For most girls, turning 18 is an important milestone in life. They usually throw big parties and wear elegant dresses to commemorate this transformation from being a little girl to being a grown woman. But Ate Mariane chose to celebrate her debut in a more meaningful manner, one that involved dressing down instead of dressing up. She invited her family and friends to spend a Sunday morning with the patients of the pediatric ward of Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
The day started out by grouping the volunteers with the children. Everyone was asked to get to know each other in their group by sharing their names, age, and favorite food. The most famous answer among the kids (and even among the adults) was fried chicken. Well, who doesn’t love fried chicken, right? It was also nice to see the ates and kuyas chat with the parents of the children and ask about their situation in the hospital. Everyone was really bonding.
After everyone got acquainted, it was time for one of the highlights of the day: the Magic Show! Suddenly, the sickly atmosphere that was surrounding the room disappeared and was replaced by bright smiles as Kuya Kobe, our resident magician, began amazing everyone with tons of cool magic tricks for the kids to enjoy. Even the ates, kuyas, nanays, and tatays, were having a good time. Kuya Kobe even invited Ate Mariane to do a trick of her own. Who knew our celebrant could do magic? We were surprised, too.
Everyone was so energized after the show so Ate Te, our host, decided to play a game next. The mechanics were simple. Ate Te will give an emotion and each group will try to act it when they get called. The groups were really creative with their portrayals. The funniest was when they were asked to portray how they would react if they won a million pesos. It became a contest of who could laugh and shout the loudest. It was refreshing to see the children giggling with the volunteers. The second game was a little more challenging. It’s one of U! Happy Events’ staple game and it’s called Fax Machine. Each group forms a line and the person in front is given a shape. He/she draws it by scribbling at the back of the person behind him/her who will do the same to the next person in line. The “faxing” will end with the last one in line. He/she will draw on a piece of paper the shape that he thinks is the right one. At first, all the groups were getting it right so Ate Te decided to complicate it a bit. For example, when the shape to be “faxed” was a house, a lot of the groups got confused. One group even ended up drawing a circle. We all had a good laugh.
After the games, everyone was tired and of course, hungry. The volunteers shared a delicious and healthy meal with the children. Ate Mariane also prepared some yummy cupcakes for all the kids. While everyone was enjoying dessert, Ate Angie and her friends distributed their gift to the children. Each one got a special package that included pillows, toiletries, and other things that they can use while in the hospital. The kids were very grateful.
To end the day, the Ate Mariane thanked everyone who attended and wished that the kids would feel better just in time for Christmas. She even shared a bible verse which made some of the nanays tear up a little bit. All in all, it was a fun day and a very unique way to celebrate an 18th birthday. We hope that in the future, more young ladies would consider giving back to children as a way to celebrate their debut.