Something Good for the Heart

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I am in a lot of stress lately and I wanted to have a day out with office mates but neither one of us wanted to sacrifice our schedules. I wanted to spend a day go back to BAHAY KALINGA (House of Charities), a local orphanage in the outskirts of Manila. It is managed by a couple of Christian Fellowship communities that have ties with non governmental organizations in the US. A lot of the kids came from less fortunate families that could not take care of them anymore and a few were from the long list of abandoned children in the Philippines.

I never knew what an outreach program meant when I was in college, but when we went to this one I felt that I have a lot to thank for in this world. You feel for the kids that stayed there, a simple meal we prepared that comprised of Asian Noodles, Sandwiches and packs of juice made them oblivious of their condition. It felt like for that moment alone they forgot they did not have a mother or a father to take care of them. There was this one kid that did cling on me in my whole stay there, he was asking for seconds in the meal and some of the few things we bought for them. School supplies, books and toys were there but I guess the most important one they called for was attention. The simple talks in between was priceless. I miss doing this and I guess if ever there was ample amount of time, I would recommend this to be our department's next activity.

Their place was not that posh but they have their own swimming pool where the kids could spend some time under the sweltering heat of the sun. I would have wished they could have monogrammed towel wraps so it would be easier to get to and from their sleeping quarters, but they used ordinary ones instead. It was harder for them to walk that far and share with other kids but I guess it is quite normal for them to do that. Logically it was a little hard to complain about the amenities because they barely have money for food. The big part of their funds comes from the US and with the recession it was doubly hard for them to get that. They sleep on bunk beds that evidently are old enough to be the next sparrow nests from fauna that came from their own back yard. I wish people could get them their own kids nap mats so they could at least get a nice place to sleep. If only we could afford it too.

Their dirty kitchen was a little eyesore too but some of the volunteer mothers try their best to keep the place clean and tidy. I wish there was some way we could get that into a show like Extreme Make Over so they could get the guys an industrial grade kitchen which they obviously need. I want them to have their own personalized children's plates so they would not spread disease if ever someone has it. The spoon, fork and plates they had were a little overused seen evidently from the fading designs on it. If I had the money I would really want to get a lot of stuff for them but I barely have some to take a vacation. I will have time for them sometime soon; I will try my best to get my peers involved too so they would feel the same fulfillment I get whenever I do this kind of extra curricular work. I'm trying to leave this world a little better when I found it, so when my turn comes to die I would have a happy feeling that I have not wasted my time but have done my best.


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