We spent our morning at the SOS Children’s Village in Alabang, one of the two events we had in the morning. SOS is the home of orphaned children where they are able to receive the love and care of the SOS mothers and have the opportunity to live like a family with their brothers and sisters. They strive to provide a loving home to every child. SOS Children’s Villages Philippines is a member of SOS Children’s Villages International. It currently helps children in 133 countries. There are 8 branches in the Philippines, Alabang being one of them. We have partnered with SOS since 2012.
Today is the birthday celebration of Kuya Ernest Gala, organized by Kuya Paolo. They were joined by the rest of their friends. Although they have done individual outreach events before, this was the first time they did this kind of outreach as a group. They were planning to do it in December but moved it to February, which could be Kuya Ernest’s advance birthday celebration.
To start the day the volunteers introduced themselves by spelling out their names using their bodies. The kids laughed as the ates and kuyas tried to mimic the letters as accurately as possible. There were harder letters to mimic like the G in Kuya Miguel’s name and Q in Ate Monique’s name which was a bit of a challenge to do. After the introduction the kids cheered for their favorites.
We divided the volunteers and kids into four groups. The kids were very energetic as some of them chanted the name of the volunteer they wanted to be part of their group. The group members got a chance to know one another by introducing themselves. The volunteers talked about their work and profession. The kids, on the other hand, talked about what they wanted to be when they grow up. The teams also came up with creative group names for their respective groups. Kuya Paolo’s group was Guardians of the Galaxy. The kids in the group wanted to be soldiers, teachers, and chef. The second group was Kuya Miguel’s Spartans. The group chanted “ahoo ahoo” mimicking the sound the Spartans made in the movie 300. The next team was Ate Cathy’s Blue team, because none of them was wearing blue. The kids in this group wanted to be veterinarian, ballerina, doctor, and one kid came up with a creative answer, he said he wanted to be Peter Pan, because he didn’t want to grow up. The last team was Kuya Victor’s Quick Quick group.
Our first activity was the Cheese Rings relay game. The first member of each team were to grab a cheese ring using a straw. He would then pass on the cheese ring from his straw to the straw of the next member. Teams weren’t allowed to use their hands. Teams kept passing until they reach the end of the line where the last member would drop the cheese ring on the plate. The team that got the most number of pieces onto the place in the allotted time won the game. The teams cheered as they excitedly passed on the cheese rings to the next person. It could be quite a challenge since it was hard to slide the cheese curl along the length of the straw. The kids cheered and ran as they tried to move as fast as they could without dropping the rings on the floor. In the end it was team Guardians of the Galaxy who won the game.
The next activity was the Magic Performance by Kuya Kobe. He introduced cool tricks like using doves and a small container where wine bottles kept coming out. He then taught the kids some tricks as a magician. He explained how ones hands had to be quick when doing a trick. He cracked an egg and explained how to perform the trick of making the egg seem whole again. He said one should do some little tricks on the side as to distract the audience. When he returned the focus back to the cracked egg, it magically became whole again. It was a trick within a trick! Everyone was amazed and watched in delight as we expected Kuya Kobe to just hide the crack at the back instead of making whole again. He did an interactive performance by asking the kids to participate. He called on a kid volunteer, Charles, on the stage as Charles got to perform some tricks with Kuya Kobe. He then hid a cup among two cylinders while switching them around and asking the kids to guess where the cup was. In the end we couldn’t keep up with Kuya Kobe’s excellent magic skills as nobody was able to correctly guess where the cup was.
We then had our Origami Activity where our artist Kuya Robby taught the kids how to make crowns. The volunteers also had fun as they happily bonded with the kids. Kuya Robby just started folding papers into triangles and by putting them together he was able to come up with a crown. Colors can be picked according to the children’s preference. The girls picked colors like pink and orange while the boys picked colors like blue and green. After making the crown the kids cut red and yellow cardboard papers that was to be the jewels of the crown. The kids had fun and wore their crowns after they finished.
We then had our early lunch while Kuya Ernest and his friends gave out school supplies to the kids. As we wished Kuya Ernest a happy birthday, he had a simple message to the kids, that he will see them again next year. We ended the day by taking some photos as a way to remember this meaningful day.