While my children may have had a mom and dad whose minds and concerns are over their basic needs, education, shelter and most especially food, there are some parents out there who do not really care about what their children are up to. They are the carefree parents who'd permit their children to work even in hazardous workplaces if only to provide for additional food to their homes.
As a program manager for the Anti-Child Labor Program of our department, I am one with others in trying to curb this wrongdoings. I am also one with many others whose hearts melt in pity of the children, and would want them to experience a good life, a safe playground, unlike the ones they are used to playing at - the sugarcane field.
I have already mentioned about the working children in Malungon, Sarangani Province, and I have even asked a few friends to help me in making these children a tad happier this Christmas. And so, with a help of a generous sponsor, and friends who helped provide for some gifts to them, my partner and I brought these five (5) children to some place they never had a chance to go to - Jollibee.
It was a morning and breakfast was a must for them before we bring them to their next adventure. I am glad that the children behaved and that they were willing to listen to their mentor. They were willing to just stay put and behave at Jollibee. One of them said it wasn't her first time to eat at Jollibee but all the rest were first-timers.
I ordered burger steaks for them and hot chocolate because I knew they need to fill up their tummies with something nutritious that they doesn't always get to have at home. The kids were excited when their food arrived, the twinkle in their eyes were something that could melt your heart because you'd know a happy child when you see one. And right before my eyes, I saw five happy children busily clinking their utensils and enjoying their meals.
|Raffy watching the fishes swim at the pond|
And so, right after, we had them visit a mini-zoo, a few miles away from where they reside, an hour or to away from their homes, there's this beautiful place called Dolores Farm where they keep a few animals, and a few zoo pets, and a grand playground.
Nica, Adrian, Raffy, Jenny and Cherry were very happy that they could not contain their excitement to seeing the animals. They saw monkeys, different kinds of birds, a wild boar, snakes and pythons, and also crocodiles and different kinds of geckos.
They were smiling and laughing and enjoying each others' company. They had to tell stories about their homes where they could also see similar looking animals like the bayawak and the snakes, and the baboy ramo.
My heart sang with gladness that the children were able to experience this kind of joy that they had that very moment, very simple pleasures and they had so much fun. I bet they were to tell so many stories to their classmates when they got home.
And look at their smiles while playing, their enjoyment could not be measured. They could not stop playing the swing, the monkey bars, the see-saw and by just running around trying to be carefree, and most importantly, trying to be children and enjoying their rights for time to play and be merry.
I'll be posting another story about these children, and how YOU and many others made them happy.
Unlike them, you were also once a child, but what was your childhood like? Mine was playing in the dirt, molding cakes made of soil, playing in clay pots, and plastic toys that can be molded into cakes, playing buy and sell using candy wrappers, Mom shouting at me for being such a big mess already. And at school, playing chinese garter before heading home, playing under the moonlight, and a few others that brought child-friendly memories. That's my childhood, and I'm lucky enough to have had responsible parents who molded me to be where I am now.
Many of our children are luckier than these children are, they do not have to experience the ordeal of carrying huge loads of sugarcane to load up in a truck, or to weed farms in order to get money for buying snacks at school. How lucky some of today's children are, and I think we need to tell them how blessed they are for having good parents, and a differently easy childhood.