Tucked in the verdant jungles and scenic coastline of Rizal, southern Palawan, is a community that possesses a strong and enduring character. However, underlying the aesthetic appeal hides an undisclosed struggle.

A significant number of individuals, especially those residing in indigenous communities, encounter difficulties in obtaining necessary healthcare treatments as a result of geographical remoteness and budgetary limitations. The purpose of “MISSIÓN from the Heart,” a two-day community service event organized on June 5-6, 2024, was to bridge the gap and provide hope to the community.

Organized by Lionheart Farms, a company dedicated to sustainable and organic coconut flower sap-based products, MISSIÓN from the Heart embodied the spirit of “Serbisyong may Puso at Kalinga para sa Malusog na Pamayanan” (Service with Heart and Care for a Healthy Community). The event aimed to address the immediate healthcare needs of the community while fostering a sense of shared well-being.

A Collaboration Built on Shared Goals
MISSIÓN from the Heart wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of a collaborative effort. Lionheart Farms, known for its commitment to community development, spearheaded the initiative. However, the success hinged on the invaluable contributions of several partners:

Western Command, AFP
Led by Rear Admiral Alfonso F Torres Jr PN, the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines played a vital role in this shared mission by ensuring a safe and secure environment for the event. Moreover, their commitment extended beyond security, with the AFP providing medical personnel, logistical assistance, and coordination with partners, which are crucial for the efficient delivery of the services provided for the target beneficiaries.

Camp Ricarte Station Hospital and Dental Dispensary, Western Command – AFP
Their contribution went beyond the realm of logistics and security. Medical personnel from Camp Ricarte Station Hospital joined the mission, offering invaluable medical expertise. Doctors and nurses conducted health check-ups, offering residents vital diagnostic services and advice. Dentists also conducted free tooth extractions, a service that was proven to be highly in-demand due to the actual cost in clinics. This partnership truly emphasized the spirit of “Bayanihan” (community spirit) within the Western Command and Health Service Center of AFP.

18th Special Forces Company – Riverine
Their expertise proved crucial in transporting essential medical supplies and equipment to the remote barangay of Ransang, Rizal. They also ensured swift and safe transportation for residents coming from other areas in Rizal, Palawan.

408th Community Defense Center 4RCDC
Their officers, reservists, and volunteers played a key role in providing eye check up and additional dental services. Their commitment continued throughout the event, guiding residents through the various stations and facilitating communication between providers and patients.

Volunteers and Sponsors
A group of doctors, reservists, Lionheart Farms and Gabay Kalinga staff, and other stakeholders also contributed to the success of the event through their generous donations, voluntary services, and compassion to help the community.

The Heart of the Mission: Reaching Over 500 Lives
Over the two days, MISSIÓN from the Heart served over 500 residents from Barangay Ransang and surrounding areas. The event brought together a diverse team of medical professionals, men-in-uniform, volunteers, and community leaders, all united in a common goal: improving the lives of residents in Rizal, Palawan.

For the community who shared their time, resources, and passion to be of service to humanity, MISSIÓN from the Heart wasn’t merely a one-time event. It was a continuation of their commitment to the communities they serve. Indeed, their dedication to social responsibility shines through in their commitment to empowering communities and fostering sustainable well-being.

Gratitude and Continued Commitment
The organizations involved in this community service activity express their deepest gratitude to all the partners involved.

“This successful collaboration wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication, expertise, and compassion of all the organizations involved,” says Maria Cecilia Chang, vice president of Lionheart Farms. “Heartfelt appreciation to our partners, colleagues, and everyone who helped our MISSIÓN from the Heart touch the lives of more than 500 people with essential services over the two days in Ransang. Seeing the joy and gratitude inspired us deeply; and we are determined to be back soon with more.”

However, “MISSIÓN from the Heart” is not the end of the story. The success of this partnership has earned more organizations wanting to help and support its cause, which strengthens the commitment to explore ways to continue supporting the well-being of residents in Rizal, Palawan, and surrounding areas.

The success of “MISSIÓN from the Heart” serves as a powerful example of how collaboration among stakeholders can significantly impact the lives of Filipinos in underserved communities. Moving forward, the involved organizations are exploring ways to continue working together on initiatives that address pressing community needs.