Written By: pio
The beneficiary is Romeo Monteverde, 50 years of age, unemployed, homeless and a stroke victim. He is the breadwinner of the family consisting of a younger sister and an aging, emotionally unstable mother who is a stroke victim herself. The family lost its home and all its belongings in a fire in 1999.
Homeless, the family slept in the waiting area of Parañaque’s public hospital, day in and day out. Employees of the hospital took pity on Romeo, handing his family food and clothes from time to time. Without a regular source of income, he runs errands for hospital employees like securing birth certificates, IDs, filing SSS and GSIS applications and such on their behalf receiving small amounts of cash and people’s appreciation for the service.
Wishing him well, Aleli Ortega, a friend and nurse at the community hospital wrote to GMA-7 Network’s “Wish Ko Lang!” hoping to find an answer to Romeo’s predicament. “Wish Ko Lang!” is a reality TV show based on a wish fulfillment concept.
GMA Network later wrote to Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. regarding Romeo’s plight. Pañaque Rotary Homes project partners readily obliged to the “Wish Ko Lang!” request. Mayor Jun Bernabe and CFC ANCOP Tekton Foundation Sector head Atty. Rene Bello personally announced the favorable decision to award Romeo’s family a unit in the Parañaque Rotary Homes. Pending completion of their own dwelling unit, Romeo’s family is given a temporary shelter which in itself is a habitable dwelling.
Gifts came in plenty for Romeo’s family. Apart from a unit in Parañaque Rotary Homes, the beneficiary received from GMA Network Wish Ko Lang! a seed stock of groceries and rice for sari-sari store business; start-up kit for mobile phone loading enterprise; a stove and kitchen utensils; a mattress, new clothes, a cabinet and Php10,000 cash. Fuji Denso gave the family a chest freezer. Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Manila Metro Dist. 3810 provided the beneficiaries groceries and frozen foods in line with its Metro Sari-Sari Store program; likewise a bed and a television set.
Romeo Monteverde’s “wish come true” story was featured in the February 2, 2013 episode of “Wish Ko Lang!” which is hosted by popular television newscaster and program anchor Vicky Morales-Reyno.
“Like the GMA Network’s “Wish Ko Lang!”, Parañaque’s Socialized Housing Program have helped many people. The Parañaque City Government, together with partner agencies continues to gain new heights in establishing socialized housing communities for the city’s urban poor. Our mission is not merely erecting structures and founding communities, it is directed towards building lives and improving prospects for the future.”, Mayor Jun Bernabe said.