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Zel.graduationb11b0fa3abI would like say thank you, not only that Children of Hope School has given me a remarkable honor, but also for the weeks of fear and  anxiety that I have endured at the thought of this big responsibility. The sleepless nights finally convinced me that I can be a speaker once in my lifetime.  Since I had been here for five years as a school teacher, it is a great advantage because I can think that this is a simple reunion. 

I have finally set my heart and mind about what I am going to talk about today. To the graduates, particularly Eugene, Epifanio, Analiza, and Wilmar, today is a day of celebration and thanksgiving. You have all worked hard to make it to this day. It has been a long journey and you have reached this far.

The staff, the teachers and therapists in the school, the house parents, and  the uncles and aunties in the shelter, were all there and have witnessed when you started practicing on holding a pencil, when you were singing loudly the ABC song,  when  you were learning to write  the letters of the alphabet, when you were trying to read the words with care, and when you were tirelessly counting the numbers from 1 to 100 until you have grown up and have improved your abilities like writing your stories and autobiography, performing an experiment in science, solving problems in math, and showcasing your talent in theater, music and arts, and even sports! Above all these, you have grown up with a personal relationship with the Lord. It’s been a long journey to have finished your elementary years in school, to have developed  skills and values, and to grow up rich in spirit. Congratulations, graduates!    

Going back to my own elementary commencement, just like you sitting in the front row, my heart was filled with thanksgiving. At 12 years old, I had already been planning on becoming a teacher and had dreamed of landing a job because, primarily, I wanted to elevate my family's situation. My parents were poor and , thus, I am  poor. Then,  when I was in the 5th grade, my father passed away. But I am blessed that my family stayed strong and had faith in the Lord. Since then, every day is a miracle. Although I am very much acquainted with the hardships in life, I did not use being poor as an excuse not to finish my education. As a matter of fact, with the support of my family, teachers and friends, I had all the motivation to work harder, to do well in my studies, and to give the best version of myself. I am very determined to learn more and even willing to run an extra mile for education.

In the midst of the challenges and hardships in life, I was successful in my academic journey. So, after college, I looked for a job. In June 2009, I was accepted here in Children of Hope School as a shadow teacher of Wilmar and an I.I. instructor for the kids in the afternoon. After a year, I was promoted to a regular teaching job and was assigned in Level B2. Some of you here were once my students then.

So why am I telling you all of this? That day on my elementary graduation, I was young like you, but was very determined to reach my dreams. And now with the blessings of the Lord, I have made some of them come true, like being a teacher and to have done the things that I love to do. Therefore, I want you to be reminded of not giving up on your dreams and to have faith that you will reach your goals. More than that, I am humbled that I was a part of this ministry and learned that life is more meaningful when  it is shared with a cause. My five year stay in this school was one of the memorable times in my life and it was way greater than what I have dreamed of.

 To the graduates, be grateful to the people that have supported you along the way. The CSC staff and supporters, the childcare staff which includes the uncles and aunties in the shelter, the medical staff, the teachers and therapists in school, and the maintenance staff, they were the set of people who DARED to choose you, serving and molding you to become what you are right now. They are the set of people who CARED not about your past, but on where you’re heading in the future. They are the set of people who SHARED their time, effort, love, and prayers so you won’t be left behind. They dared, cared, and shared because you are special. So dear graduates, we need you to make the most of the wonderful opportunities that have been given to you. 

You may not remember everything I’ve said today, but my message to you is that: Do not give up on your dreams and make them all come true. My hope is that you will have the passion, the courage, the faith, and the sense of responsibility it takes so that you’ll be successful in high school and in the next years of your education. Again, congratulations and God bless you graduates. Thank you very much.



Life and Living

Apr. 13, 2024By: Roberto Atienza  ›  Author Bio

A couple of weeks have passed since Easter, but the joy of the season still lingers on at CSC. During the Easter season, we celebrate forgiveness, reconciliation, renewal, and rebirth. On Resurrection Sunday, we revel in the new life we have been born into thanks to Christ's victory over sin and death. A new life; one that is defined by life, love, and living, and one that has an opposite trajectory to the life we had been living before. As you can imagine, this holiday holds very special meaning at CSC. At CSC, faith, love, forgiveness, renewal, rebirth ... new life ... are at the core of everything we do.


To celebrate the season, we use many symbols and, of course, have a ton of fun doing it. After church, a massive Easter Egg Hunt sends the kids running across the big field between the homes, searching inside of plants, pots, and dark corners. It's tons and of fun, and we explain how the eggs are meant to symbolize new life and living. The fact that they're hollow eggs made of plastic is meant to symbolize the empty tomb where Jesus' lay; a tomb which is empty because He is Risen! And the hunt? Well, that's just meant to be fun and goofy, and the smiles and laughter filling the Shelter make the effort of hiding the eggs completely worth it.

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Aside from the Easter Egg Hunt we also play fun games, like an art and coloring contest to showcase our kids' talents, and an egg toss for a little fun competition. The little ones used hard-boiled eggs for their games to make it a little easier for them, and I admittedly might have eaten a hard boiled egg or two while watching.

It's been two weeks now since Easter Sunday, but the feeling still lingers on. Not only is life marked by joy and happiness at CSC, it is also marked by renewal and rebirth. CSC is a place of a healing and growth, where children are able to heal from past hurts and grow past them, finding a new life that is no longer defined by their history or circumstances, but instead by who God has made them to be. I love Easter, and I love the fact that we can tangibly express the very meaning of Easter in everything we do.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Eureka" Moments


The Science and Math Culminating Activity at Cebu Children of Hope School was an incredibly enjoyable event where students could showcase their passion for science and math through a day filled with thrilling challenges and learning opportunities. Students were divided into two teams—the Einstein and Galilei teams—and they were enthusiastic about engaging in activities that tested their knowledge and teamwork skills.








