1-year-old child dies in Parañaque City fire

A few weeks ago, it was reported that an elderly lady died while being trapped inside a burning house within Parañaque City. This past weekend, a similar tragedy happened again within the same city but in a different barangay. This time, the victim is a 1-year-old child according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin’s news report. Some parts in boldface…

A one-year-old boy died when he was trapped inside their burning house in Paranaque City Saturday afternoon.

Senior Fire Officer 1 Gennie Huidem, Paranaque Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) arson investigator, identified the fatality as Zach William Prado, of 4053 Culdesac Rotonda, Barangay Sun Valley, Paranaque City.

Huidem said Prado was on the second floor of their house when the fire broke out at about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.

The report showed the victim was left in the custody of their grandfather, Wilfredo Prado, prior to the fire.

The arson investigator said before the fire broke out, the victim’s four-year-old brother Amber Brado left Zach William sleeping to follow their other sibling Akia Zoei who attended a birthday party.

The flames immediately spread to nearby houses.

The fire gutted 13 houses rendering 23 families homeless.

The above report ended stating that the estimate amount of damage was at P100,000.

Below is the related TV news report.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City, what do you think should be done to prevent fire and death from happening within a local community?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

87-year-old lady dies inside her house during fire incident in Parañaque City

Tragedy struck Parañaque City yesterday when the Valenzuela Compound in Barangay Sto. Niño, Parañaque City got hit by fire which resulted several families becoming temporarily homeless and the death of an 87-year-old lady who was trapped in a house that got burned according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

An 87-year-old grandmother died when she was trapped inside their burning house early Wednesday morning in Parañaque City.

The victim, identified as Lolita Matadling, who was bedridden, was trapped at the second floor of their burning house at Kaingin 2, Valenzuela Compound, Barangay Sto. Niño, Parañaque City.

According to the report of the Parañaque Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP), the family member of Matadling were not able to rescue her because the second floor of the house where she was staying and where the fire reportedly started, suddenly collapsed.

The BFP said about 50 families were affected by the fire and they are now temporary staying at a covered court in Barangay Sto. Nino.

The BFP is still investigating the cause of the fire.

Posted below is a related news video by GMA Network.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this latest tragedy in Parañaque City? Is the nearest residential compound in your barangay prone to fire incidents?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Former Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar (1947-2021)

Last week, August 20, 2021 became a sorrowful day as former Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar passed away which the City Government of Las Piñas confirmed. He was 74-years-old and left a legacy of public service having served as the head of the local government unit (LGU) for a grand total of eighteen years (1995-2004 and 2007-2016). His wife Imelda is the incumbent Mayor and their daughter April Aguilar-Nery is the incumbent Vice Mayor.

From the City Government.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the official statement issued by Mayor Imelda Aguilar which the City Government released on August 20…

It is with profound sorrow that our family announces the passing of my husband and our patriarch, former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar.

At the age of 74, Nene joined our beloved Creator today, August 20, 2021, at 4:12 am, succumbing to a heart ailment after being confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.

Nene, it pains all of us that you are no longer with us, but we know that you have accomplished your mission in this world, not only to your family and loved ones, but to the hundreds of families you have served and supported throughout your years in service.

As the current Mayor of Las Piñas, the legacy and selfless public service you have rendered as mayor for 18 years to the people of Las Piñas will serve as my inspiration. Your years as the local chief executive have led to the unprecedented growth of our city. We will miss you very much.

We invite our loved ones, friends, and all of the people of Las Piñas to remember him and celebrate his life and the love and joy he has imparted to all of us.

For the newcomers reading this, former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar led the LGU for almost twenty years. According to local history, he first became mayor at a time when Las Piñas was still a municipality. Las Piñas formally became a city on March 26, 1997 and that was within Aguilar’s first term. Under his leadership, socio-economic development followed and the new city got recognized. There is no denying that Las Piñas became progressive and continues to progress and has emerged as one of the most notable cities of South Metro Manila.

A look back at a few of the many achievements of the city under Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar.

