Kabalaka Edited

KABALAKA:  Kaban agod BAngonon sa LApanagon nga KAimolon

Theology: “Ang nagatipon sing madamo wala magsobra, ang nagatipon sing diutaywala makulangi.”   (2 Cor 8: 15)

Philosophy: KATUWANG para sa Kinaugalingon nga Katibawasan, Palamugnan para sa Kadam-an

The Kabalaka Project is a program of the Parish of Jaro “to help people help themselves” by reducing poverty through meaningful livelihood programs in the Magagmay nga Kristianong Katilingban (MKK), the Church in the neighborhood.

The Kabalaka Project is a fruit of our common discernment.   Disturbed by the widespread poverty brought about by widespread unemployment in the parish, and inspired by St. Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness of the Archdiocese, titular of the cathedral church, whom the poor called Mother, we embark on what we now call the KABALAKA Project.

In the past, in the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary the parish gives dole-outs that would give the poor something to eat for a day or two.  The Kabalaka Project extends this, and more:

–          It believes in the saying: “give them fish and they will eat for a day, teach them how to fish and they can eat everyday.”

–          It believes that dole-out in the name of charity is not always charity – it may even help poverty to continue for it creates dependency and takes away individual’s initiative to break through the walls of poverty.

–          It believes instead on the dignity of human labor – God worked, Jesus worked as a son of a carpenter, the disciples worked; that anyone “who is unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.” (2 Thes. 3: 10)

–          It works on the premise that the poor are poor not because of the lack of skills but because their skills are unutilized or under-utilized.

–          It believes that only by unleashing the energy and creativity of each person can we truly answer in a Christian manner the prevalent poverty in our parish.



–          The Rose: The rose on a stem has long been used even in the coat of Arms of the Archdiocese and bishops coming from the Archdiocese as the symbol of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Undaunted by the prohibition of her husband to bring the bread of the palace to the hungry, she brought with her some bread for the poor one winter day hiding it beneath her cloak.  On her way however she was angrily accosted by her husband who opened her cloak.  No bread was found however, only a bunch of roses – roses on a very cold winter!  This project is an inspiration coming from the heart of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness of the Cathedral, mother of the poor.  In giving a rose instead of bread we would also recognize that our endeavors, without God’s benevolent intervention can come to nothing.

–          The rose is given and received not on a stem but in a flower pot: In giving not just a rose on a stem but in a pot signifies that the help extended are opportunities whereby a person may appreciate a rose “not just for a day but everyday.”  This signals our departure from dole-outs as the primary means (there will always be dole-outs in some ways) of helping the needy.  We need to recognize the energy and the creative potential of the poor and harness these so that they can rise from poverty.

–          The church of Jaro at the background.  This program is our communal and organized response to love.  “Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practice love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community . . .” for “within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life.” (Deus Caritas Est:  Pope Benedict xvi)