Wel­come relief: Party at Naga evac­u­a­tion cen­ter

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Text and photos by Zena V. Magto

As an old say­ing goes, birth­days are bless­ings that need to be shared. For Kate Uy Estr­era, noth­ing rang more true than these words when she marked her 25th birth­day last Sun­day, Novem­ber 4.

The young busi­ness­woman de­cided to hold a chil­dren’s party for vic­tims of the Naga City land­slide at the Naga Cen­tral El­e­men­tary School (NCES), where most of the chil­dren of the land­slide-stricken ar­eas were evac­u­ated.

The school has over 563 chil­dren evac­uees. Of the num­ber, 24 are in­fants.

“It’s best to share my bless­ings with the kids,” said Estr­era, owner of a small food fran­chise in Cebu City.

With the help of her friends, a pri­vate char­ity group and her busi­ness con­tacts, she gath­ered all the chil­dren in the NCES cov­ered court.

The pro­gram started with a prayer at around 3:30 in the af­ter­noon fol­lowed by pa­rade skits per­formed by Cebu com­edy groups Chipi­wi­wit Di­vas and Team Sax­oni.

Through a friend, Estr­era was able to tap the en­ter­tain­ment groups to host the chil­dren’s pro­gram.

The hi­lar­i­ous per­for­mances, which in­cluded a par­ody of the fa­mous Dis­ney-hit song “Let it Go,” and The Great­est Show­man pop ballad, “Never Enough,” drew laugh­ter from the chil­dren and the adult spec­ta­tors.

A bub­ble show also brought a spark in the eyes of the chil­dren as col­or­ful bub­bles danced in the air.

Par­lor games and kids’ prizes also added to the fun with par­ents of in­fants hold­ing on to their chil­dren en­joy­ing the spec­ta­cle.

“Over­whelm­ing,” said Estr­era, de­scrib­ing the evac­uees’ re­sponse to her birth­day treat.

REACH­ING OUT

Estr­era, a res­i­dent of Tal­isay City, told CEBU DAILY NEWS that she first found out about the land­slide through so­cial me­dia.

“When I first heard about it, I re­ally wanted to come; but I was very busy at the time. So I de­cided to come here on my birth­day,” Estr­era said in Ce­buano.

The en­tire party cost her about P40,000 with more than 600 food packs and sev­eral prizes pre­pared.

As a way to thank her, the chil­dren pre­sented ban­ners greet­ing Estr­era a happy birth­day and thank­ing her for the gen­eros­ity.

“Di gyud mabayran. Mag tan-aw

ka nila ba, luoy kaayo (Money can’t buy the hap­pi­ness I feel. I look at the chil­dren and I’m over­come with pity),” Estr­era said.

Even with what she con­sid­ers as her “small con­tri­bu­tion,” she saw con­tent­ment in the chil­dren’s eyes.

“No mat­ter how small the help is, it will re­ally go a long way to make peo­ple happy,” Estr­era said.

In the early morn­ing of Septem­ber 20, 2018, re­ports of a mas­sive land­slide in Barangay Ti­naan, City of Naga jolted Cebu.

The dis­as­ter claimed the lives of 77 while 450 fam­i­lies were left home­less. Five peo­ple re­main miss­ing.

No mat­ter how small the help is, it will re­ally go a long way to make peo­ple happy. - Kate Uy Estr­era

Kids of Naga City’s land­slide-dis­placed fam­i­lies show mes­sages of ap­pre­ci­a­tion and birth­day greet­ings to Kate Uy Estr­era (top left) and play par­lor games (be­low) dur­ing her birth­day party.

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