In an article published by Philippine News Agency (PNA), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar paid tribute to former Mayor Aguilar and expressed his sorrow. Posted below is an excerpt…

In a press statement, Andanar said it pains him to lose Aguilar who had been a father figure to him.

“It’s with great sorrow, sadness, and pain that I grieve the loss of a father figure like former Las Piñas Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar who passed away today, August 20, 2021, due to a heart ailment,” said Andanar.

Aguilar’s passing was announced by his wife, incumbent Mayor Imelda Aguilar, through a statement posted on the official Facebook page of City of Las Piñas.

Aguilar, 74, passed away on Friday morning at St. Luke’s Medical Center at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Andanar remembered Aguilar, whom he fondly called “Papa Nene,” for the latter’s “unselfish public service, commitment, and dedication to lead and generate great changes” in Las Piñas City.

He also hailed Aguilar for giving “unparalleled” progress to Las Piñas City and its people.

“You have touched the lives of so many people, but your silent demeanor was a gushing river of wisdom and affection that brought happiness and, most of all, love to our small family,” Andanar said. “Papa Nene, you may have left us in this world and have joined our Creator, but the memories and teachings you have shared with us all will be remembered perpetually.”

He left behind four daughters — Las Piñas Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, Alelee Aguilar-Andanar, and Anne Aguilar.

He was also Senator Cynthia Villar’s brother.

He was a property developer before entering public service in 1992. He then served as mayor of Las Piñas City for six terms, first from 1995 to 2004, and from 2007 to 2016.

His father Dr. Filemon Aguilar, was also a former Las Piñas mayor.

During his term, Las Piñas was recognized as one of the best-managed cities in the country, according to the city’s official website.

National and international awards, including the United Nations Award for Environmental Protection, were handed out to the city under his term.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a long-time Las Piñas City resident who lived when former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar led the City Government, what is the best thing you remember about him with regards to public service?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

A Look Back at The Strangers #5 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Malibu Comics! As of this writing, I am coming close to finally reviewing all issues of The Strangers series of comic books under the Ultraverse line of Malibu Comics. If you have been following my retro reviews, I reviewed issue #23 which was the 2nd-to-the-last of all published issues of The Strangers.

Then I checked for issues I have not reviewed. I went on to review issues #14 and #15. Now I am about to review a few more issues that were published during the first six months of The Strangers.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at The Strangers #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins somewhere in California (shortly after parting ways with Hardcase and Choice). It was decided by the team to take a break from being the Strangers and return to their respective private lives.

Bob Hardin/Atom Bob returns to his parents at home and learns that not only were he and his teammates publicized in the local news, there are many reporters who arrived and stayed just outside their home seeking him.

Zip-Zap arrives in his old neighborhood and immediately encounters a local gang of his fellow black people. Grenade and Electrocute, who are in the same neighborhood as Atom Bob, walk down the street and start to get close with each other. Elena/Lady Killer goes back to her business while Yrial finds herself unable to return to her private life (at the floating island). Suddenly, someone on the sidewalk calls out to Yrial for help…

Quality

Suspense and tension builds up for the Strangers.

Given how hectic times were for The Strangers in the first four issues, this story is a welcome change of pace. The pacing was adjusted to give readers some much needed breathing space to help them focus on the characterization moments, to get to know each team member better and to realize what their place in the entire Ultraverse truly is. For one thing, it is nice to see Atom Bob with his folks and it is quite something to see Yrial finding herself somewhat lost and lonely in the middle of the city as she is unable to come back to her tribe on the floating island.

More on storytelling, this comic book still has a good amount of space left for spectacle which was structured in a way to be a pay-off for all the character development scenes that preceded it. That being said, the new villain introduced here is Deathwish who turns out to be quite powerful (powerful enough kill and make corpses rot faster than usual) and easily challenged the Strangers a lot. The encounter results some pretty interesting character moments for each team member. Deathwish also is one of the many other people who rode the same cable car with the Strangers on the day they got hit by energy from above.

More on the spectacle, I just love the way Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg presented the teamwork dynamics of The Strangers in their fight with Deathwish.

Conclusion

Elena/Lady Killer as the very busy businesswoman.

