197 Enchanted Kingdom with Metro World Child
Written by Board Member, Kuya Glenn Costales
With the summer season as evident as the scorching sun on mid-day, the team of U! Happy Events geared for another excitingly packed weekend with kids who are eager to kick start their vacation. Following a successful kite-flying event the day before, the U! Team got right into it once more– this time with 17 kids from Metro World Child from Paranaque City. This was not the first time that U! partnered with the enthusiastic hearts from Metro World Child but that day was bound to be equally special. Through the kindness of Ate Lesley Geronimo, she was able to source free tickets for the kids and a free transportation for the volunteers for that day’s event. The kids were booked for a magical day at Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The day started with volunteers meeting at The Coffee Bean at Greenbelt 3 in Makati. Kuya Harvard got a chance to explain to the volunteers about the day ahead. “This day is already special because of where w are going but it’s up to you as volunteers to make it even more memorable by being a big brother/ sister to the kids.” This also gave a chance for the volunteers to get acquainted and be more comfortable with each another. Soon after, the volunteers were on the road to get the day rolling.
Next stop for the volunteers was at the KFC branch at Shell station along the South Luzon Expressway to meet the kids. They were eager to meet their Kuyas and Ates for that day and although a bit shy, they greeted the volunteers with their warm smiles. Sharing their stories and getting to know each other, the volunteers got to break the ice with their kids over a nourishing snack of burger and fries. KFC was even kind enough to provide colorful balloons to the kids to get them even more excited. The energy and warm-heartedness was really radiating from the room from that point on.
Half an hour later, the horizon of Enchanted Kingdom was within site. The energy of the kids kicked into high gear with the view of the rides and the thrilling screams of the people within. As the group stepped inside, it was evident that that event’s purpose finally became clear to the volunteers. For most of them, Enchanted Kingdom was a place that they’ve already been before. But this time though, the feeling was different. As U! Happy Events president Ate Te explains “I’ve already been here a number of times but somehow I’m feeling the excitement all over because of who I’m with today and especially knowing that this is the kids first time here.”
The volunteers paired up with the kids and experienced the exhilaration and joy of each ride in the world-class theme park. Some braved the highly-elevated and fast-paced rides while some chose to share a moment in the less-active ones. Marylyn, 10 years old, was having a blast. She zealously tells her Kuya, “Akala ko nakakatakot pero ang sarap pala, gusto ko pa!” The delight in these kids was overwhelmingly apparent and it was an enriching time for the volunteers themselves. It’s not frequent that these children get to have a one-of-a-kind experience and the volunteers understood that.
Couple of hours in and several rides after, the group gathered for a hearty dinner and shared even more stories about that day. A bond between the volunteers and the kids was obviously getting stronger by the minute. They were telling each other how their Ate/ Kuya was screaming, how they themselves were going crazy over how high they were and a bunch of other stories. To cap off the event, the group sat together under the beautiful evening sky and witnessed an extravagant fireworks show from Enchanted Kingdom. For some of these kids, this was their first time to see something that up close and sharing this moment with them was such a privilege to the volunteers.
The day would not be finished though without a few more gifts from more generous volunteers. As the kids smiled and finally waved goodbye, any fatigue from that day all became worth it. They say ‘the Magic lives on…’ and indeed that day will live on with these kids and with the volunteers they touched that day.
Volunteer with us and experience this for yourself. With more events lined up this year, there will be even more opportunities for you to share your time, talents and treasures. Make sure to like our Facebook page and twitter for updates. We hope to see you there! 🙂