GMA is one of the early broadcasters in the Philippines. An American war broadcaster, Robert Stewart, started the company in 1950 that eventually became this large network. It now consists of 47 Relay Stations, 4 TV Stations and 34 Radio Stations. The origins in 1950 were radio and expansion into TV happened in 1961.
With Marshall Law happening in 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos took control of all TV and Radio in an attempt to keep communist dialog out of the country. It wasn't until 1984 that GMA regained full control of their stations.
With success comes responsibility to others. In 2002, GMA Kapuso (Heart) Foundation was born with executive director Carmela C. Tiangco. She goes by 'Mel' and is the anchor of their news shows. A comparative personally in American would be Barbara Walters. We met with her for an hour and a half and got a good feel of what GMA Kapuso was all about. She is not married and has no children of her own, but she is strongly connected with the Filipino children and wants to help where ever she can. We will work on some more projects with her in the very near future.
Our assignment tonight is to repack rice and make clothing bags to be distributed.
We arrive at their warehouse in heavy rain. It just doesn't rain here, it pours buckets at a time. I have never been in rain so heavy. You can turn on the wipers at full speed, but it doesn't keep the windshield clear enough to see well. You must drive slow. We were to supply 20 volunteers, we end up with 14 Senior Missionaries, 4 Young Elders and 8 Young Sisters..
The work is to separate donated clothing, the same as you would see at DI. We separated it into Mom, Dad and children sizes and put them in bags with a good selection in each bag.
We also repackaged rice. We took from 50 Kilo bags and made 4Kilo bags for distribution to the families in need. They like to give clothing with the food. This is hard work as you would expect. We are finished in about 6 hours and we are all exhausted. Take me home, PLEASE!