Tuesday, January 02, 2007

tis the season to be jolly...with TH!

in case you're thinking that you're in the wrong blog, you're not. i've just made major changes, that's all.

anyways, on to my final Christmas post.

last August, i finally fulfilled my life goal of volunteering in a foundation. i signed up for
Hands on Manila three years ago but i never really pursued any of the many organizations under them. last year, i got off my lazy bum and chose a foundation where i can really serve.

as i pored over the long list of organizations connected to HOM, i spotted
Talking Hands. basically, TH is a group of volunteers that meet with Hearing Impaired (HI), deaf, and mute people once a month and provide them activities, mostly arts and crafts, that they can use as a form of livelihood. i liked the idea and the fact that the venue (Pasig) is the closest to where i live (Taytay). perfect!

about 4 months ago, i attended my first TH activity. i expected a few children in the group but when i saw the people trickling in, i realized that TH was bigger than i expected. there were about 40+ people consisting of teenagers and adults, with no children in sight. there were less than 20 volunteers, majority of whom have already taken sign language classes. i told tina, the head of TH, that i didn't know any sign save for i love you (thanks to Sheryll Cruz, haha!) and beautiful. she said it was alright and we can still communicate through actions. she was right! i had fun helping my group make bracelets using crystals, beads, and nylon string. when they had a question, they used their hands and mouthed the words to me so i could get it. one amazing thing about this group is that all of them understand English more than Tagalog. and there i was writing down my instructions to them on a piece of paper - in the local dialect. i realized that there really aren't any Tagalog signs (except for a few, uh, graphic words that i can't even post.)

so, to make a long story short, i decided to be a regular TH volunteer.

i attended my very first Talking Hands Christmas Party on the evening of December 23 at the Immaculate Concepcion church in Pasig (where we usually meet every month.) it was a potluck event. most of the volunteers already prepared food so i offered to bring drinks and some prizes for the games, which were organized by sisters, gilda and lira.

preparing the prizes for the raffle

a lot of the guests came (i think they were around 50!) and they definitely put us to shame with their prepared dance numbers and skits.

our special guests

the exciting dance numbers

we had two games. we gathered four couples for the first game. the guys wore a necklace made of marshmallows while the girls ate these treats without using their hands. the game was a blast and, in no time, the whole room was filled with applause and stomping as the audience cheered for the pairs. the winning couple did a fantastic job!

look at them go!

the winning pair!

our last game was a relay. each member of the group (there were 2) ran to a chair while holding their balloon, popped the balloon, then got the piece of paper inside. each paper had a word from a song title and the group who forms the title of the song first wins the game. unfortunately, some of the balloons got switched and the groups ended up with duplicate words. to the delight of the two groups, we just made both of the winners. :D

the two groups for the balloon relay

kim and lira preparing the balloons while the groups are being prepped

in between the games and performances, we held a raffle. two of the volunteers were generous to provide the prizes - packs of toiletries and goodies from Wyeth. we made sure that everybody took home a goody bag from the raffle.

raffle, batch 1

raffle, batch 2

raffle, batch 3

last batch

the highlight of the event was the dinner! i couldn't believe the amount of food that was served. the volunteers from the church brought tons and tons of pancit, kananin, barbeque, bread, and lumpia. some of the TH guys brought sandwiches, donuts, and desserts. everybody definitely came home happy and stuffed. :)

look at all the food!

kudos to the food committee!

to the Talking Hands guys, congratulations on a very successful party! and here's to more parties and activities to come! :D

our guests were all smiles

the beautiful volunteers of Talking Hands :D

happy new year, everybody!

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