Thursday, July 05, 2007


This year I saw myself accomplishing a lot of my to-do's on my 101-things-to-do-before-i-die list. Its not that I am being morbid here (although I am!) but somehow the list keeps me focused on what I want to do in my I want to live my life the way God intended me to be. Hindi po ako nagpapakabanal dito pero sa sarili ko, ito ang mga bagay na sa aking palagay ay magiging makabuluhan ang buhay ko. (In English: "I don't intend to be a candidate for sainthood but rather, this is what I think my life would be more meaningful.")

It's been a year since we last sorted our stuff (especially the kids' clothes, toys & some books) and packed them away for charity. I've been wanting to donate our stuff but I wanted to give them to an orphanage since I know the babies and kids will really need them.

When I came back from my trip, I promised myself that I will do it now - not next year, not when I have some spare time. Plus, I wanted my kids to learn at this age that it is OK to give and not always to receive and that they are blessed because they have parents and the orphans don't that is why we need to help them.

I learned somewhere that there is an orphanage in Tagaytay run by nuns. I just didn't know where. So I searched the internet and found an article by Ms. Deedee Sytangco about the Agustinian sisters that take care of abandoned babies. I emailed Ms. Sytangco and she gave me the contact person and number of the orphanage.

So I called up and got to talk with Sr. Carmen & Sr. Yoly and asked them if it is ok for them to accept donations like used clothes and toys. They said that I am very welcome to do so and they really appreciate it. So we scheduled our trip to Tagaytay this afternoon with 2 of my staff and my 2 kids. I briefed them earlier why are we going to the orphanage and asked if it is ok with them to give away their toys. They were excited!

We traveled through heavy rains & thunder! It was burning hot in Laguna when we left though. The sisters texted me to drive slowly and that they are praying for our safe trip. :) With that and my prayer before we left the house didn't leave a room for fear that something might happen to us.

We met Sr. Yoly and the 22 kids with ages ranging from 3 weeks old to 8 years old. They were already having early dinner then and some just arrived from a nearby public school. My eldest son shared his dinosaur book with the older girls while my little girl just kept quiet. I guess she was overwhelmed by the number of kids and she knows that they don't have parents. Maybe a lot of things are going on her mind so I just let her be.

Sr. Yoly shared bits of stories of how the kids end up in their care. One smaller-than-a-normal-2-yr.-old boy caught my attention. He was so small. Sr. told me that he is a son of a 12 year old girl! Whaaatt???? I cannot imagine how someone, not even a teenager, would bear a child. INCEST. I was shocked and I can't help but feel sorry for the girl and the baby boy.

Some of the kids were abandoned after birth in the hospitals, one was found by a streetsweeper along a sidewalk left alone by her parents, there were twins left by the parents who cannot feed them. A 7-month old boy is waiting for his mother to serve her sentence in correctional. These and some stories I only thought I'd only see in TV opened my eyes to reality.

We couldn't stay longer as it was getting foggy outside. My son wanted to play some more with the kids but I only told him we will come back again some other time. It was a short visit but it was meaningful in a lot of ways: I checked my list; my kids and staff were able to meet the kids and spent even just a little time with them; our stuff were put to good use rather than left in storage to rot; and just as we are blessed may we be a blessing to others as well. To whom much is given, much is expected.


Anna Zalamea said...

What a touching and eye-opening experience. It's so nice to share this experience with your kids, and allow them to reach out with others who are less fortunate. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Airees. God bless!

leira said...

nakakatouch naman ang kuento mo. im glad that you are teaching your kids the value of sharing. talagang pag pupunta ka sa mga ganung places you realize how blessed and lucky you are