Christmas is indeed about giving
Rizal Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
Celebrating Christmas is not just about partying, wines, food, fun... it can also be spent with people who are in need of our love and care.
Last December 11, our team went for an outreach program in the Province of Rizal to give gifts--- both material and emotional. We have chosen Anawim and Cottolengo Filipino Foundations, two orphanages taking care of atleast 40 abandoned people.
HOME FOR THE AGED
Our first stop was Anawim. As I walked my way inside the compund, I saw a mentally challenged old woman welcoming us to their home. She was all smiles while dancing her excitement out. As we went to the activity area, about 30 elderly were already line up, waiting for us.
Lola Nene is blind, she lost her sight about 7 years ago. She's been in the orphanage for five months. I was saddened by her story. She spent all her life taking care of her three nieces who all grew up successfull. Lola Nene told me they all manage their own businesses now which make them too busy to take care of her. Which is why she now lives with the foundation. She misses her family so much. Needless to say, tears fell from both Lola Nene's and my eyes. I tried to change the mood by telling her funny stories about my job and my travels. Fortunately, I was able to make her laugh. It was around 12 noon so lunch was served.
Our next destination was Cottolengo Filipino, a foundation managed by the Sons of Divine Providence Congregation founded by Saint Luigi Orione, an apostle of charity and father of the poor. Its aim is to serve the most poor, abandoned, neglected, surrendered persons with disabilities.
We met Bro. Anthony de Souza, the Director who came from Brazil. He welcomed us to his foundation and briefed us about their orphans.
We then proceeded to the dining area where the kids were already waiting for us. We held a mini party for them where we invited Jollibee, a popular mascot among the kids here in the Philippines. We also invited some clowns who showed some magic and balloon making. We also prepared some games played by each of the kids. They all got prizes as we have planned. Likewise, we prepared refreshments for them. We also fed some of the kids which wasn't hard at all. Before we left, we distributed some loot bags with toys, slippers, chocolates and candies. We also left some supplies for their needs.
This is one Christmas experience I will never forget. I promised myself to go back to Anawim and Cottolengo in the future even if it's not Christmas time. :-)