Car makers challenge themselves to find interesting places for us to drive their new vehicles, find a new back drop for them to showcase their products. It’s a lot of fun to be able to take brand new cars to different place in the country, but some of the more memorable drives when we get to be part of CSR efforts. Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) recently invited us to be part of one of their projects dubbed “Nissan Drive for Samar” where we the media, joined Nissan help rebuild homes of people of Oras, Eastern Samar. This community is one which was hit hard by typhoon Ruby last December 2014.
We flew to Tacloban, got into our assigned vehicles, I got to the drive the Nissan NP300 Navara 4×2 which I drove across the San Juanico Bridge to where we were to stay in Borongan, Samar. After dinner, we went straight to bed as we were to start off early the next day for the long drive to Barangay Dalid, in Oras, Eastern Samar.
We were welcomed by a marching band at the Dalid Elementary School. The atmosphere was more festive than a reconstruction. But after some stretching and some words from the Habitat for Humanity CEO, we headed right to work. The new homes were made of light materials and corrugated steel roofing, our job was to help finish putting up walls and paint some houses.
We walked some distance to our assigned houses and with paint rollers, hammers and nails, we got to work. It was satisfying to know we had helped in our own little way and got to experience what goes into rebuilding communities after a calamity. NPI had donated 56 houses to the community and also donated a 2015 NV350 Urvan and a NP300 Navara pickup to Habitat for humanity.
Touching people’s lives is rewarding and for us, small gestures like helping putting up walls and painting someone’s house is a big deal for someone who had lost everything in a storm.
Our drive for Samar is a small part of Nissan’s global partnership with Habitat for Humanity, but means so much to the people they help.
Words and Photos by Neil Pagulayan