A wise man once said, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do LITTLE – do what you CAN.” That was what I did when my group mates and me went to Barangay Culiat, Quezon City, Philippines. I did what I could to help the children that were assigned to us that afternoon. It was not a matter of how many I could give but it was a matter of what I could do for the children. And the smiles on the children’s faces were enough repayment for all of the hard work and perspiration that we spent on that day.
Our beneficiaries were children from the ages of 5 to 10 years old. Most of them were from marginalized statuses in life. The group consisted of both girls and boys who were taught how to draw, color, and explain basically their lives on a short bond paper that was given to them by us. We asked them what they wanted for Christmas and what some of them drew just broke my heart. While others were drawing all kinds of toys and gifts, some were drawing a complete and happy family. I came up to them and asked them one by one why they drew the things that were on their paper and they did not fail to touch my heart with their answers. “Gusto ko po ng masaya at kumpletong pamilya sa pasko. Sa tingin niyo po ba ibibigay yun ni Santa Claus sakin?” The innocence of these children and their ignorance to the realities of our cruel world made me want to curl up in a ball and just cry. Of course I couldn’t tell them that what they were wishing for might seem far-fetched. So I just simply smiled because I feared that if I opened my mouth, I would say some things that would just be the cause of a child’s tears and sadness. I’ve done activities like this before but this one has got to be one of the most memorable yet. I really interacted and got the opportunity to know every kid in the room. I learned so many things while doing this activity. One of them is to never take things for granted. There are many people in the world who still search for things when all they need is what’s in front of them. We are lucky enough to be given the life that we have now. We should be thankful for all of the blessings that our creator has given and us. Sharing my time, talents and treasure to these kids were one of my ways in expressing my gratitude to God for giving me enough in order to help other people who have less.
I would like to say that I did so many things for the kids in Barangay Culiat. But if I said that, I would be lying, because the truth is, they did more for me. They touched my heart in ways I thought was impossible. And I thank them for that. So before we left, I made them promise something. I made them promise to continue their education and to never give up on what they believe in so that one day, reality will finally be better than their dreams.