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Rocking Chairs for Senior Citizens

PEOPLE PLACES - Flor Ynclino (The Freeman) - November 1, 2014 - 12:00am

Filipinos are known for their strong family values as it is their nature to care not only for the young one but for the elderly as well. Embracing this inherent trait, Ayala Center Cebu partners with SILYA Foundation (Sa Iyo Lolo at Lola, Yantok Aming Alay) in giving comfort and convenience to the senior citizens by providing rocking chairs.

A gathering was held last August 19 to commemorate SILYA's turnover of rocking chairs to Ayala Center Cebu. Leading the ribbon cutting were SILYA Founder Tito Alcala and Ayala Center Cebu Deputy General Manager Celeste Dy. Also present were Lourdes Jereza, Lita Urbina, Anita Cabinian and Martina Go ChingHai. These rocking chairs will be placed near the concierge desk of the mall's expansion wing.

"I was a lolo's boy and will always have a soft heart for the elderly. So upon starting an advocacy after retirement, I was thinking of something that I can do for them," former advertising man Tito Lorete Alcala remarked. Over the years, SILYA Foundation has been partnering with different establishments to place rocking chairs in malls and restaurants for the senior citizens to use.

The idea came to mind when Alcala took his octogenarian parents to the mall and noticed that such public places do not have a comfortable spot for the elderly. Although there are benches installed, these do not provide ample comfort and support to the grandparents' frail bones. Alcala's retirement after 25 years as co-founder and managing director of The Artistshop Company enabled him to create SILYA and embark on this personal advocacy of donating rocking chairs to public places where the elderly usually go to. With Ayala Malls being one of his first clients, partnering with them feels like a homecoming for him.

Celeste Dy, Deputy General Manager of Ayala Center Cebu was grateful of the partnership with SILYA Foundation. "Tito Alcala has been a part of Ayala Malls ever since. Just like in a family, we cultivated each other's growth and helped in each other's development. And with his new endeavor, it is our pleasure to support him especially that we share the same advocacy as well." she said.

The creation of SILYA enabled Alcala to express his gratitude to his parents, who molded him into the man he is now. The foundation also aims to inculcate in today's generation the value of caring and giving unconditional love of the elderly. It hopes to inspire lawmakers to make a resolution requiring public places such as malls, restaurants, airports and terminals among others to provide comfortable seating facilities to the senior citizens.

Understanding the need for comfortable and sturdy fixtures, each of SILYA Foundation's rocking chairs is handcrafted by one of the four artisan furniture makers who are also in their senior years with the youngest at 65 years old.

"Working on this project also opened a new opportunity for me to help the elderly," Alcala expressed on why he partnered with the elderly to manufacture the chairs. "Aside from the unparalleled craftsmanship, giving them such projects made them feel that they just had a new vigor in life, that they had found a renewed sense of belonging by being productive," he added.

More than just functional pieces, Ayala Center Cebu considers these rocking chairs as a fixture representing the love and care for the persons who showered their children with wisdom and guidance and who, in different circumstances, have given their unconditional love.

 

ALCALA ANITA CABINIAN AND MARTINA GO ARTISTSHOP COMPANY AYALA AYALA CENTER CEBU AYALA MALLS CELESTE DY CHAIRS DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER OF AYALA CENTER CEBU SILYA
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