Goodbye Palawan, Hello Canada

It has been 10 days since I’ve been back home in Toronto. It feels like nothing has changed and it oddly feels like I haven’t even been gone for long. Everyone was saying, “prepare yourself to feel shocked!” I really don’t get it. The only difference I feel is that I am more aware of how modern and big and expensive everything is here. Perhaps it’s because I’m still not fully present at home yet. In the 10 days that I’ve been home I’ve been relaxing, sleeping and reconnecting with friends and family. It’s been a nice break, but now I am ready to start my next adventure.

I will be travelling to Yellowknife, NWT Canada for another missionary experience. I will be involved with the Diocese’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Healing Ministry and other areas that I can be of use. I don’t know what to expect, but my mind and my heart are open to however God is calling me for these next few months.

Leaving Palawan was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I developed such a strong bond with each person, so leaving felt like parts of my heart were being ripped out of my chest. My heart was definitely broken… But broken into 50 pieces. The week before I left, the learners wrote their final exams and the YS 11s defended their theses. It was quite the stressful week trying to prepare the learners, edit the theses, pack my belongings and prepare to say goodbye to everyone. My mind was racing non-stop and I felt like I couldn’t take a breath. All my emotions were heightened because I knew I was leaving at the end of the week and I didn’t want to say goodbye. I knew I had to leave because I’ve been looking forward to my next mission, but looking at each learner, volunteer, Sister, and past pupil just pulled on my heart.

I feel like I’ve become another caregiver to these young people. Their stories aren’t just stories to me and their faces don’t just help me identify a name… They have become a part of me. Right before I left for the airport, I spoke to most of them one by one. I gave them advice, told them I loved them and that I will always care about them. On my way out, they sang me one last song called “Stella Maris”. I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. For a month before I left, every single time I heard the song during rosary, I would cry. So, for this to be my send-off song was very special and intense. My heart was heavy and I felt like I was going to fall to the ground (yes, I am that dramatic), but I kept it together as best as I could. I looked at each learner and smiled through my tears. My heart spoke to their heart. I didn’t just look at their face, I looked at their beautiful souls.

I don’t know what will happen to them and it hurts that I can’t protect them everyday. But they are all growing into wonderful young men and women, and I trust that Mama Mary will guide them. Lord, thank You for sending this community into my life.

Although I’m sad that I am not with my Palawan family, I am looking forward to what God has planned for me up in Northern Canada. I pray that I can develop bonds just as deep with those I will meet. I trust that the Lord will give me strength, courage, understanding and a heart ready to serve. I am at Your feet.

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Fly Ate Hallebangbang

The Sunday before I left, the Sisters, volunteers and learners planned a surprise “despedida” or going-away party for me. I’m not sure how long they were planning and preparing for but there were a few days where something out of the ordinary would happen that would make me very suspicious. For example, at 2:00pm one day everyone went to the boys dorm after the afternoon assembly. I saw them walk over so I asked Judith what she thought they were doing. She said, “oh they’re probably going to the garden”. But it was 2:00pm so that made absolutely no sense. We both went downstairs and she speeded over saying “I’m gonna go see what’s going on!”. I saw Reyn Jart so I asked him what was going on and he said “….secret!” I asked again and he replied with, “Ate Halle pupunta sa taas!” which means “Ate halle, go upstairs”.  He had the right intentions, but his secret keeping skills weren’t the greatest! There were other give-aways that made it super obvious, but I kept my mouth shut and let them do their thing. I’ve never had a surprise party before so I just let myself enjoy it.

On that day, they let the cat out of the bag and told me they were throwing my despedida that night. I was instructed to either leave or stay in my room all day while they prepared. I decided to stay in my room and finish making their exam reviews. I also had a surprise of my own that I made for them, so I was busy finishing that up. So for the whole day I was upstairs listening to them practising and occasionally walking by the different groups. Although I knew what to expect, nothing could have prepared me for the waves of emotion that came over me.

