Feature: Celebrating Christmas with abandoned elderlies, poor kids in Ilocos Sur

By Imelda C. Rivero, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur

VIGAN CITY – Nothing beats the feeling of inner peace and contentment when you have helped people during the time they need help the most.

This was what the bankers of Philippine National Bank of the cities of Vigan and Candon and Narvacan town concluded after they decided to forego Christmas parties this year. They visited, instead, the 25 elderlies at Balay Taripato (Home for the Elderly) in Cabugao town and the poor children of Nalvo Elementary School located in the hilly, mountainous side of Santa Maria town.

God is love. Because of His love for humanity, He gave His only son, Jesus Christ whose birthday the world celebrates yearly in the third week of December, or the whole December in the Philippines.

This guided the bankers to choose works of charity this year and love came back to them, as they felt the sincere “Thank you” of the kids and the seniors, enough to give them peace this holiday.

This year marks the 100th year of the bank and it was coincidental that they went overboard to do works of love instead of having a traditional Christmas party.

The joy of the children in the public school shined on their faces as they received school supplies as their gifts. The kids enjoyed the games and food, too.

On one hand, the aged in the Balay Taripato shared their stories. One lady from Sinait said that her children already have their own families but their spouses did not show her kindness. Another woman said said Balay Taripato is her refuge from the lack of kindness she received from her in-laws as she is widowed and left with no children.

These stories of the elderly people in the former Clinica Azcueta now the Balay Taripato, made the employees of PNB Vigan felt the true meaning of the Christmas season which is giving.

“You can just look at them and weep inside,” said Myrna C. Ganon, manager of PNB Vigan, describing her feelings when she and fellow employees visited their 25 beneficiaries: nine men and 16 women.

She added that the decision to celebrate their Christmas in the home of the elderlies was spontaneous for the whole staff.

“Perhaps the material world has been too much that God’s love has pushed us to reach out to the elderlies this year and the experience of being there with them in just a short time will be enough to keep God’s love burning,” Ganon said.

Love shared to the unfortunate and needy is sunshine for the rest of their cold days. Without their own families to spend Christmas with, these elderlies have already other families that shared their sympathy and compassion to them in the name of Jesus.#