CELEBRATING LIFE

by Glenda B. Gutierrez

Mommy Elena Godito, who has been with the Day Center for Older Persons or “Day C” since 1989, always looks forward to anniversary celebrations of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) for a special reason. “Day C members always present a special number during these celebrations,” Mommy Elena reveals. This year, however, she will not be able to join the group’s dance presentation “due to my age.”

But as in the past, she is still excited to witness this Thursday’s special event because “this time, it’s different.” The forthcoming 67th founding celebration of KKFI, to be held in the KKFI Compound on P. Paredes Street, Sampaloc, Manila, honours the “alumni” of KKFI dormitory who made the KKFI dorm their “home away from home” from 1950 to 2005.

To spice up celebration, the staff and program beneficiaries will perform popular dances from the 50s to the 90s. The Day C members, in particular, will do the 60s.

“I am both excited and nervous,” expresses Mommy Geneal “Jean” Santiago. “It is my first time to dance and I am not really good at it.”

But she and the group has been practicing religiously every Monday and Friday since the last week of May and she hopes their hard work will pay off come performance time. They are 16 in their group with Mommy Marietta “Mayette” Asedillo, 80, being the oldest and Ate Zenaida “Baby” Ordiz, 56, the youngest.

All of them say they are excited and will do their best. They say they are enjoying the practices because they discovered the real meaning of “teamwork.”

“We all help each other,” Mommy Mayette says in the vernacular. “Nobody reprimands anyone who commits a mistake.”

“There is unity here,” say Ate Baby. “I feel that I am safe with the Day C group. I feel I belong,” she added.

They are one in saying that the dance instructor/choreographer, Pio Llenado, is “the best.” They say he is patient, a good teacher and very supportive.

When told that those who saw them in practice have this opinion that they have more than a fair chance of winning the much-coveted first place, they could not believe it. They say they are just enjoying the camaraderie. Indeed, the Day C ladies are just having fun. They are celebrating life, meaning they are already winners this early. ####

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TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) 

by Rev. Rich Sagun
KKFI Chaplain

The Day Center for Older Persons or “Day-C,” a program of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), is designed to gather a number of elderlies so they may share and meditate on the Word of God and pray for each other regularly.

Every Friday morning starting at 8:30, these “young-at-hearts,” come to KKFI Compound on P. Paredes Street, Sampaloc, Manila, from different points in Metro Manila and even as far as the suburban provinces of Bulacan and Cavite. Here, they share and enjoy the spirit of Christian fellowship in spite of the differences in denominations and religious beliefs.

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Day C members enjoying their Friday fellowship

Everyone in his or her 50s and older is welcome to join this group, which offers them an opportunity to express themselves by sharing their life stories, especially their experiences of the love and guidance of the Lord.

“Dito lang namin nagagawang maibahagi ang aming saloobin. Ito’y nakapagbibigay kagaanan sa amin,” a member once told me. (This is the only place where we can share our concerns. We find comfort here.)

I, as the chaplain, myself is greatly blessed to hear testimonies from them. I am in awe of the members’ commitment to the group. Despite the rains and bad weather, they still come.

Indeed, the “lolas” (grandmothers) and “lolos” (grandfathers) always look forward to Fridays. I can imagine them waking up every Friday morning and screaming as they rise from their bed, “Thank God, It’s Friday!” Not even the monstrous traffic of Metro Manila, the scourge of all, can deter them.

I am not mystified. I have heard them speak about their fellowship and almost all share the same sentiment. “Masarap sa pakiramdam ang balik-balikan ang pagsasama-sama ng Day-C,” they would say invariably. (There’s a feeling of satisfaction when we reminisce our fellowship at Day-C.)

Perhaps, there’s something about the experience of sharing your life experiences that make them come again and again. Sharing is one of the life flavors of all Christians.
We believe in the saying, “no man is an Island.” Therefore, fellowshipping is very important. The sharing of experiences inspires people and encourages them to continue serving the Lord and His people with compassion.

I am personally encouraged by these members. Their stories and care push me to carry on with my ministry at Kapatiran, where the hopeless receives hope and the sick receives not only physical healing but healing of the body, soul and spirit.

So, tell your lolas and lolos, your elderly neighbors and friends to come and join to this group composed of faithful and caring people and be blessed, too.

See you on Friday!