The Strangers #5 (1993) is another entertaining read from the Englehart-Hoberg duo. This comic book further developed the characters and even gave readers a look at their private lives before resuming the superhero spectacle. It also tried to be socially relevant for the 1990s with insertions about AIDS, cancer and homosexuality (an abomination as clearly written in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the Holy Bible) which are channeled through one particular team member. More notably, it sheds light on the cable car incident from issue #1 to point out that the Strangers are truly not the only ones who got affected by the energy blast from the sky.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #5 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $14.

Overall, The Strangers #5 is recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

By accepting Lord Jesus, the youth will be protected from suicide

Suicide is defined as the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally (source – Merriam Webster Dictionary). For so long has suicide affected societies worldwide and left a lot of families very hurt.

If the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, roughly eight hundred thousand people die worldwide due to suicide every year.

What is disturbing in the survey of the WHO on the said topic is that the age-group of 15-29 years saw suicide as the 2nd leading cause of deaths in 2016. To break down the 2016 statistics, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 among both genders and the females. Among the males, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.

While varied organizations and researchers have their own definition of the age group for youth, the Jesus Global Youth Day organizers defined it verbally as below the age of thirty, which I personally witnessed during the 2019 Jesus Global Youth Day held here in the Philippines. As such, the 15-29 age group would be counted as youth at least in this article.

Back to the topic at hand, the menace of suicide affecting youth right down to the local level of Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City made its presence felt when I interviewed Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairwoman Mariel Tumang twice in 2019.

During the first interview (published here), she told me that suicide among the youth in the local community was present not just in the form of committed suicide (confirmed death) but also in the form of thoughts (suicidal thoughts or suicidal thinking) inside the minds of young people.

Then, months later, in another interview Tumang confirmed to me that a tragedy happened when a 21-year-old man living in the depressed community of Masville hanged himself to death because he broke up with his girlfriend (click here). The victim was a loss not only to his family, his friends and the neighborhood, but also for the economy (note: he was already working in the private sector). Tumang stated that their definition of youth is 15 to 30-years-old.

Along the way, Tumang and her SK kagawads (Youth Councilors) attended seminars on dealing with suicide through the aspect of psychology and behavior. Whatever topics and skills they learned, they made ways to make their community youth aware of it by holding seminars locally.

The sad trail of youth suicide also goes a long way back in the form of archived news reports. In January 2014, a 16-year-old boy killed himself inside his house in Cebu City because of his failure in school (click here) and his school adviser confirmed to his mother that he would not be going to fourth year high school.

On April 2016, a 15-year-old girl was found dead hanging from a mango tree (click here) in Talisay City, Cebu. According to the archived news report, a suicide note was left behind by the victim (a stay-in student of a school) and she reportedly told one of her superiors she wanted to kill herself and no reason was given. Before the tragedy happened, her superiors at school found it disturbing that she (the victim) was very silent. Included in the news report was a police officer who revealed that the victim lost her father to insurgents while her mother (who was then linked to another man) was later killed in a vehicular accident with her live-in partner.

What cause young people to commit suicide? There are several factors related to society, economics and psychology. Here are the factors I narrowed down.

Failure to deal with fear early in life

Depression

Physical abuse

Loss of purpose

Peer pressure

Gender confusion

Lack of parental guidance or counseling 

Being misled by pop culture or online trends

Internet addiction

Being misled by fake news or distorted news

Getting bullied

Being misled by rumors

Living with negative vibes in his/her local environment (note: in the Philippines, most barangay youth councils have presence in economically depressed communities dubbed as developing communities)

Shame or embarrassment

Being misled by those living with unbelief 

Temptations

Obsession with people, images and things they idolized

Becoming addicted to something dangerous

Being trapped by religious traditions, rituals and other restrictions

Having selfish desires or very high expectations

Lack of focus on the Lord

While taxpayers’ money is being spent by government bodies of different levels to develop the youth and help prevent suicide, I honestly believe that the menace of suicide can be solved more effectively by having the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God. It is by having faith in the Lord that young people can truly become strong, stable and more knowledgeable with their lives. It is by having a personal relationship with the Lord that the youth can truly move forward with. If the youth can be educated to reject all forms of hindrances that prevent them from truly establishing faith in the Lord, they would be better off and youth suicide would be reduced dramatically.

