MART’s Day Out: Reaching Out to Underprivileged Children and Senior Citizens at Boy’s Town Complex

             Keeping with the MART tradition of giving Christmas cheer to the less-privileged in the society, this year’s External Affairs Committee, headed by Mr. Dalmacio “Coco” Martin from Banco De Oro, organized and held an outreach activity at the Boy’s Town Complex in Parang, Marikina City on December 11, 2013. The complex is under the administration of the City of Manila and takes care of “underprivileged, abandoned, forgotten, and voluntarily surrendered children, adolescents, and senior citizens of Manila.”

             The MART delegation was greeted with much joy and anticipation as MART brought with them a pick-up load of goodies for the children. Before the distribution of goods, the Jollibee crew from Jollibee Marikina hosted the children’s party complete with games and mascot appearance. The more than 200 children took turns in participating in the games as their efforts were rewarded with prizes. Some MART members also gamely participated in one of the relays to the delight of the children. After the games, the children were served Jollibee meals and were given a goodie bag filled with slippers, and toiletries. Mr. Mike Calleja closed the program with three important messages: Firstly, that the children should eat to nourish their bodies and use the toiletries given to them to maintain hygiene and be free from illnesses. Secondly, that the children should study well to enrich their minds and lastly, that they should set a dream for themselves to have a better life.

             MART also visited the Lualhati ng Maynila, a center for the abandoned and homeless elderly aged 60 and above. The elderly community was well prepared for visitors as a short program ensued. A dance number medley was performed by the unexpectedly spirited senior citizens at a time when they are expected to be resting already. The dining room where the program was held was turned into a dance hall as the elders invited the MART delegates to dance the chacha. Some songs were also performed and the finisher was a chicken dance participated in by all the grandmas and grandpas together with the MART delegates.

             It was a fun-filled afternoon made even more meaningful by the warm reception and genuine happiness of the elderly community who received MART’s simple give-aways of slippers, clothes, soaps and other personal effects.

             MART President Mike Calleja from Bank of the Phil. Islands and MART Director Cristina Arceo from China Bank headed the MART delegation composed of the External Affairs committee members (Eric Dones from Phil. Veterans Bank, Gigi Wong from Banco de Oro, John Muscoso from Tradition Financial Services, JR Regino from Amstel Financial Services, and Carlo Cifra from GFI Group Pte Ltd.) and the MART secretariat (Gidget Real, Au Solangon, Olive de Goma, and Buboy Lizardo).