Galilee Repainting Project

Galilee Repainting Project

by Gilbert Bejo

What could be the main thing that impelled these groups of people to meet one beautiful, sunny day of June 18?

As early as 8:30am, volunteers were already at the Galilee Centre, an HDB void-deck-turned-school for less privileged children located at Ang Mo Kio Ave. 4. They came with excitement etched on their faces. Some even brought their friends and colleagues.

Who wouldn’t be excited? It was the first time that UPAAS embarked on a community outreach activity that has a Singapore entity as its main recipient. In the past, all her activities were geared towards benefitting the Filipino community in general.

With eagerness, volunteers prepared the materials prior to the repainting of the Centre. Paint cans, brushes big and small, old newspapers, rolls of masking tape, paint rollers of various sizes and paint trays were placed conspicuously in areas where painting was to be done. Ladders were there as well to help the guys reach the ceiling – with painting the ceiling proving to be one of the most challenging, if not tough, part of the activity.

However, what stole the limelight was painting the hallway walls. Based on “The Lord is my Shepherd” theme, the task involved sketching the design of a shepherd carrying a sheep with several of the animal in the foreground. It was detailed, at best laborious, and required focus and concentration. The painting lasted until 11:00 at night. It was like having a crash-course on mural painting for amateurs. As tiresome it may be, the thought that the new hallway scene would evoke the children’s delight was enough to lighten the seemingly daunting task of bringing to end the painting of the walls.

The centre administrator, Doris, was very happy to see the newly painted walls, ceiling, and the new design on the walls of the hallway. She was very much pleased with the result of the collective efforts of the group and was left with awe for the camaraderie she witnessed. For a time, she fancied being a Filipino!
Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Minda Cruz, accompanied by Vice Consuls Jed Llona and Reichel Quinoñes paid a short visit. Some UPAAS members also dropped by, bringing food and drinks and providing moral support.

The activity was a joint collaboration of the UPAAS Community Outreach team headed by Nannette Villajos, UPAAS Mancom, volunteers and supporters (both members and friends). Rendering of the design was done by Marc Zara.

Still wondering what was that impelling force that brought these groups of people together? It was the thought of giving back what they have received from the Community, the thought of sharing and making a difference, albeit small, in a school called Galilee.

More pictures are available on the Flickr site