Right from the start I was (not surprisingly) crying. I told myself before dinner that this was going to be a night with only smiles… no tears. But who was I kidding. Fr. Flor and two other seminarians joined us for a wonderful dinner. I even had a special place card at my seat. After dinner, everyone presented something for me. Before each performance, Sr. Ailyn and a learner would say a nice speech that really pulled at my heart. Each grade sang a song, the YS 11s, volunteers and past pupils performed a dance, the Sisters sang a beautiful Italian song and more. Sr. Soc even participated in a Filipino folk dance, it was amazing! I feel so undeserving, but so appreciative of their effort and thoughtfulness. I am humbled by their words, their songs and their dances. Ate the end of their final performance as a group (Sr. Ailyn even danced!), they yelled, “fly Ate Hallebangbang!”. I didn’t know that’s what they said, but when Judith told me, I couldn’t help but cry. This was such a beautiful evening that I will never forget.

I made them a video as my surprise. I compiled pictures of everyone and put them to three songs. Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis, Never Alone by Lady Antebellum and The Words I Would Say by the Sidewalk Prophets. I chose these songs because they convey the exact messages that I wanted each person to hear. I’ve always loved making videos – if you know me, you know I make videos for everything. But this video was really special for me. Finding the right pictures to add had me scrolling through months worth of photos and reminiscing on each memory and each moment that was vivid in my mind. I collected pictures from my own album and from Judith’s.

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I am so proud to call each person I’ve met my friend. They have all impacted my life significantly and gave me a new purpose. It’s not just the learners, the Sisters and the volunteers, but the whole community. Their families, our neighbours, past pupils, the parishioners… they’ve all played a part in my happiness at MHCS. I am blessed to have gotten to know each person.  This has been an experience of a lifetime. One that will have a special place in my heart forever. It helped me to understand how God is calling me to serve. This is the first of many missionary experiences in my life and I am honoured that my first time as a missionary was at Mary, Help of Christians School (Palawan).

Join me in praying for those I’ve met and loved. That their happiness and joy may grow and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit every single day. May their hearts be held by the Hands that were nailed to the Cross, so that they can feel how truly loved they are. And let us pray that they never forget the bond that we created and the love we shared in Jesus’ name.

 

Christ is Risen, Alleluia Alleluia!

We woke up early Sunday morning (3:30am to be exact) because there was one more procession. The Resurrected Jesus processed from Bahile and the Sorrowful Mother processed from Baroang. We joined the procession from Baroang and both statues met in the middle – the parish. There, the Sorrowful Mothers black veil was lifted by the “angels” singing alleluia. After that, we went into the church to celebrate Easter Sunday mass.

In the afternoon, Judith and I coordinated an Easter Egghunt/Scavenger Hunt. Every year since I was born, my family would participate in egg hunts, so being able to organize one for our learners was very special. But it wasn’t just an ordinary egg hunt where the kids would have to run around like madmen looking for as many eggs as they could. We decided to hide mini chocolate eggs, lollipops, biscuits and boxes of hopia (Filipino dessert) all thanks to Sr. Soc, and then we cut out letters to the phrase CHRIST HAS RISEN ALLELUJA! and scattered those around for the learners to find, too. On the back of some of the letters, there was a special instruction for them to come find us and do a special task before they could continue searching for more. Some of these special tasks included doing their best “bunny hop”, acting out a scene from the Stations of the Cross and going over to the parish to greet Fr. Flor. They were divided into 4 groups and they really did their best to work together. At the end, Judith and I checked their bags to make sure they all had an even amount and to our surprise, everything was fairly even.

Their last task was to arrange all the letters they collected to form the phrase. This was an entire group effort – not by their own groups, but everyone together. It was interesting to see how they contributed. Some stepped in an wanted to do everything and some completely backed out and let the others figure it out. In the end, we needed to give some clues and help, but it was still a good experience. Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Holy Week

The week after the gulpemano was Holy Week. My Lolo Eddie always said that Easter in the Philippines was his favourite. Now I know why and I feel the exact same way.

I have always loved Easter, but the traditions in the Philippines are way more intense and powerful. It’s not just going to mass everyday… it’s participating in the Paschal Mystery in the most lively way we can as a community.

Palm Sunday was so lovely with all the beautifully arranged palms. I thought I was cool because I knew how to make the palms into crosses, but it was nowhere as cool as the way they make them. I learned how to fold the palms and make them unique. Father blessed the palms and began the celebration at the entrance of the parish, then we processed into the church for mass.

On the Wednesday afternoon, we walked to Bahile for mass and then following the mass we walked back to the parish blessing each station of the Cross along the way. It is a tradition that the parish will pray the Stations of the Cross barefoot from Bahile to the parish on the morning of Good Friday. It was a long and exhausting afternoon, but well worth the experience.

