Over 3,000 residents of Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato will still get to celebrate Christmas despite the strong earthquakes that hit their province and other parts of Mindanao this October and early December, thanks to the Noche Buena packs that geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and its partners, Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA), and the barangay local government unit (BLGU) of Ilomavis, Kidapawan City have given to them on December 21, 2019 at the Barangay Ilomavis gym.

EDC employee-volunteers, youth volunteers and members of MADADMA, and BLGU officials distributed packs composed of spaghetti noodles and sauce, coffee, milk, sugar, cheese, canned fruit cocktail, all purpose cream, pancit, meat, and rice in their first ever Christmas gift-giving ceremony in Kidapawan City.

 “This activity that we did to somehow bring joy to these earthquake stricken families also fortifies our strong partnership with our partner community here in Brgy Ilomavis,” said Norreen Gerona-Bautista, CSR Head for Mt Apo and Negros geothermal facilities. 

In her speech during the gift-giving ceremony, Geron-Bautista emphasized the importance of Christmas through the acronym P.A.S.K.O., which stands for Pasasalamat (gratitude), “Ampo” (prayer to God to help them rise above this adversity, Smile (be optimistic despite their situation), “Kugi” (persevere to solve problems), and One (have a peaceful and happy Christmas as one). 

Datu Damaso Bayawan of MADADMA; Datu Jimmy Mantawil, Captain of Brgy Ilomavis; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Acting Provincial Officer Joey Bogay, and Tribal Chieftain Datu Romeo Atang were also present to show their appreciation and full support for EDC.

“The residents of Brgy. Ilomavis and I are thankful to EDC for all the assistance that it has been providing to us who were all affected by the strong earthquakes,” expressed Mantawil. “Thanks to EDC, we can still celebrate Christmas here.”

Cotabato was first struck with a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on October 16, followed by a magnitude 6.6 and a magnitude 6.1 on October 29, a magnitude of 6.5 just two days after on October 31, and a magnitude 6 on December 15.

EDC operates the 108.48-MW Mount Apo Geothermal Project that supplies clean and reliable power to Mindanao. It is a global pioneer in the geothermal energy industry and the country’s largest vertically-integrated geothermal developer, delivering 1,457.8MW of clean and renewable energy to the Philippines.