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Heart of an Angel #JENAsaisquoi

My Bae has always had a soft spot for kids. Even when she was younger, I saw an innate goodness in this child of mine. She loved to do charity work. I think her old school, Maria Montessori Foundation, cultivated that spirit of giving in her by immersing the students in periodic relief work.

During Christmas, we would go around & she’d hand out food & drinks to the street children, and I’d see the delight on her face by this simple act of kindness.

Even at a young age, she would frequently mention to me how she’d like to share her blessings via an outreach. So when her 18th birthday came up, I found it the perfect opportunity to wet her toes, so to speak. If this is her mission in life, then I would like to fully support her with every fiber of my being.

With very limited resources, we asked friends if they would like to join our worthy cause. In lieu of gifts for her recently concluded debut, my Bae asked her guests for Gift Certificates to leading toy stores & toy donations to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Ward of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. On top of what she received & what she shelled out on her own from her own savings, generous sponsors also signified interest in helping her out in her mission. God is truly working wonders because everything just magically came together with very minimal effort.

Today, be thankful and think how rich you are. Your family is priceless, your time is gold, and your health is wealth Truly, you are BLESSED beyond measure. <3

We visited Philippine Children’s Medical Center a total of 3 times. The first was to meet with the Special Projects Coordinator, Beth Jayobo to find out what we could contribute & how we can be of service. And also to come up with a date for the outreach. We agreed on October 30, so it can be a “Treat and Treat” activity for the kids.

Many thanks to my Bae’s ninang, Mae Diesmos (Asst. Professor, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas) for recommending PCMC, and also to her ninong, Dr. Marcus Lester R. Suntay (who does volunteer work as a Pediatric Surgeon for the center), for facilitating & coordinating our meeting with Beth. <3

With her ever-supportive ninong, Marcus Lester R. Suntay, Medical Doctor in the Department of Surgery with specialization in Pediatric Surgery at Asian Hospital & Medical Center. Telephone No.: 771-9355 | MOB Room: 104

Second was several days prior to the outreach. Due to the high demand of bed space, patients are only given in-care privileges for 5 days, after that, they are sent home.

My Bae wanted to give personalized gifts -something that the young cancer warriors would really like to receive but are unable to because their parents’ resources are allotted elsewhere (like medicine & food for the rest of the family). These kids have been through so much that my Bae wanted to brighten up even just a portion of their day & have them momentarily forget their illnesses by making a simple wish come true. So we had to make sure that the people we were giving the gifts to would actually be there on the day of the outreach.

These are just some of the 24 admitted cancer warriors whom we were able to talk to on our 2nd visit. (Photos taken & uploaded on the blog with consent from the parents)

Arranging these meetings was no small feat. Being a government hospital, we could only meet with Beth during the weekdays when she came in for work. And weekdays for my Bae meant school days. We thank our lucky stars that classes have been suspended left & right so we were able to find time & meet with Beth.

The third was the actual outreach, a week after my Bae’s birthday. To prepare for the gift-giving, we went to 6 different stores in search of the perfect gift for these angels. Their requests ranged from cellular phones (teens will be teens haha), to cameras, to mp3 players, to legos, to dolls, and to video gaming. :) Happy to oblige, it’s the least we can do for these little fighters.

Many many thanks to our dear Bae’s kind-hearted & supportive friends for a successful gift drive. She was able to buy so many things based on the children’s wishlist. Extra special gifts were purchased for the birthday boy Mike Gerald, afflicted with Rhabdomyo Sarcoma (connective tissue/bone cancer), who coincidentally turned 11 last oct 30 -our outreach day! And of course my fave, duckface baby Sheryn age 1, who is sick from Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (unusual tumor at the base of the tailbone found in newborns).

Disclaimer: Most of the parents’ resources go towards the purchase of medicines & food, so these branded toys – a very rare treat, will surely put a smile on the faces of the sick children. We made sure to buy SPECIAL toys, things that they wouldn’t & couldn’t normally buy on their own, and it’s all thanks to generous friends like YOU!

