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TESTIMONIALS FROM FRIENDSHIP HOME GRADUATES 
 

My life before I became a part of Friendship Home was like a well-designed but empty house. My dream, then, was also like an empty house. Like many other children from our area, I could see no farther than the walls of our next-door neighbor’s cardboard-looking house. My thoughts were no different from most of the children my age: when I grow up, I would probably stop going to school; most likely I would be working at an early age, selling this and that or something this and that or singing here and there.

                When I became part of Friendship Home, little by little, the empty house started to be filled. Soon, I started to dream small dreams… I want to study. I want to study and have good grades. I want to move to a higher section. I want to be in the honors class. I want to graduate from the elementary school. Now that I’ve finished high school, I would like to go to college. And when I finish college…

                At Friendship Home, they often asked me to sing on special occasion. I love music as I have now come to love dreaming of what I would like to be in the future. Friendship Home has a special kind of music that never fails to lighten my heart, and I think, other people’s hearts, too. I dream of bringing this music to others through the mass media. It is the sound of Friendship Home children’s laughter and songs; the hum of activities from reciting lessons and prayers; the whoop of success or a wail of pain while playing some games; our hopes of passing in school or fears of getting failing grades.

                It is the sweet sound of music of other Friendship Home children speaking about their own dreams of continuing their studies to become a teacher, a restauranteur or a doctor. It is sharing a common dream with other children to build a better home for our parents, brothers and sisters; to be able to help others as we have been helped. It is the sound of our common longing and striving for future that seems to be possible only in our dreams.

                After six years at Friendship Home, I am well on the way to catching my dream. Thanks to Friendship Home Fr. Luis Amigo and the Prama Fund for Education for their patient loving care, support and understanding, I am now enrolled as a first year university student in Manila. I am on the road to reaching my dream of being a well-known reporter, a dedicated and fearless journalist or a professional mass communicator. To prepare myself for the challenges I will certainly encounter in the years ahead, I am trying my best to excel in my studies. I am also trying to live the values that I learn at Friendship Home: to be good, honest and responsible person, to be peaceful, to live with simplicity and to be generous to other people, especially those who are less fortunate.

                At Friendship Home we learn that one of life’s most precious dreams is having a good education. This means learning to do ordinary things correctly and consistently. It means studying during study hours. It is doing the simple daily tasks assigned to us when it is time to do so. It is using these same hands to say grace and thanksgiving for all the gifts that we receive each day. It is having the fun exploring the bigger world and meeting other people. It is learning how to love and care for our neighbors, to treat others as we would treat ourselves. It is striving to be holy, to make sure that others will see the image of God’s holiness in all our actions.

                Today, my life no longer looks like a well-designed but empty house with empty dreams. Friendship Home has become my second Home, my gateway to the future. I will always treasure the good, many friends of Friendship Home who opened windows of opportunities for us. I will always be particularly grateful to Prama Fund for Education for giving me and the other children of Friendship Home Fr. Luis Amigó this rare gift, this great opportunity to see that we do not need to look too far away into the future to have a good education, the net that enables us to catch our dreams, TODAY.

-          Alvin C. Leonardo (Friendship Home, 1992 – 2001)

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As a child thru my growing up years I had always dreamt of finishing school to the highest level possible.  It had not always been easy, coming from a poor rural family.  I made it through high school and partly thru college thru sheer determination, part time work and some financial assistance from a family friend.  I was fortunate to be under the wings of Friendship Home in my last semesters of college studies.  During this time I no longer worried where and how I could get my next bus or jeepney fare to school, or where my next meal will come from, or how I could comply with all the school projects, deadlines and fees.  Friendship Home supported us in all our educational needs and everything else that will help us grow into mature and responsible adults. 

After finishing my 3-year course at the Technological University of the Philippines, I have easily found a job which later opened its doors for me to work overseas.  For the past three years I have been working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates where I work as a Quality Engineeer in a private materials engineering company.  I am also happily married with two children.  My husband, children and I live in Dubai.  My guiding motto in life is this:  “Life is not measured by how many times you win, it is when you stand up each time you fall.” 

I am thankful to Friendship Home – Brother Luis, Bro. Benjie, Ma’am Elin and all the staff who have been part of my life and dreams. 

- Elizabeth Alcaraz (FH, 2003-2004)

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“Whenever I hear the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” I am reminded of Friendship Home.  It is not just an institution, it’s a home that gives hope, happiness, respect, faith, security and love.  It is my second home.  It has not only given me financial assistance for my studies, it has also given me moral support, making me stronger to face life’s realities.,  Friendship Home has also helped in developing my personality from being a shy person with lack of confidence to someone able to fly with the wind beneath her wings.   After my graduation from college with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Studies I had no difficulty finding a job. After three years at the Jardine Direct Company, Inc. where I work as a Computer Operator, I had been selected as “Employee of the Year 2009”.  I attribute my success to Friendship Home for guiding me throughout my stay not only in my career choice, but my life choice, for the love it has given me, a love that continues to shine through and make me the glowing and joyful person I am today. 

- Maria Kristine F. Luneza (Friendship Home, 2003 – 2005)

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My name is Camilo Palermo, Jr., twenty nine years old.  I belong to the first batch of children admitted to Friendship Home in May, 1992.  Since then, I have graduated from Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School and Araullo High School.  I have also finished several technical courses at Araullo, namely:  welding, machine shop, electronics and automotive technology.  All these would not have been possible had it not been for the loving care and support of Friendship Home. From time to time when I am in needs me, I am only one call away.   Friendship Home will always be my Second Home and Second Family. 

- Camilo Palermo (FH, 1992–2005)

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