Going beyond Damay

September 17, 2014
Evelyn Fernando; Photo by Gaye Remolete

Last August 31 2014, students of A2016 returned to Sapang Palay, bringing their own families  to meet and bond with their Damay foster families.
Students of Grade 11-A of the Ateneo de Manila High School went back to their Sapang Palay Area F homes to visit the foster families they stayed with during their Damay. Damay is the name of Ateneo High School Grade 11 Immersion Program,  wherein students live with select families to have a deeper understanding of social issues concerning the poor and the more vulnerable sectors of  Philippine society. This group held its immersion at Sapang Palay F, once a relocation site during the Marcos regime and now a semi-urban community. The community is located at San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
On August 31, these students returned to Sapang Palay and brought their own families  to meet and bond with their foster families. The boys were accompanied by Mr. John Frederick A. Lauron, Faculty-in-charge of Damay Immersion and Mr. Jomell L. Caramancion, faculty member of the Christian Service and Involvement Program (CSIP), Ms. Jody Lim, 11-A Class Moderator, and 11-A parents Mrs. Evelyn Fernando and Mrs. Malou Odal.
They arrived at the San Jose Manggagawa Parish Chapel where they were met by the boys' nanays. Some nanays from Sapang Palay and a couple of Ateneo parents shared their experiences and learnings. The Sapang Palay mothers expressed their gratitude for being given the opportunity to share whatever they can give to the privileged students. Meanwhile, Atty. Lerma Advincula, an Ateneo parent, imparted that she and her family are the more thankful ones because living with a foster family opened for her son a new and different perspective for the future: being able to help and serve others. Each Ateneo family then went to its respective foster family home for some bonding time.
The students and their families will return to visit their foster families once more this Christmas.