Every single day, parents together with their sick kids, flock to Philippine Children’s Medical Center in high hopes that they will be given a bed for their life-saving treatments. If they can’t get a bed, then they wait for their turn to be treated as outpatients. It’s a hard knock life for these people. Every help that we can offer counts. Let us all be a source of blessing to one another. <3 #sharingiscaring

Special thanks to Shally Abalos, another Special Projects Coordinator of PCMC, for doing the tedious rounds with us on the day of the outreach. She patiently covered every area with us & helped us distribute the gifts & goodies in a very orderly manner. <3

We are so very grateful to our generous sponsors who shared their resources & time to this most worthwhile cause:

  • City of Dreams Manila, and the COD Manila team: the very hands-on Ms. Rose Halili (Senior Manager, Employee Concierge & Office Administration), Ms. Charisse Chuidian (Vice President-Public Relations), Ms. Romina Gervacio (Director of Public Relations), , Mr. Marlon Hirsh (General Manager for Non-Gaming Operations), and the wonderful COD Colleague Volunteers who arrived in droves & helped spread love, positivity and cheer to the sick children.
  • Dream Works & Dream Play for the special participation of Puss in Boots. For the FIRST TIME EVER, the generous powers that be from Dream Works allowed a mascot to leave the confines of Dream Play to support such a good & noteworthy cause.
  • Max’s Restaurant, the very generous Trota family, and of course my dear Laine Vallar and her hard-working team.
  • 8 Cuts Burgers from The Moment Group, and Maita Quesada
  • Sip Purified Water and Mr. Charles Stewart Lee
  • Kumori Philippines and Mr. Linfred Yap
  • Dr. Arvin Diesmos & Asst. Prof. Mae Lowe Diesmos

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City of Dreams Manila is an integrated resort and casino that features 3 luxurious hotel brands and various premium dining outlets. It boasts of an iconic Fortune Egg that houses Chaos nightclub known to bring in top-notch acts from around world.

City of Dreams is also home to the very first DreamWorks inspired DreamPlay that offers a one-of-a-kind entertainment for whole family.

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Mr. Marlon Hirsh (General Manager for Non-Gaming Operations) & Puss in Boots graced our gift-giving outreach with their presence. Their support meant a lot, not just to us, but to the children of the pediatric ward.

Every so often, the employees of City of Dreams Manila perform acts of kindness by sharing their time & pooling their resources to extend love & financial assistance to those in need. We were fortunate that the COD Manila Colleague Volunteers chose our charity outreach as their giving activity for that particular month. Because of them, our goodwill spilled beyond the intended four corners of the Pediatric Oncology Ward. They truly made a lot of kids happy. <3

Puss in Boots was an instant hit, as was expected. He made the rounds & treated the sick kids like long lost friends. Thank you so much Puss for your kindness & patience. :-*

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Max’s Restaurant‘s beginnings started in 1945, after World War II. Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford-educated teacher, befriended the American occupation troops stationed at Quezon City. Because of this friendship, the soldiers regularly visited Maximo’s nearby home for a drink or two. Later on, the troops insisted that they pay for their drinks. This prompted Maximo to open a cafe, where the troops could enjoy food and drinks. The cafe initially served chicken, steak and drinks. Maximo’s niece, Ruby, who managed the kitchen, created a special recipe for chicken that became an instant favorite for the GIs. Soon, the Filipino public heard about the delicious chicken-tender, juicy and crispy-and they came too! Max’s Restaurant was born.

Over the years, Max’s Restaurant‘s popularity grew and it became known as “the house that fried chicken built.” It has expanded in Metro Manila, Southern and Northern Luzon, Cebu, and to California and other places in the United States. It has also expanded to Canada. It will soon open restaurants in other countries as well. Max’s Restaurant has established itself as a household name in the Philippines, an institution, and a proud Filipino tradition. The second and third generations of the family continue to zealously uphold the standards and traditions set by Maximo and Ruby for all Max’s Restaurants. Thank you Max’s Restaurant for your unparalleled generosity! <3

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There may be burger joints a plenty in Metro Manila, but 8 Cuts Burger Blends features 8 cuts of beef in custom-blended patties that are freshly ground, hand-pressed, and seared to order. This attention to detail for what is usually seen as greasy grub shows what The Moment Group has become known for. The proof is in the pudding. With several outlets in the metro, long lines & constantly buzz-worthy burgers, this is The Moment Group’s fastest expanding line yet! Thank you 8 Cuts Burger Blends for supporting our activity. The Doctors & staff -unsung heroes of PCMC, appreciated the juicy burgers & crispy BBQ onion rings. Certainly a treat after a loooong day at work.

