This is a long overdue post, but I’d like to share it with you anyway. The first day of March not only signals the start of summer–it’s also the birthday of the most important woman in my life: MY MOM! With the help of Hyacinth Dadap and the CENEP teachers, we were able to come up with a very simple but meaningful celebration with the children of CENEP Tondo on my mom’s birthday. Actually, we wanted it to feel more like a party for the kids (which just coincidentally fell on my mom’s birthday) to give them a treat for the weekend. My mom has been quietly working with the UCM Foundation for quite some time and the CENEP kids are her favorites. She has had a soft spot for this organization for many years now.
The Child Education and Nutrition Enhancement Program (CENEP) is a combined teaching and feeding program for pre-school children, established according to DECS guidelines, that aims to meet the participants’ developmental (physical, social, and mental) and spiritual needs. They have programs in both Tondo and Mandaluyong and have helped so many households already. The program does not only address the needs of the kids, they also extend parenting seminars and workshops to their parents as well. It really is a very holistic program 🙂
I was also very blessed to have met Lora of The Royal Picadilly through our common friend, Paolo Ruiz. We instantly hit it off via email and she was kind enough to provide a customized cake and cupcakes for the kids. I was so surprised to see the cake in all it’s glory because I didn’t expect something as intricate as this! I didn’t even have any pegs for her, I just told her I wanted a fun Pinoy themed cake–that’s it–and so this definitely WOWed me. I loved the Sari-Sari Store and Fiesta details on the cake, so refreshing to see something very PINOY in a fondant cake. Nakakatuwa din to see how the kids were completely mesmerized by the details on the cake. And of course, they finished the cupcakes in a flash. Thank you Lora for blessing all of us with your talents!
Although education and nutrition are the top 2 priorities for the CENEP team, I could tell that they invest a lot of time and effort in the spiritual and emotional well-being of the children as well—this is what really sets them apart from other organizations. The goal of CENEP is for the children to be well-rounded, healthy, happy and for them to feel loved and cared for 🙂 Kitang-kita naman during the party that these kids are such a happy bunch. They were dancing, singing, playing games without much hesitation! Lahat sila bibo at game na game, which I found so endearing.
Thanks Hya for helping me plan this Mcdo party! Ang saya-saya talaga 🙂 🙂
Clockwise: 1)My Mom, Hyacinth and the hardworking team of CENEP 2) Pat, Me and our groovy Senior Citizens (Ate Este and Ate Marina who have been with us for decades!) 3)Our extended family (our awesome helpers and Kuya Renante the coolest driver ever na palaging naka-Rayban pa! hehehe!) 4)My folks with their good friend Auntie Sarah.
Dinumog si Grimace!!!!! Talong-talo si Anne Curtis! Hahahaha!:) He did this funny dance that Patrick and I kept LOLing over. I love Grimace, he’s my favorite of all the Mcdonalds characters! Question, what is GRIMACE? Aside from being just a purple blob with a cute smile? Ano siya? Is he an ube milkshake? Pinsan ba siya ni Barney?! It’s a mystery!!!! Maaaan, I won’t be able to sleep tonight! hahaha!
A BIG shout out to the passionate and dedicated volunteers and teachers of CENEP! Mabuhay po kayo! And to my mom, thanks for being such an inspiration to me. You are a true model of grace, humility and beauty. I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration!
I’d also like to extend my deepest thanks to Jackie Tan and Kaye Ong of SUELAS for helping me support CENEP too 🙂 This party was possible all thanks to you girls!!!
If you would like to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of these adorable CENEP children, please visit the website of the Union Church Foundation www.ucmphilfoundation.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .You don’t have to be a teacher, a pastor, or a missionary—as long as you have the heart to serve and you love kids, then I’m pretty sure the Lord can use you mightily!