On Holy Thursday, we said mass at the parish and a vigil in the evening. We remembered the Last Supper and the washing of the feet.

Good Friday was a long day, but very much filled with God’s mercy and love. At 4:00am we walked to Bahile for the Stations of the Cross which started at 4:45am. I was surprised and amazed at how many people were dedicated to walking barefoot, especially the children and seniors. Between each station we would sing and meditate on the songs, then at each station we would pray and reflect. It was a large group of us with the statue of Jesus carrying His cross among the group. What a beautiful experience. The most eye-opening part was when we arrived at the entrance of the parish. The whole way was on the road, which did not hurt my feet much. But once we reached the very rocky pathway is when I felt Jesus’ suffering. I can only imagine the pain He felt carrying His cross. It was only my own weight pressing down onto the rocks… but for Jesus… He had His weight, plus the weight of His Cross, plus He had just been brutally beaten and whipped. And I’m sure there were no paved roads where Jesus walked. It was all rocks. Thank you Jesus for suffering for us.

That afternoon after the 3:00pm liturgy which included communion and the veneration of the Cross, there was a procession of the Santo Entierro. We walked to Macarascas High School and back. It was hot and humid, but nothing anyone can complain about as we reflect on that day that Jesus walked for us. The Santo Entierro is the depiction of Jesus laying in the tomb. It looks like Jesus in a glass casket with flowers all over. When we arrived back at the church, we had the opportunity to touch His feet and ask for His mercy.

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Holy Saturday began with mass at 6. It was the usual Easter Vigil Mass, however some of the readings were acted out and the service of light was around a bonfire in front of the church. It added another dimension to the celebration. Select past pupils and learners sang the responsorial psalms and Judith sang the Alleluia. They all sang so beautifully and passionately. The past pupils also performed a liturgical dance to the “Luwalhati sa Diyos”, which was the gospel acclamation, and the recessional song. It was a full and incredibly blessed Easter Vigil Mass.

Gulpemano

Before I write about being back in Canada, I would like to play catch-up and reflect on the last month of being at MHCS Palawan.

The last time I blogged it was about exams. Two weeks after, we had a “gulpemano” which is where the parents come to the dorm for the day to contribute and work on things that need to be done. This time, their project was to make a fence in the boys dorm, separating them from our neighbours property.

In the morning, after all the parents arrived, they had a mini retreat (or so we call it, a “recollection”). It was awesome to see how many parents attended… especially the fathers. I guess they knew that they had to pitch in manual labor. After the recollection, the parents also had an opportunity to go to confession. In the afternoon, the parents went off into their assigned areas to start working. It was the moms who were the ones making the fence. I was in shock how quickly and well they put it together. They just all knew what to do and did it so fast. It was amazing. The dads were off doing some heavy lifting getting the posts prepared and other things that I didn’t really look into because I knew my help was not necessary. In other words… I wasn’t much help due to my lack of strength.

I alway love when the parents come to the dorm. It’s nice to see them interact with their kids and how happy everyone is to be together. These are the moment they get to see what their children are doing, how they are doing and it gives them an opportunity to get to know other parents, children, volunteers and the sisters. It was a pleasure speaking the the parents about their children and reassure them that all is well. I felt like another parent or big sister to pretty much each of the learners, so getting to bond with the parents was a blessing.

I pray for the families all the time. That despite the fact that the kids are at the dorm most of the time, their relationship grows deeper and stronger in the short time they have together. I know that no family is perfect and being away from each other is hard, but it’s these moments that count the most.

I reflect on my own family. Now that we’re all getting older and are doing our own things, it’s in the moments that we are together that I appreciate the most. I’ve been away for 8 months, and before that I was away for school, Joshua is away for school, and Jacob is very busy with his extracurriculars. We don’t spend as much time together as we used to due to our busy schedules, but I look forward to the days we can be present in each others’ lives. Even if it’s just watching tv or enjoying a meal.

May each of our families grow in faith, patience and love no matter what.

Back to the Basics

The month of March has definitely been one of the most hectic and busiest yet. From March 24-26, four teachers from Angellicum College came to the dorm to distribute the exams that we’re supposed to be written in December. The YS 9s and 11s wrote exams in October, so I knew the system and process, but I wasn’t as involved with the exams then. This time, because my subjects were being written, I was way more involved and anxious. But let’s rewind a bit…

The whole month was spent in preparation for the exams.  Mornings, afternoons and even evenings were spent cramming last minute lessons and reteaching the basics. Our learners work hard everyday, but when it comes to academics, they need to work a little harder. It was a challenge for the teachers to get through all the modules and there was much sleep deprivation, but we got through them for the most part.