Sadly, government programs for youth development remain insufficient to bring the youth to God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

What I noticed is that the Christian faith and spiritual approach to solving and preventing youth suicide is missing among the key development programs of barangay youth councils.

Ironically in 2019, in the city of Parañaque specifically, there were barangay youth councils that organized their own beauty pageants featuring local homosexuals as candidates which most likely added to the suicide factor of gender confusion. This is sad because not only was taxpayers’ money most likely used to fund such events, it gave the youth the false message that homosexuality is legitimate. In truth, homosexuality is an abomination and certainly Satan loves it when people are fooled into believing that homosexuality is good and accepted as normal in society. Let’s read a holy scripture confirming that homosexuality is wrong and evil.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

As a whole, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 made clear that people trapped by sin will never make it in God’s kingdom. As such, the youth today still have time and opportunities to turn away from sinful behavior, submit themselves to Lord Jesus for forgiveness, accept Him as their Lord and Savior to start a new life with dedication to live under His holiness. This is the good news that the youth, whether they are still trapped by the darkness of unbelief (read: atheism and secularism) or religion (read: idolatry, wrong theology, traditions and rituals) should know.

To help the youth understand their true purpose in life as God’s creations, they should be taught with the following holy scriptures (apart from teaching them they need to be born again as written in John 3: 3):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all your strength.

Mark 12: 30 (NKJV)

If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3: 1-2 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

Colossians 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

By becoming Christian, the young one can start a new life free from the sins and youthful lusts of the past. As part of getting reformed by Lord Jesus, the new life youth should learn to strongly reject the many form of lust like gratifying sensual cravings (example: losing his or her virginity in exchange for sexual pleasure), desiring the forbidden (example: taking illegal substances), longing for evil (example: bringing down other youth to bring yourself up just to feel good and proud), and engaging in experiences that are contrary to God’s will. These are emphasized in the holy scripture below.

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2: 22 (NKJV)

The Christian youth living the new life should learn to conduct himself or herself in an exemplary manner. This is expected because once someone gets born again, he/she is under the Lord and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Because really, under the watch and care of God, age does not matter and this also means being youthful as a Christian is NOT a disadvantage. It also does not matter if people will find Christians a peculiar people because this is expected. Learn from the next holy scriptures.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)

The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

Psalm 118: 18 (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special peope, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (NKJV)

Conclusion

I believe that involving Lord Jesus in the lives of the youth will spare them from suicide and all other factors that lead to self-destruction. I honestly believe that no amount of taxpayers’ money spent and no sophisticated government program can be more effective on preventing youth suicide (and suicide in general) than emphasizing faith in the Lord, believing in His Word (with the Holy Bible as the main reference) and applying biblical lessons in life.

Please take note that the dreaded presence of secularism is still in the minds of many government officials (note: there is a so-called separation of church and state in the 1987 Constitution).

If the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God, then it would be great not only for the local community but also the whole world. An enlightened youth, as children of God, definitely would not even think about suicide nor give the devil any room into their lives. The youth should realize how essential it is for them to study the Word of God (the Holy Bible) and prioritize it as their ultimate authority among all reading materials. With the Lord on the youth’s side, the menace of suicide and Satan can be defeated and the youth can grow in holiness as they grow into adulthood. Christianity, not feelings or earthly matters, should be embedded into the minds and hearts of the youth. Because really, everybody needs Lord Jesus and the youth need Him. With more youth believing and trusting in Jesus, cases of youth suicide will be much smaller!

As such, I highly recommend that Christian teaching (complete with studying the Holy Bible) should be included more in youth development programs and suicide prevention programs of youth councils. The youth who are spiritually unsaved must be taught the truth that they need Lord Jesus and have faith (not religion) in Him.

