464 Ate Gi Celebrates with Tahanang Walang Hagdan

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Written by Secretary, Glenn Costales

We at U! Happy Events believe that there are truly a lot people who have that seed of desire to help out members of our society. At times though, endeavors of this nature present an inherent difficulty to people – what exactly can I do? how can I actually help and where do I get started? These are valid questions and sometimes, ‘getting off the ground’ is really the hardest part.

Ate Gi Andres had a bit of this dilemma months before her 33rd birthday. For the past 2 years, she had been able to celebrate her special day with children from different organizations. This year however proved to be a little more challenging when she tried to touch base with Tahanang Walang Hagdan (House With No Steps) in Cainta, Rizal. Their website was unfortunately under construction then and Ate Gi did not know who else to ask for help.

It was at this time when one of our Board Members, Ate Rica Leyritana, chanced upon Ate Gi’s Facebook post (being former schoolmates) about her predicament. They soon got in touch and Ate Rica, with Kuya Harvard’s help, pointed her in the right direction.

Fast forward to March 7 and everything was at last ready. Ate Gi arrived with her best friends and they now were minutes away from meeting our excited beneficiaries. A number of volunteers likewise came to participate in the celebration.

Tahanang Walang Hagdan is a non-stock, non-profit NGO that aims to uplift the lives of handicapped people. This is carried out by providing skills-training and other educational initiatives. The beneficiaries for this event included 25 kids whose parents/ families are under the organization’s support.

After (bravely) introducing themselves and their celebrity lookalikes, the volunteers finally got to mingle with the kids through the getting-to-know activity. They did this in groups of three (3) while also coming up with their team names.

As an ice-breaker, the Arrange-Yourself game was first up. The teams lined up and competed to win points. There was a unique moment though when the kids confused their ates as they decided to play a different game DURING the game. It was indeed an ‘amusing’ experience.

After that, another close contest followed with the Paint-Me-A-Picture game. A different team came up with the win this time. And with the physical exercises in the books, the teams competed in the last activity – the Puzzle Game. The puzzles were actually photos of memorable events from the past and the teams hurriedly constructed them to win prizes.

The final part of the program had the volunteers and kids sit down to share a delicious but healthy lunch. The group surprised Ate Gi and Ate Mel (her friend who also celebrated her birthday recently) with a birthday cupcake while the kids sang to them as a greeting. The ladies then went around distributing their gifts for the children.

Throughout the event, our volunteers and Ate Gi were all smiles and you could see that they were genuinely happy to be with the kids. We really thank them for making us part of their kind-hearted gesture.

Taken from Ate Gi’s Facebook post:

“As much as I do this yearly, every experience is unique, every smile, every laughter from a child is unique. Every hug from these kids is memorable, their stories, one of a kind. I was tired after the event yesterday, but no matter how tired i am until now, just recalling what happened yesterday and looking at these photos is enough to bring out that smile in my face…”

“When everyone had left after the event yesterday, I, together with my best friends, stayed for a few more minutes and chatted with Kuya Mon and Kuya Mac. We shared stories, laughed together. It was a short encounter but a memorable one…”

“Why memorable? I observed these three people, in wheelchairs, in front of me that moment, never for once did i feel depressed about their situation — they’re very upbeat, full of hope, full of strength… I saw people who overcame their weaknesses… I had a desire to learn from them…
“I’m definitely gonna visit them again… ‘coz now i know why i had to visit them this year… I am seeking the wisdom that the residents of Tahanang Walang Hagdan have… I desire to have that kind of wisdom too…”

It’s certainly amazing how we are able to partner with sponsors. Most of the time, our group is the one looking for them. In some occasions though, they are looking for us. Help us spread the word and let’s get more people involved.

U! Happy Events

U! Happy Events