648 Kuya Ferdinand and Ate Renz’s Mural Workshop with Sparrow Music
Written by Vice President for External, Charmain Tan
Sparrow Music is a faith-based organization that aims to provide nutrition and music to the children living in the community of Payatas, Quezon City. In a community that is known for being a dumpsite, it is is fairly uncommon to see centers in the area that caters to marginalized children in the community. Sparrow was started by Kuya Ferdinand Medina, a music instructor at University of the Philippines. He’s been doing different types of social work in riskier areas, like in Mindanao, but he said he wanted to settle in a more stable environment so he decided to focus on building this center in Payatas for the children. The children here are taught to play different instruments like guitar, piano, percussion, and others. When we got the place the children were happily singing and playing the guitar.
The event was a joint birthday celebration of Kuya Fids and Ate Renz. This is our second event with Sparrow Music this year.
We started the day by asking our volunteers to introduce themselves through dance. The energetic volunteers gave their best solo dance performance to the delight of the kids. We then grouped the kids and their ates and kuyas so they can have a chance to get to know each other more. The volunteers talked about their work profession while the kids shared what they wanted to be when they grew up. The groups also came up with creative and funny group names like Sparrow Princess, because all the members were girls. Other names were Singing Gang, Pirate Kitty, Sparrow all stars with chaka dolls, and Sparrow K-3. Most of the group names included Sparrow, which reflects how appreciative the kids are to be part of this learning center. We then called on a volunteer per group to tell us things about the kids from his/her group.
We then had a spectacular magic show for the kids where not only the kids but also the volunteers cheered the magic tricks. A couple of the favorite tricks were the “Mary Poppins bag” that the magician endlessly pulled things from. The other favorite was the table that “few” above ground in which the kids watched in delight. After the magic show on of the volunteers Kuya Alex did some juggling using a glass ball. He was able to make the ball slide across his arms. The kids watched in awe as that kind of performance is not that common.
We then moved on to the main event which was the mural painting. I always like our mural painting events for it bring optimism and brightens the place that these kids can call home. Our artist Ate Blanca arrived at the center early in the morning to start working on the mural. Since the focus of Sparrow is music, she painted music symbols like music notes with the G clef and F clef. She painted children standing on the clouds while playing various instruments like the trumpet, flute, and violin. There was the colorful rainbow where the kids sat from. The kids and volunteers came up to Ate Blanca as a group. They first chose which part of the mural they wanted to paint and they headed to the paint station where Ate Blanca gave them the options for the paint colors and brushes to be used. Everyone happily painted the mural. The ates and kuyas guided the kids while painting. One of the kuyas even carried a kid on his shoulder while the kid painted the higher parts of the wall. Kuya Ferdinand, who started Sparrow, looked at the mural and happily said: “Gumanda na yung lugar namin.” The center is an older home so most of the wall paint were coming off already. It was hard for Kuya Ferdinand to look for a safe place for the kids. When he found this house he knew this was already the best he can find in the area, although he says it’s still a challenge to meet the monthly expenses. As Sparrow is fairly new they need all the help they can get to sustain this center. It was nice that the team of U! Happy Events was able to create a more pleasant environment that fosters learning of the kids.
We then had our early lunch and gift giving. Kuya Fids and Ate Renz distributed the school supplies we prepared for the kids. The kids sang a Happy Birthday song for both of them. The birthday celebrants they gave a heartwarming message for everyone who participated in their birthday celebration. Ate Renz was tearing up as she was thanking her friends for being there, as well as thanking U! Happy Events for making the event possible. She said they’ve been wanting to do events like these but they weren’t sure how. They said it was great working U! Happy Events because we made everything seem easy. Kuya Ferdinand also gave a message. He explained why they chose “Sparrow” to be the name of the center. Sparrow is a kind of bird which according to the bible is not given much importance and value during the days but they are still remembered by God. Everyone of the children in the center is special and is given importance. Kuya Ferdinand gave U! Happy Events a certificate of appreciation that is signed by all the kids. As we said our goodbyes we ended our day with hugs and the photos to remember the day by.