The facility we visited is located near Tayuman LRT Station In Manila City. We went to a charitable facility run by nuns and funded by a private organization also operates via donations.
Upon arriving to the facility, I had mixed feelings and had no idea what to expect as this was my first time. Well, first time experience always amazes me and never ceases to surprise me. At the very first sight I had to the resident elders of the facility, cluelessness started to bug me off. It’s not that I don’t have my grandparents and had no experience how to deal with them. But it was the question on how shall I start and how am I gonna approach one of them. Then my classmates were off to their start and dispersed to the facility to find their own “victims.” I was off to a cold and weird start, I started to approach one of the alone elders, but felt that nothing’s gonna happen both of us, right off the bat I knew that there was no connection, rapport and chemistry, LOL. So I went vacant for a while again and went off to an observant mode. Then suddenly, to my surprise, a male elder said something to my direction. At first, I didn’t get what he was trying to say so I came close to him to ask what he said. Boom! It was embarrassing on my part as the elderly was like the one who victimized me to engage to a wonderful and enjoyable conversation.
So there it goes, the conversation went to engage myself and some of my classmates (Gerone & Migz) with the male elderly. We found out that his name is Santiago, he is sixty years old, used to be a security guard and was a victim of stroke. He can no longer walk and was on a wheelchair, and left part of his body is already immobile. Talking to him, we found out that he was originally from Pasig. It was on my consciousness that I had to be cautious with my questions even though our conversation was going well. I stayed away from questions regarding family. I don’t want go and act as a sparkplug of something that I might regret in the end, so I stayed on the safe side of questioning. So we went on with our conversation with him Tatay Santiago focusing on his interests and happy moments about manhood. Haha! We went on talking about basketball, he was pretty much engaged to our topic and there were a couple of times I saw smile on his face. I felt like happy in way.
Originally upon going to that place, it was just like a completion thing for me, something I just wanna get rid of. But no, it was different, upon seeing the elderly and upon knowing Tatay Santiago, it felt different, somehow it felt fulfilling on my end. These old people need family, family that will take care of them. It was kind of a cycle at the back of my head. Reality bites, we all have our own family while we are still on our prime. We work hard to provide our family what they need and want so when the future comes, they can stand on their own and when we go old, it’ll be the other way around, it’s like we are expecting something from them to return a favor. It’s like I’m hoping that they will also take care of us in the future. Truth is, I still don’t know what really happened to Tatay Santiago why he ended up there and not with his family. Based on our conversation with him, it’s unfair for him if I’m gonna judge him. During his prime, he had so many vices; he used to smoke, drink and used to spend his nights on clubs, engaging to bar girls and so on. But still, I can’t just judge him based on his stories, need to give him the benefit of the doubt what if, his family was just not capable of supporting him, especially his special medical needs.
To sum it up, I still learned a lot from the experience, from Tatay Santiago. While we are still in our prime, especially when we already have our own family, we should love our family, work for them, strive for them and of course live happy for them. We’ll never know what may happen to us tomorrow, in our future. It’s not that I don’t want to end up like them, but for me, I’d love to live my life to its fullest for family while I can. So whatever happens, even if I end up like them, I will have no regrets at all, because I lived, worked hard, strived and enjoyed my life with my family while I am able.
Peace and love for everyone! Oh by the way! How we ended up with Tatay Santiago is yet to be revealed. Haha! Kidding aside, eventually they had to get back to their rooms and it was also time for us to leave. So there you go, we were still on the safe side upon leaving as somehow, we kind of avoided them feeling like they are being left behind again and they didn’t see us leaving. So there you go, that was like my own side of story about this unforgettable school activity.