Sunday, January 01, 2012

Gregory Ilejay Castillo Memorial Library Opens In Kalibo

A Promise Fulfilled There is much to be said about people who make promises to themselves, and after a long struggle are able to deliver it with precision. On the 19th of December 2011, the board of directors of the Jones and Agnes Castillo Memorial Mission Incorporated opened to the public the new and first ever E-Library: the Gregory Ilejay Castillo Memorial Library located in Pastrana Street, Barangay Poblacion, Kalibo. The opening in the afternoon was bright and breezy with the elite of Kalibo in attendance. The President of the Jones and Agnes Castillo Memorial Mission Inc., Mr. Rafaelito Castillo welcomed the guests.

The mission was organized in memory of their parents, Dr. Jones Kimpo Castillo, then senior resident physician of the Aklan Provincial Hospital before he became Chief of the Hospital of the Sibuyan Emergency Hospital, the Ibajay Emergency Hospital, and the Doña Trinidad Bolivar Memorial Hospital in Pototan, Iloilo. Mrs. Agnes Ilejay Castillo was a teacher in the Kalibo Pilot Elementary School.

Hence, the reason why Kalibo is dear to the hearts of the Castillo siblings.
According to Pal, “this is where we were all born and grew up before we chased our dreams from afar. In the twilight of our years, we felt and thought to give back a part of ourselves as our way of saying thank you. We want to thank our father and mother, who nurtured us in our youth and allowed us to bloom. We thank our teachers for our early education. We also thank our friends and relatives who never cease to support us all throughout these years. We will continue to say thank you as long as we live. Our parents served as our inspiration, with God as source of our guidance.”

On 22nd of January 2008, the siblings adopted a ward in the Aklan Provincial Hospital, the Pediatric Pulmonary Ward. They donated children’s cots, nebulizers, suction pumps, ceiling fans, cushions and other amenities needed for the comfort and better management of the clinical conditions of the children patients of Aklan.
On the morning of the opening of the Gregory I. Castillo E-Library on December 19, 2011, the family sponsored another ward in the Aklan Provincial Hospital – the Pediatric Intensive Care (ICU). Once again they were generous in donating equipment which included pediatric monitors, children’s beds (cribs), nebulizers, portable suction pumps, oxygen gauges, stethoscope and others. They said, this is “All for the comfort and better management of the emergency cases of the children patients of Aklan. It’s our continuous desire to alleviate the medical conditions of our fellow Aklanons, especially the children”.

According to the owner of the Gregory I. Castillo E-Library, Ramon ‘Mon’ Castillo, this E-library is the result of what his mother had told him when his brother Gregory died some 40 years ago. He was devastated by Gregory’s death, but his mother Agnes encouraged him by saying that if he really loves his brother, then he should promise to endeavor to excel in all of his undertakings, and undertake a project so that Gregory would be remembered.

At that moment, the promise he made to himself might not have been clear, but this project is the result of that undertaking. This public E-Library is the result of a promise made and fulfilled. It is the consequence of a promise that is indeed honored. The E-library has 36 brand new computer units and it has impressive neo-classical architecture from Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Despite the hardship the family encountered after their father’s death, their mother bravely continued, and faced adversity like a Trojan.

She brought up her children as upright citizens. She impressed on the children’s young minds the value of perseverance, hard work, thrift, and respect both for themselves and for others, together with the importance of sharing and striving for excellence.
Two years ago, the family received an award from the Province of Aklan in recognition of the pediatric ward they sponsored. As the saying goes, “Lucky are those who give without reservation as they reap their reward threefold”. /MP

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