“Giving back the smile to the street children.” Virlanie’s tagline may seem simple, yet this comes with a huge responsibility. This year’s founding anniversary celebrates the achievements of the children under the care of the organization.

Virlanie Foundation celebrated its 23rd anniversary on June 30th and 31st. The celebrations were held in Makati Coliseum. On the first day, the children from every home presented dance numbers accompanied by catchy songs. Behind these performances is the children’s cooperation with one another to be able to come up with energetic and interesting performance numbers. They practiced under the guidance of the house parents and the social workers. During the same event, this year’s graduates were given recognition for their achievements. It was an opportunity for the other children to look at these achievers as an inspiration.

After the morning activity, some of the children participated in the taekwondo championship at the SiBuHi sports room. This event was led by Kuya Jerome, the taekwondo teacher-volunteer.

It was the Virlanie staff members’ turn to celebrate the anniversary in the evening. Zumbathon Dance Craze was the theme for the night and everybody stepped out of their comfort zones and let it loose. The groups consisted of the social workers, the house parents, the office staff, and the volunteers. One of the event’s highlights was the recognition of loyalty awardees who have been in the Foundation for 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of Kuya Dom who turned 65 last July 2015. Kuya Dom got the surprise of the night when a cotillon of 65 women holding red roses lined up to dance with him. The event ended with a party, and everybody danced the night away.

The second day was a time for relaxation for everybody. There were fitness and health activities like free massage, ECG, and basic medical examinations. Also, a Korean bazaar was held at SiBuHi; the prices were very affordable that people kept coming back for more.

The celebration was nothing fancy, yet it was substantial and inspiring. It was definitely enough to motivate every one to do better in the coming years.

Photos by: Marlon dela Cruz