Every November, the Philippines is celebrating National Children’s Month, where children are recognized as an important pillar of society. This year, Virlanie joins Child’s Right Network and the House of Representatives Committee on the Welfare of Children in their initiative to bring Children’s Month to Congress.
With the theme, “Karahasan Wakasan, Bata Protektahan” (End Violence, Protect Children), this celebration highlighted the role of Congress and legislation on child protection.
Virlanie participated in the Children’s Month Caravan and Memorial Lunch for children who were victims of abuse on November 20.
On the same day, our choir, the Virlanie Voices led the National Anthem and a doxology by Children.
Virlanie has set up a booth, along with other child caring institutions, from November 20-23 for the Children’s Month Exhibit.
Our staff advocated for children’s rights and promoted our programs and products made by our partner mothers from iLead Open Day Center for Education and Training and Mobile Unit.
On the last day of the celebration, our young adult beneficiaries performed their original speech choir piece titled Kamalayan (Consciousness). This piece was a product of their collectively written poems. The original speech has been written in Tagalog, here is a translation of it:
Once I looked up the sky
For me, God’s image turned grey
I have a lot of questions, “what, where, how and why?”
“There’s no God!,” that’s what I believed in.
What’s this black shadow?
Attacking anyone out of nowhere
In the shape of my father, sometimes, my uncle
Every night, they haunt me…
Right by my bedside.
I’ve been wandering around, crying in the nothingness.
While walking, my weak bones have been exposed to the excruciating heat of the sun
I continue scavenging so I can find food.
How do I escape the life I’ve been used to?
They call me Lupin, used to snatching and robbery
Like cats and dogs, the law keeps chasing me
Why is it that no matter how I cover my face
With all the make up to beautify it,
I could not hide the pain
While my body serves to seduce?
The light of my home has finally dimmed
Its foundation has been wrecked, and been waiting to attack
It slowly eats my flesh without anyone noticing
Subjecting me to maltreatment instead of genuine care
For me, life has been unfair
There’s not a bit of love and happiness
Like a prisoner who hungers for freedom,
In this game of life, I am always the loser
Why did you give me this curse?
Is my faith inadequate?
That’s you brought me near to evil?
You, do you know who’s the sinner?
All of you, do you know when will I be free?
To the depravity brought
By someone who disguises as god?
Fate has been so unfair
It only chooses what it likes
And it chooses to ignore me
Fate has been so unfair
This is not my sin, but why do I pay for it?
That’s me! When I get paid,
That’s the only time they dressed me
I endured all the pain
I sold drugs in the street
I painted my body with colors
And I venerated the drug lords
It seems that my questions of “what, where, how and why?”
Becomes a horn growing out of anger
The discriminating society has been my major problem
My life is at the edge of Death’s scythe
We are only seen as objects
Children who are noisy with no knowledge of their surroundings
For them, our innocence is our weapon
Children are voiceless and powerless
I asked for justice, silence was given
I asked for justice, apology was given,
I’m asking for justice, metallic hands are given
I’m asking for justice, cold corpses are given