With the success of last year’s P&A for a Cause (P&AUSE) participation in Habitat for Humanity’s (Habitat) housing project in Las Piñas, P&AUSE once again lends a helping hand for Habitat’s current housing project in Barangay BASECO, Tondo, Manila, last October 22. The activity was undertaken in cooperation with the Makati Business Club, Manila City Hall, the National Housing Authority and the National Anti-Poverty Commission. Twenty-one P&AUSE volunteers, led by Ice Ayson, trooped to Barangay BASECO to help in the construction of homes for beneficiary families located in the area.

P&Aers gamely and bravely rolled up their sleeves and traded their calculators for shovels. Attendees prepared a selected site for the actual construction of the house by digging and shoveling earth and clay (among other things) from the site, a painstaking process that consumed much of the day. Despite the hot and dry weather, P&Aers hauled the dug-up soil from the construction site to make way for the foundation of septic tanks and comfort rooms (making us flex muscles that have been made lax by too much stationary work).

P&Aers became construction hardhats for the day and experienced first-hand the meager living conditions of the people at the BASECO area. Think of living in an area without proper sanitation and properly cemented roads and with congested streets teeming with malnourished children. The experience made us realize how privileged we are to live the life that we are currently enjoying. More importantly, we realized that rather than merely being thankful for our good fortune, we can and should exert some effort in making other people’s lives easier to bear.

The experience was quite a workout for us, but it was all worth it: we received heartfelt and enthusiastic thanks from the BASECO residents, who are now one day closer to fulfilling their dream of having secure homes for their families.