At this point, I’d like to reach out to the unsaved youth reading this…if you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life under the Lord has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. That personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! You are a youthful Christian right now, and you can keep growing spiritually for the rest of your life. Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

As a new and young Christian with the Holy Spirit in your heart, never allow yourself to get involved in youth movements that involve unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals because those are not holy. The only youth you need to get involved with are your fellow Christians (those who got born again like you), and the only reference of authority you need is the Holy Bible. Once you get involved in a new Christian church, you can always ask the pastor if they have a youth ministry you can join in.

Remember to overcome fear, never let your feelings (and the feelings of others) weaken your faith in the Lord and now that you have been born again, your sins have been forgiven and your past is way behind you. As a Christian, you must always be fearless and aggressive for you are now part of the Body of Christ (the church). We Christians are the church of Lord Jesus!

In ending this piece, feel free to enjoy these Christian praise-and-worship YouTube videos plus a few ones featuring the model Christian youth herself, Sadie Robertson! Hallelujah!!!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) to tackle Youth Suicide

BFSK

Recently at the developing community of Masville in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, a 21-year-old man died by suicide by hanging himself to death in a residence. The reason? Because he broke up with his girlfriend.

This was revealed to me by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang during my exclusive interview with her on the topic of youth suicide.

IMG_20190417_105303~2.jpg
Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang.

To put things in perspective, Tumang stated that the age definition of youth under the Reformed SK system is 15 to 30-years-old. The guy who took his life is therefore identified as a youth and was already working. On July 20, Tumang attended the man’s funeral at his family residence and the experience reminds her that the SK has a responsibility to ensure that youth suicides would be prevented.

“We had one project with Kagawad Rocel Espino who handled the barangay committee on education which includes youth. The project she created was the youth camp and it was organized at a local school,” Tumang said. “Many young people attended and they shared problems and concerns. We at the SK will adapt that kind of project.”

In preparation for the planned youth camp, the BFSK chairperson and the kagawads will have to do some research as well as make presentations in seminars. A youth orientation activity done by Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Espino was held recently which educated many youth participants. This, of course, sets a model of guidance for the BFSK as part of their preparation for the planned youth camp which, as of this writing, still has no date nor a venue finalized.

“We also have the mental health awareness counseling program planned at the SK. Right now we are still discussing as to when we could organize it,” Tumang stated. “I really want to organize the mental health awareness program and youth camp soon as I learned many helpful lessons from a seminar at Paranaque City Hall.”

The said seminar was about mental health awareness and by participating in it, Tumang said she realized the many factors that contribute to suicide such as depression, insecurity, uncertainty and the like. Even words can hurt a person and even cause him or her to get depressed.

“That was a very engaging seminar the discussions were very in-depth. I learned so much from it and I believe we can really help the local youth,” she said.

Tumang added that Kagawad Espino taught her that youth struggle as they grow up and get educated. The struggles include being unable to open up and speak out about their concerns, being fearful about others judging them, and the like. There are also those who are a lot more vulnerable or more sensitive than meets the eye.

“Because words can be painful, some jokes cracked at youth hurt them very deep inside reaching to the point of cracking under social pressure, becoming stressed or, even worse, they begin to think about suicide,” Tumang said.

To put suicide in perspective, it was reported in Business Mirror that in the year 2012, a total of 2,550 cases of suicides (all ages) in the Philippines were registered according to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle.

The BFSK chairperson plans to have the youth camp (and hopefully the mental health awareness counseling program) push through sometime this September. However pulling it off remains challenging due to budgeting, the time management of activities and getting valuable resources.

The Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes is reaching out to generous members of the public who wish to donate to them (cash or in kind) for the purpose of organizing the youth camp and its campaign to prevent youth from dying by suicide.

To inquire or give something, communicate directly with BFSK Chairperson Mariel Tumang at Barangay BF Homes hall along Elsie Gatches street in Parañaque City.

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UPDATE! (September 3, 2019)

The Barangay BF Homes Youth Camp is indeed coming and already efforts are being made on preparing it. This was announced by Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino during the Youth Forum held at the Phase 1 Gym along Pilar Banzon street in BF Homes subdivision on August 31.


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