EXPERIENCE: My Glad to be Globe story.

While being faced with the grim realities of human suffering, such as poverty, homelessness, mental illness, violence, and disease, we, after the immersion, are likely more aware of the realities of the world and realize that the suffering we face in our own lives is much less significant compared to the suffering of those whom we've interacted with during our immersion experience.

I am Leo Kevin Mendiola, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology in San Beda College - Manila, and I would like to share to you my #GladToBeGlobe story.

It was way back 2009 where we have a project for our Theology subject which talks about  being a lay apostolate in the current setting. Our professor allowed us to be exposed in a 300 hour immersion to different organizations based on a given topic. The topic that was given to us was social justice and upon brainstorming, we decided among ourselves to immersed  at Lourdes Handicapped Center inside the compound of Caritas Manila.

Sunday gathering.

Lourdes Handicapped Center is a place dedicated for residential care, special education, physical rehabilitation and sensitivity activities. It was funded by various organizations and volunteers around the country. Their goal is to provide personal love of Jesus Christ, the right to minimum of standard of living, a caring family and an appropriate education.

Playtime outside.

On our first encounter with the children inside Lourdes Handicapped Center, we we're amazed on how bright and loving they were. They love to play and they were a little bit touchy. Some of them can't stand or walk alone that's why when we need to play outside, they need to be on their wheel chairs. We keep our communication through group text messages, may it be with the person in charge at the center or within our group, since we also have irregular students in our team. Thanks to Globe for having affordable unlimited rates that let us keep in touch with each other.

As our usual routine, we sent group messages to everyone regarding the iterinary or flow of activities every time we will be visiting the center. As last day of our immersion comes, we decided to let our irregular classmate bring the materials needed (e.g. food, party hats and decorations) for the party since he will go to the place with his car. It was also the 18th birthday of  one of the children in the center.

Sample Christmas and Birthday cards that was prepared by the kids from one of our activities.

September 26, 2009. A date to remember. This same date was the start of Typhoon Ondoy hitting the Philippines. I received a text message from Kuya Mac, one of our irregular student groupmate, saying that he can't make it on time. He was stranded at Pureza station and the road going to Caritas were already flooded and impassable.  We still need to push through with the said party since the birthday celebrant was expecting for something and we already informed them that we will throw a party for everyone.

The rain won't stop and the flood was everywhere. We need to evacuate the children from the first floor up to the second floor since the water started to come in. My other groupmate, Nico, decided to contact Kuya Mac who was stranded at Pureza. He was using a different mobile network provider that time. Due to strong winds and rain, he has no signal and told me that I should contact Kuya Mac instead. I grabbed  my phone and wished that I have a signal to contact him. With Globe, it's like a normal day, I have four bars of signal on my phone and I was able to call and text him to have some updates on how we can transfer the materials needed for the party.

After ensuring that everyone's safe, Nico and I decided to face the rain and the flood. We walked from Caritas Manila to LRT Legarda station. The LRT station was too crowded as operations has been shut down several times. We're glad that the operation was resumed upon touching the area. On our way to Pureza, we saw a lot of people stranded on their house and cars submerged in water particularly in the area of V.Mapa station. As soon as we alight from  train at Pureza station, I called kuya mac to ask for his exact location. He said he parked outside. We met him and decided to leave his car at the station since flood won't reach the area. We carry everything from Pureza to Legarda station to Caritas Manila at Pandacan. As we arrived at Lourdes Handicapped Center, the children's faces light up as they saw us coming. Some of them smile as they saw a box of cake and some party hats. It's a very touching moment.

As soon as the water from the first floor went down, we arranged everything to start the party. Since there's no electricity, the place was light up with candles that made the party more intimate. The children sing happy birthday to Mina and presented their DIY greeting cards. It's great to see everyone having a good time. While watching them enjoy everything we have prepared, on the back of mind, I'm thanking Globe for having a great service in time of calamities like this. I'm glad to be with Globe for about 12 years now.

Mina blowing her birthday candles.

..and this is my #GladToBeGlobeStory

P.S. We decided to stay overnight since there's no chance of going home because of the flood. 

Thank you Nuffnang and Globe for giving me the opportunity to share my Globe Story.

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