The way the exams work is each learner can choose which exam they take first, second, third and so on. Once they are finished with their exam they submit it to the examiner who will then mark it and announce whether they passed (OK), achieved a certain mark but need to correct their mistakes (CM) or failed so they need to retake the exam (TAT). I am proud of my students (8s and 9s) that most of them got CMs on their first attempt at CLE (Christian Living Education or Religion). The first learner to get OK on an exam was one of my YS 8 for CLE! I was so optimistic and thrilled, but then they started writing CAE (Communication Arts and English) which was a whole other story. There were TATs and TATs and more TATs across the board!! The second day of exams was quite the challenge – for all of the learners. The board was filled with TAT TAT TAT, so many that we were even making songs of it. It was a good feeling, though, when they would finally get OK.

Not everyone finished and passed all of their exams, so they’re going to have another go at the end of April. Final exams are coming up in one month and at the same time I will be preparing to go back to Canada. This month is going to FLY. I have more lessons to teach to prepare them for the final exams, I need to prepare my goodbyes and I need to pack my things. Pray for me. I need the strength to get through this month without breaking down.

Pray for our learners, especially the graduating students, that they pass their exams and finish their thesis projects.

Love Days

This past Valentine’s Day, the girls were beautifully woken up at 5:00am by the boys serenading us outside the windows. I remember hearing the first song thinking… Why is there song practise so early in the morning? I thought wake up time is 5:30am today?! After two songs I finally realized OH! This is not a song practice… it’s the boys! It’s Valentine’s Day! How sweet! I had a face mask on from the night, but that didn’t stop me from going outside to watch and be the emotional person I am. No one has ever serenaded me outside my window before, and because it was these boys, it was extra special! Their kindness didn’t end there. They surprised us again during breakfast by bring each of us flowers! It was such a morning filled with love. 

In the evening we had a “Date with the Lord” at the parish. A night of song, reflection, and Taize prayer. It wasn’t just our young people, but the young people of the whole parish – from barangys Salvacion, Bahile and Macarascas. It was nice seeing the church full of youth on Valentine’s night. A portion of the night was spent in small groups where we were able to share our stories, our challenges and our joys. I learned a lot about my group and I’m happy I was able to meet young people from outside the dorm. It wasn’t until I shared that I am not perfect, that my teenage years were also filled with vices, that they were able to open up. I often feel like the youth here think I’m “so good” and that I’ve never experienced making mistakes. Little do they know… But I am relieved that they were able to relate to me enough that they felt comfortable sharing their own stories. It was a long night, but also filled with lots of love. 

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This past Wednesday marked the first day of this year’s lenten season. I think back to this night and I am reminded that I am far from perfect and that no one is perfect. We all have our flaws and vices and temptations. We all have something we need to work on in order to be better servants of Christ. So this lent, let’s work together to become greater and stronger. The point of “giving something up” for 40 days isn’t for you to challenge yourself so say you did it, but it’s to give something up that was not benefitting you so that you can change for the better. Our community here has decided on some practices we will participating in all together.

Spiritual: We will pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, and we will substitute “Movie Fridays” of action/comedies/dramas with spiritual movies instead. 

Material: We will sacrifice merienda (snacks) on Sundays, only soup for dinner on Fridays, and only bread for breakfast on Tuesdays. 

I also have my own personal lenten practices for these 40 days… but I will keep those to myself! Pray for us as we pray for you! May this be a blessed Lenten season for all! 

My Heroes

It feels nice finally sitting down and writing a blog post. It’s been so long since I’ve had the motivation or time to write. I can’t believe it’s already March 4… where did time go? Wasn’t it just the other day that I started volunteering here? I only have two months left! Yup, that’s right… two short months. I am sad to leave this beautiful country and the warm weather, but most importantly, the community that I have called family and home for the past six months. The plans that I have lined up for when I go back to Canada are really exciting and I can’t wait to see what’s in store… But it still breaks my heart knowing that I will be physically leaving the dorm and leaving nothing but memories. This being said, I am reminded that I have to cherish every single moment and continue making the best out of each day. 

