by Joy Gabrido
Senior Citizens are one of the vulnerable sectors which need attention in the country.
Caring for the elderlies is a given in the Filipino society and culture, however, not everyone has the capacity and privilege to have comfortable golden years in their lives.
Sinag Kalinga Foundation Inc. Shelter located in Lucban, Quezon is one of the many non-government organizations (NGOs) that recognized the necessity to establish an elderly care facility for those who cannot afford it and are homeless. It has then become the first and only elderly home facility in the whole province of Quezon.
What is remarkable and exceptional about Sinag Kalinga is unlike other foundations, it persevered for almost three decades, 25 years by legal paper and 27 years from the very start to be exact, even without any regular foreign aid or sponsorship.
Seeing this particular need, the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon (PIA 4A) joined the openhand communities who reach out to Sinag Kalinga by celebrating the National Elderly Filipino Week 2019 in their facility in the form of a Gift-giving and Medical Mission Activity.
Regional Personnel of PIA 4A, led by Regional Director Ma. Cristina Arzadon visited and painted smiles on the faces of the 25 elderlies currently housed and cared in Sinag Kalinga.
While some of the Lolos and Lolas were undergoing physical check-ups with the volunteer medical practitioners such as Dr. Cecilia A. Aguado, and Quezon Provincial Nurses Ms. Cherryl Alcantara and Ms. Gina Martinez, the others gave random performances.
99-year-old Lola Amanda who is the oldest among them recited the poem titled, “Sa Dilim ng Hatinggabi.”
Lola Miranda, on the other hand, sang a song and also danced along with the singing performance of one of the PIA 4A staff.
It had evidently been a happy day for the grandparents of Sinag Kalinga as they had the moment to mingle with their visitors, eat good food, and showcase their talents.
RD Arzadon said in her message during the program, “Ito po ay hindi trabaho para sa amin, kundi ito ay bukal sa loob na aming gagawin (For us, this is not a job, we will be doing this voluntarily from the heart).”
This is the first time that PIA 4A held this kind of activity but the Regional Director wishes to do another same outreach activity by next year and bring more services for the grannies like a free haircut, manicure, and pedicure, among others.
Sinag Kalinga Executive Director Hyacinth Oblea appreciated the initiative of the Agency to reach out to their elderlies.
She stressed that any kind of help, whether big or small, is always welcomed by the foundation with open arms because she said, “Ang tulong ay tulong (A help is a help).”
Similar to a ‘walis-tingting’, she said, a single stick would easily snap but when all the sticks are bound as one, it would be difficult to break.
“Ito pong pagsasama-sama natin, ito pong activity ngayon ay malaking tulong ito sa foundation (Our integration, our activity for today is a big help to the foundation),” she asserted.
Needless to say, the activity was a success! But success brought not only material provisions but ultimately joy, care, and love to the lives of the Lolos and Lolas of Sinag Kalinga. (Joy Gabrido/PIA 4A)