Mapúa alumni build bridge for school children in Rizal

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The 105.5 meters suspension bridge will help the school children and teachers of Casili Elementary School, and residents of nearby communities, to cross the river without risking their lives.

The alumni community of Mapúa Institute of Technology have gathered and pooled talents and resources to construct a steel and concrete suspension foot bridge over Casili River in Rodriguez, Rizal. The bridge, which was inaugurated on October 22, benefits the children of Casili Elementary School and the surrounding communities of Sitio Casili in Brgy. San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal.

The project, led by the Foundation of Outstanding Alumni, Inc. (FOMI) and members of the National Association of Mapúa Alumni (NAMA), was started after a documentary came out in 2012 telling of Casili children dangerously crossing the 100-meter-wide river using bamboo rafts and rubber interiors as flotation device. Such has been a daily routine for the children to get to their school.

“As Mapúans, we pride ourselves as builders. We help others because we see others as mirrors of ourselves. There is no greater satisfaction than to see that we have made those children smile because we have given them back the ability to dream. To feel loved and not forgotten,” said former FOMI President Rod C. Silvestre who led the project.

FOMI and NAMA decided to take on the project and enlisted the expertise of its members, many of whom are the same creative and technical minds behind the country’s major infrastructure programs, to conceptualize and design the bridge. The groups also started raising funds and soliciting donations for the said project, which had its groundbreaking ceremony in December last year.

After 10 months, the school children of Sitio Casili can now cross the river despite heavy rains, without the need for bamboo rafts and rubber floaters in going to school.

Aside from the Casili bridge, FOMI and NAMA also spearheaded the construction of classrooms in typhoon-ravaged communities in Iligan City, Compostela Valley, and Tanauan in Leyte.

Members of FOMI and NAMA crossing the suspension foot bridge.

Members of NAMA and FOMI gather during the inauguration of the Casili suspension foot bridge in Rodriguez, Rizal.