they felt more than being at home in Tanzania and extremely grateful for the prevailing peace that makes the country a shared heritage for humanity. The community cherishes the Kaibigan or Friend spirit, which was what also inspired the Tandale outreach programme.
"Perhaps many people here (in Tanzania) won't understand it but for us the friendly nature of Tanzanians is more than touching experience for the glory of human nature and shared sense of common destiny, whatever our cultural backgrounds," said Mr Uga.
A community member, Ms Precious Faith Deguinion said the Tandale programme was their way of giving back the blessings that they had received and as a Philippino, she added, nothing mattered more than the Kaibigan spirit.