Few months ago, Star and I joined some friends in Dinalupihan, Bataan for a volunteer work in an Aeta community. More than 30 Aeta children are housed in a half-way home so they can go to school. The half-way home is a brainchild of Evelyn San Buenaventura, who hails from the town. She got her women’s group Quota International Club involved and so many other friends. This noble endeavor has given the children, who would have otherwise stayed uneducated in the hinterlands, hope for a better future.
It’s amazing to see the hunger of the (literally) little Aeta children in learning new things. As part of their exposure, Evelyn and friends one time brought the children to a beach outing. It was their first time ever to visit the beach and taste seawater. When they saw the vast body of water, their eyes became wide-open in awe. Not only were they amazed with the vastness of the sea, they were even struck by its taste! “How come the water tastes like salt?” one child asked. That experience brought so much memories to the children and to this day, they can talk about it like it happened only yesterday.
Star never seemed to get tired that day we went to the Aeta community. She served lunch to about a hundred children, including some “unats” (straight-haired low landers), who lived around the community where the Aeta kids live. She chatted with some mothers and took care of one cute baby she had wanted to “adopt.” Before the end of the day, Star decided she would celebrate her 12th birthday with her newfound friends. She announced it to Ate Elvira, the “chieftain” of the little community who received Star’s decision with equal enthusiasm. “Oh the kids would love pancit (not spaghetti please), fried chicken and ice cream,” Ate Elvira tells Star. And since it’s a few days before Christmas, it would also be nice to have a Christmas goodie bag for everyone.
So on December 21, we will be off to Dinalupihan, Bataan to celebrate Star’s birthday with her new friends. This year, we have so much to thank God for. We had more hospital trips this year than in the past years. Our healing journey (as what I want to call it) with von Willebrand’s Disease is more pronounced since Star started her monthly periods. Yet, it is in our need that we see more of God’s faithfulness. Star is growing up to be a strong-willed, intelliegent and talented young lady with a good heart.
You can make Star happier on her birthday by donating some cash to buy food or gifts for her friends. For P500 (about $12), you can already feed 5 children. Star would need 20 sponsors to donate P500 each to cover the food and 100 sponsors to give a gift pack each for the children. Old but still nice toys are welcome. Gifts can be dropped off or mailed (for those who are abroad — yes, you can still donate) to our home address. Please PM me so I can send our complete address.
Please help make Star’s 12th birthday a special one for her and her friends.