A table full of hope

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo February 26,2017 - 11:19 PM
Last year, at the start of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) held in Cebu City, the same group of street children also received their First Communion.   The Tables of Hope is a continuing special feeding program for the marginalized sector of society. CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO

Last year, at the start of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) held in Cebu City, the same group of street children also received their First Communion. The Tables of Hope is a continuing special feeding program for the marginalized sector of society.
CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, with not a single cloud dotting the clear blue sky.

The city of Cebu, usually a bustling metropolis of people and vehicles going about their usual business, exuded a sleepy vibe as most of the city stayed inside their homes, slept late to catch up on a rather busy week, or went out for some much-needed out-of-town getaway.

The advent of summer was in the air but for the almost 500 indigent kids in Cebu City, who only knew life in the streets, it was an extraordinarily special day as they all would get to troop to the impressive International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Pavilion.

The IEC Pavilion, in the middle of the city, arouses the curiosity of many other street children like them who continue to wander around the streets of uptown Cebu City.

That one bright Sunday, the kids were treated inside the building to an array of delicious food, while enjoying a program meant especially for them in an event called Tables of Hope.

Last year, Tables of Hope was held on January 23 to signal the start of the 51st IEC, of which the IEC Pavilion was especially built.

This time around, it was held to re-enact the feeding of those children and several others who had been invited to join them.

Fr. Carmelo Diola, chairman of the Archdiocesan Committee on Solidarity and Communion, opened the IEC Tables of Hope 2017 with a mass attended by indigent children from different shelters such as SOS Children’s Village, Gasa-Suba Pasil, Mandaue City’s Children’s Home, Dilaab, as well as street kids from Barangays Subangdako, Zapatera, and Sambag 2.

According to Diola, most of the children who attended this year’s event were part of the same group last year. They were also among the first communicants during the IEC opening.

“Ang IEC, di man gud to kay event lang. It’s a spirit and it’s also a journey so padayon,” Diola said.

(The IEC was not just a plain event. It’s a spirit and it’s also a journey so let’s continue.)

Diola said that he was glad to see the children again after a year, pointing out how neat they looked in their crisp white shirts.

In addition to the children, around 20 drug surrenderers also attended the event, acting as “kuya” to the kids. “Mura sila’g mga kuya-kuya, sila’y nag-physical arrangement so sila ang mga kuya,” Diola noted.

(They’re like the kids’ older brothers and they all did the physical arrangement here.)

The day was full of surprises for the kids who played games and won gifts from major business organizations based in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.

But more than the food and the games, organizers described the event as a congregation of people that aims to nourish the spiritual as well as the holistic well-being of the child, with God at the center.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you,” Diola said, quoting the Bible, in a message to the children.

While the event may be beyond an ordinary banquet of food, but in the eyes of a child, it was all about having a special meal prepared especially for them.

For 10-year-old Desiree, who brought along her two younger siblings, she was happy to troop to the IEC Pavilion on that beautiful morning and finally got to eat a roasted pig.

“Nalipay ko kay makakaon na mi ug lechon (I’m happy that we could eat lechon),” she said with a smile, while cradling her little brother in her arms.

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Children’s, Children’s Village, Dilaab, Gasa-Suba Pasil, home, IEC, International Eucharistic Congress, invited, Mandaue City’s Children’s Home, pavilion

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.