516 Ate MM’s Mural Workshop with Virlanie Foundation
Written by Secretary, Glenn Costales
Since 2006, most U! events have involved a sizeable number of volunteers and kids. Every now and then though, our team also gets to spend some time around kids under more intimate settings. Ate Monique made this happen when she chose to celebrate her birthday with 15 kids from the Masaya Home of Virlanie Foundation. She also got a boost from her vibrant friends who came to celebrate with her and add a bit more ‘color’ to the day.
Established in 1992, Virlanie provides support to children in need of urgent care and protection. Some of them belong to the poorest of the poor while others have experienced being abused, neglected or abandoned. The ‘Masaya Home’ is part of the foundation’s residential program to offer a nurturing environment and shelter to these kids.
To kick things off, the kids got grouped first. There were divided into 3 teams namely: Eh di Wow!, Kwento mo so Pagong, and Team Js (which was a nice coincidence since all the members’ names started with that letter). Before joining the groups, Ate Monique and her friends gamely introduced themselves in front of everyone first, which was a nice ice breaker.
After several minutes to get acquainted, the groups got right into it with the Dance-Craze Showdown. In this game, songs with popular dance steps were played. The teams then had to come up with their own choreography to dance to the well-liked tracks. Some were a bit shy at first but a few moves and cheers later, the competitive juices started to flow and all 3 teams finally let it out. Team Js proved to be the grooviest of the bunch and won prizes for the kids.
Following the game, the groups then took their paint brushes and proceeded to the day’s main activity – Mural Painting. Kuya Robby Singh, a professional artist, led the group as they brought to life the different individuals outlined on the home’s garage wall. The characters represented various professions that the kids can hope to become one day – doctors, farmers, policemen and event volunteers.
The day did offer a very ‘warm’ atmosphere to the painting activity. It was an enjoyable time nonetheless as both volunteers and kids put their creativity and graceful hands to work to liven up the children’s home.
Soon after, the volunteers and kids sat down for a much deserved meal. They also got to exchange heartfelt messages with the Profile Exchange activity.
Being a birthday celebration, the group was not going to let the day pass without singing Ate Monique a very happy birthday. She showed her appreciation by giving the kids their parting gifts (school supplies) in return. She also took the time to share her message and wishes for the kids.
The group finally gathered for a final picture and they exchange their goodbyes through tight hugs and sincere thank you’s
It’s always great to see people come together to share a simple yet meaningful day. Ate Monique got to gather her friends and although most of them were first timers, they really made the day worthwhile for the kids. Thank U! to Ate Monique and all the wonderful kuyas and ates for bringing the saya at Masaya Home.