On Day 16, I had the privilege of spending a few hours at the Drop In Center of Virlanie Foundation. I had a great time interacting with the kids, some of whom have been abandoned and/or abused by their parents. Most of them were polite, well-behaved, helpful and very appreciative. They are very articulate and most of them socialize well with adults. I am impressed with how Virlanie is taking care of these kids.

One image that really moved me was when we served early dinner. We provided Jollibee rice, chicken and spaghetti, corn dog, squidballs and kikiam, ice cream, and Coca-Cola beverages (choice of Minute Maid, Real Leaf Iced Tea, Coke, Royal, and Wilkins Distilled Water).
At one point I saw a young boy in his early teens (around 14) not touching his food. I went up to him to ask him why he isn’t eating, but before I could ask, I saw that he was busy feeding another boy – a special needs child, probably just a few years younger than this boy. I was so touched at the genuine care and selflessness of this child that I choked up and literally walked away before my tears betray my emotions. Later on, I saw a colleague take over feeding the special kid so the other child was able to enjoy his meal.

I was also moved by the dance numbers given by these kids. In the early stages of our preparation, I was frantically looking for volunteers who will perform in front of the kids. I thought it would be great to provide them with some form of entertainment. Fortunately, our media partners volunteered to give a dance number. But then, the kis also prepared not one, not two, but three performances. There could have been more if we had time. At that point in time, it was hard to see who was the giver and who was the receiver. I believe at this very moment, the saying that “the more you give, the more you will receive” was very true indeed.

This day, I did not only see my colleagues in the act of giving to the less fortunate. I also saw some of these “less fortunate” kids give so much of themselves to us, and to their friends in the Drop In Center. It was a day I will not soon forget.

Written by Alby Laran

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