A Fiery Passion For Education and Community Development

By: Eva Marie Gamboa

On October 11-14, 2015, Pandoo Foundation was invited by Infinit-O to visit their branch in Legazpi City, where the great Mayon Volcano, the volcano with the perfect cone, is located.

Infinit-O is a BPO company that wants to start their own foundation. They visited the Pandoo Club in Cebu City and they were so inspired by what the Pandoo team has been able to accomplish with limited time, resources, and staffing that they decided to replicate one of our projects, namely the revival of barangay (community district) reading centers.

At first I was worried that we would face new challenges with this partnership, but lo and behold, I was once again reminded by what determination, passion, and a heart for service can do.

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I could feel Infinit-O’s passion and dedication to make this project work. I was impressed by how they absorbed everything we talked about. It also didn’t hurt that they already had connections to the community and a good relationship with their future volunteers.

We went to visit their communities and I saw that the barangays already had great plans for their reading centers, ready with big spaces and dedicated teachers. When we were there, I could still see the passion in the teachers’ eyes and in their work. This became more apparent when we visited different schools.

In one of the daycare centers, I immediately felt the love of the teacher for her profession and the kids. All of her classroom materials were made with obvious care and she never fully left the kids when we asked to talk to her. You could clearly see the respect and care that the students had for her. During the rainy season, she would even brave the rain or the flood just to save their books and other materials!

In another school, the teacher loved reading to the kids! She showed me her overused books. The edges were already taped up while some had torn pages and missing parts; but the books were obviously loved by the kids. They loved listening to the stories and understood them perfectly. The teacher then told me that they did receive other books. Unfortunately, they were for an older audience so she had to make do with what she had.

Their attitudes were so refreshing that I was very happy for the families, kids, and the community in general. I could see that they were people who truly loved what they are doing.

As we were saying goodbye to the Mayon Volcano, I suddenly remembered the local legend of the area. If you see the perfect cone without clouds, you will be able to see true love.

I kind of believe that now. Because I know that what I saw in the eyes of the Infinit-O team and the teachers was true love for teaching kids and giving back to their communities.