Last 14th of May, the Philippines celebrated Mother’s Day, and the 18th of June, it will be Father’s Day. In Virlanie, we are actually celebrating parenthood every single day through our residential program. But, what makes a parent? In Virlanie, we believe that biology is the least of what makes someone a parent.
For us, parenthood is embodied in the special relationship between our house parents and our children. Virlanie parents and children, though not connected by blood, have a strong bond. Often called as “Mama” and “Papa” by the children, they provide love, affection and care to raise them as responsible individuals. They are also strong role models for them. As a tribute to their selfless love and support, we dedicate this section to their thoughts on parenthood and experiences as Virlanie Mamas and Papas:
Mama Phoebe, Tanglaw Home
This has been a fulfilling and enjoyable job. It has been hard for me the first time but since I know where they came from, I try my best to do my job well. As of now, I know how to handle their behaviour.
Mama Joan, Elizabeth Home
This Mother’s Day, I received flowers from the children, and even letters. They kissed me and asked me to stay here. They know that I am already old and I might retire soon but I told them that I won’t go because I have grown to love them as well.
Papa Ricky, Tanglaw Home
When I see them that they are able to apply what I’ve been teaching them; to give respect and show affection. That is one of my proudest moments. That is my greatest achievement.
Mama Loida, Aime Home
I am happy to be able to take care of the children. I treat them as my own.
Mama Estela, Masaya Home
Motherhood is more than just providing love, understanding and time for the children, it means deeply knowing each child and providing them with their specific needs.
Papa Pete, Ella Yallah Home
This coming June, I will be serving Virlanie for a year. Young adults are quite difficult, challenging but sometimes you can feel the warmth of their love. Being a father in this home, there is love, understanding and unity in this home and the love of a father for these young adults is a big deal for them.
It is important for them to feel the genuineness of our service. There are times when I get frustrated because these are young adults, they are at the stage of exploration. It is my job to reach out to them and extend my patience and understanding so the children would know what I am to them. Being a father is a difficult task. I was able to do this job because of the support of the Foundation.
Without these young adults, I won’t be here. I am here to give them the love, understanding and care that these children need.
Mama Mariana, Aime Home
I work here for 3 years. I feel that the children here are like my own children. I am still happy that even though I was not able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my child, I get to be a mother to those who specially need the love of a mother.
Papa Jess, Masaya Home
When I first came to Virlanie, I didn’t think of this as a job. I wholeheartedly agreed to fulfill this sincere advocacy molding their attitude and outlook that they will use for the rest of their lives
Mama Belen, Elizabeth home
I was happy during the Mother’s Day as the children kissed me and greeted me. Being a mother is a difficult job but you still have to continue because the children’s life skills rely on how you guide them at home.
Mama Nelly, MPCC
I have been a house parent in Virlanie for 15 years. Being mother is challenging because you will experience happiness, sadness and hardship but it is fulfilling. Being a mother in MPCC makes me happy because all my tiredness would go away with their hugs.
If I will live again, I will choose to be their mama again. They are my life. Without them, my life would not be happy.
Papa Jerry, Aime Home
Personally, it’s an achievemnet to learn how to relate with them. The’yre special and connecting to them is much more difficult than normal kids. I learned that you need to approach them at their level and connect with them by being somebody that they can be comfortable with. I can be their playmate or somebody who they can make fun of. What I do appreciate from them is that they know when you’re serious or not, they can feel and they adjust as well . There was that one time when I was sad and the kids came to me and comforted me and that made me happy.
Mama Lyn, Elizabeth Home
They gave me letters for Mother’s Day and I also was happy to spend my vacations with my mother who is 75 years old, celebrating her birthday on May, 13. Though I was far away from my children, we still communicated through social media and SMS.
I am happy that the children gave me a thank you letter and Mother’s Day greeting. It means a lot to me because they are able to show their love and respect because I believe that when a child is difficult to handle, and you are able to change her, it feels good that they see that you care for them and you love them. I’m happy to see that they tell me they love me very much. No matter how challenging our job is, every time I see that I was able to change them and guide them to a brighter future, it becomes satisfying. I’m glad I am part of Virlanie Foundation because I became more open minded and patient and I was able to love the children like they are my own.
Mama Andrea, BTH
One of my greatest achievement as a mother is when I hear positive feedback from the adoptive parents of my former children. It means that we were able to provide them with good environment when they were with us.
Papa Noel, MPCC
Being a father means providing each child the love and respect they need and deserve.