Confiscated outbound to Hong Kong CX flight 902
in a package addressed to Imelda Marcos, carried onboard
by a Greek National. March 9, 1986

A Couple’s Personal Journey with Gawad Kalinga with an intro by Boy Montelibano

It is a Sunday morning in a troubled Philippines. Headlines scream conflict in their own disturbing but effective ways. The mindset of Filipinos is being conditioned that there will be more of the same, maybe even of worse things to come. Funny, one gets the feeling that all the players in a belligerent drama are wishing for more, as though a dam of ill will has burst and all sides want to bring matters to a head.

It is, then, a miracle in itself that a "good news" movement is undeterred by the dark and heavy blanket that covers the motherland. Gawad Kalinga continues its focused pursuit of a dream, like a Sir Galahad in search of the Holy Grail across battle fields and unfriendly forests. Like Charlie and Myrna, I do not intend to boast about Gawad Kalinga but feel compelled to raise its bright banner if only to tell the Filipino public that all is not lost, that all, in fact, can change.

Gawad Kalinga is by no means alone. The fact that it grows in greatly troubled times is an indication that our troubled people wish deeply for things to be otherwise and gravitate by instinct or intuition to a work of ordinary people who have found the courage to dream and to work at that dream. The 580 GK communities we have and the momentum for progress in defiance of a national aura of fear and paralysis is a manifest rebellion against desperation and resignation in favor of hope and expansive evolution.

Even as group after group in Philippine society feel compelled to take a partisan side, to go for Gloria or against her, preparing a people to draw their battle lines, a different cause offering the contrasting direction of unity, of positive convergence, keeps up its unstoppable march for greater awareness, sympathy and participation. Political parties, business associations, civic organizations, advocacy groups, the academe and the studentry, and even religious organizations have been drawn to speak out for or against Gloria, and murmurs carry the message that all is not well in the military. Yet, why does Gawad Kalinga draw the same sectors towards itself like a beacon guiding fearful ships towards shore in a stormy night?

It is because Gawad Kalinga is a dream whose awakening has simply come, a dream becoming a force, a dream nourished by all that is good and noble in the hearts of man. Charlie and Myrna are making the dream come true day by day, and they have not been remiss in naming those who now share their dream and their crusade. Multiply the Charlies and the Myrnas, find them in the most congested of cities or the most remote of towns. Find them everywhere in the world where there are Filipinos whose hearts have not abandoned their bonds with the motherland. Gawad Kalinga is everywhere where there is a dream of a better Philippines, a better tomorrow for Filipinos.

All of us who now walk the path of building our nation to what it can become, we must continue to push ourselves and our people to strive for the next level, to seek peace, to work for progress, to appreciate our birthright of abundance and struggle so all can partake of it. We face the greatest challenge of pursuing the most personal of dreams but raising it to nobility when we strive to make our dreams carry benefits beyond ourselves to the whole. A sense of oneness, a productive oneness, a caring and sharing oneness. One people, one dream, one destiny.

Thank you, Charlie and Myrna, for making this Sunday especially bright.

Boy Montelibano


It is hard to believe it has already been a year since we first met Tony and Dylan at the WOW GK 2004 last October 10, 2004. A memorable night indeed it was. Myrna and I started the day intending to donate a village and by the time the night was over, we committed to three villages. When one gets into such a deep commitment you feel like you need company. So that was what we did. We started with people at work and friends nearby. We bored people to death telling them about GK.. Emailing proved to be an extremely valuable tool in conveying our GK experience to all believers and potential believers all over the world. Gawad Kalinga and ANCOPUSA printed my email to Tony Meloto and Dylan Wilk in their websites. Before October ended we received commitments for a GK preschool building. We got outright donations for 5 houses. November started with my visit to the GK villages in Bagong Silang, Payatas, Towerville and Angeles City. This was followed by my notes about my visit which made it to the ANCOPUSA website, the Pinoy magazine and the Thomasian which is the USTMAAA publication. Hosting an informational gathering at our house late November followed by an address at the Decatur, Illinois Filipino community Christmas party early December led to the Kalinga Luzon village donation by the Decatur Filipino group amounting to $30,000. A flood relief fund I initiated with $1000 led the USTMAAA towards donating over $10,000. An appeal for flood relief donation at the Central Illinois Phil-American Society Christmas party also resulted in some donations but most importantly started the members thinking about Gawad Kalinga.

Myrna's turn to visit villages happened in January 2005 where she visited Payatas and Baseco, Tondo and Towerville. I went back to visit again in February where I met Tony Meloto and other leaders such as Boy Montelibano, Drs Joe Yamamoto and Oscar Tagulinao. I met with highschool classmates and discussed my involvement with Gawad Kalinga. They offered to help me build my village in Angeles City. Some of my relatives also offered help. April was the launch of the Kalinga Luzon in Chicago where I spoke and shared our passionate support and deep commitment to Gawad Kalinga and our never ending love for our mother country especially its poor. Email information campaign continued with friends and colleagues in Central and Southern Illinois. Fraternity brothers were not immune to the email campaign. Co-alumni from UST received GK information and updates. USTMAAA leaders especially Drs. Oni and Zita Yorro, Drs. Joe and Stella Evangelista Dr and Mrs.Primo Andres and Dr.and Mrs.Noel Canlas embraced the cause and proved why they are exceptional leaders.This led to tremendous interest and support culminated by the visit of Tony and Dylan at the USTMAAA conference in New York last July where donations ranged from land to houses to villages and to a clinic-dormitory for Gawad Kalusugan. Our 1970 Class also came through with sponsoring a Kalinga Luzon village. Our medical fraternity, Tau Mu Sigma Phi will also sponsor a GK village. August was devoted to writing articles for the USTMAAA Thomasian about the New York experience. Campaign also continued with the Central and Southern Illinoisians. As incoming president of the Asssociation of Filipino Physicians of Southern Illinois(AFPSI), I presented a proposal before the membership body in September to adopt a Kalinga Luzon village which was unanimously approved and may lead to a multi-village donation. The 12 month journey will end on the 31st of October when Tony Meloto and company will visit our house in Decatur where we will host a gathering of Filipinos from Decatur and surrounding communities who will meet and listen to Tony and his friends.

Before all these events happened, we have kept a very low profile in all aspects of our daily life. This journey is being told not to boast on what we have done but to illustrate that making a commitment to a cause does not end after a donation is made. It is actually the beginning. This journey expounds on the numerous ways to reach potential believers of the cause. We realized that it is not what you give financially that counts the most, rather it is the intensity of commitment to spread the gospel of Gawad Kalinga thereafter. We do not know where this GK journey will lead us but so far it has been a very fulfilling experience. Myrna and I are very fortunate we found a truly worthy movement in Gawad Kalinga that we deeply believe to finally give back in a big way as we always dreamed about many years ago. We look forward to the next twelve month journey and hope it will be as successful as the first if not more.

Imelda's Jewelry | Imelda's Amazing Jewelry | More  baubles | Even More |More Jewelry | The Story | Background Info | Gawad Kalinga | Probe Team Sound Byte

The photos on this site are from the private photo collection of Diana J. Limjoco. All rights reserved copyright 2005
The photos on this site were given to Diana Limjoco as an exclusive photography session by PCGG as it’s measure then towards a transparent government in 1988. There are many more pieces NOT displayed on this site in Diana’s private photo collection- The Jewelry of Imelda Marcos.

Site paid for and sponsored by home of the Nubra adhesive bra.

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