A child, barely ten, roaming the streets as if a playground, living to hopefully survive.
A couple bowed together, holding on tight to each other as hope slips through their clasped fingers, turning pleasantly surprised faces when given provisions that will last them until Christmas.
A child with only a tattered sando on, with its print of a cheery sun faded and covered with dust. His family shielded from street view only by a rugged wooden cart containing things they picked up along the way, hoping it would help them live another day.
A mother, doing her best to provide for her children, clinging on to hope as she waits for leftovers to serve their meal for the day.
An old man, roaming the streets alone, left to fend for himself by people he took care of when he still had his strength. There seemed no hope of anyone looking his way again with compassion.
Surprised faces, grateful smiles, a few teary eyes, and stories of life and hope – these are what the DiscoverMNL Feed the City 2018 Team found in the streets of Manila last December 15 and 16, 2018.
Carried by two huge vans with the song “Good Day to Be Alive” playing in the stereo, the Discover MNL team scoured the metro and distributed 200 bags containing necessities like food, water, banig, pocket shelters, mosquito nets, slippers, pillows, blankets, and hygiene products collected and donated by our generous set of sponsors and donors, to give to the homeless people around the metro starting from early morning until late at night.
What was initially a mobile event to provide necessities for these families, became a rare chance for us to reconnect with life and get a better grasp of reality with the different people and life situations we’ve encountered. Each person we came across with taught us lessons of love, faith, hope, happiness and finding the good in everything. It was as big of a moment for these people as it was for the team, and it’s something we want to share with the world.
Some miles later, the team reconvened and shared their experiences. The stories were varied. The encounters differed with each face sought and each bag given. But we found that although there were a lot of differences, there were still a few things that were similar – the warmth of knowing that, in our own little way, we were able to ignite a spark of hope in others’ lives that day, serving as a reminder to them that they have not been forgotten.
They, in turn, reminded us with their smiles and stories to be resilient and to continue to have faith even amidst hardships. That even if there are some hardships we get to face; the sun will still be shining.
It was not purely ideal – the places we got to, the people we met – but there were a lot of good ones that not only made us glad to be part of this advocacy, but actually made us realize that the goods we brought and the effort we exerted were not mere charity, it was an expression of God’s love – an extension of much needed compassion to those who thought they were forgotten and unwanted. Indeed, as our song for the year had told us, it really was a great day to be alive.
It’s safe to say that our third year of executing this advocacy was a success thanks to the support of our friends, the people we’ve worked with, our sets of volunteers, and the people who believes in the act of giving back. Here’s to sharing more smiles to the world! Until the next #FeedtheCityPH run!
#TheDiscoverMNLAdvocacy #FeedtheCityPH 2018 is in partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines. Co-presented by Skinstation, Bonifacio Global City and AMB Health. Major Sponsors: Jollibee, Park Triangle BGC, BGC Corporate Center, Johnson’s Baby Philippines, Modess, Carefree, Elait, Overdoughs and Gelatofix. Minor Sponsors: Powder Room Beauty Lounge, Flossom Kitchen + Café, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Wit’s Sweets and Savouries, Castro PR, The Rainbow Collective, Mega Sardines, Vivere Hotel Alabang, and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls. Official Media Partner: ABS-CBN Lifestyle.
Article written by: Erika De Belen and Lucky Alabado