LAS VEGAS – All systems are go for the first Philippine Hope Ball in Las Vegas as the committee, spearheaded by Dr. Mike Micabalo and his wife Luz, leaves no stone unturned to assure the success of the “most ambitious and ground-breaking society event” that will fund the construction of the first 150 homes for 150 families in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, Metro Manila by April 30, 2012.
With no less than Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay as guest of honor and resource person for the event, this initial project, according to Gawad Kalinga USA, will “ultimately establish a legacy of hope and a sense of harmony that will translate into valuable support on the ground for the poor of the Philippines.”
According to the special invitation distributed by the host committee, “The GK Hope Ball will bring , for the first time, the diverse sectors in the Filipino community in the USA to create something more important than history: HOPE.”
“The Philippine Hope Ball Campaign will provide an avenue for Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S. to build a flagship village in Bagong Silang, Metro Manila, Philippines,” shares event chair Luz Micabalo.
â€œThis initial phase of the project will provide homes for 150 families, complete with all the GK components of shelter, livelihood, education, health, and community building,â€ she explains.
The Philippine Hope Ball Campaign will highlight the new breed of Filipinos in America who fuel their love for the Philippines, not with words but with action, and surely not because one is Ilocano or Visayan, but because he is Filipino.
In a heartfelt message to friends and supporters of Gawad Kalinga in America, GK founder and chair Tony Meloto thanked the Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S. for getting involved in the campaign. According to him, GK USA has embarked on the initial phase of the campaign in Las Vegas to â€œbring dignity to the lives of 150 families in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, Metro Manila by building the first Philippine GK Hope Village by April 30, 2012.â€
Meloto gets emotional as he writes â€œFor the first time ever, Filipinos and Filipino-Americans thousands of miles away are bonding in unity in an unprecedented act of heroism, void of regional or provincial affiliations. They are building simply because they are Filipinos.â€
The first GK Hope Ball will bring together prominent and successful people in a meaningful and relevant response to the pervasive problem of poverty in the Philippines.
According to Meloto, â€œThere are 46% of Filipinos who consider themselves poor. Majority live in abject poverty, trapped in a slum environment that drives a culture of idleness, crime, conflict and insurgency.â€
GK aims to restore the dignity and productivity of the Philippinesâ€™ greatest resource â€“ its poor population. Gawad Kalinga is building holistic communities all over the country. To date, over 2000 communities have been raised in the Philippines, fueled by the heroism of many Filipinos from all over the world, as well as the bayanihan (working together) of many sectors of society.
â€œWith the outpouring of assistance from hundreds of our partners and thousands of volunteers, GK hopes to end poverty to five million Filipino families by 2024,â€ writes Meloto.