When you think of doing charity, you would probably think of people who have more in life that they can afford to share with people who have less. That is what usually happens in most cases. But this story will make you think otherwise.
This is a story of 3 children who come from poor families but have exemplified a gesture that is worth emulating.
Jane Marian Alberastine, 15, from Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte, Lovely Cris Cagas, 14, from Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur, and Angeline Esteban, 14, from Sibulao, Zamboanga City are ordinary Junior High School students under DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or more popularly known as the 4Ps.
These exemplary children, along with over 80 more Pantawid Pamilya children, were recently invited to attend the 7th National Children’s Congress (NCC) in San Juan City, Manila in line with the celebration of National Children’s Month.
Hailing from the farthest parts of Mindanao, these children are used to a simple life in the province. No malls, no busy streets, no restaurants and fast-food stores. It is their first time to travel to the big and busy city in Manila and so they kind of feel strange and excited at the same time to the new environment.
During the course of the workshop, they were given gift certificates from a fast-food chain as simple rewards to being good role models in their respective communities particularly for the youth.
Jane, Lovely, and Angeline, together with their guardians, decided to stroll around the big city and enjoy the city lights as they sparkle like stars in the sky. They enjoyed the grandeur of the mall that is loaded with stores of bags, dresses, shoes, and many more; the enticing sound of the city noise that somehow seem to be a new kind of music to the ears of the children; and the sight of tall buildings that they rarely or do not see in their respective provinces.
After what seemed to be an endless stroll, they finally decided to take a rest and feed their hungry bellies using the gift certificates that were given to them by a fast-food chain. As they enjoy the food that they ordered in the store, they saw several boys and girls, who are most likely younger than them, that sell sampaguita outside the store.
The three children were amazed by the hardwork of the kids that they saw. It was already past 9PM yet they were still on the street trying to convince by-passers to purchase the sampaguita necklaces that they sell.
Because of their appreciation to the kids, the girls decided to bring them food outside and share their blessings with them.
“Grabe. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam. Nag-thank you pa sila sa amin. (It is so heartwarming. They even thanked us for it),” said Angeline.
“Ang sweet nila. Tinawag pa nila akong Ate tapos naghug kame. (They are so sweet. They even called me big sister then we hugged),” said Jane.
“Akala ko talaga nung una katulad sila ng mga napapanood ko sa TV at pelikula. Pero hindi pala. Ang babait nila. (At first, I really thought that they are the same as how they are portrayed in TV and movies. But I found out that they are not. They are so kind),” Lovely realized.
Even though these Pantawid children belong to the poor families in the country, they have showed that charity and compassion is in the heart of every person regardless of his or her strata in life. This proves that one does not really have to have all the wealth in the world to be able to give and share.
The 4Ps, as a program that promotes the welfare of the poor, invests in health, education, and even more so in building the foundation and values of every beneficiary towards achieving a Bayang Mapagkalinga.