For many years, I have looked forward to the time when I would be able to visit our affiliated sites in the Philippines.
Over the next weeks, I will continue to share more stories about each of our affiliated sites in the Philippines.
My knowledge of the country has been limited to what I would hear on global new stations relating to politics or natural disasters, and without ever having visited, I knew little else about this nation consisting of over 7,000 islands. But as with all the other countries I have had the privilege of traveling to with Children Incorporated, I knew that as soon as I met with our volunteer coordinators in the Philippines, my perspective of the country would change instantly and drastically.
A Trip across the globe
In mid-January, I first flew from the United States to the capital of Manila to meet with Joy and Angel, who operate the Fortune’s Children Center in the Fortune barangay — one of sixteen barangays (equivalent to a neighborhood or suburb in the U.S.) in the district of Marikina in Metro Manila. While there, I also had the chance to meet our former long-time coordinator, and the founder of the center, Polly Johnson.
Three days later, Joy drove me to Tagaytay, two hours south of Manila, where I met with our volunteer coordinator, Nilo, who runs the Pingapala Children’s Center. I was also introduced to Poying, who started the center after seeing the success and impact of the Fortune Center run by her close friend, Polly.
The second week of my journey took me on a short flight from Manila to Tacloban, in the Eastern Visayans region of the Philippines. Just in the last few years, we expanded our sponsorship program from one affiliated site in the region to three, all operated by Volunteers for the Visayans (VFV), a non-governmental organization that supports underprivileged communities in the area. My visit would mark the first time Children Incorporated was seeing the two new sites in person since their establishment as our partners during the pandemic.
A full schedule of visits
The main site of the five run by the VFV is the Visayans Center at Bliss, which is located in the heart of Tacloban in the Bliss neighborhood, tucked away among small alleyways surrounded by low-income housing. The Cancumbang and Santo Nino Centers are in more remote areas of the city, about 45 minutes away by car, where those families living in more rural settings face different types of struggles living in poverty from those in the city.
As always, thank you for your continued support of children in our program in the Philippines and around the world.
Our volunteer coordinators, Wimwim and Ester, who both work full-time for VFV, not only showed me all of the centers but scheduled their monthly supply distributions during my time with them so I met all our sponsored children and their parents while also seeing our work supporting these families in action.
Over the next weeks, I will continue to share more stories about each of our affiliated sites in the Philippines to highlight what our sponsors and donors have done for so many people in this vibrant, peaceful and beautiful country known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas. As always, thank you for your continued support of children in our program in the Philippines and around the world.
How do I sponsor a child in the Philippines?
You can sponsor a child in the Philippines in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at email@example.com; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the Philippines that is available for sponsorship.