Saddle Up for Christmas By Sabrina Soriano

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The day dawned bright and sunny last Wednesday, December 10, after 2 days of inclement weather due to typhoon Ruby. It seemed that our prayers had been answered as that was the day the Zonta Club of Alabang had scheduled “Saddle Up”, their Christmas outreach event with the PGH Pediatric Ward and Cancer Institute patients/students.

The children and parents had excitedly been awaiting this event for weeks, an activity that was very different for them. Instead of the usual field trips to the zoo, museums, and amusement parks, they would be given an opportunity to interact with horses! With a sense of anticipation, they all came early to PGH, where they were picked up by a bus provided by Zonta, to be brought to Manila Polo Club for the main event of the morning.

The 25 children were divided into 3 groups so they could take turns with the 3 different activities prepared for them. This also allowed the Zonta members and Manila Polo Club riders and members to better interact with the children. Each group was excited as they were given the chance to groom and feed, ride, and even paint the horses. The children enjoyed it so much, some of them were even asking their mommies if they could bring home the horses!

And that was not all that they had prepared. The Zonta members and Manila Polo Club riders and members also bought gifts specifically for each child. The kids were very excited as they opened the special gifts that they were given. They were given well thought of gifts – dolls, dresses they could wear for Christmas, rainbow loom set, Disney Princess book, etc.

Thank you to the Zonta Club of Alabang, headed by President Michelle Yu, for this outreach activity. Big thanks also to Mia Virata, Chairman of the Saddle Up Committee (who is a member of both Zonta and Manila Polo and is the riding instructor as well) who thought of this event, and to Tintin San Juan, Co-Chairman (who is a member of both Zonta and the Single Young Adults of Santuario de San Antonio) for thinking of the PGH patients/students for this. The children and the parents will forever treasure this experience.

If you have old toys, books, school bags and supplies that you can spare, to give and to share, I hope you can consider donating them to our Hospital Ministry (you can look for Nimfa Dumago at the parish office). Such a small gesture means a lot to these charity patients. Their big smiles are proof this.

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