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Where Some Girls Pin Their Hopes On

Like many Filipino girls, these girls go to school. But unlike many Filipino girls, these girls live in school—them and about three thousand more. They are from the Sisters of Mary Girls Town in Talisay, Cebu.

They were sought out by the Sisters from the poorest of the poor families in Visayas and Mindanao. Here, they are taught academic subjects as well as technical-vocational skills. After high school, most of the girls get an NCII accreditation from TESDA, preparing them for a life in college or an opportunity to land a job after high school.

The girls attend classes almost year-round. They only get a two-week vacation during the year. Sometimes, many of them choose not to return to their homes for vacation but instead stay in the school dormitories.

That day—the day I took these photos—was a special day for the girls. It was the day the school campus was filled with smiles and laughter, and some crying, too. It was the day the school ground turned into a big picnic ground. It was the day—the only day during the year—the school opened its gates to allow visits from the girls’ families.

I saw mothers and daughters hugging and laughing and crying together. I saw fathers and daughters hugging and laughing and crying together. It was a happy day for many of the girls.

But when I happened to pass by one of the dormitories, I heard some sobbing. I couldn’t help but ask some of the girls walking by me about the sobbings I’ve heard. “Ate, wala po kasi silang bisita eh.” “Bakit?” I asked. “Wala po sigurong pamasahe ang mga kamag-anak nila para pumunta dito sa Cebu,” they replied in halting Tagalog.

It broke my heart because I knew how they felt. During my four years in high school, I had to live with a relative in Manila so I can continue my schooling. I only got visited twice by my parents. Well, thrice, if I were to include my graduation day. My worst enemy at the time was homesickness. Also, I had no one to turn to when I needed comforting. The only means of communication I had with my family back in the province was snail mail.

I admire the girls for their determination and I admire the institution for caring for these children. But I wish there will come a time when no girls would leave their homes just to have the opportunity to attend school, receive nourishment, and endure homesickness for a chance at a better life.

Posted 4 years, 6 months ago at 7:52 pm.


14 Replies

  1. sana mas marami pang mga bata ang matulungan nila… at sana rin, marami pang tao ang tumulong para maisagawa ang napakabuting adhikain nila…

  2. Yeah, I hope so, too. Thanks!

  3. you really got a rare job. and naiibang pagkakataon to touch people and be touched by their lives. thanks for sharing… 🙂

    sasabihin ko pang excellent as usual ang pictures? and, mahusay but sharp ang narration? hwag na, hehe. great post na lang. 😉 🙂

  4. Umn, hindi po ito kasama sa job ko, Ate San hehe.

    Maraming salamat sa pambobola hahaha!

  5. Sad story para sa mga batang ito. I do hope na yung mga sakripisyo nila ay magbunga. Nawa’y magtiis pasila parasa kanilang kinabukasan.

  6. Tama ka, sana nga ay magtiis sila at makatapos ng pag-aaral nila.

  7. Awww! Ang bigat naman nito.. Pero seryoso, ito yung mga batang magtatagumpay pag dating ng araw.

  8. Hi Joel,
    It is what I prayed for when I went there, and I continue praying for them. Sama ka na rin sa pagpi-pray para sa kanila 🙂

    Maraming salamat pala sa pagdalaw dito. Are you a blogger? If so, pakilagay na lang ang URL ng blog mo so I can visit back 😉

  9. sobrang nakakalungkot nga siguro ang ganyan lalo na at mga bata pa sila. they need lalo ng connection sa kanilang mga magulang.

    pero salamat sa school na yan, at least may mga batan nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon para makapag-aral.

  10. Tama ka, Hoshi, mga bata pa sila at kailangan pa nila ng care ng mga parents nila. Pero naisip ko, mabuti na rin kasi nakakapag-aral naman sila, Kaysa naman kasama nga nila ang parents nila tapos hindi naman sila nag-aaral. Wala silang magiging sandata sa buhay.

  11. Nakaka-tats naman ang story na ito Ms. N. I pray that someday they will get what they hope for.

  12. Sana nga, sana nga.

  13. lovelyangel Jun 8th 2013

    hey, thanks for visiting my alma mater,

    i was once there and i tell you, it was a life-changing experience for me
    and for all graduates of SOM..

    all of my life and of where im now, i owe it to this school, to the sisters and to Fr Al, our founder…

  14. Hello, lovelyangel, thanks for dropping in at my blog. It is nice to hear from a SOM alumna. I hope all the other girls in SOM will also succeed in life.

    God bless and hope you see again here 😉

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