ABOUT 150 children from seven different communities participated in the annual community development project spearheaded by the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in partnership with the Office for Student Affairs and Simbahayan.
According to the SOCC, Makibata is an annual activity meant to allow kids from partner communities and Thomasians to interact with and learn from each other.
SOCC Executive Vice President and Project Head John Lemuel Calero said they hosted Makibata again because it was worth it seeing both the Thomasians and the children smile.
“[I]nulit po namin siya ulit kasi every year, nasa isip at puso ng mga bata na, ‘Ay pupunta kami ng UST,’ ‘Ay parang andiyan na naman sina kuya,’ ‘Kakain na naman po tayo tapos iikot na naman po tayo,’” Calero said.
He added that the SOCC strived involve all organizations, despite others not being able to directly participate.
Lala, a parent of one of the children and a yearly participant of the Makibata program since 2009, said the kids were happy and learned lessons from the program.
“Bukod sa [naging] masaya sila, maraming aral silang [natutunan]. [Natuto] silang makihalubilo sa ibang bata,” she said.
“Para matugunan din ‘yung mga pangangailangan din ng mga bata sa aming komunidad, at saka malaking tulong sa amin ang Makibata dahil sa Makibata, maraming mga bata na na-e-engganyong pumasok dahil ‘pag oras na magpapasukan na, libre ‘yung bag nila mula sa Makibata na [nakuha] dito sa UST,” she added.
‘No child left behind’
Calero said they canceled the Thomasian adoption program due to a lack of participants.
“[A]yaw kasi namin na may batang maiiwan dito, so if we want them to be adopted, siyempre gusto namin lahat sila ma-adopt at lahat sila ma-experience ‘yung same experience,” he explained.
The adoption program was supposed to allow Thomasians to bring the children home with them for one night.
The project head noted that last year, Thomasians were only allowed to treat the kids to dinner. The SOCC tried to revive the take-home adoption event from 2017.
“[T]his year, we actually planned to push through with the adoption sa bahay, kasi last year mayroong memo ang CHEd (Commission on Higher Education) na bawal ‘yung mga off-campus [activities], so this year wala naman na, so we really tried to push through with the adoption,” Calero said.
Makibata was held from Feb. 13 to 15 at the Tan Yan Kee building with the theme “Batang Pinoy, Mahal sa Kapwa, Bayan, at Kalikasan.” F CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN