In these busy times, one would expect young professionals to have schedules loaded with work-related events, most often extending to their weekends. Others would choose to unwind with friends, and opt for special occasions to be celebrated in restaurants, bars, and the like. That was why we were happy to coordinate with Ate Sanj, who took the time to organize her birthday celebration in the form of a U! Happy Event with Virlanie Foundation.
25 kids from Virlanie’s Tanglaw Home were awaiting ate Sanj, her friends, and a handful of our U! Happy volunteers last Sunday, for a fun celebration filled with dancing. To begin the event, kuya Harvard asked the volunteers to introduce themselves in front, with the added twist of dancing during their turn to speak. The kids immediately became comfortable with the ates and kuyas as they all laughed at the silliness of the moves! We then assigned all present into four groups, and tasked them to get to know each other better. As we waited for ate Sanj’s other friends to arrive, we also served Jollibee to the kids while the groups got acquainted.
Next up was a special version of Stop Dance, which involved assigning numbers to each person in the group and stopping the dancing once the number is called. It was an energetic game with everyone giddy and restless at the thought of wanting to win! We then reached the part of the day for the dance workshop, which I was privileged to lead. I started with the customary warm-up, to prepare our bodies for the movements we will be doing. After warm-up we then proceeded with learning the choreography. That day I taught them steps to the song “Bubblegum” by Jason Derulo. To spark the children’s creativity, there was a part in the dance that I left open for them to do their own steps, which we call freestyle. After teaching, I asked everyone to practice by group as it was time for them to perform. It was so much fun seeing everyone learn the steps and do their own moves for freestyle! In the end we announced the best group, but all groups did an amazing job!
Before we capped off the program, ate Sanj went to each kid to give her personal gift bags, plus a set of school supplies. The kids’ smiles were more than enough for ate Sanj to feel how grateful they were that she chose to celebrate with them. We then did a group photo, and greeted ate Sanj a happy birthday! We ended the day with everyone hugging each other goodbye, and we are sure ate Sanj and her friends felt blessed that day as they chose to be a blessing to the children.