To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.

Celebrating this heart’s day has been one of my unforgettable experiences, for this time we dated our elders and it’s our kind of date! Yes, you heard it right, we had our dates from Pope Francis Home for Orphans and Elderly, and it’s one of the best dates I’ve been into.

RIEL Hearts' Day

J/CSUPT EDWIN B RIEL, Regional Director of the Jail Bureau had this idea in celebrating Valentine’s Day in a remarkable way, and it sure did. Known as the Pope Francis Center for the Poor, the facility is located within the compound of Archbishop Residence in Arado Village, Palo, Leyte, the seat of Roman Catholicism in Eastern Visayas. It is managed by a Korean missionary group based in Kkottongnae, South Korea.

As we visited the place, we were welcomed by candid smiles of the elders waiting for our arrival and felt nostalgic remembering my lola thru them. The feeling surely is mutual as other personnel embraced our dates quiet sentimental seeing them longing for visitors. It was an instant attachment, seeing our personnel in teary eyes as they approached them, truly we have a soft spot for our elders.

RIEL Hearts' Day

Readied activities surely gave entertainment such as dance presentation coming from the regional office personnel and special number from our lovely couple JO3 Gallego and JO1 Mas swaying the tune of “Pasayawa ko Day”. It was a comical scene laughing our hearts out much more our elders recalling a memory in their youthful days. Giving more delight, loads of adult diaper were given and snacks to savor for that moment were shared. It was an unusual date indeed seeing them in that place, crumples the heart yet appreciative helping them ease homesickness from their families. It surely was an unexpected encounter with our elders longing for visitors to be with them in that moment and in everyday meets.

RIEL Hearts' Day

J/CSUPT RIEL expressed gratitude for the moment given to the BJMP family, to give love to them this Valentine’s day. “RIEL love is real love” our RD’s mantra in sharing the love this heart’s day. Saranghamnida (We love you in Korean) their flagship calls and gesture, to those who came and share their blessings to the elders. As we left the place, there’s an eagerness to return, an incomparable feeling of gratefulness and to help others was priceless. What more can I say? It’s the Best Valentines date ever!

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