SOS Child Turned SOS Father To 147 Children In Davao
On a typical day, Bem balances office work as a village
director and work as the father in the village. In the morning, Bem would drive
his kids to school and his wife to work. And throughout the day, he would go
around the village to check on the SOS mothers and co-workers for any concerns.
By the afternoon, he spends his downtime with the SOS kids by chitchatting
about their daily lives.
Bem was also an SOS child listening to their village
father’s lectures and life lessons by the afternoon. Before, Bem could be seen
helping in the household chores, tending to their backyard garden, and playing
in the village grounds when he’s not in school.
Bem was just six months old when he came to the village. His
mother got sick after his birth and passed away shortly, leaving baby Bem under
the care of his nine-year-old sister and other siblings. Their situation is no
place for any child to be in. Luckily, Bem was referred to SOS Children’s
Village in Tacloban. And there, Nanay Nila provided the care of a mother that
Little Bembem (rightmost side) with his SOS mother, Nanay Nila, and his SOS siblings
Fast forward to today, Bem is now a loving village father to
147 children in SOS Davao. “Even though I never grew up with my biological
father, I had my village father and SOS mother to teach me a thing or two about
being a good father. They supported me and scolded me when I misbehaved. They
taught me virtue and resilience,” said Bem. Bem is thankful that he chose to be
a village father. All the children endearingly call him “Daddy” as if he was
their true father, and he could not ask for more.
This father’s day Daddy Bem was asked, “what’s the best gift
your children can give to you?” He answered, “I would like to see them grow
into self-reliant, resilient, and kind individuals. That would be the best
father’s day gift. And to do that, I’ll do my best to provide the caring
environment they need to grow and have a chance of a better future.”
Bem with his biological family in the PhilHealth Fun Run
Bem casually having a conversation with two of his SOS children