A few months ago, my grandparents came to visit me here at the dorm. They were on an Ambassador’s Tour of the Philippines and fortunately, Palawan was one of their stops. On the day they arrived here, they came to see me right away. It was so emotional and refreshing to see them step out of their van. They came ready to share their big hearts and were able to witness the big hearts of our learners here too.  Our young people greeted them with two dances: Palawan and You Raise Me Up. Emotions were definitely (but not surprisingly) present. I was very touched to see the tears flowing because I know it wasn’t because of the music or the dance moves, but because stories and hearts were revealed through the performance. After the presentation, my Lola Wilma was speechless – not able to communicate with words but with her tears of heartfelt emotion. Even my Lolo Eddie was crying! When she was finally able to speak she shared how our lifestyle here reminds her of when she was growing up and where she lived. She also shared the story of my Lolo and what challenges he experienced growing up here in the Philippines. Motivationally, she told our young people that if they work hard and always trust in the Lord, they can do anything they want and be anything they want. “You people are my heroes!”, she said loud and proud with my Lolo and Tita Ethel in agreement. My grandparents were extremely touched by the learners in the short time that was spent together, but I believe our learners were touched by them too. We all agreed that the learners are my grandparents’ heroes and my grandparents are the learners’ idols. This was a good day. 

I think about this day often and I think about how my Lola Wilma called the learners their heroes. Without question I agree. These young people are also my heroes and I’m not sure they believe me when I say it. We tease each other a lot and we play-fight a lot, but in the times that we are serious, I pray they know how much I love and care about every single one of  them. In these past six months I’ve learned their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities and their stories. I am truly going to miss them when I go, but my heart will always be with them for the rest of my life. 

Please join me in praying for my Lolo, Lola and her family as their travel through the Philippines and other parts of the world. They’re really living!!

Salesian Month

January was definitely a super busy month, but busy in the best way possible. The volunteers and the Sisters planned a whole month full of activities to celebrate Salesian saints since there were three very important feast days for the Salesian family. We divided all the learners into four groups (the Ultimate Shepherds, the Spartans, the GSYP, and the Passengers) and for the whole month they were to work together to prepare for a Quiz Bee on the life of Blessed Laura Vicuna, a night of minute to win it games, team building games, a cheer dance competition and for the “Search for Don Bosco and Laura Vicuna’s Double 2017”. The teams worked so well together every single day and I am so proud of them. Their dedication and effort was truly inspiring, they were even willing to start practicing at 5:00am and finish practicing at 10:00pm. When it wasn’t meal time, practice time or rest time, they continued to be dedicated to their classes and to learning about the saints.

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Our first event was the Quiz Bee. For about 3 days, the learners were given books on the life of Blessed Laura Vicuna. They were to study her life well because the Quiz Bee was all about Laura. Each team did very well and by the end, every person knew the events of Laura Vicuna’s life. Congratulations to the Spartans who won the competition!

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On Laura’s feast day (January 22), I organized a morning full of team building games and activities. In the afternoon we had a cook out! Each team picked an area, created their own “kitchen” and cooked a meal for everyone. It was a lot of fun and wonderful to see how each team problem solved together. Blessed Laura Vicuna, pray for us. The winner of these games were the GYSP (Good Salesian Youth People)! Congratulations!

On the evening of the feast of St. Francis de Sales (January 24), Sr. Ailyn organized minute to win it games. These were super fun and I congratulate the Ultimate Shepherds on their win!

On January 29, one of our benefactors celebrated his birthday here at the dorm. Kuya Eric is a good friend to us here. He provided food from his restaurant, Ka Inato, and games in the morning. We presented a song and dance, How Did You Know, that was very emotional and beautiful. In the afternoon we had our cheer dance competition. For weeks the learners worked day and night to perfect and create a cheer dance. I made many remixes for each group… you can pretty much call me DJ Hallebangbang. From the music, to the dances, to the cheers, to the costumes, the learners put so much energy and effort. Each group was so unique, I am so glad I was not a judge. Congratulations to the Spartans on their well deserved win!!

On the 30th we were supposed to take the learners to a nearby river to go swimming, but unfortunately there was a super heavy rain storm that morning and we couldn’t go. Expecting some long faces and disappointment, I was pleasantly surprised. They all had a good attitude about it, and instead they made the best out of their day playing games and just hanging out.

