29 years
Community Service
News Magazine
Operated by couple Eddie Flores and Orquidia Valenzuela
News and Views of the
Filipino Community Worldwide
Visiting PRINCESS —when you need muscles to smile

By Carlos A. Arnaldo
March 11, 2018


Princess, 12 years old just grabs my hand violently and clings to it for several minutes. She is happy to see me, but can say nothing. I think she can understand anything I say, but cannot respond verbally.

I saw another kid, perhaps 3 or 4 years old unlocking her wheels and starting to roll herself around. I had to grab her chair and wheel her to one of the nurses, as she might wheel herself down the stairs! I chanced to feel her hands, they were rough like sand paper, from wheeling her own chair! The kids find ways to move and be mobile despite their handicap.

I visit here now and then, not so much to do charity work, but to learn about life from these kids who are fighting daily to survive. The polio virus strikes mainly the nervous system so that all or almost all control of the muscles is gone. For the seriously afflicted, it is very difficult to smile, for example. Some  kids cannot talk, few can walk, only half of the twelve kids there can eat by themselves. The other half are totally helpless. When a child shakes in his wheelchair and seems to be grunting, he is trying desperately to say hello.

The Missionaries of the Poor is a religious order of Catholic priests and lay brothers whose sole mission is to evangelise and serve the poor. They are in Manila and Naga, and several countries throughout the world. Their work is strongly supported by the communities they serve.

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