by Caryl Duenas
My vacation filled with life, hopes, and dreams.
This past September 2015 I was able to spend an extended period of time visiting my homeland, the Philippines. During my stay I was able to accomplish many of the things I previously wished to do. Every day I was energized knowing I would be sharing my love and blessings with so many others.
On Sept 12, 2015, we accompanied Rochelle Pondare, a Progeria patient (under the care of Project Michelangelo Foundation) for her medical check-up at Manila Doctor's Hospital. The following day we attended Kim's 9th Birthday celebration, the 2nd Progeria patient held at Shakey's Pizza at Lagro, Quezon City. I'm so thankful that I got to know these two little angels. I discovered that Rochelle is a typical teenage girl full of the typical hopes and dreams as you would expect in any other teenage girl. She has a passion for photography and is very good at it, and in spite of physical limitations, she feels good about herself. Kim Asis, is a shy and sweet typical 9 year old girl. Their angelic presence made me feel blessed and I can't find the right words to explain it. I am just glad I got to spend some quality time with them.
In between humanitarian visits, I was also able to promote through public awareness, the missions of empowerment for children and young adults by Project Michelangelo Foundation and Angel Rising magazine. Our list of media guesting includes: October 2, 2015, Anghel ng Masa (Angel of the masses), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Radio program at DWDD hosted by Mrs. Teena Clemente; October 3, 2015, DZBB AM Radio Talk Show with Romualdo San Pascual “Ka Rommel” and host, Raul Virtudazo;
On October 10-12, 2015, our PMF Team flew to Mactan Island where our mission brought us to Albert Schweitzer Orphanage Foundation, Inc. (Children's Haven), in Barangay Pilipog, Cordova, Cebu. During this mission at the orphanage, we shopped the very basic needs the children asked for which were new clothes. Two nights and three days, I lived their life. It's my first time to live and breathe in an orphanage. Throughout my life where I've never had to worry about my everyday needs, this is a different experience for me. One thing I've come to realize from this experience is not just knowing how blessed I am but how much joy I get from giving a part of myself.
After flying back to the main island of Luzon, our PMF Mission continued to Lualhati ng Maynila (Home for the Aged), Parang, Marikina, Rizal on on October 17, 2015. This time was special as my daughter was able to join us and feel with me another rewarding experience. This visit to a retirement home gave a different flavor of humanitarian endeavor as my daughter was able to experience the work that her mom does together with other good-hearted PMF angels and volunteers. I know in my heart that my young daughter learned to better understand and appreciate the experience of the spirit of joy to giving back to the needy.
Thanks to our PMF President Jojo Sayson, Vice-President Imelda Cruz banting, and to all the hard working members of Project Michelangelo Foundation, (Enrico De Guzman and his loving wife, Aranzazu De Guzman, Rommualdo San Pascual “D Bulag Kaster” (The Blind Broadcaster), and Mike Burns who joined us from California) for their assistance and for making it possible for me to be able to give a part of myself to these many charitable missions of hope and empowerment. I made a lot of friends during this trip and I want to thank all of you for the warmth of friendship and sense of family you gave me.
“Life... every day is a blessing!
Lord, I hope that I'll be able to make a difference.
I hold steadfast on a Dream for a better future in the lives of the people that I was able to somehow touch.” – Caryl Duenas