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For almost a week in the middle of the month, the Sisters left for Manila to attend seminars and conferences, so us volunteers and Sr. Zeny were left to take care of everything. This gave us the opportunity to use our leadership skills and our talents the best we could. The learners were extremely well-behaved and gave us no problems. It really gave me much inspiration and hope for my future plans of opening a school/youth centre. It reminded me that I do have gifts to offer and that with love, kindness, a good schedule, fun activities and a good team of leaders, we can really start something good for the young people.

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Finally, the most important day was this past Tuesday (January 31), the feast of St. John Bosco. Happy feast day to the Salesian family worldwide!! We started the morning with a special rosary which I picked certain mysteries and prayers and songs, then we had an emotional opportunity to venerate the relic of Don Bosco (yuup, I cried lots), then we had a lovely breakfast. For the morning, Ana led palarong Pinoy games while the rest of us set up and prepared for the evening’s event. After mass, we had a festive dinner with welcomed guests and following dinner we held the dorm’s very first “Search for Mr. Don Bosco and Laura Vicuna’s Double”. Each team selected two representatives (boy and girl) who they felt embodied Don Bosco and Laura Vicuna. There were 4 categories of the contest – the Nature Walk (the teams made costumes for their representatives purely out of natural materials from outside), the talent portion, the question and answer portion and the secret virtue vote. This contest is where I saw the most growth and courage. Each contestant gave their best and surprised us in the best ways. I am soooooo incredibly proud of them, I am actually at a loss for words. Congratulations to Jonald and JM, both from the Ultimate Shepherds. Although there were only two official title winners, each learner was a winner in my heart.

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This month wasn’t just about playing games and winning points or prizes, it was about learning to work together, to support one another (even from opposing teams), to recognize the value of each person, and above all – to learn that everything they do should be for the glory of God. For this whole month, I was so beyond proud of our learners. I have witnessed so much growth, maturity and holiness among them all. This was a month I will never forget. I am so exhausted, but it was all worth it.

The learners are currently at home on break until tomorrow. I miss them, but I am happy they were able to go home for a few days to spent time with their families and to rest. They deserve a break and to relax after this busy month. I can’t believe January is already over and I only have a few months left. Oh how time has flown by. I am in need of special prayers, so if you are reading this please say a short prayer for me when you can and I’ll be sure to return the blessing.

A most sincere thank you!

One of the most special days of my vacation was coming back to the dorm with my family. We only spent a few hours here, but in that time my family was able to meet the learners, see where I’ve been living these past few months and witness the reason I have so much love for these young people.

Whenever we have guests, our learners present a song or dance they’ve practised. As a gesture of love and gratitude, my family decided to put together a presentation of our own. We sang a few songs, performed some magic tricks, and taught some other cool tricks to our learners. It was such a fun day.

The part of the day that touched my heart the most is when my family distributed our Christmas presents to them (tooth brushes, tooth paste and chocolate) and presented a donation of 35,000 pesos to the Sisters. Before coming to the Philippines, my family put in so much effort to raise money and collect donations for us here at MHCS. Friends, family, and even their co-workers came together to put together boxes of donations such as clothes, soaps, first aid materials, school supplies, guitar picks etc. I can’t believe how much was donated and I couldn’t be more thankful. My brother, Jacob, started a Gofundme account to raise money for renovations of the boys dorm and Sr. Socorro’s dream oven. An incredible 35,000 pesos was raised!!

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who contributed. Whether you gave money or something else, I appreciate it with all I’ve got. I don’t personally know everyone who donated, and that brings much joy to my heart – knowing that someone who doesn’t even really know me would have such a kind heart to give. Thank you so much. If you weren’t able to donate, but prayed for us or sent us positivity, thank you too! I promise our prayers are with you all.

Thank you to my mom, dad, Joshua and Jacob for all your efforts of gathering everything and then bringing it to the Philippines. Thank you to my aunts who helped my mom pack all the donations. Thank you to my family who bought school supplies, soaps, tooth brushes, tooth pastes, bandaids, guitar picks and all others. Thank you to my friends who gave clothes. Thank you to the staff of Toronto General Hospital who contributed. Thank you to everyone who donated on the Gofundme account. And finally, thank you Lord for blessing these people with the heart to give.

Your generosity is not unnoticed and I sincerely thank you for putting a smile on the faces of our young people!!

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