Media Materials to Enhance Pondo Ng Pinoy Catechesis

Oct 12th 2006

w hen it comes to delivering messages graphically, nothing does it better like the Bible.

How to persuade wealthy people to share even a small portion of their wealth to the poor? Tell them the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus – how the selfish rich man went to hell because he denied poor Lazarus even the crumbs that fell off his table.

How to convince simple folks that small donations – taken together – go a long way toward helping the needy? Remind them about the miracle of the loaves and fishes – how Jesus fed a crowd of thousands out of a little boy’s minimal lunch.

These are the stories you often hear in the company of those who run and adhere to Pondo ng Pinoy (loose translation, Fund for the Filipino.) It’s a Church-initiated movement that – among other things – seeks to rekindle and propagate the Christian tenet of looking after one’s fellowmen. Pondo ng Pinoy was launched in 2004 by the Archdiocese of Manila under Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

It is more popularly known as a program where people donate 25-centavo coins meant to finance projects to support the poor. But it’s more than that, Church officials point out. It’s a lifestyle. Words may not be enough to describe it. Basically, though, it’s ordinary people acting as God’s surrogates in propagating love, especially among the disadvantaged who need more of it. The 25-centavo donations are only a manifestation of the effort to broadcast that love.

A 25-centavo coin doesn’t go very far, after all. But it’s not the amount that counts, say Pondo officials; it’s the motivation for the gift. One of the oft-repeated expressions in the Pondo movement is: “Anumang halaga, kahit maliit, basta’t malimit, ay patungong langit.” (“Whatever gift, however small, when given habitually, is heaven-bound.”)

Here’s where the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus and the miracle of the loaves and fishes come in. They illustrate what Pondo officials call “The Philosophy of the Small and the Theology of the Crumbs.” The spark plugs of the Pondo movement are the Pondo ng Pinoy Education Committee (PnP EduCom) and the Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministry (ACM), both headed by Msgr. Gerardo Santos. Around the basic philosophy and theology, the PnP EduCom and ACM wove a series of handbooks (or “modules”) that are at the same time informational, educational and motivational. The series is called Katesismo ng Pondo ng Pinoy.

There are modules for students from Grade School, through High School, up to Tertiary Levels – in both public and private schools. There are also modules for parish members and corporate readers, and even for a “Tsinoy” (Filipino-Chinese) audience.

The Communication Foundation for Asia will produce media materials to supplement the printed catechetical modules. The materials will consist of a documentary video, interactive CDs, and illustrated “komiks.”

The video will describe the Pondo concept and present its outreach to date.

The interactive CDs – which will feature images, music, and animation – are meant to be useful companions to the printed modules in both classroom and self-study settings.

The “komiks” is intended for a general readership, particularly the masses that are mostly the beneficiaries of the Pondo’s material support.

Production of the media materials is ongoing. The project is funded by Missio.

For more information about the Pondo ng Pinoy, please e-mail cfam_acm@yahoo.com.


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