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                After its first humanitarian undertaking in Bulusan, the successful civic action last April 10 wherein 648 indigents were the beneficiaries, the Damayan-Buluseño Foundation, Inc. is now on its main objective: to grant scholarships in college and vocational courses to deserving children of poor Buluseño families. This is the continuation of the scholarship program of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc., the umbrella organization of the foundation, which has already produced twenty-seven professionals and is currently supporting two remaining scholars in college.

                This school year DBFI has three scholars in engineering and education courses in different schools in Manila and Sorsogon City.  Taking up Mechanical Engineering at the Sorsogon State College is John Anthony G. Balancio.  Sponsored by a Buluseño based abroad who requested anonymity, John Anthony graduated 2nd Honorable Mention from the Jose S. Reyes Memorial Foundation, Inc. (JSRMFI) in Bulusan.  He is the son of Antonio Balancio, a balut vendor, and Ruth Galon of Barangay Sabang.

                Enrolled at the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) is Jenielyn D. Furo, a salutatorian, also from JSRMFI.  She is taking up education.  She is the daughter of Roman Furo, a carpenter and Luz Dematera of Barangay Madlawon.  Her sponsor is Ms. Nenita Somatiza of Laguna but who is now based in Pasig City.

                Also taking up education at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) is Marissa D. Frando, a 4th Honorable Mention graduate from the Paradise Farm National High School in San Jose del Monte where she had been the editor-in-chief of their school organ.  A daughter of Abner Frando and Leonora Dollosa of Barangay San Francisco, Marissa is now a regular member of the PNU Chorale.  Her sponsor is Mr. Francisco Fernandez, Jr. of Mandaluyong City.

                Before they were taken in as scholars, together with their parents/guardians they were interviewed and screened thoroughly by the board of trustees composed of Mr. Rogelio Fuentes, the chairman; Ms. Luz Gamba, the vice chairman; Engr. Pablito Freo, the treasurer; Mr. Ulpiano Sorra, the secretary; and retired Maj. Gen. Cesar Fortuno, the auditor.  Both scholars and their parents were reminded of their responsibilities and were further advised by Gen. Fortuno to maintain humility at all times.

                In its meeting immediately after the interview with the scholars, the board of trustees decided that starting next school year, only graduates from the four high schools in Bulusan will be taken in as scholars namely: Jose S. Reyes Memorial Foundation, Inc., Bulusan High School, San Roque National High School, and Buhang National High School.

                The applicants must belong to the poorest family among the top seven graduates (from the valedictorian down to the fifth honorable mention).  They have to be recommended by the school authorities concerned to the foundation for evaluation and approval, and shall enroll in a state university or college in Metro-Manila, Legaspi City, or Sorsogon City.

                They Foundation may also sponsor next school year scholarships in vocational courses at the Bulusan National Vocational and Technical School in Bulusan.

                The Foundation would like to remind the applicants for scholarship particularly in college that unlike before when Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. was very lenient on their studies, this time, their grades would be strictly monitored.   They have to maintain a general average of not lower than 2.00 at the end of the semester.  Their scholarship grants will be terminated the moment they fail to maintain the required grades of them in three semesters.

                Also, their allowance for the whole semester will be given in three installments so that the family will not be tempted to spend the money on something else.

                All these and others are stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement, which will be entered into, by the scholars and their parents/guardians and the Foundation.


Vol. XVI No.3 (May - July 2004)

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