Katharina Goes Places: Bahay Tuluyan, Victoria Laguna

Last December 9, me and my friends decided to celebrate our Christmas party at Bahay Tuluyan in Victoria, Laguna.

Bahay Tuluyan is a non-government organization that provides a variety of programs and services aimed at preventing and responding to abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines.

Ever since I was young, I have been so fond of kids that is why I am so excited for this Christmas party to actually push through. The moment we arrived at Bahay Tuluyan, I couldn’t stress enough how happy and excited I am to see all the kids!

The moment we came in, other volunteers are already in the area. Few minutes later, the kids were already showing up. We started writing their names on the sticker paper so that they have their name tags.

Prayer, welcoming remarks and games followed. Although, I didn’t get to play with the kids because I was the one in charge for documenting and taking photos, I still had a lot of fun. Seeing the kids laugh and enjoy really makes my heart smile.

After the games, story time followed. This is where one of the volunteers talked about the real essence of Christmas and what is the celebration all about. Everyone was attentively listening, which made me truly happy! After this, the kids were asked to write on a sheet of paper their most treasured memory of 2017 and on the back of the paper, their wish for 2018.

It was always such an opener to see the wishes of kids like this. How little they ask and how easy it is to make them happy- and how genuinely happy they would be. If only we could look at the world in their perspective, if only we could be contented on what we have and be thankful on whatever we receive rather than asking so much, I guess, life would be a little bit better and less complicated.

After writing their wishes and their most valued memory, we asked them to fold it and insert it on a box which appeared to be a christmas gift, and together, we hang it on the Christmas tree.

I swear I was so near to crying but I am trying my best not to because I don’t want the kids to see me crying. Reading their wishes are really striking. Wishes like “sana po magka-pamilya ako na ako” or those like “sana po magkaroon ako ng shoes kasi hindi ko pa po nararanasan makapagsuot ng sapatos”.

Most of the wishes involves having a mom who would sing them to sleep, or a dad that they can play with. It’s so sad that all I could ever do is hug these kids tightly, wishing that somehow, they may feel like they have a family in me, even just for a day.

After this, lunch time followed. And of course, para bida ang saya, we had Jollibee Crispy ChickenJoy and Jolly Spaghetti for lunch! Along with the brownies we prepared and Selecta Cornetto ice cream. Couldn’t explain how happy the faces of the kids while we were eating.

As soon as they finished eating, more fun and games followed, now, with every child’s bestfriend, Jollibee. The kids were so excited and were so happy as they play and dance with Jollibee. They were all actively participating to the question and answer portions and games, even those who were so timid and shy at first.

After all the games, the much awaited gift giving and group picture taking followed.

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The kids also prepared a special performance for us. They were so cute! I just literally want to hug all of them, I swear! They also prepared a “Thank you” card with sweet messages inside.

In such a short while, I have been attached to these kids. Hearing their “thank you”s, feeling their warm hugs and sweet kisses, seeing their smile and laughter, makes everything worth it. Wishing I could do more activities like this. It’s always so amazing how our simple efforts could make someone’s day extra better. Hoping to see these kids again, soon!

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Catherine is a 20-something BS Nutrition student of the University of the Philippines, but her heart screams for the art. She is a freelance creative and model, an artist and a writer, and an advocate of human rights and the environment.

3 thoughts on “Katharina Goes Places: Bahay Tuluyan, Victoria Laguna

  1. Hi! Just by reading your post I can see that you have such a good heart. I love hearing these kind of stories. I hope you never get tired in serving and helping others.

    Liked by 1 person

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