Written By Heizel Mainar, Volunteer Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

About 124 students were eagerly waiting for the arrival of the Operation Blessing team and the Crossover World, OB’s partner organization in the gift giving and play therapy in Leyte. The children knew that their morning will be filled with fun games, prizes and gifts, but the team was equally surprised by what they observed. The children were given packs of school supplies, chocolates, teddy bears, ensaymada, and a yogurt drink–yet, they were not eating their share of the yummy bread. And the reason why? They were saving it to share with their siblings.

“Bakit hindi mo kinakain ang ensaymada mo?” I asked, wondering if she didn’t like the bread. But a whole lot of them were keeping their ensaymada in their plastic folders, and some were only drinking half of their yogurt milk. The answer of the little girl stumped me, ‘Ibibigay ko po sa kapatid ko,” (I’ll give it to my sibling.) she said.

Indeed, most Filipinos, if not all, will only be happy if their fellow Pinoys are, too. In the case of the little girl and other children in Cutay, the ensaymada seemed more delicious and yummy once shared.

The simplicity and pureness of their love amazed everyone who witnessed that scene. Yes, it can make one shed a tear and this writer did. Despite the fact that they lack so many things that most city people take for granted, the students of Barangay Cutay in Sta. Fe, Leyte, know how to appreciate little things. The “thank yous” were sincere, filling one’s heart with joy.


The team brought laughter and a whole lot of excitement, especially after a game of Catch Me and the adrenalin pumping dodge balls. The children won cute and cuddly teddy bears as prizes. But all these brought more joy and fulfillment to the people who gave the gifts.

I never expected that the little girl would teach me a lesson or two. And, perhaps, the little girl never expected that she imparted one good lesson. So, amidst the thank yous, smiles, and bright laughter that were music to the ears and hearts, the team left with fulfilled souls.

To date, more than 18,000 individuals have received free medical checkups , wound dressing, minor surgical procedures, and medicines from the Operation Blessing medical missions.

Other than the medical care and medicines it provides, Operation Blessing brings hope to people who need it the most. Partner with OB today so you, too, will have a part in bringing hope and help to Typhoon Yolanda survivors in the provinces of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, and Palawan.

Please call or text these numbers for ways to help: (+632) 477-7806/ 0939-9215543/ 0922-8036922/ 0917-5812603. You can also like and share Operation Blessing’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/obphil, or follow OB on Twitter, @obphil.