Books N Roses

A Haven for Books and Roses

St. George smiled upon the Haven for Children Center during Books N’ Roses in Haven, an event led by Junior Chamber International Alabang (JCI Alabang), celebrating the World Book Day and the Feast of St. George.  It was a morning of crafts and the promotion of reading.  This event was held in partnership with JCI Barcelona.

The symbolism of the books is to commemorate the World Book Day, the observed death anniversary of William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes—Apr 23.   The feast of St. George (La Diada de Sant Jordi) also happens to fall on the same day as the World Book Day.  In Catalunya, Spain, these two events are celebrated in a grand fashion similar to Valentine’s Day– books are given to the men while roses are given to the women, symbolising the rose that grew from the blood when the dragon was slain by St George.

Some of the donated books by Barangay Ayala Alabang

Some of the donated books by Barangay Ayala Alabang

During Books N’ Roses, JCI Alabang donated books to the Haven for Children through the generosity of Barangay Ayala Alabang.  This was timely to promote the pleasure of reading during the summer season.  JCI Alabang members also held a craft session to teach the kids how to make paper roses.

The morning started with the craft session lead by JCI Alabang President Vicky Martinez, Secretary General Meghann Umali, and member Rhia Flordeliza.  The Haven kids learned and enjoyed making roses out of paper and sticks.  Out of their enjoyment, the kids proudly displayed the roses they had made which they would later give to their cottage overseers or “mothers.”  The tradition of the Feast of St George and World Book Day were shared through a video message from JCI Barcelona and a video on the Legend of St George and the Slaying of the Dragon.

The books donated by Barangay Ayala Alabang were then handed over to the Center.  A myriad of authors, subjects and tales were given to the children to really cultivate their thirst for knowledge and develop their creativity and learning.  It was very rewarding to see the faces of these children light up and curiosity take hold as the books were given to them.  Some could not help but open the pages and examine the print and pictures on the books.

To cap the day, Fun Buns from Gardenia and ice cold drinks were distributed to the whole center.  If the drinks quenched the thirst of the kids, the books given and the rose-making fully sated the children’s hunger for knowledge.  St. George would indeed be proud of these children and someday soon they may themselves be great writers and saints in their own right.

Books and Roses in Haven is a project under the Stairway to Haven program of JCI Alabang.  Stairway to Haven is a two-year partnership of JCI Alabang and DSWD to support the Haven for Children center by promoting academics, culture, skills, and sports.  Haven for Children is a temporary shelter run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to rescue children from the streets.

The event is made possible through the support of JCI Barcelona, Barangay Ayala Alabang, Gardenia, and Midland Industrial Sales.  Midland Industrial Sales is a construction supply company specializing in water system products.

For more photos, see our Facebook Page album.


Event: May 3, 2014, Haven for Children, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Project Chair: JCI Alabang Treasurer Aimee Flordeliza

Organizing Team: Rhia Flordeliza, Andre Oblepias, KC Ang, and Lester Baes

Team members: Meghann Umali, Pat Bocobo, Janette Lim, Francis Villanueva, Miguel Carandang, Henry Flordeliza, George Flordeliza, Ed Nopingo

Article by Andre Oblepias and Miguel Carandang, JCI Alabang members.  


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