There are people born under difficult
circumstances; others, who are able to overcome these, against all
odds. My name is Marilou Rosanto Sandoval. Before I joined Friendship
Home I experienced what it meant “to live below the poverty threshold”.
I remember the many christmasses and new years when we didn’t have any
light at home (no money for electricity) and no food (my mother was the
sole breadwinner and what she earned was not enough to feed her four
daughters). I remember being bullied and insulted in school by
classmates who knew the walls of our shanty were made of worn-out
sacks; our door, pieces of old GI sheet; and our windows, sewn-together
used clothings. I experienced weeks and months of walking to school on
empty stomach. I had neither traveling nor food allowance.
All of these hardships became my raw
materials, the wellspring of an inner resolve to rise up and give a
better life to my family. In my second year of college I was blessed to
find Friendship Home and get much needed support to finish my studies.
Even then I continued to work as a Student Assistant in school and to
find part time work during vacation time to augment my mother’s
Like the other children, I had duties and
responsibilities at Friendship Home. At times I was remiss in
fulfilling them, and I got reprimanded. More lessons I had to learn on
the road to a better life. Ultimately, Friendship Home has helped me
become the Teacher I am today. After passing the government’s licensure
exams, I have become a full-pledged early childhood educator. I am very
grateful to Friendship Home for shaping me into who I am today. I hope
that someday, I could also be an instrument of giving, opening the door
for others towards a better future.
- Marilou Sandoval (FH, 2005-2007)
Hard work and respect. These were the two virtues my
father taught me before he died in 2007. Despite the great loss,
life had to go on as my father would have wished. Upon graduation
from high school I had high hopes of moving on to college. Then
came another blow: my mother said I had to stop studying for a
while to give way to my two siblings. As sole breadwinner she
could no longer send all her three children to college.
Although my heart was broken there was no other way for me but to abide
with my mother’s decision.
Thanks to Friendship Home I was able to enroll and finish a four-year BS
Nursing course in Concordia College. I have also passed the
government’s licensure examinations and am now a full-pledged Registered
Nurse. In between submitting my job application to different
hospitals, I am presently taking care of my nephew who has been
diagnosed with leukemia. Hard work and Respect. In addition, the
virtues of Service and Compassion, these are the seeds of life that
Friendship Home has ingrained in me and which I will carry as I seek to
be a healer among the sick.
- Dennis Brosola (FH, 2003-2007)
1992 was a year of misfortune for many of
us living in Singalong. This was the year when a huge fire leveled our
homes. I was only eight years old then. Like most of the calamity
victims, the question foremost in our mind was the uncertain future:
How do we rise up from the ashes of our burnt homes, our parents’ dreams
for their children?
I was among the first group of children
taken into the fold of Friendship Home when it opened in Malate in May
1992. Because of my young age, my insecurities, my inability to
live and relate with groups of children for the first time in my young
life, I soon dropped out of Friendship Home. My elementary and
high school years passed by. I looked back with a sense of regret
on all the opportunities I had lost and were being enjoyed by those who
remained at Friendship Home: the care, fun, laughter, guidance ---
everything that a child longs for in life.
Thankfully, when I was in second year
college, Friendship Home offered me a second chance to finish my studies
in Civil Engineering. Knowing that this would be my lifetime
ticket to support not only myself but also our family, I valued greatly
this second chance. In gratitude, I became actively involved in
the day-to-day activities of my brothers and sisters in Friendship Home.
For the younger ones, I had become their “Kuya” or Older Brother.
For the others, I was the “Chairman” ---chairman of this and that event,
and so on. For the rest, I was simply a friend that they could
turn to. For Friendship Home, someone they could rely on,
whether it’s for Christmas caroling, USEC bazaar, Family Feast, summer
outings, field trips, and others.
What do I treasure most about Friendship
Home? It is this: that when I was down, it raised me up. I
am very thankful to Friendship Home for treating me like a son, a
brother, and a friend. For trusting me and making me a better
- Francis Samudio (FH, 1992, 2002-2007)