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A product of Pacific Synergy Food and Beverage Corp., Sip Purified Water is a refreshing way to stay hydrated, as it is pure water that is filtered by nature and bottled at the source itself. The 6-step filtration process each sip of water goes through begins with the natural filtration of volcanic rocks near Mt. Makiling, where its plant is located. Impurities are then removed by a layer of sand making it ready for activated carbon treatment that wipes out unpleasant water and taste. The water then goes through reverse osmosis where viruses and dirt are eliminated, while harmful microbes and germs are killed through UV treatment. The last step the water undergoes is the FDA approved ozonation that blasts away all other toxins. Also, to ensure the reduction of carbon footprint, each bottle of Sip is bottled at the source. Thank you Sip Purified Water for being an important part of our outreach! :-* Hydrating is very important, especially in our tropical weather. Our water distribution went a long way in quenching the thirst of people waiting in line to get treatments.

Kumori Japanese Bakery, the latest player in the Philippines’ growing roster of Japanese bakeshops can be found in SM Makati & Landmark. It peddles straight from Japan daily, so their breads last only a day. Soft & buttery, it’s like biting into the clouds (which translates to Kumo). Thank you Kumori Philippines for sending the kids & their caregiver goodies! :-* Your kindness extended to all the wards of PCMC. They are grateful beyond measure.

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Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos is affiliated with the National Museum of the Philippines Herpetology Section, Zoology Division. He has earned the following degrees & recognitions: Ph.D. Biology (2009) – National University of Singapore, M.Sc in Wildlife Studies (1998) – University of the Philippines – Los Baños, and BB.Sc in Biology (Animal Ecology) (1992) – University of the Philippines – Los Baños. He, together with our Bae’s ninang, Mae Lowe Diesmos (Asst. Professor, Biological Sciences Department, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas), selflessly purchased from their own pockets, tirelessly packed, and generously distributed art supplies for the sick children to enjoy while waiting for treatments. Thank you so much Mae & Arvin for your dedicated support & love to our dear Jena.

Thank you dear Lord for making us Your instruments, and allowing us to share the blessings You have showered upon us. Your goodness & mercy abounds. May we continue to be a source of light & love as we extend goodwill to our brothers & sisters.

We also pray for complete & immediate healing for these little warriors -claiming it in the name of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Congratulations, our dearest Jena, for a HIGHLY successful charity event at Philippine Children’s Medical Center. May our good Lord continue to use you as an instrument in reaching people through spreading His compassion & grace. You are such a blessing to me and so many others! <3

When you pray, sparks fly, stars align, and miracle happens. Thank you everyone for making Jena’s dream come true! :-*

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6 Comments

  • Reply Carmen Watkins

    Thank you for your generosity, Jena!
    The whole Goppets team… May God bless you MORE!!!

    p.s. Lelly looks adorable. As always!

    December 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm
    • Reply Jane Go

      Thank you dear Carmen. <3 I am indeed super proud of her.

      December 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Marian

    Ms. Jane, this entry made me teary-eyed. So inspiring, and how lovely that Jena was so hands-on. Thank God for your sponsors, and thank God for your family’s kindness. The blessings you will receive will be much more than what you have given.

    December 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm
    • Reply Jane Go

      We are just so blessed that so many angels helped us make this dream a reality. <3 Thank you Marian. :)

      December 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm
  • Reply Mom South of Manila

    Hugs and congratulations to the whole #TeamJena! Pulling off something with this kind of impact was truly no easy feat. May God touch more lives through you.

    December 4, 2017 at 2:49 am
    • Reply Jane Go

      Thank you!! :-* Praying this can be a yearly thing.

      December 4, 2017 at 6:12 am

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