NEVER NEVER GIVE UP (A Sunday with the Kaibigan ng mga Kabataang may Kanser)

What I’m being hesitant about joining organizations for a cause is I get too emotionally attached with people I get involved with. Their stories touch me. Although I’m not a mushy person; but deep inside, my heart wants to explode sometimes.

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I was in the middle of blogging when my friend Rome from the Mirror Poetry Guild called me up and told me to join the storytelling activity for the KKK (Kaibigan ng mga Kabataang may Kanser). Though I already knew all about it, I was kind of lazy to go out because of the heavy rain. And yes, I didn’t have any children’s stories to tell. But when she told me that one member couldn’t make it, I got no choice but to brave the rain and find M.H del Pilar Street in Jaro. So I took the taxi and told the driver to take me wherever M.H del Pilar is, and thankfully, I found Rome waiting for me in front of the parish church.

The mass was still ongoing when we entered the church. It’s weird that I felt a certain vibe while attending the mass, and seeing all those kids set me on the right mood. Added up when the parishioners gave one another the sign of peace and the parish priest approached and kissed and hugged us all. What a strong fellowship they’ve got there in that parish. Anyway, when the mass ended, the Prayer Warriors (that’s what they call kids who offer prayers to the kids with cancer) paid tribute and the priest led the prayer for the cancer victims who passed away. It was a heartwarming scene, and a moving one, which I only see on TV. But having this personal experience with these people lashed a bittersweet feeling, knowing that their lives in this world are being counted. I just couldn’t imagine the pain these kids have to go through young as they are. And I also admire those volunteers who serve as their strength during the rough times. Always telling them Never Never Give Up. That statement actually reminded me of Jason Mraz in his blog titled “Never Never Never Give Up” where he joined a fun run to help raise funds for an organization which helps those with spinal cord injuries. I guess, each one of us is called for a certain advocacy. I’m deeply honored that the KKK invited the Mirror Poetry Guild to collaborate with them in this event. I’m also glad that I counted myself in.

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After we left the church, we headed straight to Jollibee Diversion for lunch. The kids were already there when we arrived. Being in that fast food chain became a special moment for them. It even became more special because Toni Bulilan, the owner of Toninos Ristorante celebrated his birthday with these kids. The kids were delighted with goodies and a storytelling from Rome. They enjoyed answering questions out of the story their Manang Rome told them. While we waited for the other guests, I got the chance to meet Mariel, a three year old girl who’s suffering from sarcoma of the eye. Such a shy kid. A volunteer told us that Mariel had it when she was just a baby. I just couldn’t imagine how in her frailty and innocence she’s able to muster her grip in order to survive her ordeal.

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The fun continued with some games where all the kids joined. Again, I found it poignant, despite the fun, when the host asked the kids what they want to be when they grow up. And I just had to leave.

Yes, what I’m being hesitant about joining organizations for a cause is I get too emotionally attached with people I get involved with. Their stories touch me. Although I’m not a mushy person; but deep inside, my heart wants to explode sometimes. But then again, this day was quite unforgettable. Inspiring. Bittersweet as it was, I knew that, in behalf of our group, we had done our part to make these kids happy by sharing a little of what we have. I’m certain that this will not be the last. Again, the Mirror Poetry Guild is grateful to the KKK President Dr. Socorro Martinez and to the volunteers for making us a part of their noble work.

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