Want to hear
some true stories with happy endings???
Let me share with you one of my most beautiful experiences on
Last year, I wanted to set-up a website, but I wasn't so sure yet,
of what I was going to do. I was just fascinated with the web and
the unlimited opportunities you could tap into. I knew I wanted
to make a personal website. At first I thought I would sell
silver jewelries as well as local handicrafts...little did
I know that I was going to set up a website, promoting my country,
selling real estate instead and even touching on some social
issues about the islands. This really took me by surprise!
Anyway, I just rolled in with the waves, following my perception,
promoting my islands, and putting on the web, things that basically
interests me, like the different islands of the Philippines, friendship
and poetry page, etc... I have made a lot of local and international
friends around the world and have had many good experiences with
them. Last October, 1999, I had an unusual request from an American
whom I met on the web, named Frank. He asked me to help him,
regarding some issues, about a little girl who came from Camotes
island, and was born with a club foot.
also set up a website
about Camotes Island, featuring Charina.
name is CHARINA. Since I was commuting to Camotes island on
a regular basis, can I check her out??? Well, my busy schedule did
not allow me to see her immediately, but being eager to help, I
published her on my web page too and linked his site to my site.
I cried one day when I didn't get a new pair
of shoes until I saw the young girl who didn't have
a normal feet. Charina urgently needs a feet
Can you help me, help her?
An increasing no. of people were
touched by the pictures, and I started receiving mails and
enquiries about her condition. So 3 months later, I decided to search
, McArthur town in Tudela and look for this girl, Charina, who was
obviously making waves all over the world. It was not difficult
to search for a girl with an unusual feet, in an island wherein
everyone knew each other.
At the end of December, 1999, I finally met Charina. As soon
as she saw me, her first phrase were " my prayers are answered".
I never met this girl before, but the moment I saw her, I just wanted
to break down and cry. I immediately replied, "girl, you don't
know your prayers are moving mountains. you sure know the art of
praying as there are people all over the world, who are very concerned
about you". Meeting her, made me want to work harder on her
case. She became very much a part of my unconscious obligations,
and have consciously decided to make her my main cause.
Frank continued to correspond
with me and continued sending me contacts on the appropriate
institutions , who could help. Tim , the moderator of popular website,
the American / Filipina friendship board, offered to make another
website for her. And EJ, another american from florida, a
magician, also offered to set-up a magic show to raise funds for
her operation. Initially, we thought about sending her to the US
for a free surgery, but Frank sent me a contact address about
a local charitable organization called "SHRINERS". They
have been operating on deformed children for the last 20 years,
for FREE !!!!
As soon as I got in touch
with the doctor. I had Charina sent from camotes island to Cebu.
by mother, riza (aunt) and uncle, and niece
The doctor took a look
at her on January 27, 2000 and the next day, she was immediately
admitted to the hospital. I was surprised how fast our hospital
system here works. She was admitted immediately, without any single
paper except for the signature of the doctor.
Cebu City Hospital
On February 8, 2000 Charina
had a successful foot surgery in Cebu City Hospital, Cebu.
now charina has reason
Charina is now back in
the islands, and is still healing. She still has the cast on her
feet, which bleeds occasionally. And she is occasionally in pain.
But who can heal the emotional scars? Only time can tell.
She still dreams of living a normal life with a normal feet
, and a prayer still lingers in her lips, this time ,.... it's a
prayer of joy and thanksgiving !
I am Charina Sevillejo, a poor child. This is my past
experience about my inborn defect. Since I was a month old,
my parents left me to my grandparents, and from that time
on, they were in charge of me. Until I grew up, and started
to study. During my school period, I met a lot of friends.
So I'm happy to be together with my friends. But there are
moments that I and my friends are quarreling with each other,
so at this moment, they reject me. And they make fun of my
inborn defect. So I will just cry to myself and wallow in
self-pity. During my elementary years, I attend the activities
in school, until I graduated and proceeded to High School.
The first day of my high school, I was very embarrassed, because
all the students who saw my feet, imitated the way I walk
and laughed at me .But they were not yet satisfied, they all
laughed at me, facing me, and shouted names about what I am,
and my inborn defect. So all I do is to keep on crying and
wallow in self-pity . Sometimes, I blame the Lord for what
he has done to me. But after awhile, I feel guilty and apologize
to him again. My grandparents and all my relatives advised
me, just to ignore the people who rejected me, and made fun
of me. And they also advised me to keep on praying. So I just
followed their advice. Also my teacher told me that I only
have a physical inborn defect, and the people who laugh at
me, has an internal inborn defect. This statement also comfort
me. I retained a few friends, and there were always people
who rejected me. But I just ignore them, and remained humble,
as I try to attend all the activities in my school. My daily
life runs like this: I wake up in the morning, I arrange my
bed, after I take a bath, then I prepare myself for school,
and then I eat breakfast before I go to school. After School,
I go home, then I will put my school uniform in my closet
and change into a home dress. Then I eat my snacks, and later
in the day, we eat our last meal with the family. I am the
one who wash the plates. On the weekends, I am the one who
wash our clothes. I also help my grandma clean our surroundings,
And when there is nothing to do, I relax or listen to music,
as I sing to my favorite tunes. SINGING is really
my favorite hobby. And during the night, before going to bed,
our family pray the rosary together. So I also pray, full
of self-pity, even when I am lying in bed. I always asked
our Almighty God to help me, so when the time came, that someone
offered me help, I was very thankful to God because I already
knew......the moment I laid eyes on Ming. And I continued
praying that the offer to help me was real , sincere,
and successful. This is all I can share about me right now,
my good and bad experiences.
this is my home
The "Charina experience"
left me a deep lasting impression. For the first time in my
life, I was confronted with poverty at the hospital. This
was a social government hospital who admitted people without
funds. I was impressed at the swiftness of their action. If
she was admitted in a private hospital she probably had to fill
up and submit lots of documents before she could be admitted.
I have witnessed a lot of discrimination too amongst the very
poor people. I love my country, but sad to say, the poor in
this country must find their voice.
recent post-operation picture
Charina, Ming, and EJ
I want to thank a few people
who believed in me and supported me in this cause.
Frank - we
probably have our differences, but without you, the footwork and
research, you have made, set up the foundation of this project .
I would never have gone this far without you. Thank You. No one
has accomplished more work nor less . It has become clear to me,
that we were all instrumental to one purpose_ that is, to
help Charina in her path.
EJ from Florida -
Thank you for all the support ( financially , emotionally,
physically, and spiritual) you have given Charina and me .
May God bless you !
Charina and EJ
Eddie from Philadelphia
- Thank you for visiting Charina,
and giving her, her first set of shoes.
Augie from California
- Thank you for your financial and moral, support. I really appreciate
Bebot from Macau
- Thank you for your financial support.
Bill from Arizona - Thank you for your continual support
Lyndon and Jean from New Zealand - Thank you for believing
in my projects, and setting up a charitable fund for me and my social
causes !!! Also thank you for the childrens clothing for charina!
Dr. Felix Vicuna , Surgeon - In behalf
of Charina, I , and all the deformed kids you have operated upon,
we thank you for your work and your charity. Keep up the good work
"SHRINER'S" - Thank you for your
charitable organization, and making miracles happen. More power
to you !!!!
If you want to write to charina or sent her a gift ,
please feel free to do so, thru Ming.