Almost 1,000 young Valenzuelanos from all 32 barangays in the City were brought to a 24-hour youth camp dubbed as “Bahay ni Kuya REX: 24-hours Unli” last weekend to strengthen their leadership potentials.
The Dalandanan National High School was dressed up ala-Pinoy Big Brother House, one of the most-watched ABS-CBN and Philippine version of the reality television show Big Brother. As part of the birthday celebration of the 1st District Representative, Cong. REX Gatchalian. “Kuya REX” lit the torch to officially open the camp and for 24 hours the participants partook in different sports, talent and skills competitions, as well as, inspirational dialogues.
2009 CNN Hero of the Year, EfrenPeñaflorida,who is well-known for his Kariton or pushcart classroom that gives free education to street children shared his advocacy to the participants. “Love and embrace education and education will love and embrace you back even better to change your lives forever,” he said in Filipino.
Activities lined up for the evening were “Birit Idol” Solo and Duets Singing Contests, “Project Rampa”, a modeling contest where in the participants designed and created wardrobes for male and female representatives out of recycled materials and “Likhang Sining sa Dingding,” a mural painting contest.
The next day, the participants commenced their morning with REXercise to prepare and warm them up for various simultaneous sports activities which they were about to get engaged with the whole day; such as, 3-on-3 Basketball Game, Super Kombat paintball competition, wall climbing, bike ramp exhibition and Larong Pinoy Medley.
“I feel I am in the real camp site where we have to finish tasks and challenges. I believe that we will come out of Bahay ni Kuya REX equipped with problem-solving skills which we can apply in our lives in the real world,” said Jomila Magbanua, a 17 year-old housemate from Barangay Malinta.
“This activity serves as an investment to the future leaders of the City and our nation. This is not just to give them fun and entertainment, but to mold their character, to strengthen their personality, to inspire them to do good for others, as well as, to instil good moral values in them,” Congressman REX said.
The housemates received survival kits, which contained toiletries, location map, banig, (woven straw mattress) and meal stubs. They were subjected to strict set of “House Rules,” which includes prohibition from smoking, drinking,of alcoholic beverages, use of illegal drugs and going out of the established boundaries of the bahay.
To encourage camaraderie while competing for prizes, the housemates were divided into eight (8) cluster groups comprised of four (4) barangays each. These were:
Red Group ARMATAPA (Arkong Bato, Malanday, Tagalag, Paso de Blas), Lime Green Group DRUM (Dalandanan, Rincon, Ugong, Mapulang Lupa), PurpleGroup BAKUREX (Canumay, Wawang Pulo, Pulo, Bagbaguin), Blue Group COOL BLUE (Lawang Bato, Isla, Mabolo, Gen T. de Leon), Pink Group TRIBO ALAKDAN (Veinte Reales, Balangkas, Punturin, Karuhatan), Green Group GREEN LANTERN (Pariancillo Villa, Coloong, Bisig, Marulas), Orange Group CITRUS ORANGE (Bignay, Pasolo, Palasan) and Yellow Group MAMAPOLI (Malinta, Maysan, Poblacion, Lingunan)
Each cluster was given an initial 100 points. Each activity had corresponding points to be added to their initial points when won. Those who violated the house rules, on the other hand, earned points deductions.
At the end of the 24-hour camp, one group bested the others and was declared the champion with an over-all score of 580 points - the Yellow Group or MAMAPOLI which received a cash prize of PhP 30,000. Red Group or ARMATAPA placed second, with Php 20,000 cash prize, and Orange group or CITRUS ORANGE placed third, with Php 10,000 cash prize. Five (5) mobile phones and gift certificates from Bench were also given away as consolation prizes.
The awarding ceremony was highlighted by the covenant statements on what each barangay stands for – dignity, morality, education, concern for environment, good character, among others..
The “Bahay ni Kuya REX” officially closed with a free concert treat for the participants featuring popular bands Chicosci and Parokya ni Edgar.
It was a part of the -day birthday celebration of Cong. REX which started last January 19 with a MusiKabuhayan: Regalong EXtravaganza, a Raffle and Concert Show held at Our Lady Of Lourdes College Gym for Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA), Pedicab Operators and Drivers Association (PODA) and Market Vendors Association of District 2, featuring guest co-host, Nicole Hyala of 90.7 Love Radio and sexy performance by Mocha Girls. The celebration closed with the Raffle and Concert Show for TODA, PODA and Market Vendors of District 1, featuring guest co-host Pekto Nacua and performances by Pretty Young Thing and Aegis Bands. Hosting all the events were the dynamic Valenzuelano duo, Nho-Nho Malay and Jhilon Biais.