Poblacion, Mayoyao, Ifugao – During the first week of September, Gota de Leche’s Medical Director Dr. Luisa Villavicencio, along with Programs Associate Karla Calpito and Program Support Specialist Marilou dela Cruz, met up with members of Igorota Foundation, Inc. and the Mayoyao Health Office. The trip to Mayoyao would prove to be a difficult and arduous one despite the breathtaking view.
Mayoyao Proper is situated around 41 kilometers from Banaue, but the difference in traveling between the two locations is punctuated by the potentially bad weather – with the very real possibility of landslides affecting the trip. The team left Manila late at night and arrived in Banaue at a little past 7 in the morning. It took them two hours by bus to get to Mayoyao (population: 12,000+), where they stayed in a lodge accessible to the Health Center.
Still, the Gota de Leche team persisted, meeting up with Igorota Foundation, Inc. Program Officer Rhea Jhoy Ampal, and the NGO’s Community Organizers Jerome Mombael and Jesse Choy-Awon. At the Health Center, they met up with Mayoyao’s Family Health Associate Pauline Iguan, and the Municipal Health Officer Dr. Alain Julian Aliguyon. The teams discussed the programs during the service days in Poblacion, which aims to have around 35 PLWs (pregnant and lactating women) in attendance. However, due to landslindes affecting travel in parts of the Ifugao region, 4 PLWs were not able to attend the program, while the remaining 31 PLWs received 15 packs of rice meals each – good for for September to November. The rice packs for the absent PLWs will be distributed by the FHA.
The PLWs had to sign a kasunduan and attendance before the Gota de Leche team explained and demonstrated how to cook the rice meal packs. Everyone in attendance had a chance to partake of the champorado-flavored rice meals. Dr Villavicencio also conducted check-ups on some of the Mayoyao kids and their mothers. Many of the PLWs prioritize their children’s nutrition to the point of giving up their own meals to feed their kids. The result is often alarming – stunted growth of their kids due to lack of proper nutrition while pregnant, and malnourished moms who continue to sacrifice what they have for their children.
The next distribution of rice meal packs to the Mayoyao beneficiaries will be held in December 2018. Gota de Leche would like to express their heartfelt gratitude and support to Igorota Foundation and Mayoyao Health Center for making this outreach possible.