St. Martin de Porres, Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines, December 2006:
The Year Ends With a New Beginning
This December finds the JDVSF marking the end of a very rewarding and promising first year. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we delivered on our first objective: building a dormitory for the boys of St. Martin de Porres. On November 11, a ceremony to inaugurate the completion of that building was held with more than 300 guests in attendance, among them the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, local political dignitaries, representatives from corporate sponsors Deutsche Bank and KPMG, as well as the parents of John D.V. Salvador, in whose name the Foundation was established.
A small typhoon that passed through Bustos just before the ceremony began did nothing to dampen the spirits of the assembled, who were sheltered from the rain by a tent that had been erected in anticipation of possible bad weather. Leading the Mass was Monsignor Josef Ramirez, aided by Fr. Boyet, founder of Saint Martin De Porres, and other priests who joined in to bless the proceedings. At the conclusion of the Mass, JDVSF Founding Chair Lizelle Salvador and JDVSF Founding Director and Vice Chair Carmelita Salvador opened the ceremony by unveiling the sign that will mark the road leading to the SMDP Children’s Village, which has been named for John D.V. Salvador. The audience then received thanks and warm welcomes from Lizelle Salvador and Father Boyet, who both spoke, as did the Japanese Ambassador who expressed of his hope that supporting such important works as SMDP would help further cement relations between the two countries. Interspersed throughout the speeches were performances by the SMDP rondalla orchestra and a special performance of music played on the contra base donated by KPMG. The architects, contractor, and surveyor on the project, all of whom donated their services, were formally commended with awards and plaques of recognition.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, proceedings shifted to the building itself, where Lizelle Salvador, the Ambassador, and Mayor cut the ribbon and Father Boyet blessed the dormitory that the boys of St. Martin now call their own. A lunch for all attendees, friends, volunteers, and the children themselves followed, where fellowship, good food, and a general sense of contentment and pride in all that had been accomplished made the gathering a fitting way to end the year.