On the outskirts of Manila, within a Boys Town compound in Parang, Marikina, stands a home for the aged called Luwalhati ng Maynila. Residents there are picked up from the city streets, hungry, disoriented, often senile, and placed in the government-run home, because their families cannot be located or refuse to take them in. “Each of them has a sad story to tell,” said past club president Corazon de Castro.
Since few visit the home, the Manila-South Quota club decided to make a difference by planting a garden that the residents could tend and enjoy. Early one March morning, club members arrived with potted flowers and herbs for the green patch, plus 165 goodie bags filled with cookies, candies, fruits, and beverages for the residents and a large donation of medicines and cleaning products for the home.
“Their faces lit up as we entered the hall,” noted Corazon. “They had prepared a program of songs and dances for us. The opening number was a very touching Filipino song sung by an old man. Its message was that we should treat old people with respect, because we will also grow old. That song is their anthem. Then they asked us to dance, so we all laughed and had fun.”
In response, Quota members sang an unrehearsed native song entitled “Dahil Sa Iyo,” meaning “because of you.” “The whole visit turned out to be a party,” added Corazon.
The club decided to expand their plan with a GREAT IDEA. What began as a simple garden plot for the residents was transformed into a major service effort to construct a greenhouse on the property that will allow the home to generate some income for the home’s upkeep as it gives residents an interesting hobby to enjoy.