Our visit in DSWD, La Trinidad, was a first for us. A lot of firsts there ----- raising funds, cooking food, coordinating with the officials, arranging the program, playing with the kids --- helping other people as a family.

Manong Sots, our official cook, woke up early to prepare the pancit. The other members helped him. The ladies prepared the sandwiches for the children. Everyone was eager to help. The van was loaded with the food, and lots of vitamins.

Upon our arrival, we were ushered to a hall for us to prepare for the program.

The kids, upon seeing our group, all ran to Koji, shouting “Si shark boy!” Hehehe! I guess we should’ve styled our hair better…^^

We started with a prayer, and then introduced ourselves. It wasn’t difficult to build rapport with the children. I guess they are used to having strangers cuddle them. Our group was enough for the children. We each had our own “alaga”.

Each of the children had their own stories to tell at their tender ages. But the orphanage gives them a better second chance, and maybe an even better life story.

We had games with them, with each child clinging to his or her ward, not wanting to let go. We were all exhausted after an hour. We had snacks, and urged the children to eat their shares. Knowing that there’s a price at stake, most of them ate their shares, and even had seconds.
We parted with them in time for their scheduled naps.

That experience left us, with gratitude in our hearts for our parents, and for our good life, and prayers to accompany the children as they grow up.
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