Caroling is a tradition in the Philippines, wherein children go from house to house on evenings during the Christmas season, singing Christmas carols. People are expected to give them at least a few coins; some do, some don’t. Caroling is one of the ways many children earn a few pesos at Christmastime.
This Christmas, the Love146 children also played Christmas carols for some village officials as well as the poorest households around the Round Home. They did not to ask for coins, but rather, shared their music and gave some groceries. Through their comments later, we know that they have gone beyond themselves and found joy in reaching out to others.
All their young lives, they were at the needing, receiving end; this time, they had the opportunity to be at the giving end, at least with their music, and to put joy in others’ hearts.
They enthusiastically prepared their music…
… and their little gift.
They walked some distances, carrying their instruments and their little gift.
They played wholeheartedly…
and then handed their little gift with joy.
This unique form of caroling capped our interventions for 2015. In this one instance, the children have shown how they have grown by leaps and bounds because they have grown out of themselves to fulfill a higher need, one which is pursued mainly by older, more mature adults. They found another use for their music. They had a greater bonding with the community. They were put in a position to serve even a small part of society. In a way, they have been reintegrated with mainstream society, with honor and dignity.
We closed the year with thankfulness and look forward to what 2016 has in store for these great children. The following are thoughts some of the children shared with us after their experience:
Sonya: Nakakapagod po ang araw na to pero nag enjoy po ako na makitang masaya po sila dahil sa regalong binigay natin sa kanila. “This has been a very tiring day but I enjoyed seeing them happy because of our gift to them.”
Cate: Masaya ako dahil nakalabas ulit kami at nakapagbigay kami ng konting tulong sa mga nangangailangan sa pamamagitan ng pangangaroling ngayong pasko. “I’m happy because we are given another chance to go out and give some help to those in need through caroling this Christmas Season.”
Mindy: Masaya ako kasi nakatulong kami sa caroling, yung caroling po namin ay kakaiba kasi kami po yung nagbibigay sa kanila ng simpleng regalo. “I am happy that we have helped others by caroling, a different kind of caroling, where we were the ones giving them a simple gift.”
David: Nakakapagod at sumakit ang paa ko ng konti pero masayang masaya ako kasi nangarolling kami at kami po ang nagbibigay ng regalo sa kanila. “I got really tired and there was a mild pain on my feet, but I feel very happy because we’ve done Christmas carols and we are the ones who were giving gifts to them.”
Keith: Masaya po pala na makatulong sa iba. Nakapagbigay po ako ng grocery sa dalawa kong kaklase. Napagod ako pero nag enjoiy naman ako lalo na nung kumakanta ako gamit ang lapel microphone. “I realized that it is so great to help others. I was able to give groceries to my two classmates. I got tired but I enjoyed it especially when I was singing using the lapel microphone.”
Raul: Ang saya ko po kasi kahit pagod na kami nakakatugtog pa din kami ng maayos. Nakatulong din po kami sa mga mahihirap sa pagbigay naming ng grocery. “I am happy because although we were already tired we were still able to play the instruments well. We were also able to help the poor by giving them groceries.”