Charitable Institutions to Visit in Bacolod
Locals and visitors alike who are interested to do some charitable work in Bacolod City, Philippines often ask me where they can volunteer or donate or visit to extend their help to those in need. You see, traveling is not just about seeing the popular landmarks or hanging out in the beach or tasting the local food. Traveling is also about reaching out to the local community, most especially to those who need it the most.
I, myself, have traveled for the purpose of helping a community. When I worked full-time with Habitat for Humanity and with Hands On Manila (an affiliate of Hands On Network, powered by Points of Light Foundation in the US), I was able to go to different parts of the country and abroad to lend a hand, to share my knowledge, and to learn from the families we deal with.
And if you want to volunteer with other organizations and also want to build houses, repair schools or plant trees, make sure that you wear comfortable and casual clothes. Always wear closed, sturdy, durable shoes, too. The good thing is that ZALORA carries a wide variety of athletic footwear from Mizuno. You have plenty of choices which you can use when you travel and when you volunteer.
Since it is also the 25th anniversary of the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Foundation, Inc., a local non-profit foundation where I served as Executive Director for over a year, I recall the great experiences I had going around Bacolod City, visiting partner organizations. My stay in this foundation, albeit short, was sweet and fulfilling and I hope that through this post, I am able to inspire others to experience the beauty of touching other people’s lives.
We traveled to all the ends of Bacolod City to distribute donations in December 2014 and July 2015. Here are some institutions that you, too, can support, may it be by spending time, sharing your skills and talents, or giving material blessings to those who are under their care. And when you see them light up by your presence or gifts, you will find that Bacolod, indeed, is the City of Smiles.
1.) St. Mary’s Home for the Aged
Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City
(+63-34) 433-3310; 435-6465; 434-0976
We drove all the way to the easternmost barangay of Bacolod, towards the upland area. At some point, our vehicle had to go through a small portion of rough road, in order to get to the St. Mary’s Home for the Aged. But the scenery that will greet you along the way is spectacular. The place itself is so serene, perched atop a hilly area. Just across the institution are vegetable plantation. Inside the compound are also full of trees and vegetation.
The elderly who are living in this institution have become a family and they enjoy the fresh air that they get in this facility. They also want to busy themselves by making mats, wallets, rags, or any item that they can make out of fabric cut outs or straws.
2.) St. Vincent’s Home for the Aged
Tangub, Bacolod City
(+63 34) 432-0399; 432-0011
The institution is administered by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, which I also had the opportunity to work with while I was in Manila. They shelter and nurse abandoned elderly. Their compound is located near the highway towards the southern part of Bacolod. They also plant organic vegetables for their use and to sell to their supporters.
3.) Missionaries of Charity
Circumferential Road, Tinagong Paraiso,
Barangay Banago, Bacolod City
The Missionaries of Charity, which is the order founded by Mother Teresa, have been serving the sickly and children, housing them temporarily in their institution. Volunteer doctors often come to provide free regular check-ups and consultation to the beneficiaries. One time, when we visited their facility, they sheltered a foreigner who had no family to take care of him in Bacolod City. Their institution is found in the quiet place near the coastal area, at the northernmost barangay of Bacolod City.
4.) Holy Infant Nursery
San Francisco St. San Sebastian Village, Brgy. Sum-Ag, Bacolod City
Located at the southernmost part of the city, the Holy Infant Nursery houses children who have been orphaned or abandoned. These children are up for adoption, but while they are in the facility, the foundation had to take care of their milk, food, daily commodities, and, often, education.
5.) St. Ezekiel Moreno Clinic
Handumanan Access Road, Bacolod City, Tel(034) 446-1911
The St. Ezekiel Moreno Clinic is located in Handumanan, which is at the southeastern most area of Bacolod City. They serve patients who have minimum resources. When I went there to turnover medical tools and materials as donation, I was greeted by nuns from the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR). St. Ezekiel Moreno, as it turns out, is the patron saint of cancer patients. They also provide consultation to needy patients at very low cost, and maintains a small pharmacy that caters to the needs of their beneficiaries.
If you happen to live in Bacolod City or nearby towns and cities, or if you are here for a vacation or for family visits, it would be good to allot a day to visit these institutions. The families and the staff running these facilities would be delighted to have visitors. Still, it is advisable that you call first so they know when they can expect you. Please note that they also want to protect the rights and privacy of their beneficiaries, so they also screen who they will welcome in their compound and the purpose of such visit.