As Charlotte Brontë once said, happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.
In the past years, I vouched that I will always find a way to return the happiness and blessings which I have experienced during the entire year. It was last year when I told myself that I would try going back to the first orphanage I visited as a kid, the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Children’s Home.
Last year, I went with some students of my alma mater. This year, I visited the kids with my boyfriend.
About the orphanage
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Children’s Home is in Labac, Taal, Batangas. It is very easy to find since it is right beside and within the compound of the Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine.
It is a small orphanage managed by around five nuns from the Sisters Oblates of the Holy Spirit, and houses approximately 30 girls ages 2 to 15. It is not your ordinary orphanage since the children are not primarily for adoption. The girls are from low-income families and are provided care, education, and love which their parents cannot provided for them as they grow up. Once they are well-equipped and matured, they are sent back to their families.
Taal is not too far from Batangas City. Hence, it only took us less than an hour to reach the orphanage. When I saw the kids, I easily recognized some of them from my trip last year. I never thought and expected that they would remember me as well but I was overjoyed to know that they did recall me.
This is not a full party. It was just a simple gift-giving afternoon but seeing their faces light up and their eyes twinkle made my heart happy. Right then and there, I know I completed my task for the day and the promise to myself that I will return the happiness. Before we left, the kids sang a thank you song as if God sent angels to remind us over and over that happiness cannot be bought but can only be shared.
By mid-2015, I already have lots to be thankful for. I knew I have to return an immense amount of happiness. Thus, I started planning early for this day. I began buying items for the girls in June yet my shopping still lasted till December. I carefully wrapped 28 gifts in one night! Phew!
This gift giving will not be complete and fruitful without the help of my boyfriend and a good friend of mine. To my boyfriend, thank you for pushing my shopping carts, driving all the way to Taal, and visiting the kids with me. To my friend, thank you for the loot bags you prepared for the kids.
Contacting the orphanage
I will definitely do this again next year. You can too! You can set a schedule with Sister Mely, the nun in charge of the orphanage, at (043) 408 0027. You can bring your friends and your family to have a day with the kids. If you are planning to give them a gift, that would be great! No specific items are required. This year, I gave the girls dolls, toy rings, and some school supplies. You can give anything a kid would appreciate. If you want to donate, the orphanage also accepts cash. Just call the number above.
I hope you have a great time as I did. Drop me a message or comment below about how your trip went.