PUERTO PRINCESA, PH — These Salesian sisters say They decided to make a difference in the lives of these children in Palawan, instead.
“Pwede naman din kami mag-stay sa convent magdasal, di ba, because we can say, eto yung buhay namin, ito yung tawag namin, but we’re doing this because we see possibilities,” says Sister Ailyn Cayanan, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Some of these kids were abandoned by their families, others were victims of abuse, while most of them are out-of-school youths due to extreme poverty.
“Kung hindi po ako nakapag-aral dito, baka sa labas maging pariwara yung buhay, masama sa ibang barkada,” says Jonald Bungalso.
The Laura Vicuna center in a remote barangay in Puerto Princesa is now home to about 57 children, where each kid is taught how to be responsible in their assigned household chores.
The center provides them food, shelter and education.
“Pasalamat po kasi madami po kaming natutunan sa kanilang mabuti, tapos, madami po silang tinuturo sa amin, dasal dasal, mag garden tapos po ano, nagbigay po sila ng scholarship,” says Joana Talatagod.
Organizations like Filipino-Americans of Connecticut or FALCONN are among those who chipped in to help these kids. FALCONN is an organization of Filipinos who are healthcare professionals, domestic workers and other blue-collar workers.
“Kasi, ang karamihan kasi nanggaling talaga sila mahirap din so naramdaman nila kung ano yung pinagdaanan nila, yung kinikita nila, shini-share nila,” said president Eddie Manongsong.
Some of these kids even promise to pay it forward.
“Mag-aral po ako ng mabuti, tapos pag nakamit ko po yung pangarap ko, di ko po kakalimutan yung mga taong tumulong sa akin… yung mga tumulong po, kung may naibigay man sa iyong share I-share mo rin sa iba,” says Jonald Bungalso.
After they finish college and land stable jobs – the sisters say these kids come back later to help out new batches of kids financially and spiritually.