Our Ka-Belly Tradition
A few weeks ago for Coach Jay's 41st Birthday, and in honor of the Anniversary of his fathers passing, we teamed up with Ka-Belly to feed over 200 people in Mr. Isip's hometown in the Philippines.
We began working with this incredibly charitable organization last year in honor of Coach Jay's 40th Birthday.
Ka-Belly is a Food Service / Catering Company based in the Philippines. They travel throughout their beautiful country, not only feeding those in need, or those just celebrating, but they also bringing awareness to disadvantaged families within their Community-- all in efforts to assist in financially supporting kids with Special Needs.
Our plan is to continue this tradition in loving recognition of the GOAT, Al Isip. His outward generosity, warm smile, and beloved memory is one that lives forever with us, and will now be honored every year in his hometown of Macabebe, Pampanga.
A Note from Coach Jay:
My father, Alfonso Isip, is one of many immigrants who developed resilience, ambition, and an unyielding spirit to make it in the States. Born in the humble town of Macabebe in Pampanga, Philippines, he journeyed to America in 1971 with $0.25 in his pocket to phone a friend. His story epitomizes the universal human desire for betterment, hope, and dreams to escape poverty like countless other immigrants.
At a time when immigrating to America seemed to be the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, my father had his eyes set not merely on material prosperity, but on the opportunities for creating a legacy that would endure through generations.
As immigrants, the oldest (usually) takes on a leadership role after the parents. Growing up in poverty as the oldest in the family, he spent time fetching water, farming their food, and working at a young age to help support the 11 siblings he watched over on top of saving money to pursue his goals.
Through the rough, he harbored a dream - to attain a college education in his homeland, to earn a degree in Accounting, and to bring that knowledge to America. It was not for glory or grandeur but the dream of wanting to provide for his family back home, to offer them a chance to create a better life too.
When my father landed in Newark, NJ, he stepped onto American soil as a hopeful dreamer, his pockets filled with a few nickels caked in lint but his spirit rich with ambition thicker than his accent. The coming years were anything but easy; washing dishes, couch surfing, and adapting to a new culture and language - the struggle was real. Yet, he always kept sight of accomplishing his dream - as being raised in poverty built him an armor that would endure any challenges.
My father built a legacy of resilience, ambition, philanthropy, and selfless love that transcended boundaries lasting lifetimes through our family and through those who loved him. With his college degree through intellect and the job he secured with grit, he achieved the American Dream.
Still, none of those accomplishments matter - what matters is the wisdom he left behind. The calloused hands he built our home with, his Bruce Lee esc calmness and strength. His strong accent that got mocked through weak mouths but he never reacted to. His work ethic that created freedom for his entire family, the love and laughter he gave his children even when things were in turmoil. Standing firm in his truths when others crucified him for them - I will never forget any of it.
With his passing, I find myself more resolved than ever to tread the path he carved, to carry forward the baton he handed me. As I look to honor his memory, I am inspired to keep fighting the good fight, giving back to our Community and to the homeland that crafted the incredible man he was.
Alfonso Isip was a man's-man and the funniest guy I know. He defied the odds, upheld his dreams, and remained steadfast in his commitment to his family and community. His life is a testament to the power of perseverance, the beauty of dreams, and the magic of faith.
As I continue my journey, fueled by the legacy of my father, I am determined to carry not just his spirit but also the spirit of the Philippines, and the true essence of his love, laughter, and the contagious smile that made everyone's day brighter.
Alfonso Isip, my father, you live on – in the lives you touched, the dreams you sowed, and the legacy you left behind. This journey forward is for you.
AUGUST 12, 1949 - MAY 26, 2022
This is the FULL Vlog we received from the Ka-belly Team, capturing all of the incredible effort and work that went into this beautiful event.
While we understand the possible language barrier, we're certain you can still feel the love-- and hear all the birthday wishes for Coach Jay + love sent to Mr. Isip.
Salamat Po, Ka-Belly Team!
We are so grateful for you and all that you do for your Community.