Piolo Pascual, JM De Guzman, Maymay Entrata, and Edward Barber led the Star Magic artists that came to support the relaunch of the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village last December 1 in Norzagaray, Bulacan where they welcomed the first batch of residents of the newly-renovated halfway home.
The children, aged three to 16, were all smiles as they arrived at the 2.5 hectare property, which was first opened in 2003 as a temporary shelter for abused, exploited, abandoned, and neglected children rescued by Bantay Bata 163.
The opening of Children’s Village coincided with Star Magic Gives Back, the annual year-end activity of the country’s premier talent agency, where Star Magic artists and staff visit different institutions to bring early Christmas cheer. Joining Piolo, JM, Maymay, and Edward at Children’s Village were Ysabel Ortega and Sharlene San Pedro, who along with JM serenaded the children with song numbers, Vivoree Esclito and Heaven Peralejo, who led the children in fun games, and other artists including Eric Nicolas, Enzo Pineda, Luke Alford, John Bermundo, Yasmyne Suarez, Gerard Acao, Karl Gabriel, Luis Hontiveros, and Mark Rivera. Meanwhile, other Kapamilya stars visited the Good Samaritan Home for the Elderly in Marikina, the Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines in Manila, and Sta. Maria de Mattias in Marikina.
Piolo, the most senior among the stars that participated in the welcome, said it means a lot to him to be part of ABS-CBN’s advocacy against child abuse. “I see this opportunity as a gift. It is important to use our influence to lead the way for young ones to follow.” He added, “By simply giving the children a warm welcome, I think that will make a big difference in their lives because you make them feel that they are not alone in life and that they have a family.”
Meanwhile, Maymay shared that she empathizes with the kids. “We all have different experiences, but I know what it feels like to lose hope and feel lost,” she said. “I am honored to do my part bringing the children some fun at least for a day as they begin their road to recovery.” Maymay and her loveteam partner Edward also volunteered to become Bantay Bata 163 champions.
Earlier this year, over 300 Kapamilya artists came together to support the relaunching of the Children’s Village through raising awareness on the issue of child abuse and pledging donations at the ABS-CBN Ball 2018. Bantay Bata 163 also received support from other donors including the Quezon City local government led by Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Bantay Bata 163 program director Jing Castaneda-Velasco once again expressed her appreciation to the stars for taking time from their busy schedules to support their advocacy.
"Star Magic is no stranger to making dreams come true, as it has nurtured its talents into the brightest and most recognizable faces in the industry today. We are truly grateful to have them with us as we rebuild lives and fuel the dreams of future generations," she said.
The Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village provides holistic healing for children at risk through physical and psycho-social means, and a structured, therapeutic, family-like environment. It serves as a place where every child can recover, thrive, and develop before being reintegrated with their families and molded into productive members of society. The first batch of new residents include children previously under the protection of the Quezon City Social Services Development Department’s Reception and Action Center (RAC) and the Microgeo Network in Filinvest.
Those who would like to donate, volunteer, or participate in Bantay Bata 163 activities may call the 1-6-3 hotline. Donations can also be coursed online on www.abs-cbnfoundation.com or through the Bantay Bata 163 cans placed in establishments.
Now on its 21st year, Bantay Bata 163, a program under the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. endeavors to find new ways of combating abuse while remaining at the forefront of child welfare and protection in the country. Through capacity-building programs aimed at educating community leaders on abuse and the intrinsic rights of a child both online and in the real world, it empowers citizens to become game-changers in the fight for children’s rights.
For news on the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village, log on to www.abs-cbnfoundation.com or follow @abscbnfoundationkapamilya on Facebook.