Bianca Umali spends birthday conducting storytelling, acting workshop

Dolly Dy-Zulueta - Philstar.com
Bianca Umali spends birthday conducting storytelling, acting workshop
Bianca Umali gives back by spending her birthday with World Vision kids in Molinete, Batangas last March.
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Just how do you celebrate your birthday? Breakfast in bed, a hotel staycation, lunch with your beloved in your favorite restaurant, an out-of-town trip with the family, or a candlelit dinner with live music, roses and chocolates? Actress Bianca Umali might have experienced all these in the past, but her idea of the perfect birthday celebration this year is totally different.

It is spending the day with the children and youth of World Vision Philippines, which is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

World Vision is very close to her heart, as she has been its celebrity ambassador for over seven years now. Thus, the star of the upcoming fantasy show "Encantadia Chronicles: Sang'gre" chose to pay it forward and make a difference on her birthday last March. 

Meaningful celebration

Bianca recently joined the World Vision kids and youth from Molinete in Laurel, Batangas, for a meaningful birthday celebration. She had fun picking okra and bananas, sharing meals with the nanays of the community, and trying local delicacies such as Talinum Leaves Salad and Tilapia Ice Cream in the Batangas farm. She concluded the day with an exciting and interactive storytelling session and acting workshop with the kids.

The celebration was far from over as her World Vision family sneaked in a surprise birthday cake for her and a happy birthday song from the kids.

With this experience, Bianca confessed, “Getting to spend time with them makes me happy. Wala akong nararamdamang pagod kahit pa napaka-init, kahit pa nasaan, kahit pa gaano kalayo. It doesn’t matter because my only goal is for them to know me and for me to know their stories.”

She added, “Hindi po ito ang unang beses na ako po ay naka-experience na magtanim sa isang community. But this community is different because of what they’ve built here. They own it! And that is such a big factor for me. Nakakagana lalo kasi nakikita ko na masaya sila. They’re self-sufficient, and personally, 'yung independence na ganun is very close to my heart because I am also such an independent person.”  

Bianca’s unwavering commitment to the causes of the organization did not go unnoticed as its Interim National Director Jun Godornes expressed his gratitude to the actress: “Nakita namin kung paano siya lumago, paano siya naging powerful voice para sa mga kabataan. We’re so proud of her and we’re so happy to have her as our ambassador.”

Bianca Umali picks up a book and leads a storytelling session with the kids in the Molinete community in Batangas during her birthday celebration last March. 

Striving for enough

While she has partaken in various its campaigns, including community visits to Marawi and Cebu, and participation in the Taal Volcano eruption relief operation, she continues to use her voice for children and women empowerment until they have enough to thrive in this world.

This time, her visit to the Molinete community helps address pressing issues of world hunger, malnutrition and food security. This puts the spotlight on World Vision’s Enough Campaign, which aims to help rehabilitate at least 7,700 undernourished children with access to life-saving nutrition and provide more than 919,700 individuals with access to clean drinking water by 2026.

Currently, malnutrition is a prevalent issue in the Philippines, especially among children and adolescents aged 0 to 59 month-old. This poses a risk on their physical health and development as well as their cognitive ability.

The campaign strives to enlighten everyone that every child in the world, no matter where they live or what crises they face, deserves to have the nourishing food they need in order to thrive and for families to be more resilient.

As she turns another year older, Bianca could not be more thankful for her beautiful journey with World Vision Philippines.

“The reason why I am such a proud ambassador of World Vision ay dahil binigyan nila ako ng pagkakataon not just to be an ‘ate’ to my little cousins at home; they also gave me an opportunity to become an ‘ate’ to as many children that I can be an ‘ate’ to. And that just makes me so happy,” said the actress. 

RELATED: Bianca Umali, Kelvin Miranda, Faith Da Silva, Angel Guardian topbill upcoming 'Encantadia' show


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