Saturday, June 14, 2014

Payatas and the Perception of Life

Since becoming part of the company's volunteer group, I have been to Payatas twice. Prior to joining the team, my perception of Payatas was provided by what I see and hear on TV. So when our crew made an announcement that an activity was scheduled for the students in that area last year, I did not think twice of joining -- mostly because I have never been there and I was hoping for that "first hand experience".

Sweaty me with the Grade 9 students.
A few weeks ago, we again visited 250 kids sponsored by our company through Payatas Orione Foundation bringing with us boxes filled with rubber shoes, raincoats and lunch boxes to prepare them for the new school year. Upon returning home that Saturday night, I remember my mom asking me "how does Payatas look like?". Sadly, minus the usual view of the usual dump site, the way media showed me what Payatas is is just the same. The place may show the comparison between the less fortunate and those blessed with wealth but in two instances that I visited Payatas, it never failed to make me realize that despite not having much of the material things, I am among the lucky ones in so many ways -- and regardless of being sweaty and that smell of the sun on my skin, I am happy to be able to give back to these kids.

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