Children from various centers were treated to a party sponsored by The Freeman chairman Jose Gullas and wife, Nena, to culminate the Adoption Consciousness Week.
Kristine Joyce W. Campaña
Adoption Week closes with Family Day fête
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - February 19, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Emotions ran high during the Family Day celebration yesterday at J Centre Mall in Mandaue City where a fun-filled event was held to culminate the Adoption Consciousness Week observance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas.

Concepcion Solera, social welfare officer of DSWD-7, was not able to stop herself from crying as she recalled the challenges she went through in requesting for a budget to be used for the yearly event.

"Touching lang gyud kaayo. Dili ko makatuo nga sa pagsulod nako sa hall ingon ani kadako ang surprisa nga imong maabtan. Overwhelming lang g'yud kaayo. Kuwang ra g'yud ang thank you sa inyong gipakita nga kaayo," she said to couple Nena and Jose "Dodong" Gullas.

The couple, who are also proud adoptive parents, was the major sponsor of the weekend activity which featured games, stage presentations, a magic show, unlimited food, and a huge inflatable playground at the venue.

The Family Day celebration set to close the week-long observance was spearheaded by DSWD-7 and the Central Visayas Adoptive Parents Association.

CVAPA President Kaking Sy said the activity used to be simple and held at the park, but since the Gullases started hosted the Family Day activity last year the event has become extravagant.

Nena and Dodong found out about the CVAPA when they decided to adopt a girl named Joanne.

Nena, while delivering a speech with Dodong and Joanne by her side, also became emotional as she acknowledged every individual significant in helping make the event possible.

She said that if it were not for the child, both of them would not be at the venue sponsoring the event.

Dodong described the child as the "apple of his eye." He and his wife were proud yesterday to present to the public their adopted child, while Dodong was also thankful to Nena who helped organize the activity.

Before the event ended, the Gullas couple gave out checks worth P10,000 to each of 11 child-caring agencies while the other three entities were granted their special request.

The DSWD Home for Girls received their projection screen and projector, the DSWD Regional Haven got an additional sewing machine to be used for their livelihood services program, while the DSWD HerSpace was given the refrigerator they needed to store its food supply.

The couple also gave school supplies to foster care and adoption home units. They also did this February last year when they first hosted the activity.

Since there are at least 13 child-caring agencies accredited in the region, Dodong, executive vice president of University of the Visayas, announced that he will pick 13 children from the centers to be scholars in the upcoming school year.

Clavel Saycon, head of DSWD-7 Adoption Resource and Referral Section, said the Gullas couple and other adoptive parents should serve as examples to other partners to also adopt an abandoned or orphaned child and more so, to undergo the legal process of acquiring custody.

She also said that there may be people who are "financially-blessed" but only a few of them have the will to share their wealth with others. (FREEMAN)

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