The morning session started with entertaining math games that not only sparked healthy competition but also fostered a strong camaraderie. Each level required one student to achieve five correct answers, showcasing their quick thinking and problem-solving abilities. Teams cheered each other on, creating a vibrant atmosphere of unity and collaboration. The math relay further emphasized the importance of teamwork, as students had to combine their mental and physical abilities to navigate obstacles and solve problems.









The afternoon was dedicated to science, offering students a platform to unleash their creativity and critical thinking skills. They conducted experiments that ranged from crafting bird flyers to attempting the floating egg challenge, exploring the principles behind flight and buoyancy. The 'Protect the Egg' challenge was a testament to their understanding and problem-solving skills, as teams had to devise innovative ways to safeguard an egg using only limited materials.









Throughout the event, students learned about renowned scientists like Einstein and Galilei, after whom the teams were named. Prizes were given to the students, and everyone felt proud of their accomplishments.










The Science and Math Culminating Activity was a blast. It showed everyone how fascinating science and math can be when fully engaged. Kudos to the students and teachers for making it such a memorable day!

Small Pain, Big Gain

Mar. 7, 2024By: Zennefer Baya

Kids or adults, men or women, nobody loves to see needles. It's still a needle, no matter how tiny its hole may be or how small it is. Giving vaccines could be challenging as it would hurt the child, the person holding the child, and the one giving the shot in different ways. Poking tiny little arms or thighs with a fluid-filled syringe containing different ingredients that help the body to build immunity against various diseases is not pleasing stuff. However, as adults and advocates of these vulnerable kids, we chose to submit them to these immunization shots because we know it will bring them better protection against illnesses later. That is what love is sometimes, as the scripture says in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just as the Father sacrificially gave His only son for us imperfect people to have everlasting life with Him, we also, as stewards of these kids entrusted to us by God first before the government, always give thought and act on what is good and for the best interest of these kids.

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When Love is the Key

Feb. 29, 2024By: Shiela Mae Prieto

Love is defined differently by every one of us. It is, after all, a very significant matter. The necessity of this in our day-to-day existence is something we cannot fight or ignore. When it comes to writing, I am an inspired and driven teacher. I enjoy sharing my opinions and thoughts on various topics, including my own experiences. I simply enjoy expressing myself, perhaps to uplift and encourage others to feel comfortable doing the same, or even just to simply tell others about the goodness of God in my life.
I want to share my cooking experience with the sixth-grade students at CCHS. I am blessed for the opportunity given to me. It all began on a lovely Friday afternoon in January, with gathering the supplies and ingredients needed for my students.


Even though I'm not really into "cooking," I had great joy and excitement while I was preparing. To get compliments from everyone who tastes what we prepare will be fun. While the students started to get inside the kitchen, I was honored and excited. We snapped a quick picture before the activity started. I observed their joy and enthusiasm by their broad smiles. Take a peek at our cooking adventure!


It's now time to start cooking. The pupils were occupied in chopping the spices. One of the students among the four is already proficient in handling a knife. Even though the others aren't accustomed to it, they're making a sincere effort to learn how to chop spices with care. I could tell how much love they had for each other and how much they enjoyed what they did. Here, "love" is defined as having a strong passion for what you are doing. Despite their lack of experience or fear of getting a cut while using a knife, they persevered and made an effort to successfully mince and grind the spices into little pieces.


I helped them combine the remaining ingredients once they had minced the spices. All the ingredients (ground pork, eggs, veggies, salt, and other seasonings) were combined in a bowl. I taught them how to wrap after I had mixed them up. Amazingly, they did a great job. They wrapped successfully and neatly. They were able to wrap about 50 pieces, and they started cooking. I love seeing them happy and enjoying themselves. They love to help each other and to accomplish the activity together. They're wrapping and cooking lumpia rolls together. They shared laughter and shared compliments for each other's efforts. We were all happy, and I felt the real ingredient and secret joy of harmonious activity—love.


It's time to start serving the food! They prepared some drinks as refreshments and arranged the lumpia rolls on paper plates. The lumpia rolls were delicious! After learning and discovering the fantastic taste, we were overjoyed!


Love is the key ingredient; everything works out when there is love. That was all we knew up until we had the opportunity to eat. The best result arises when love is the key. Unbelievable or impossible things can come true - thanks to the mystical power of the four-letter word love! It encourages us to push ourselves to connect with others' skills, talents, and individuality while also assisting in understanding one another and accepting differences. Indeed, it is a gift from God because He is love. It has no end and is priceless.


Birthday Prayer

Feb. 22, 2024By: Jinkee Reasoner

Meet a delightful five-year-old who is eagerly anticipating his birthday this month.


Four months ago, whenever I had a chance to talk with him, the topic of our conversation was always his birthday. He was already excited for his next birthday! But, unlike other children who come up to me telling me what birthday gifts they want to receive, this boy had asked that he and I should celebrate our birthdays together, since mine is in April. He wants me to pray for him on his birthday and that he will pray for me.

This exchange of conversation has been going on since then. What struck me the most is this five-year-old boy giving a particular importance for prayer, birthday prayer to be specific. This is our hope. For children to have a heart of prayer. And for us at CSC, to be picked by the birthday celebrant to pray for them is such an honor. If you are celebrating your birthday or just celebrated your birthday, I pray that you will be a blessing to others and that the Lord will use you mightily!