When in 'Tahanan'

Lloyd Ericson Rodriguez

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It was during an outreach activity of our non-profit group called 'Acts of Love Community' when we met the beautiful children of 'Munting Tahanan ng Nazareth' in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.

'Tahanan' is a shelter for the poor, abandoned, and surrendered handicapped children but during our stay with them, our group never witnessed any sense of disability among the children at all.

They were all engaging and active. They were sweet and expressive of their joy for our presence. They even prepared song and dance numbers for us.

We were all left in awe as we witnessed some of the kids assisting the others during the fun games and simple meal we prepared for them. We also saw them sharing with one another the gifts and prizes we gave. There were even instances when those still more able ones picked up the candy wrappers and trash of those others who can't do the same anymore.

Some served as older brothers and sisters to the younger ones; became the hands and legs of those who can't carry themselves anymore and even became the eyes of those who already can't see light.

Personally, I thought our team will be the one who will be giving them gifts but it seemed to turn out the other way around because it was us who I believe received more --- the heartwarming experience and inspiration to do more for others.

(Note: I was given the full permission by the caregivers of the shelter to take photos during our visit and share the frames in all forms so to introduce the purpose of the shelter. This may also encourage more donors and sponsors for the needs of the kids. Hence, I sent this photo to the competition.)

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