Sorry I didn't call you yesterday as I knew you were arriving from Hong Kong and probably tired.
This morning Candy, Ingrid, Rea and I paid a visit to Missionaries of Charity somewhere in Manila.
Candy picked me at 8:30 AM. My hair was still wet (sorry Candy!) then we picked up Ingrid in Makati. By 10 AM we were in Malate with Rea.
Starving, we convinced Ingrid to treat us to their best-selling Emerald Garden siopaos.
There are two sizes of siopao, the mumbo jumbo one and the regular.
The jumbos were already sold out at 10 AM. So we took the regular-sized ones to the car. These are impossible to get. If you're lucky, I highly recommend the bola-bola siopao served piping hot!
Missionaries of Charity is run by sisters who wear the same habit as Mother Teresa.
They turn down nobody, feed the poor and homeless and take any baby that is left on their doorstep. Some of the babies were found in trash bins or temporarily left by parents for feeding. So not all are orphans or up for adoption.
When we arrived, I was still eating my delicious siopao, but upon seeing some elderly poor eating on the street outside, I lost my appetite at once. I felt guilty having this sinful siopao so I forced myself to wolf it down.
Rea disappeared and came out carrying her favorite baby Niña.
We entered the nursery and saw babies lying on mats.
Rea immediately went down on the floor and started playing with them. These babies need mental stimulation and the sound of human voices. (Our Christian is almost two and knows only 6 or 7 words, but he is doing fine.)
Just when I started taking photos, one of the babies started to cry so I picked her up.
Other babies cried too, so Candy and Ingrid picked them up.
The babies stopped crying upon being held. I think that's all the wanted at that time.
(This is my early morning face.)
Rea said she wants to organize groups of people to come in and just hold the babies because they need human touch.
One of the boys (the one on the left) couldn't walk yet, even though he is already a year old—the age babies start to take their first steps.
There was only one caregiver feeding the babies one at a time. I really felt for her.
Donations come in all the time, so I really want to help them hire more women to work there. Rea is willing to train them for free.
Rea toured us around the place. One large room had the older kids standing in cribs and eating in a dining area. I was still carrying the baby. She would not let me put her down.
My tears started flowing. I couldn't even wipe my tears fast enough because I was carrying a baby.
One more room had the sick babies.
The facility was fairly clean and smelled OK, until smoke from the pugon started to waft in. Yes they still cook from pugon. Rea wants to improve their cooking facilities.
I'll take you there next time. Just come in jeans and sneakers and hold some babies for an hour or so. I'll take some Gerbers so we can feed some babies and help the caregiver even for just an hour. These caregivers deserve a spa treatment Oprah style.
I have to say though you need to be a little tough inside, wipe babies' tears and noses. Though they are sweaty, they smell nice.
We left at noon because Candy had to work.
Christine, I donated some of your stuff here. The stuff they don't need at Fabella were left here, while the baby blankets will be taken to Fabella.
P.S. I left a donation for the nuns to pay a debt of Php 10,000. I took this from the Paypal fund, I hope the donors won't mind. Will update you on bank account and Ondoy donations too.
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- Dear Divine,