BERLINews  Online News Service of the Philippine Community in Berlin - Nr. 18
The tour guide and his little tourists after their virtual trip to the Philippines and a safe trip back, in less than an hour!
Tolerance begins with the children:
63 Children “visited” the Philippines

by: Fr. Adonis Narcelles SVD
      Berlin. “Mag-isip-isip ng isa, dalawa, tatlo… ikaw naman dito.” The children singing are not from the Philippines but mostly from Germany and other countries like Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Ivory Coast. They are being prepared by the Holy Spirit Parish for the First Communion next year. As part of their program, they invited Fr. Adonis Narcelles to introduce the Philippines in order to make the children aware of the importance of knowning another country and meeting other people with different culture, language and challenges.

       “Are you ready to go on a tour to a country 10,000 km away from here? The children, mostly 12 years of age, all shouted “yes”. So the virtual tour started with an airplane ride with a map showing the route of the 15-hour flight.   Pictures and wood carvings of carabao, jeepney and bahay kubo made the tour even interesting for the children. “Where is the snake?” asked a curious boy while the others fit the “Sambalilo” (hat). Sun bathing along the long, white shores of Boracay is part of the package tour.

       The children were very attentive as they passed through the
    houses along the railways and met poor children like Melanie and Mario. These are just some of the children who do not go to school because their parents have no money, no work. The squatters and houses on the river are depressing scenes. Children searched the garbage looking for something to eat. Scavengers picked up pieces of old paper and rusted metal. The other side of Philippines.

       After seeing the two sides of the Philipppines, the children flew back to Berlin filled with memories from this short “virtual tour”. Before saying good bye, they learned the meaning of “Mabuhay” and after eating Sky Flakes, they sang: “Mag-isip-isip ng isa, dalawa, tatlo… ikaw naman dito.”

       Tolerance begins with children who are informed, that there is a bigger world apart from Berlin and that there are other people who have different language, color, race and religion. Hopefully this visit has shown them not only the faces of Filipinos but also the meaning of respect to others, openness to other people and the dignity that is found in every person.

    (by Fr. Adonis Narcelles Jr. SVD)