While everyone is enjoying the APEC Holiday, my family and some high school friends and barkada spent our holiday with Lolos and Lolas in Anawim Lay Missions Foundation.

Before I share our pilgrimage last November 18, let me give some facts about Anawim: 

Anawim (pronounced ah-nah-weem) is a Hebrew word that means, “the poor who depend on the Lord for deliverance or God’s poor. “

Anawim Lay Missions, a small facility for poor and abandoned elderly people founded by Catholic lay preacher Bo Sanchez in Rizal Province, Philippines. It opened its doors in 1996 to rejected and abandoned elderly who are roaming the streets. Its purpose is to provide a home, a sanctuary, to those poor and abandoned elderly who have nowhere else to go. 

I am a Lola’s girl that is why Elders are close to my heart. I’ve been wanting to visit Anawim since I became a Feast attendee but ngayon lang ako nagkaron ng opportunity. Actually, it is the idea of my high school friend, Lloyd. He wanted to visit a Home for the aged just like what we did when we are in high school (part of our project in Values Education). So from this, I took the chance to recommend Anawim and coordinate with them the schedule of our visit. 

From pledges, to planning, to preparing our simple gifts to the Elders, off we go to Anawim. As per Ms. Mila, Anawim Coordinator, there are 57 Lolos and Lolas at that time. We need to confirm the head count so we can prepare enough food and loots. There are also 40 workers and volunteers. 

 Preparing our simple gift to the Lolo’s and Lola’s of Anawim

From Taguig to Rodriguez, Rizal, it took us almost 2 hours to get there.When we arrived, a Lola greeted us with a smile, excited to meet us. 

Before we start our program, Sister Arcie, the Coordinator orient us first on the do’s and dont’s when talking to the Elders. 

From what I remember, we should not directly ask them kung bakit sila napunta sa Home for the aged, baka kasi ma trigger yung sad emotions nila, it might affect their health. We should also have eye contact with them so they can feel our sincerity. You can check this article about visiting Elderly before heading to any Home for the Aged facility. 

In terms of loots that we will give, we can directly give to the Lolos and Lolas the edible items like biscuits, coffee and others, do not include detergent soap, shampoo or the likes, since most of the Elders have Dementia or memory loss. They need toiletries but give it directly to the Head Coordinator.

Now, let me photo blog our Anawim Pilgrimage:

Some of the Villas of the Elders

These are our simple gift to grandpa’s and grandma’s 🙂

We prepared light merienda for them 

The Lolas and Lolos are all talented. They are happy to show it to us, singing and dancing.

They are also game for some selfie, hihi!

They also need someone to talk to and share their kwentos

 It’s time for merienda and distribution of our gift

Some Lolos and Lolas are bedridden already, we visited them at their villas.

With Lloyd, Ryan and Sister Arcie, Anawim Coordinator

 We are happy to met another batch of pilgrimage who visited the Elders
everyone is happy in this photo 

“Anawim Lolos and Lolas are sweet because they teach us what unconditional love is all about. We love them and they love us back!”

With the Elders and Volunteers

It’s time to say goodbye but we will certainly visit them again…

If the Elders are happy to see us, we are even more happy to see them! 
I thank God for these wonderful people who are willing to share not only their material things but their time which is far more important. ^_^

Take a day-off to visit the elderly at the Anawim Lay Missions facility. The love and smile that you can share will mean the world to these elderly who have been rejected and abandoned by their relatives.

The Lolos and Lolas will be happy if you will spend your time with them..
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors” – Bo Sanchez

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ — Jesus,, Matthew 25:40

For details, you can contact them through their website  and Facebook Page