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50 Homes for 50 Glorious Years: Fatima’s Legacy and Beyond
50 Homes for 50 Glorious Years: Fatima’s Legacy and Beyond

By: Vicente Santos

06/30/2019

By: Vicente Santos

06/30/2019

Widow Porfiria Vinluan’s greatest dream was for her children to finish schooling; she, along with her then ailing husband, wanted them to have a better life.

The road to its fulfillment turned out to be a struggle, but those circumstances only fueled Porfiria to persevere further to fund their aspirations. With her hard work, her daughter Mary Ann graduated from Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU), and is currently working as a nurse in the Middle East, supporting her family back in the Philippines.

On The 50 Homes Olfu

Several years after in year 2017, it seemed destiny weaved a magical turn when, unbeknownst to Porfiria and OLFU, Habitat for Humanity pre-selected her as one of the beneficiaries of a project called “50 Homes for Fatima’s 50 Glorious Years”— an initiative by none other than the alma mater of Porfiria’s daughter, Our Lady of Fatima University. Today, Porfiria has begun a new chapter in her life with a home from the institution she entrusted her child’s future to. Life had come full circle.

Since inception, it has always been their fellowmen and their stories that have inspired Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) and the Fatima University Medical Center to give back; changing lives for the better as their fulfilling reward.

Thus, during the 50th anniversary of OLFU and FUMC (collectively known as Fatima) in year 2017, they marked the milestone by pledging to fund and help build 50 homes for 50 families in partnership with NGO Habitat for Humanity. “To make a difference in the lives of 50 families is deemed a great privilege by the school as it shows humble gratitude for 50 Glorious Years,” University President Dr. Caroline Marian Enriquez said.

On the road to 50 homes

And so work formally commenced on the 8th day of March 2017 as the groundbreaking ceremony and First Build Day were held at the first site— Northville 2, Bignay, Valenzuela City. Here, 12 houses were completed and successfully turned over to 12 beneficiary-families in September 2018.

“Kung hindi dahil sa inyo sa Fatima, ‘di kami nagkaroon ng bahay na ganito kaya ang laki ng pasasalamat ko,” stated Northville 2 beneficiary Teodora Katubigan who plans to open up a small food business on-site (“If it weren’t for Fatima, we would not have a house like this. That is why I am very thankful.”).

Olfu On The Road To 50 Homes

“Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi unang-una, gustong-gusto ko talaga magkabahay kaya lang kakulangan nga ng pera… di makapagpatayo,” expressed Francisco Bernal, the president of the beneficiaries in Bignay, as he celebrated the realization of his new house (“I was very happy because first of all, I’ve always wanted to have my own house, but because we were lacking financially, we couldn’t have it built.”).

On The Road To 50 Homes

Immediately tailing the completion of the Bignay project, Fatima’s mission-driven volunteers— comprised of students, faculty and employees— banded together again to build more houses; this time in Bistekville 5, Payatas, Quezon City, completing 33 homes as of this writing.

With a total of 45 homes completed, and only five more to be completed in 2019, the vision of leaving a lasting legacy to 50 deserving families has been turning into radiant reality. More than strong shelters, the beneficiaries are gaining a firm foundation for their hopes; a place where they are free, to not only dream, but to move ahead in life with their aspirations.

Veritas et Misericordia: Fatima lives for “Truth and Compassion”.