Written By Eva Niña P. Sta. Ana, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

As early as 5 in the morning, though the sun had not yet risen, Shahannie Lavarez, 27, of Purok 1, Brgy. Alawihao was all up and ready to face the day.


The loving mother, Shahannie, with her son, Jeson

Shahannie starts her day by fetching water in the nearby artesian well followed by cooking food for her kids, at the same time cleaning the house. As the clock strikes at 9 in the morning, she will then prepare her son, Jeson Aquino, 4 years old, for school who is currently enrolled in kinder. She will walk him to school, together with his other son, Jericho, 2.

Jeson is a shy boy. His weight is lower compared to his age. This makes him qualified to be part of Operation Blessing’s Bless-A-Child (BAC) Program in Camarines Norte. During the diagnostic and laboratory exam, Jeson was diagnosed as undernourished. He may look like a normal kid but the lab results speak for itself. His body could not deny the fact that he lacks nutrients.


Jeson is a shy boy but after spending time with them, He now manages to smile n front of the camera

Shahannie’s husband, Jerry Aquino, 36, works as a pedicab driver earning P150 ($7.9) a day. This sustains their daily basic needs but still they could not afford to provide for all of  their children’s health needs. Shahannie manages her husband’s income to ensure that there is food, water, and electric bills are paid and Jeson’s school needs are met.

“Thanks to OB!” Shahannie with a sparkling smile exclaimed. She is very happy that his son, Jeson, became part of the BAC Program. She said that she will support her children’s endeavors just to make sure they are growing and developing, even if it would add up to her daily routine.

“Susuportahan ko si Jeson. Tutulong ako kung kailangan dahil masayang masaya ako na nakasama siya sa programa ng Operation Blessing.” (I will support Jeson. I will help if needed because I am very glad that he is now part of Operation Blessing’s program).

Besides the 10-months proper feeding for the children, the parents and guardians will receive proper training and seminars about health, education, livelihood and values formation. They are also trained to take part in the preparation, cooking the food and washing dishes every after meals.

This BAC Program is not just for the undernourished children, but this is also empowering and equipping of the parents and guardians to be better parents and citizens of this country. Indeed, BAC will not be possible if not for the commitment and cooperation of the parents and guardians like Shahannie. Despite the jam-packed things-to-do-list daily, she accepted the challenge to hold the other end of the rope for Operation Blessing because, at the end of the day, the most who will benefit are their children.

Like Shahannie, let’s continue to equip the parents and empower them to be more loving, educated and responsible guide for their children. Give TODAY in Operation Blessing’s Bless-A-Child and not just bless the children, but bless the parents as well. For your giving, visit www.obphil.com or call us at 477-7806.